University of Oulu

Bellenberg S, Turner S, Seidel L, van Wyk N, Zhang R, Sachpazidou V, Embile RF Jr, Walder I, Leiviskä T and Dopson M (2021) Towards Bioleaching of a Vanadium Containing Magnetite for Metal Recovery. Front. Microbiol. 12:693615. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.693615

Towards bioleaching of a vanadium containing magnetite for metal recovery

Saved in:
Author: Bellenberg, Sören1; Turner, Stephanie1; Seidel, Laura1;
Organizations: 1Centre for Ecology and Evolution in Microbial Model Systems (EEMiS), Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden
2Chemical Process Engineering, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Kjeøy Research & Education Center, Vestbygd, Norway
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Frontiers Media, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-09-03


Vanadium — a transition metal — is found in the ferrous-ferric mineral, magnetite. Vanadium has many industrial applications, such as in the production of high-strength low-alloy steels, and its increasing global industrial consumption requires new primary sources. Bioleaching is a biotechnological process for microbially catalyzed dissolution of minerals and wastes for metal recovery such as biogenic organic acid dissolution of bauxite residues. In this study, 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing was used to identify microorganisms in Nordic mining environments influenced by vanadium containing sources. These data identified gene sequences that aligned to the Gluconobacter genus that produce gluconic acid. Several strategies for magnetite dissolution were tested including oxidative and reductive bioleaching by acidophilic microbes along with dissimilatory reduction by Shewanella spp. that did not yield significant metal release. In addition, abiotic dissolution of the magnetite was tested with gluconic and oxalic acids, and yielded 3.99 and 81.31% iron release as a proxy for vanadium release, respectively. As a proof of principle, leaching via gluconic acid production by Gluconobacter oxydans resulted in a maximum yield of 9.8% of the available iron and 3.3% of the vanadium. Addition of an increased concentration of glucose as electron donor for gluconic acid production alone, or in combination with calcium carbonate to buffer the pH, increased the rate of iron dissolution and final vanadium recoveries. These data suggest a strategy of biogenic organic acid mediated vanadium recovery from magnetite and point the way to testing additional microbial species to optimize the recovery.

see all

Series: Frontiers in microbiology
ISSN: 1664-302X
ISSN-E: 1664-302X
ISSN-L: 1664-302X
Volume: 12
Article number: 693615
DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.693615
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
220 Industrial biotechnology
Funding: This study was funded by the VanProd project “Innovation for Enhanced Production of Vanadium from Waste Streams in the Nordic Region.” The authors express their sincere thanks for the financial support from the European Union Program Interreg Nord 2014–2020.
Copyright information: © 2021 Bellenberg, Turner, Seidel, van Wyk, Zhang, Sachpazidou, Embile, Walder, Leiviskä and Dopson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.