Application of microbe-induced carbonate precipitation for copper removal from copper-enriched waters: Challenges to future industrial application
- Duarte Nass, Carla - Rebolledo, Katherina - Valenzuela, Tamara - Kopp, Matias - Jeison, David - Rivas, Mariella - Azocar, Laura - Torres Aravena, Alvaro - Ciudad, Gustavo
- Datos de publicación:
- JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT,Vol.256,,2020
- MICP - Copper - Bio-precipitation - Urea - Sporosarcina pasteurii
- Migración Web of Science 
- Copper contamination in watercourses is a recent issue in countries where mining operations are prevalent. In this study, the application of copper precipitation through microbe-induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) was analyzed using urea hydrolysis by bacteria to evaluate precipitated copper carbonates. This article demonstrates the application of a copper precipitation assay involving Sporosarcina pasteurii (in 0.5 mM Cu2+ and 333 mM urea) and analyzes the resultant low removal (10%). The analysis indicates that the low removal was a consequence of Cu2+ complexation with the ammonia resulting from the hydrolysis of urea. However, the results indicate that there should be a positive correlation between the initial urea concentration and the bacterial tolerance to copper. This identifies a challenge in the industrial application of the process, wherein a minimum consumption of urea represents an economic advantage. Therefore, it is necessary to design a sequential process that decouples bacterial growth and copper precipitation, thereby decreasing the urea requirement.