The Catalytic Role of Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Nanotubes in Bioleaching Copper from Waste Printed Circuit Boards
Jianfeng Bai1,2, Weihua Gu1,2, Jue Dai3, Chenglong Zhang1,2, Wenyi Yuan1,2, Mingqiang Deng4, Xinyun Luo4, Jingwei Wang1,2
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1Shanghai Collaborative Innovation Centre for WEEE Recycling, Shanghai 201209, PR China
2WEEE Research Centre of Shanghai Polytechnic University, Shanghai 201209, PR China
3School of Environmental and Materials Engineering of Shanghai Polytechnic University, Shanghai 201209, PR China
4Senlan Environmental (Shanghai) Co., Ltd, Shanghai 201204, PR China
Submission date: 2015-10-26
Final revision date: 2015-12-25
Acceptance date: 2016-02-16
Publication date: 2016-05-25
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2016;25(3):951–957
The objective of this research was to investigate the catalytic role of nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes (NCNTs) in a bioreactor that contained Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans (A. ferrooxidans) and waste printed circuit boards (WPCB). Factors that could reflect the results, such as pH, oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), Fe2+, and leaching rate of copper were detected and calculated in the bioleaching process. The results demonstrated that a certain amount of NCNTs had good compatibility with A. ferrooxidans, and it had the best consistency when added to 0.04g NCNTs in 50 ml solution. NCNTs could promote nearly 10% of copper leaching rate from WPCB by A. ferrooxidans compared with the blank group. When the NCNTs were treated by acid solution, its ability to promote the leaching rate of copper had a certain degree of decline (but not obvious), and it was about 2% lower than the group in which the NCNTs were not treated with acid. These phenomena could expand the application of NCNTs, and these could provide a basis for the next industrial application of A. ferrooxidans.