Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.154, No.1-3, 804-810, 2008
Integrated bacterial process for the treatment of a spent nickel catalyst
Integrated biological processes involving the dissolution and subsequent precipitation have been used for the treatment of the spent material from the hydrogenation of vegetable oil containing a high-level of nickel. Our results show that nickel was successfully leached using Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans. The percentages of nickel leached using A. thiooxidans were higher than those obtained with dilute sulphuric acid solutions. Due to the physical characteristics of the residue, the best results were obtained when the leaching process was carried out using sulphuric acid biogenerated by an A. thiooxidans biofilm. The recovery of nickel from the leachates was performed at room temperature by precipitating with sulphide generated by Desulfovibrio cells. Indirect precipitation using sulphide generated in Desulfovibrio sp. cultures allowed the recovery of nickel as the very insoluble nickel sulphide. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.