Leaching of Mn, Co, and Ni from manganese nodules using an anaerobic bioleaching method

Eun Young Lee, Seung Rim Noh, Kyung Suk Cho, Hee Wook Ryu

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35 Scopus citations


An anaerobic bioleaching of a manganese nodule by anaerobic Mn-reducing bacteria was evaluated for the leaching of metals, Mn, Co, and Ni. Insoluble Mn4+ in the nodule could be reduced to soluble Mn2+ by dissimilatory Mn-reducing bacteria that use a carbon source and Mn4+ as an electron donor and acceptor, respectively. As a result of the Mn reduction, Co and Ni could be leached from the loosed Mn matrix. Leaching experiments were carried out to optimize various process parameters, such as inoculation, pH, temperature, mineral salts, and particle size of the nodule used. The leaching efficiencies of Mn, Co, and Ni increased from 18, 7, and 10% to 77, 70, and 75%, respectively by the inoculation of the Mn-reducing enrichment culture broth. Metals could be efficiently recovered from the nodule in the ranges of pH from 5.0 to 6.5 and temperature from 30 to 45°C by anaerobic bioleaching. External addition of mineral salts was not necessary for Mn, Co, and Ni leaching from the nodule. The optimum ratio of nodule to glucose was 0.1 (w/w). To obtain a leaching efficiency above 70%, the particle size of the nodules must be less than 0.6 mm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-359
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The funding for this researchw as provided by the National Re-searchL aboratoryP rogram of the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology,a nd the Brain Korea 21 Project of the Korean Ministry of Education.


  • Anaerobic bioleaching
  • Cobalt
  • Manganese
  • Manganese nodules
  • Metal resource
  • Mn-reducing bacteria
  • Nickel


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