Bioleaching of Rare Earth Elements and Uranium from Sinai Soil, Egypt Using Actinomycetes

Noha M. Kamal ; Maha A. Hewedy ; Abeer Ahmed Rushdy ; Noha Mohamed Kamal Abdelfattah 


The use of microorganisms in the recovery of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) and Uranium (U) from low grade ores provides an appropriate eco-friendly alternative to chemical methods used in extraction and/or removal of metals from soils, with a higher efficiency, less destruction to the environment, and lower cost from a commercial view especially given that high-grade mineral resources that can be used in the chemical extraction of metals are being depleted. The feasibility of using actinomycetes to recover REEsand Ufrom a low-grade ore occurring in an Egyptian soil in Wadi Abu Thor, Sinai, Egypt, was investigated. The most effective isolate in REEs-bioleaching was Streptomyces fungicidicus YH04, while the most effective isolate in U-bioleaching was Streptomyces aureofaciens 3001(1). Streptomyces fungicidicus YH04 bioleached 37.13% of the REEs present in the sample, while S. aureofaciens 3001(1) bioleached of 12.56% of the U present in the sample. The isolated strains of actinomycetes can be used to extract REEs and U by better, more economic and less polluting bioleaching processes instead of the chemical processes which are in common use today.

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Keywords Actinomycetes;Streptomyces;Rare earth elements;Uranium;Bioleaching
Issue Date Oct-2013
Journal The Egyptian Journal of Hospital Medicine 

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