Bioleaching of As from mine tailings using an autochthonous Bacillus cereus strain

  • A.M. Cabrales-González Tecnológico Nacional de México-Instituto Tecnológico de Durango (TecNM-ITD).
  • M.A. Martínez-Prado Tecnológico Nacional de México-Instituto Tecnológico de Durango (TecNM-ITD)
  • D.M. Núñez-Ramírez Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango (FCQ-UJED)
  • E.R. Meléndez-Sánchez Tecnológico Nacional de México-Instituto Tecnológico de Durango (TecNM-ITD)
  • L. Medina-Torres Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
  • R. Parra-Saldivar Tecnologico de Monterrey - Campus Monterrey
Keywords: Arsenic, Bacillus cereus, bioleaching, heavy metals, mine tailings.


Contamination of heavy metals has been a serious environmental problem due to increasing anthropogenic activities such as mining, smelting, livestock, landfills, waste dumps, and agriculture. Bioleaching experiments were conducted using native Bacillus cereus MAMPE19 BCG, isolated and characterized from previous research, to test removal of arsenic (As) from actual mining waste. Mineralogical characterization by XRD was performed to identify mineral associations with As. The experimental design included a bioleaching system with agitated flasks (triplicate) and the effects of pH (5, 7, and 9) and pulp density (10, 15, and 20%) were evaluated. Finally, based on the results of the ANOVA, the system that achieved the highest percentage of As dissolution was selected and scaled to a stirred tank bioreactor. The composition of the mineral was mainly calcite (CaCO3), gismondine (CaAl2Si2O8·4(H2O)), akermanite (Ca2MgSi2O7), and silicon oxide (SiO2). Native Bacillus cereus dissolved 40.6 ± 4.9 and 37.4 ± 2.7 % of As in 10 d, in agitated flasks at a pH of 5 and a pulp density of 10 and 15%, respectively; and a 27.5 ± 2.9% dissolution of As was achieved in the stirred tank bioreactor at pH 5 and pulp density of 15%, supported by significant statistical differences.

Author Biographies

A.M. Cabrales-González, Tecnológico Nacional de México-Instituto Tecnológico de Durango (TecNM-ITD).

Ing. Angel Manuel Cabrales-González
Estudiante de la Maestría en Ciencias en Ingeniería Bioquímica
Unidad de Posgrado, Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico (UPIDET)
TecNM-Instituto Tecnológico de Durango

M.A. Martínez-Prado, Tecnológico Nacional de México-Instituto Tecnológico de Durango (TecNM-ITD)
Dra. María Adriana Martínez-Prado 
Profesora-Investigadora SNI I
TecNM-Instituto Tecnológico de Durango Unidad de Posgrado, Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico (UPIDET)
Departamento de Ingenierías Química y Bioquímica.
Blvd. Felipe Pescador 1830 Ote. Col. Nueva Vizcaya, Durango, Dgo. 34080, México.
Celular: 618-100-7833
D.M. Núñez-Ramírez, Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango (FCQ-UJED)

Dra. Diola Marina Núñez-Ramírez
Profesora Investigadora SNI I
Facultad de Ciencias Químicas Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango (UJED).
 Av. Veterinaria S/N Circuito Universitario, Col. Valle del Sur,
Durango, Dgo., 34120, México.

E.R. Meléndez-Sánchez, Tecnológico Nacional de México-Instituto Tecnológico de Durango (TecNM-ITD)

M.C. Edgar Ricardo Meléndez-Sánchez
TecNM-Instituto Tecnológico de Durango
Unidad de Posgrado, Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico (UPIDET)

L. Medina-Torres, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

Dr. Luis Medina-Torres
Profesor Investigador SNI II
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
Facultad de Química. Circuito Exterior S/N,
C.U., Coyoacán, 04510 Ciudad de México, México.

R. Parra-Saldivar, Tecnologico de Monterrey - Campus Monterrey

Dr. Roberto Parra-Saldivar
Profesor Investigador SNI III
SAB Group Lider
School of Engineering and Sciences,
Tecnologico de Monterrey,
Ave. Eugenio Garza Sada 2501, CP 64849,
Monterrey, N.L, Mexico.


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How to Cite
Cabrales-González, A., Martínez-Prado, M., Núñez-Ramírez, D., Meléndez-Sánchez, E., Medina-Torres, L., & Parra-Saldivar, R. (2022). Bioleaching of As from mine tailings using an autochthonous Bacillus cereus strain. Revista Mexicana De Ingeniería Química, 21(2), Bio2723.

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