Refractory sandstone ores and waste as alternative source of uranium Skłodowska Aleksandra, Bartosz Rewerski Laboratory of Environmental Pollution, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Poland Chajduk Ewelina, Kalbarczyk Paweł, Bartosiewicz Iwona Laboratory of Nuclear Analytical Methods, Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology, Warsaw, Poland
• The uranium exploration and exploitation in the South-West Poland (Lower Silesia District) was carried out since 1925 when the first 9 Mg of uranium ore were mined of which 690 mg of radium was extracted
The Frame Program of Activities for NuclearEnergy predicts the recognition of different way ofuranium source exploitation including the use ofbiotechnology. Biotechnology opens thepossibility to obtain uranium as by-product in rareelement recovery process (eg. Co, Au, Re, Rh, Pt)and positively affects the economical efficiency oftechnology.
Biotechnology is an effective and environmentalfriendly method of waste utilization and poorrefractory ores exploitation, well known since1949 and successfully developed in manycountries e.g.: Spain, Bulgaria, USA, Sweden.
• In Poland uranium deposits hosted in sandstone are located in the Lower Zechstein mineralization in Fore-Sudetic Monocline, and in Intra-Sudetic Monocline, in the Region of Wałbrzych and Jelenia Góra especially in Grzmiąca deposit.
The studies revealed that in the Lower Zechsteinmineralization the main carriers of radioactiveelements (U and Th) are organic compoundsoccurring in shale (Kupferschiefer) and shale inZechstein sandstone conglomerate, and that thoriumappears only in trace amounts. Maximum U contents inshale are 163 ppm. The only exceptions are sampleswith large secretion-type concentrations of thucholite;in one of them U content was as high as 0.89%.
Lower Anhydrite A B Zechstein Limestone Zechstein deposit Permian Kupferschiefer Cu-Ag Zechstein Sandstone Gold deposit Zechstein Conglomerate Rotliegendes Sandstone ConglomeratesDominating geological profile of Fore-Sudetic Monocline deposits.A. Drill core sample; B. Drill core sample at X-ray image (Ostrowskiand Sklodowska, 1996; Oszczepalski 1999; Piestrzynski et al., 2002).
Selected trace elements concentration in Fore-Sudetic Monocline copper deposits (Bechtel et al., 2001; Bechtel et al., 2002) Chemical element Concentration: ppm Mo 1 - 290 Co 8 - 485 U av. 60 ppb Au <2 - 1750 Pt <5 - 883 Pd <4 - 564
Average losses of important accessory metals in mineral processing of copper ore in KGHM PMSA. (Henryk Karaś, Flotation waste utilisation - Project “Gilów” CBPM CUPRUM, Wrocław, November, 2002) element losses in flotation element losses in waste, % flotation waste,% Ag 15,6 Cd 43,3 Zn 22,0 Au 44,7 As 22,1 Re 52,0 Pb 28,4 Se 45,5 Co 40,0 Ni 45,6 Mo 40,7 Pt 64,6 U = ???
Effect of colloidal sulphur and organic matter flotation in the “Gilów tailing pondOstrowski, M., Skłodowska, A. Small Bacteria and Great Copper, 1996
Mine dumps (gangue and ore) inGrzmiąca. Average uraniumconcentration in Grzmiąca deposit is540mg/kg and total uranium content iscalculated at the level of 670 Mg.Uranium concentration in wastes isabout 100 mg/kg. Uranium content inother sandstone type deposits wascalculated at the level of 1100 Mg.
The sources of microorganisms: • biofilms in adits • mine waters • fracture waters
A BWe have isolated and developed 25 microbial consortia able to oxidize iron contained inthe ore/waste under neutral and acidic conditions (Fe concentration in ore/waste is 1.8 -3.4 %.) during realization of mentioned strategic project. Microbial consortia active inneutral pH were able to acidification of culture and acidify ore/waste suspension from pH=7.0 to < 3,0 in 14 days(A). The next four most active consortia were choose for furtherexperiments and they were able to grow in acidic condition in pH 1.5 - 2.5
Leaching efficiency - preliminary results:• in neutral pH - up to 20% of uranium content in ore/waste• in acidic conditions without any amendments – 70%• in acidic conditions with sulphur up to 95% of uranium content in ore/waste• in acidic conditions with pyrite up to 95% of uranium content in ore/waste• sulphuric acid – 10 -60% of uranium content in ore/waste
The „green” synthesis strategy Sodium borohydride Sodium citrate Ascorbic acid Enzymes Water and organic liquids Exopolysaccharides Biosurfactants(Zygmunt SADOWSKI, Wroclaw University of Technology, Chemical Engineering DepartmentApril 2011, Biosynthesis of silver and gold nanoparticles)
Different nanosynthesis methods Physical Chemical Biological Ball milling Sol-gel processing in bacteria Thermal evaporation Solution based synthesis in fungi Lithography in water and nonpolar in east Vapour phase solvent in algae using plant extracts Fungi, bacteria, yeasts, actionomycetes and plants have inherent capacity to reduce metal ions through their specific metabolic pathways.(Zygmunt SADOWSKI, Wroclaw University of Technology, Chemical Engineering DepartmentApril 2011, Biosynthesis of silver and gold nanoparticles)