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#1 2021-07-20 11:23:22

Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,326

Mining - Biological (Bacteria, etc)

For SpaceNut .... there are several topics containing the word "mining" but none seemed right for this report.

The method described ** should ** work in most situations discussed in related topics ... … 46761.html

At the Orleans lab, the process starts by pulverising mounds of rocks, or "tailings," left over from traditional mining and dissolving them in liquid.

Different bacteria are then injected, depending on the metal sought, along with oxygen and common nutrients like potassium or nitrogen to "feed" the bacteria.

A bioreactor machine then heats and rapidly agitates the solutions, in colours like grey-green or mustard yellow, setting the extraction process in motion.

"The bacteria allows us to do this at relatively low temperatures, between 30 and 50 degrees (85-120 Fahrenheit)," Guezennec said.

"And it doesn't need to be pressurised, so these are very stable processes that are not very expensive."

After years of testing, the lab is preparing to launch tests for large-scale production, extracting rare earths and cobalt, copper and nickel from slag heaps in Finland and New Caledonia.

This method ought to work on Mars as well.



#2 2021-07-20 22:14:25

From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,099

Re: Mining - Biological (Bacteria, etc)

The using of bacterium for mineral breakdown sure removes the energy levels needed much less as what they breakdown will have some other desired outputs.


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