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Shymkent scientists made bacterium produce uranium

18 june 2011, 15:32
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Photo courtesy of wordpress.com
Photo courtesy of wordpress.com
Scientists of Shymkent Scientific Research Institute of Biology and Biotechnology of South Kazakhstan State University have developed a new method of metal bioleaching, Interfax-Kazakhstan reports.

According to director of the Institute Akmaral Issayeva, the bacterium operate by destroying the composite lattice which releases the element itlself. The meathod is said to substantially increase production level.

The scientists performed industrial tests of heap bioleaching method in several uranium fields. The result showed that compared to the traditional production method heap bioleaching doubles the output.

Leaching is the process to extract precious metals, copper, uranium, and other compounds from ore by means of disolving.of production of valuable elements by means of dissolution. This process is similar to sulphuric-acid leaching, but the acid is replaced with a bio-solution.

According to the expert, the next stage will include industrial testing of bioleaching in underground uranium production. The method is cost effecient and allows to at least double production.

KazAtomProm National Atomic Company is using underground well leaching method for uranium production.

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