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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1683416, 7 pages
Research Article

Continued Multicolumns Bioleaching for Low Grade Uranium Ore at a Certain Uranium Deposit

State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Nuclear Resources and Environment, East China University of Technology, Nanchang, Jiangxi 330013, China

Received 26 April 2016; Revised 19 June 2016; Accepted 22 June 2016

Academic Editor: Tianyi Kou

Copyright © 2016 Gongxin Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bioleaching has lots of advantages compared with traditional heap leaching. In industry, bioleaching of uranium is still facing many problems such as site space, high cost of production, and limited industrial facilities. In this paper, a continued column bioleaching system has been established for leaching a certain uranium ore which contains high fluoride. The analysis of chemical composition of ore shows that the grade of uranium is 0.208%, which is lower than that of other deposits. However, the fluoride content (1.8% of weight) is greater than that of other deposits. This can be toxic for bacteria growth in bioleaching progress. In our continued multicolumns bioleaching experiment, the uranium recovery (89.5%) of 4th column is greater than those of other columns in 120 days, as well as the acid consumption (33.6 g/kg). These results indicate that continued multicolumns bioleaching technology is suitable for leaching this type of ore. The uranium concentration of PLS can be effectively improved, where uranium recovery can be enhanced by the iron exchange system. Furthermore, this continued multicolumns bioleaching system can effectively utilize the remaining acid of PLS, which can reduce the sulfuric acid consumption. The cost of production of uranium can be reduced and this benefits the environment too.