Bioleaching - An Alternate Uranium Ore Processing Technology for India

Abhilash, and Mehta, K D and Kumar, Vinay and Pandey, B D (2011) Bioleaching - An Alternate Uranium Ore Processing Technology for India. Energy Proceedia, 7 . pp. 158-162.

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Meeting the feed supply of uranium fuel in the present and planned nuclear reactors calls for huge demand of uranium, which at the current rate of production, shows a mismatch. The processing methods at UCIL (DAE) needs to be modified/ changed or re-looked into because of its very suitability in near future for low-index raw materials which are either unmined or stacked around if mined. There is practically no way to process tailings with still some values. Efforts were made to utilize such resources (low-index ore of Turamdih mines, containing 0.03% U3O8) by NML in association with UCIL as a national endeavor. In this area, the R&D work showed the successful development of a bioleaching process from bench scale to lab scale columns and then finally to the India’s first ever large scale column, from the view point of harnessing such a processing technology as an alternative for the uranium industry and nuclear sector in the country. The efforts culminated into the successful operation of large scale trials at the 100kg and 2ton level column uranium bioleaching that was carried out at the site of UCIL, Jaduguda yielding a maximum recovery of 69% in 60 days. This achievement is expected to pave the way for scaling up the activity to a 100ton or even more heap bioleaching trials for realization of this technology, which needs to be carried out with the support of the nuclear sector in the country keeping in mind the national interest.

Item Type:Article
Official URL/DOI:http://doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2011.06.021
Uncontrolled Keywords:Uranium, low-grade resources, bioleaching, bacteria, column
Divisions:Metal Extraction and Forming
ID Code:3858
Deposited By:Dr. Abhilash .
Deposited On:30 Aug 2011 12:19
Last Modified:21 Nov 2011 11:50
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