Effects of Different Energy Substrates and Nickel and Cadmium Ions on the Growth of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and Its Application for Disposal of Ni-Cd Batteries

  • Zi-Jing Yu
  • Huan Li
  • Jing-Hua Yao
  • Jian-Jun Wu
  • Yi-xin Zhang
  • Lei XiaoEmail author


In the present work, the effects of different energy substrates and nickel ions (Ni2+) and cadmium ions (Cd2+) on the growth of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans (A. ferrooxidans) were investigated. Ferrous sulphate (FeSO4) was the optimum energy substrate for A. ferrooxidans growth, among the selected substrates. When cultured together with FeSO4 and sulphur (S), A. ferrooxidans first oxidised the ferrous ions (Fe2+), and the S was utilised as the concentration of Fe2+ decreased. After adapting to culture with Ni2+ and Cd2+, A. ferrooxidans presented good tolerance to both ions, with the maximum concentration reaching 4.11 g/L Ni2+ and 1.69 g/L Cd2+. A preliminary simulation of industrial application was also performed on used Ni-Cd batteries. With bioleaching, the highest concentrations of Cd2+ and Ni2+ were 3003 mg/L at day 8 and 1863 mg/L at day 14, respectively.


Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans Energy substrate Ni/Cd ions Bioleaching Ferrous sulphate Battery recycling 


Funding Information

This study was funded by the Independent Innovation Project funded by the Ministry of Education-Ecological and Environmental Restoration and Protection (2018ZZCX12).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zi-Jing Yu
    • 1
  • Huan Li
    • 1
  • Jing-Hua Yao
    • 1
  • Jian-Jun Wu
    • 1
  • Yi-xin Zhang
    • 1
  • Lei Xiao
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Coal Processing and Efficient Utilization, Ministry of EducationChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuzhouChina

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