Microbiology for Minerals, Metals, Materials and the Environment
Book PrefaceMicrobiology for Minerals, Metals, Materials and the Environment
Microbiology for Minerals, Metals, Materials and the Environment is a generic book aimed at analysing and discussing the symbiotic relationship between microbiology and materials through an interdisciplinary approach. Minerals, metals and all other materials exhibit a close interlinking with different environmental microbes in different ways. For example, biogenesis and biomineralisation are now established to explain the role of indigenous microorganisms in the occurrence, transformation and transport of several metals and minerals across the Earth’s crust as well as ocean depths. The biology–materials cycle in nature involves various biomediated processes such as materials processing, metals extraction from ore minerals, microbially influenced mobilisation and corrosion of metals and materials, and environmental degradation as well as bioremediation. Although the role of microorganisms in mineral dissolution from naturally occurring ore deposits was known centuries ago, relevance and applications of biology–materials interfaces in a truly interdisciplinary fashion were scientifically established for only 30–40 years. Several microorganisms and microbiological concepts find applications in different facets of metals and materials processing such as biogenesis and biomineralisation, bioleaching of ores, metal-containing wastes and secondary resources, biomineral beneficiation, desulphurisation of fossil fuels, microbially influenced metallic corrosion, and microbial aspects of environmental processing, such as acid mine drainage and biosorption and bioremediation.
A major objective of this book is to present the status and developments in various aspects of the above-mentioned themes. The book is aimed at a readership that includes teachers, students, researchers, scientists and engineers specialising in mining, metallurgy, materials processing, coal processing, corrosion engineering, secondary metals recovery, environmental pollution and protection. In this respect, personnel from the mining, metallurgical as well as materials processing industries would find the contents of this book very interesting and practically relevant. Each chapter is written by one or more experts from academic and R&D institutions as well as industries.
The book can be divided into thematic areas of applications of microbiology in mineral, metal, material and environment sectors. The chapters illustrated in the book cover different aspects such as biohydrometallurgy, biomineralisation, bioleaching, biobeneficiaton, biosynthesis and bioremediation. The basics and historical aspects of biohydrometallurgy, biomineralisation and biogenesis of commercially important ore minerals, microbially induced mineral flotation and flocculation processes are extensively illustrated. Other aspects that are covered include the applications of microbes for metal extraction (including mechanisms and methods) from primary ores/minerals and mining wastes, biomining and related concepts of microbial diversity and various operations, and molecular biology of microbes involved in such systems (extremophiles). Selected chapters on specific systems include the importance and exploitation of microbes in the processing of enargite, uraninite and coal. The current industrial scenario of biohydrometallurgy is critically highlighted. The dissolution of minerals to metals may finally lead to the recovery/synthesis of products. Material synthesis by microbial intervention is depicted in detail highlighting the various mechanisms involved and essential role of microbes. Apart from minerals and ores, the recovery of metals from secondary resources/wastes such as e-wastes and urban mine wastes is also presented with respect to their types, composition, mechanisms of biodissolution and other allied aspects. Biogeochemistry of metals in the environment is an added attraction. The role of microbes in remediating (solid and liquid) wastes containing organic and inorganic contaminants as well as acid mine drainage are also presented in a few designated chapters. This also includes the role of microbes in influencing metallic corrosion. It would thus be useful to understand the linkage of microbiology with minerals, metals and materials, and grasp the importance of bacteria/microbes in this sector, microbial intervention for waste clean-up, and the role of microbes in extreme environments, and finally to establish connectivity of a non-biologist to biologist with a difference and a microbiologist to process metallurgy in its entirety.
The editors are thankful to all the authors for their valuable contributions. They also express their sincere thanks to CRC Press for bringing out this timely publication.
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|February 17, 2017|
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