Biological process for synthesis of semiconductor copper sulfide nanoparticle from mine wastewaters

M. Schaffie, M. R. Hosseini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Acid mine drainage, ore processing and different metal extraction operations during copper ore mining cause severe environmental pollution problems like the contamination of surface and mine water with high loads of heavy metal which is furthermore a great loss for the copper mining industry. Several techniques for the removal of heavy metal from such wastewaters have been described. One of those techniques is the use of biological processes to produce metal sulfide nanoparticles with semiconductor characteristics. Hence, the purpose of this study was to improve the understanding regarding the biological synthesis of nanoparticles and by this means to produce copper sulfide nanoparticles from mine wastewaters. Using acid mine drainage of Sarcheshmeh Copper Complex (Kerman, Iran) copper sulfide nanoparticles were synthesized biologically. In this process Fusarium oxysporum was added to the wastewater and biosynthesized nanoparticles were collected. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS), Thermogravimetry (TG), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Mass Spectrometry (MS) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) were used to characterize the produced nanoparticles from mine wastewater. The results showed that the produced nanoparticles had a covelite composition with particle size about 10-40 nm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-391
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Issue number1
Early online date15 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Copper sulfide
  • Nanoparticle
  • Fusarium oxysporum
  • Biosynthesis
  • Acid mine drainage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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