Bioleaching of gallium from gallium arsenide by Cellulosimicrobium funkei and its application to semiconductor/electronic wastes

Sirikan Maneesuwannarat, Alisa S. Vangnai, Mitsuo Yamashita, Paitip Thiravetyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this work was to screen and characterize heterotrophic bacteria for gallium arsenide (GaAs) leaching. Ga in the form of GaAs has been extensively used as a semiconductor substrate material. The advantage of using microbes for gallium recovery is the fact that this method is a safer, environment-friendly and includes energy-saving processes, which can leach metals at relatively low concentrations. Eight bacterial isolates were isolated from cadmium-, and arsenic-contaminated soil in the presence of GaAs. Pad I and NKS III showed the highest efficiency in Ga leaching at approximately 63-81% after 15 and 30 days, respectively. The analysis of 16S rDNA sequences indicated that strain Pad I was close to strain NKS III; it was characterized and identified as Cellulosimicrobium funkei (C. funkei). Further investigation revealed that the ability of Ga leaching from GaAs by this bacterium involved amino acids. This process occurred in a weak base pH range. The results show a potential application of C. funkei to leach Ga from semiconductors or electronic wastes. The in-depth mechanism of bacterial leaching of Ga from GaAs was also investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-87
Number of pages8
JournalProcess Safety and Environmental Protection
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1



  • Bioleaching
  • Cellulosimicrobium funkei
  • Electronic waste
  • Gallium arsenide
  • Semiconductor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this