bioleaching

noun

bio·​leach·​ing ¦bī-(ˌ)ō-¦lē-chiŋ How to pronounce bioleaching (audio)
variants or less commonly bio-leaching
¦bī-(ˌ)ō-¦lē-chiŋ
: the extraction of valuable metals (such as copper and gold) from ores through the action of microorganisms (such as bacteria)
Until now bioleaching, as the process is known, has been held back by the leisurely pace at which bacteria munch …Burt Chardak, Miami Herald, 24 May 1992
Bacteria have been used to extract other metals from ore, in a process called bio-leaching.Lynn Dicks, New Scientist, 17 Apr. 2004

Word History

First Known Use

1976, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bioleaching was in 1976

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Cite this Entry

“Bioleaching.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bioleaching. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

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