Physical, chemical and antimicrobial characterization of copper-bearing material

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Arsenic, cadmium, copper, mercury, silver, and zinc are elements with strong antimicrobial properties. Among them, copper is more environmentally friendly and has both good antibacterial and antifungal properties. It has been shown that copper can even be effective against new viruses such as avian influenza (H5N1). Development of copper-bearing materials for various applications, therefore, is receiving increased attention. The Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan was the largest native copper mining regions of North America at the turn of the 20th century. Copper was extracted by mining the copper-rich basaltic rock, and steamdriven stamp mills were used to process a great volume of low-grade ores, resulting in huge amounts of crushed waste ore called stamp sands. Approximately 500 million tons of stamp sand were discarded. This material is investigated in this study as an example for the development of antimicrobial materials. © 2010 TMS.

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