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Open Access Biometal Demonstration Plant for the Biological Rehabilitation of Metal Bearing-Wastewaters

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Heavy metal pollution is one of the most important environmental problems today even threatening human life. A large number of industries produce and discharge wastes containing different heavy metals into the environment and do not comply with current EU directives. BIOMETAL DEMO project aims at demonstrating the feasibility of the application of novel biotechnologies for the treatment of metal polluted wastewaters though the development of three pilot plants to be implemented in three metal polluting representative industries which are a pyritic mine, an electroplating and a ceramic companies.

Actual metallic wastewater treatment technologies implemented in polluting industries fail to comply with the reduction of metal concentration required by the EU for such wastewater treatments. For this reason, new biotechnologies will be developed to overcome this problem.

The biotechnologies that will be evaluated in BIOMETAL DEMO project will be: metal bioprecipitation by sulphate-reducing bacteria and immobilized phytase and acid phosphatase biocatalysis, and metal biosorption on agricultural industry by-products and biopolymers such as alginate & chitosan based materials.

After the evaluation of these techniques, an optimized bioprocess or a synergy of two integrated bioprocesses will be selected to design and build three demonstration pilot plants for scaling-up the metal removal biotreatment.

The feasibility of the application of the selected bioprocess will be explored at pilot plant scale in acid mine drainage, electroplating and ceramic tile manufacture wastewaters contaminated with heavy metals.

The operation will be monitored and optimized, and the kinetics and the performance of the metal removal/recovery bioprocess will be integrated within the pilot demonstration plants. Finally, an economic, social and technical analysis of the benefits of such tertiary biotreatment of metal polluted industrial wastewater will be carried out for the corresponding and related industrial sectors across EU.
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Keywords: ALGINATE AND CHITOSAN BASED MATERIALS; HEAVY METALS; IMMOBILIZED PHYTASE AND ACID PHOSPHATASE BIOCATALYSIS; METAL BIOPRECIPITATION BY SULPHATE-REDUCING BACTERIA; METAL BIOSORPTION; METAL POLLUTED WASTEWATER; METAL REMOVAL BIOTREATMENT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2017

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