Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

FP6

BIOMERCURY — Wynik w skrócie

Project ID: 505561
Źródło dofinansowania: FP6-NMP
Kraj: Niemcy

More power over mercury toxicity

Toxicity from mercury has ended up in seafood, animals, plants and drinking water. Smart enzyme technology promises to reverse the threat and eventually rid the planet of this hazard.
More power over mercury toxicity
Mercury, which is found in dental amalgam, light bulbs and laboratory equipment among other products, is considered quite toxic and harmful to the environment. It floats through the air and makes its way into the ground, polluting the food chain that humans depend on.

In response, the EU-funded project 'Worldwide remediation of mercury hazards through biotechnology' (Biomercury) investigated a new eco-friendly and cost-effective microbe-based technology to remove mercury from polluted environments.

The project set out to assess this novel technology featuring smart biotechnological processes based on enzyme transformation. This highly innovative solution uses mercury-resistant bacteria to purify wastewater, groundwater, soil, air, coasts and rivers, in addition to gold and mercury mines.

Based on this premise, the project team examined long-term efficiency of the first industrial mercury removal plant that uses microbe technology, located in the Czech Republic. It also studied different components of the approach including safety, efficiency and cost effectiveness compared to previous methods.

A very important component of the project involved disseminating this valuable knowledge to countries and regions of the world which are in dire need of cleaning up mercury contamination. These include Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Southern Europe, as well as South America. The project also liaised with relevant agencies in the United States that are concerned with applying the new technology.

Exploiting the latest advances in technology and science could eventually help remove a significant part of mercury pollution in the food chain and atmosphere. As the removal of mercury has become mandatory, Europe's role in ridding the environment of this toxic substance is a very welcome initiative.

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