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Bioelectrochemical systems for metal recovery

Objective

Global primary metal resources are rapidly dwindling and the mining and metallurgical industries are increasingly turning to lower grade minerals for metal extraction, typically increasing costs. Innovative environmental metal extraction techniques are required to increase mining sustainability, increase revenues and lower its impact on the environment. In this project, bioelectrochemical technology is proposed as an entirely new method for metal processing with the aim to produce marketable metal-containing (intermediate) products with low environmental impact compared to state-of-the art technologies.
In bioelectrochemical technology, microorganisms catalyse the reaction occurring on one or both electrodes of an electrolytic cell. Such cells are called Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) when power is produced and Microbial Electrolysis Cells (MECs) when power is required to drive the desired reaction. Recently, it has been shown that Cu2+ is reduced to metallic copper on the cathode of a MFC coupled to the biological oxidation of organic matter and with resulting electricity generation. The proof-of-principle MFC almost completely recovered the Cu2+ in its metallic form (decrease in concentration from 1 g/L to < 1 mg/L) and produced a maximum power density of 0.8 W/m2.
Bioelectrochemical technology can be used for the base metals copper, nickel, iron, zinc, cobalt and lead, which are mined, processed and used in large quantities. These metals are ubiquitous in process- and waste streams from the mining and metallurgical industry and therefore application of bioelectrochemistry for these metals has a high impact.
Compared to traditional techniques, the use of Bioelectrochemical technology allows high recovery efficiencies, increased metal selectivity and reduced use of energy with in some cases (e.g. copper reduction) electricity production.

Call for proposal

FP7-ENV-2011-ECO-INNOVATION-TwoStage
See other projects for this call

Coordinator

STICHTING WETSUS, EUROPEAN CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR SUSTAINABLE WATER TECHNOLOGY
Address
Oostergoweg 9
8911 MA Leeuwarden
Netherlands
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 1 131 250,50
Administrative Contact
Martijn Bijmans (Dr.)

Participants (7)

CENTRE DE RECHERCHE PUBLIC HENRI TUDOR

Participation ended

Luxembourg
Address
Avenue J F Kennedy 29
1855 Luxembourg
Activity type
Other
Administrative Contact
Vincent Dappozze (Mr.)
MAST CARBON INTERNATIONAL LTD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 270 001,30
Address
Jays Close Viables
RG22 4BA Basingstoke
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Stefan Batchelor (Mr.)
LINNEUNIVERSITETET
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 457 461,20
Address
Linnaeus University
35195 Vaxjo
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Kjarstin Hagman Bostrom (Dr.)
TTY-SAATIO
Finland
EU contribution
€ 346 536
Address
Korkeakoulunkatu 10
33720 Tampere
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Jorg Langwaldt (Dr.)
MAGNETO SPECIAL ANODES BV
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 735 802
Address
Calandstraat 109
3125BA Schiedam
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Petra De Vries (Ms.)
UNIVERSITAT JAUME I DE CASTELLON
Spain
EU contribution
€ 246 820
Address
Avenida Vicent Sos Baynat S/n
12006 Castellon De La Plana
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Ismael Rodrigo Martínez (Mr.)
LUXEMBOURG INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Luxembourg
EU contribution
€ 113 872
Address
5 Avenue Des Hauts Fourneaux
4362 Esch Sur Alzette
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Vincent Dappozze (Mr.)