The BIOSHALE project aims at evaluating biotechnologies for the safe, clean and viable beneficiation of black shale ores and at designing an innovative model of development of the mining activities, which addresses the relevancy of a biological approach, along with the evaluation of the environmental impact of the industrial exploitation of black shale ores, at all steps. European deposits of black shale ores contain considerable reserves of base and highly valuable rare and precious metals (Cu, Ni, Zn, Pub, Ag, Zn, Co, More, V, Se, Son, Bi, Au, Pt, Pd, etc.) of which Europe is the main consumer in the World, so availability assumes a strategic importance. Two major difficulties restrict the exploitation of such abundant resources. The first is the low efficiency of the conventional technical means for recovering valuable metals, from mining extraction to metallurgical processing. The second is the environmental impact of the application of the conventional techniques. The success of bio hydrometallurgy lies in the efficiency of the process with a reduced impact on the environment compared to conventional techniques. Bio leaching dissolves metals and a variety of chemical and electrochemical methods allow the selective recovery of each of the valuable metals and the transformation of the rest of the material into an inert waste. BIOSHALE will use an original and rational strategy based on a significant part of the tasks in every work- package of the project being systematically dedicated to the study of the role of biological phenomena from the processing and environmental points of view and to the environmental impact assessment, the social and economic benefits of this project in Europe would be to allow an extension of the exploitation life of European mining sites in operation, like Lebanon Poland and others in eastern European countries, and the exploitation of new resources with considerable reserves, like Talvivaara in Finland.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/biological sciences/molecular biology
- /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/metals
- /engineering and technology/environmental biotechnology/bioremediation/bioleaching
- FP6-NMP - Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices: thematic priority 3 under the 'Focusing and integrating community research' of the 'Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area' specific programme 2002-2006.
Call for proposal
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