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Content archived on 2024-04-16

Remediation of contaminated soils and waste materials - bioleaching and biosorption of metals


The objective is to study several aspects of the removal of metals from waste material and contaminated soils to such an extent that deposition or reuse becomes possible.

New technologies originating from biotechnology will be developed for leaching, for the precipitation or removal of metals from the resulting leachate, and for the biosorption of the remaining metals from solution at concentrations where traditional technologies fall short.

Bioleaching will involve wastes and contaminated soils identification and characterization for using bioleaching and indicating the physicochemical parameters which can be used to judge other materials on their suitability for bioleaching.

Sulphur recycling and bulk metal removal will involve:
theoretical description of the thermodynamical behaviour of heavy metals in dilute sulphuric acid (leachates) in the presence of sulphide and experimental determination of the most feasible technique and equipment for removal of heavy metals from this solution;
determination of the best method for recycling the sulphur to the leaching process;
determination of the most promising electron donors and bioreactor types for biological sulphate reduction and preliminary bioreactor design;
and experimental verification of the feasibility of biological conversion of the sulphite in the effluent from the sulphate reducing bioreactor to molecular sulphur.

Biosorption will involve development and evaluation of devices and materials to remove heavy metals from dilute waste streams within an integrated process design which serves to remediate heavy metal containing solid wastes.

The final part of the project is evaluation of the biotechnological process.


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Call for proposal

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Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek
EU contribution
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2600 JA Delft

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Total cost
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Participants (4)