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Critical metal recovery from industrial wastewater by bioflotation using surface active siderophores


The recycling rates of critical metals like In, and Ga are very less and it is high time to improve their recovery from secondary sources in an environmentally friendly way. However, the low concentration of target metals and presence of other metals in the industrial wastewater makes the recovery challenging. BioFlot aims to explore the use of amphiphilic siderophores (marinobactins) from Marinobacter sp. as highly specific extractants for recovery of CRMs (In, and Ga) from secondary sources (industrial wastewater) by means of bio-flotation technique. Marinobactins are composed of amphiphilic and hydroxamate functional groups which makes them an ideal candidate for bioflotation. The marinobactin-CRM interactions will be studied at molecular levels which will shed the light on their unexplored capacities and form the basis for the development of recovery process. The project proposes to employ the marinobactins as green flotation extractants in bioflotation technique for metal recovery and subsequent extraction and optimization of process parameters for maximum selective binding of metals and marinobactins so as to increase the flotation yield. And further optimization for separation of marinobactin from metals in flotation product to regenerate marinobactin and recover target metal. The next phase of the project would involve semi-continuous and continuous experiments to scale-up the best possible configuration selected during the batch study. Finally, an economic evaluation will be carried out to support the commercialization of the developed technology.
This project will develop a novel and ecofriendly recycling process which will increase the recycling rates, reduce the waste and proliferate the circular economy in EU and also contribute in reducing its CRM dependency on non-EU countries. It will also train the experienced researcher in developing green technology and soft skills and make the host eminent in innovative biotechnology.
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Bautzner Landstrasse 400
01328 Dresden


Activity type

Research Organisations

EU Contribution

€ 174 806,40

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 841437


Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 October 2019

  • End date

    30 September 2021

Funded under:


  • Overall budget:

    € 174 806,40

  • EU contribution

    € 174 806,40

Coordinated by: