This IP is aimed at "the production of tomorrow" and involves biotechnological research to provide "radical changes in the Basic Materials industry for cleaner, safer and more eco-efficient production". The objective is to develop sustainable solutions covering the whole life cycle of products and equipment. Technological breakthroughs will allow the integration of innovative biotechnology based processes for recovery of metals from primary materials such as ores and concentrates, and secondary materials such as mining wastes, metallurgical slags, scrap and combustion ashes.
Processes will be developed which give consideration for eco-design, eco- and renewable materials and zero waste, with the aim of protecting people and the environment. The biotechnologies to be investigated will include bio-leaching,
- oxidation, -sorption, -reduction, -accumulation, -precipitation, -flotation, -flocculation and bio-sensors, as well as microbiological research. The ultimate objective will be the establishment of environmentally friendly biotechnologies, which are economic particularly at a small scale and will provide an alternative to current technologies such as roasting and smelting. The anticipated breakthroughs under the RTD programme will be commercially evaluated through integrated piloting of the new processes together with preliminary economic assessments.
This will provide a sound basis for decisions by industrial companies on whether to then proceed to commercial demonstration. The work will be enhanced by Training and Educational activities. The Project will adopt a multi-discipline approach involving mining companies, waste treatment facilitators and equipment/instrument suppliers. The Consortium has achieved a critical mass being comprised of 35 partners. A strong management structure will be put in place with a Management Committee mandated by a governing Council with representatives of all partners and the EC.
- 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.
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