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Online Seminar: Biomining, a promising sustainable way to supply Critical Raw Materials in Europe.

27 April at4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

On 27 April 2022, the BIORECOVER project held the online seminar “Biomining, a promising sustainable way to supply Critical Raw Materials in Europe”.

Watch the recorded seminar here.

Curious about the importance of raw materials and whether it is possible to extract them in a sustainable way? This online seminar is the occasion to learn about the current research regarding the use of biotechnologies to sustainably recover metals from unexploited secondary and primary sources.

Researchers from the BIORECOVER project but also from our guest project NEMO, introduced the latest findings regarding the treatment and recovery of different metals that are nowadays essential to modern life. The focus was placed on the biotechnological processes developed and the related remaining challenges to this opportunity to sustainably supply Europe with critical raw materials.

This online seminar is intended for all types of audiences willing to discover opportunities related to the use of biotechnological processes for CRMs recovery.


16:00 – 16:15 – Introduction – BIORECOVER objectives & challenges
                by Pablo Frieiro from CETIM, BIORECOVER’s coordinator.

16:15 – 16:40 – From diversity to bio tools: when the target is not the aim
by Paula V. Morais & Romeu Francisco from the University of Coimbra.
Abstract: A metabolic active autochthonous microbial community was found on alkaline mine residues of the BIORECOVER project. This diverse microbial community plays an important ecological role and promotes several metals interactions. Bioleaching performed by these autochthonous microorganisms can remove interfering compounds and enrich residues in critical metals, transforming them into secondary raw materials. 
(15 minutes presentation followed by 10 minutes for questions)

16:40 – 17:05 – The biorecover treatment strategies for CRM mobilisation
by Mark Dopson from Linnaeus University
Abstract: BIORECOVER investigates the mobilisation and recovery of target CRM from wastes and ores. Investigation of the microbial populations in the wastes by culture-dependent and independent methods followed by investigations of their suitability for the bio mobilisation of the target metals has identified individual strategies for each of the wastes and ore.
(15 minutes presentation followed by 10 minutes for questions)

17:05 – 17:30 – Application of microalgae for the recovery of Critical raw materials
                by Irene Jarama from AlgaEnergy.
Abstract: BIORECOVER proposes to investigate the use of microorganisms, such as bacteria, yeasts, fungus, or microalgae, as a method to decontaminate certain industrial effluents and thus recover metals. Among all microorganisms cited, microalgae have particularly interesting biological characteristics, such as high photosynthetic efficiencies, simple structures, and the ability to grow well under extremes of high salinity, nutritional stress and high temperatures. Specialised in the microalgae sector, the Spanish biotechnology company AlgaEnergy analyses this opportunity.
(15 minutes presentation followed by 10 minutes for questions.)

17:30 – 18:00  – The H2020 NEMO project: focus on the biotechnological approach to valorise sulphidic mining waste.
                by Jarno Mäkinen from VTT Technical Research Centre.
The NEMO project “Near-zero-waste recycling of low-grade sulphidic mining waste for critical-metal, mineral and construction raw-material production in a circular economy’” is an EU H2020 Innovation Action project (IA, call SC5-14b). Using a “4 PILOTS – 2 case-studies” concept, NEMO develops, demonstrates and exploits new ways to valorise sulphidic mining waste. This presentation concludes the research done and results obtained in the project, with emphasis on the biotechnological approach. Ahead of the seminar, get familiar with the NEMO project by reading the abstract here.
(20 minutes presentation followed by 10 minutes for questions.)


27 April
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm