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Environmental biotechnology

Datum: 17.6.2006 

Within a wide spectrum of the uses of biotechnology in the environment, we are engaged in biotechnological, physiological and environmental aspects of iron- and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. These bacteria are used in biohydrometallurgy to obtain metals from low-grade ores. Another reason for our metabolic studies on the above bacteria is related to their contribution to the acidification of the sulfide waste environment and their participation in the biocorrosion of concrete materials. Our laboratory studies the biooxidation mechanism of sulfide minerals and other sulfur substances at a level of cells and enzymes. The results can contribute to a greater understanding and optimization of biohydrometallurgical processes as well as to any considerations regarding environment protection related to sulfide waste sites (including ore deposits and abandoned mines) which are the source of water contamination by sulfuric acid and toxic metals. Three faculty co-workers and undergraduate and postgraduate students participate in the projects (at present 3 PhD students). Most important results or innovations * We have clarified some steps in arsenopyrite biooxidation and formation of arsenic ions including their effects on bacteria. * Selected enzymes of sulfur metabolism were characterized. Studies on elemental sulfur biooxidation to sulfuric acid contributed to detection of the mechanism of interaction of bacteria with the sulfur substrate. * Mechanism of pyrite biooxidation has been studied as pyrite is a dominant sulfide in both biohydrometallurgy and sulfur environment Cooperation * School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, UK * Institute of Geotechnics, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Košice, Slovakia Research team * Martin Mandl, Ph.D., Assoc. Prof.mandl@chemi.muni.cz * Oldřich Janiczek, Ph.D., Assist. Prof.janiczek@chemi.muni.cz "Source":[ http://orion.chemi.muni.cz/acidithiobacillus/]

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