|Bioflotation with biocollectors|
Microorganisms or biomolecules are able to modify particle surface properties, which make them an effective tool for separating particles in flotation processes. The method, also known as bioflotation, exploits their ability to attach and interact with particle surfaces - for example via extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) that can alter the hydrophobicity.
The Biotechnology Department investigates the application of microbial metabolites and natural products as flotation reagents. Together with processing engineers at HIF, those biotechnical reagents are being produced, characterized and tested. Another research approach uses the phage surface display technology in order to develop peptides specifically for highly selective flotation reagents.
The team investigates the following topics:
- Identification and application of natural biological agents for particle separation; development of new flotation processes
- Selection and further development of particle-specific peptides for the application in separation processes, e.g. for recycling micro particles
- Characterization of biomolecule-particle surface interactions; gaining process understanding
- Process development for the production of biological agents in the separation process
- Lederer, F. L.; Curtis, S. B.; Bachmann, S.; Dunbar, S. W.; MacGillivray, R. T. A.
"Identification of lanthanum-specific peptides for future recycling of rare earth elements from compact fluorescent lamps", Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 114(2017)5, 1016-1024
- Curtis, S.; Lederer, F.L.; Dunbar, W.S.; MacGillivray, R.T.A.
"Identification of mineral-binding peptides that discriminate between chalcopyrite and enargite", Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 114(2017)5, 998-1005