MinePep - Establishing a novel technology platform for bio-based mineral processing
|Principle of phage display for the identification of inorganic-binding peptides. A) The peptide library (2.7x109 different peptide sequences). B) Binding of the phage expressed peptide library to the inorganic target. C) Non-binding and weak interacting phages were removed. D) Strongly bound phages were eluted by chemical or mechanical elution. Photo: Franziska Lederer|
Development of peptides as agents for the separation of rare earth minerals via bio-flotation
Current recycling processes are insufficient by reason of scarce research improvement. Bio-based methods such as bioflotation are innovative approaches that could develop into efficient recycling technologies. The MinePep project (2015-2017) was addressing the development of an innovative, clean process for the recovery of raw materials from primary and secondary sources. MinePep and following projects target the development and application of specific peptides that can be used as agents in flotation processes. The focus was on the recovery of rare earth elements (REEs) from electronic scrap.
The main technique applied in the MinePep project used bacteriophage particles which generate special surface peptides that enable the identification of target specific phages by selective target binding. Those phage particles which exhibit the highest target specificity, were separated, multiplied and peptides were chemically or heterologously expressed in order to use them in future projects in flotation processes. In particular, phage peptides with high affinity to LaPO4:Ce,Tb and CeMgAl11O19:Tb were selected1,2,3.
These compounds are the dominant rare earth components of powder in energy saving lamps. Therefore, such peptides can be used for recycling and recovery of rare earth compounds of lamp powder. As a long-term goal bio-flotation processes will be developed that use phage surface peptides for particle separation.
The outgoing hosts are two institutions at the University of British Columbia which developed an interdisciplinary approach by combining classical mineral processing techniques with modern molecular biological methods. The return host is the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology (HIF) at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf.
- 1Curtis, S.; Lederer, F. L.; Dunbar, S. W.; Macgillivray, R. T. A.
"Identification of mineral-binding peptides that discriminate between chalcopyrite and enargite.", Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 2017
- 2Lederer, F. L.; Curtis, S. B.; Bachmann, S.; Dunbar, S. W.; Macgillivray, R. T.
"Identification of lanthanum-specific peptides for future recycling of rare earth elements from compact fluorescent lamps.", Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 2017
- 3Lederer, F. L.; Curtis, S.; Dunbar, S. W.; Macgillivray, R. T. A.
"Neue Wege zum Recycling von Seltenen Erden", Chemie Ingenieur Technik, 2016