|Biotechnology Group, HZDR/ Detlev Müller|
Biomolecules, bacteria and other microorganisms considerably influence geochemical processes such as the formation or weathering of rocks. They bind to mineral surfaces or convert minerals through metabolic processes. These mechanisms can be used to develop energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly and economic technologies.
At the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, the Biotechnology Group predominantly conducts research for the development of biotechnological extracting and recycling procedures, also known as Biomining. The group aims at high-tech metals from primary and secondary raw materials. Apart from developing new technologies, the focus is on fundamental microbiological research.
Another important research topic is nanobiotechnology. The team uses self-organizing surface layer proteins (S-layers) of bacteria as a platform technology for developing bio-inorganic hybrid nanomaterials. The proteins form two-dimensional highly regular arrays and are used for coating and nanostructuring surfaces with monolayers. They can also be utilized as a matrix for synthesizing diverse nanoparticles of a defined size. Studies that have been done so far, are based on previous radioecological research activities on biocompound-metal interactions.
- Biomining (Geobiotechnology)
- Nanobiotechnology, nanostructured biocomposites
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