Contact

Dr. Franziska Lederer
Former Marie Curie Fellow
Biotechnology Group

Email: f.lederer@hzdr.de
Phone: +49 351 260 - 2051, 3602

This project has received funding by a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 623744.

MinePep - Establishing a novel technology platform for bio-based mineral processing

Prinzip des Phage Display zur Identifizierung von anorganischen Bindepeptiden. A) Die Peptidbibliothek (2.7x109 verschiendene Peptidsequenzen). B) Bindung von Phagen-expremierter Peptidbibliothek an anorganische Partikel. C) Nicht-bindende und schwach interagierende Phagen werden entfernt. D) Stark gebundene Phagen werden eluiert mittels chemischer oder mechanischer Elution.
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.

Approach:

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.

Microscopic images show the interaction of phage particles with minerals. Figures A-C show LaPO4:Ce,Tb (LAP) specific phage that bind with high affinity to the fluorescent phosphor LAP. Figures D-F present wild-type phage without LAP affinity and figures G-I show a mixture of SiO2 and LAP after interaction with LAP specific phage particles. Green, fluorescence of LAP (FITC filter); red, phage specific antibody labelled with Alexa 594 (TRITC filter).

Microscopic images show the interaction of phage particles with minerals. Figures A-C show LaPO4:Ce,Tb (LAP) specific phage that bind with high affinity to the fluorescent phosphor LAP. Figures D-F present wild-type phage without LAP affinity and figures G-I show a mixture of SiO2 and LAP after interaction with LAP specific phage particles. Green, fluorescence of LAP (FITC filter); red, phage specific antibody labelled with Alexa 594 (TRITC filter).

Photo: Franziska Lederer

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.


Selected Publications

  • 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
    DOI-Link: 10.1002/bit.26218
  • 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
    DOI-Link: 10.1002/bit.26240
  • 3Lederer, F. L.; Curtis, S.; Dunbar, S. W.; Macgillivray, R. T. A.
    "Neue Wege zum Recycling von Seltenen Erden", Chemie Ingenieur Technik, 2016
    DOI-Link: 10.1002/cite.201650149