Biometal demonstration plant for the biological rehabilitation of metal-bearing wastewaters

Biometal demonstration plant for the biological rehabilitation of metal-bearing wastewaters

The project "Biometal demonstration plant for the biological rehabilitation of metal-bearing wastewaters" (BIOMETAL DEMO), which is financed under the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission, seeks to validate competitive biotechnological solutions for the treatment of industrial wastewater contaminated with heavy metals.

Heavy metals are an environmental issue of global significance as they are bioaccumulative and pose a hazard to human and animal health. There is a high number of industrial activities that generate wastewater contaminated with heavy metals. According to the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR), the amount of heavy metals released into water by industrial facilities in EU-27 countries reached 3,188 tonnes in 2012.

New policies and solutions for these contaminants need to be addressed, which is the aim of BIOMETAL DEMO.

The project consortium is comprised of 9 partners, among SMEs and research centres from Portugal, France and Spain. It was launched on 1 December 2013 and its duration will be 4 years (2013-2017). New biotechnologies will be developed and validated for the remediation of metal-bearing wastewater through the completion of the following stages:

  • Study and optimisation of the selected biotechnologies to treat different types of metal-bearing effluents
  • Technical and economic feasibility study of the solutions proposed
  • Scaling-up of the processes, where 3 pilot plants will be developed and optimised
  • Demonstration of the processes for metal removal and validation of the technologies

The 3 pilot plants will be developed to treat acid mine drainages from an inactive mine (Portugal), wastewater from an electroplating industry (Spain) and from a ceramic tiles and glazes industry (Spain).

Project BIOMETAL DEMO is set to provide a technical and economically viable solution to industries that generate wastewater contaminated with heavy metals in order to fulfil the increasingly stringent legislation. Furthermore, BIOMETAL DEMO aims to improve the state of the environment by demonstrating the possibility of using industrial-scale bioprocesses for the removal of heavy metals from water.

For more information, please visit www.biometaldemo.eu

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