- Name: Sustainable biological recycling of ecologically problematic compounds (rare earth elements) form electronic waste and water – REEgain
- Registration Number: ATCZ172
- Grant Provider: INTERREG V-A Austria - Czech Republic
- Period: 2018- 2022
- Total Subsidity (€): 332 497,00
The aim of this project is to create a joint Czech-Austrian platform for the development of a new technology for the recovery of REEs (e.g. from electronic waste or water) by microorganisms (bacteria, algae and cyanobacteria) in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. Rare earth elements (REEs) are metals that occurs only in a small scale and are difficult to obtain. Their widespread use in modern technologies, especially the electronics industry, also confirms their enormous economic importance. The main producer of REEs is China with more than 90% of world reserves. At present China has secured almost a monopoly in mining and trade in these metals. Import of REEs is thus associated with high risk and their possible recycling from industrial waste at the center of interest. One of the possibilities of recycling REEs is through microorganisms. Within the project, the Czech and Austrian partners will study the accumulation of selected REEs and REEs from industrial waste, by unicellular green algae (MBU Třeboň), bacteria and extremophilic microorganisms (IMC Krems). Part of the research will also be co-cultivation of selected microorganisms. There will be fractionation, both physical and biological, and fraction analysis (DU Krems).