BIOMERCURY Worldwide remediation of mercury hazards through biotechnology

Country: EU Projects
Start Date:   1/3/2004         Duration: 36 months         Project Type: Concerted Action
Contract Number: 505561
Organisation Type:  EC Project
Contaminated land-->Contaminants-->Heavy metals
Soil-->Soil quality
Project objectives:
The objectives of the project consisted in:   
 - evaluating the applicability of the new, microbe-based technology, which is a biotechnological process lying on the enzymatic transformation reactions 
of live mercury resistant bacteria, in order to clean up contaminated air, wastewater, groundwater, soil, the soil waste from former industrial operations,
contaminated rivers, lakes, coastal areas, gold and mercury mines as well as mine tailings; - monitoring the long-term performance of the operation of the first industrial microbe-based mercury removal plant; - comparing the costs, safety and efficiency of this new biotechnological approach with the corresponding ones of the traditional methods; - disseminating knowledge of this new biotechnological approach into regions such as in Eastern and Southern Europe, Asia, South America and Africa in which
the need for mercury remediation is more urgent; - coordinating activities and exchanging information with agencies of United States which were involved in implementing new control technologies such
as technologies for coal fired power plants.
Project Summary:
Mercury constitutes a severe environmental pollutant owing to its extreme toxicity, its atmospheric transport which allows it to travel throughout the earth 
as well as its accumulation in the food chain. The BIOMERCURY project aimed to assess a new microbe-based technology, which is environmentally friendly and
cost-effective, in order to remove mercury from contaminated environments.
Achieved Objectives:

Product Descriptions:
Mercury resistant microbes have evolved a mechanism to transform toxic ionic Hg2+ into non toxic elemental Hg0 using specialised transport proteins and the 
mercuric reductase enzyme. The elemental mercury diffuses out of the bacterial cells and can be collected in an appropriate bioreactor. On this basis, a novel
biotechnology for clean-up of mercury polluted waste water has been developed, demonstrated and put into industrial practice at a chloralkali electrolysis
factory by the GBF in cooperation with industrial partners. It was placed in a standard mobile container, controlled by telephone modem and proven to be efficient,
robust, environmentally friendly and cost effective.
Additional Information:
Project Resources:

BIOMERCURY Worldwide remediation of mercury hazards through biotechnology

Bioremediation of Mercury: Current Research and Industrial Applications
Funding Programme(s): 
EC Framework Programme 6
Link to Organisations:
Submitted by: EUGRIS Team Professor Paul Bardos  Who does what?  27/11/2017 23:34:00