The objectives of this work package include the development of physical-chemical and biological methods for recovery of metals from process solutions; the use of microbial-mediated, selective metal precipitation; the development of biosorptive molecules; and the development of pilot plants.

Leader of this work package is GEOS. Further partners involved are BGR and HIF.


Scientific bottlenecks

  • selective microbial-mediated metal precipitation

  • biosorption

  • laboratory scale testing of physical-chemical extraction, separation and precipitation techniques for metal recovery and removal of contaminants

Case studies

  • large-scale application of treatment technologies for metal recovery


  • selection of bacterial strains for precipitation and providing to BRGM

  • selection of peptides with specific binding capacities

  • definition of physical-chemical methods for metal recovery

  • procedures for the treatment of residues

  • sorption tests in real process waters, providing of biomolecules

  • evaluation of different metal recovery methods

  • up-scale, construction of pilot-plant

  • characterization of biosorption and bioprecipitation mechanisms

Helmholtz-Institut Freiberg für Ressourcentechnologie

Halsbrücker Str. 34
09599 Freiberg, Germany

BRGM - Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières

avenue Claude Guillemin, BP 36009
45060 Orléans Cedex 2, France

EcoMetals is a transnational research project aiming at the development of innovative biohydrometallurgical processes for the extraction of copper and other (associated) metals from coppershale.. The project receives funding from the French ANR (L’Agence nationale de la recherche) and the German Ministry of Education and Research BMBF (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) under the reference number 033RF001.

In total, 17 partners from science and industry collaborate in this project. Start of the project was in February 2014 and it will run until June 2017. 

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