Together with IST-Austria, the bioprocess technology research group wants to develop a method that makes it possible to make various microorganisms resistant to high metal concentrations.
A major difficulty in developing a metal recycling technology is that the metals to be recovered have a toxic effect on the microorganisms above a certain concentration. This limits a method based on this idea.
To solve this problem, the partners in this project are pursuing the approach of making microorganisms already selected for recycling more resistant to high concentrations of metal ions by means of a newly developed system. This approach is based on a method developed at IST-Austria in which microorganisms are gradually exposed to higher and higher concentrations of certain metals in a multifermenter system. In this way, strains can be grown that have not been genetically modified but have undergone a kind of accelerated evolution. Such strains would be ideally suited for recycling and sustainable technologies.