Biocoagulation

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Biocoagulation is a new technology for making extremely fine-grained particles collectible, and differs from well-known processes like biosorption [1], bioaccumulation and biotransformation: In biocoagulation the particles are very small and solid. For the other processes, the minerals dissolve and the ions are adsorbed or accumulated.

Figure 1. Process design
Figure 1. Process design

The investigations follow three major directions (figure 1): First, the different behaviour of particles, minerals and microbes in electrolytes is used. Different zeta-potentials at the surfaces of minerals and microbes connect the minerals and microbes into clusters.

Measurements of the zeta-potential were performed to find the best conditions for coagulation of the model minerals Galena and Sphalerite and the yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Yarrowia lipolytica. The yeasts were cultivated, gathered and submitted to coagulation tests. Microscopic studies demonstrate the adhesion of the sulphidic minerals onto the yeasts’ surface.

Sphalerite and Yarrowia lipolytica
Sphalerite and Yarrowia lipolytica
Sphalerite and Saccharomyces cerevisae
Sphalerite and Saccharomyces cerevisae

References

This article is based on Biocoagulation, 2006 by courtesy of Jana Pinka.

  1. Strouhal et.al. (2003) Bioelectrochemistry 60, 29-36
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