Project no. 321
Recovery of Precious Metals Using a Bio-Solar System
A. Chawla, V. Pusateri
DTU Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
Metals have played essential roles in promoting global economy as each metal and its alloys
with unique characteristics make them interesting for wide applications and they are used as
important components for some industrial activities as well to produce various products such
as automobiles, low-carbon energy technologies and electronic and biomedical device, etc.
We propose to develop an innovative process that integrate the Microbial Electro Metallurgy
(MEM) for Platinum and Palladium recovery with solar energy. In this integrated system, the
anode will play a role as electron donor for the system by oxidizing organic matters in the
wastewater, through the metabolism of electrochemically active bacteria, operated in a
continuous mode. In the cathode, the PGMs will be recovered by accepting the
electrons from anode, through the metabolic pathways of the specific functional bacterium.
ADDED VALUE TO THE COMMUNITY
The solution proposed within this project address this problem in a perspective of circular
economy and reduction of GHG emissions. Hence, the use of MEM would substitute more
energy demanding and polluting technologies used nowadays for recycling of precious
metals highly used in technological devices fundamental in the current society. Moreover,
another target issue of this project point to the increasing scarcity of non-renewable energies
(e.g. electricity provided by fossil fuels) which can be replaced by efficient renewable energy
(e.g. solar energy).