The MiCCuR project (Microbial consortia for enhanced copper recovery) is a cooperation between international research groups and companies from Sweden, Germany, South Africa, and Chile. This project will contribute to the EU’s Raw Materials Initiative and European Innovation Partnership strategies on raw materials by investigating bioleaching of chalcopyrite and improving its efficiency.

For more than two decades, a part of the world’s copper production has been gained through bioleaching of copper sulfides in heaps. It is catalyzed by acidophilic microorganisms oxidizing iron and/ or sulfur. However, bioleaching of primary sulfides such as chalcopyrite has remained problematic.

Within this project, two laboratory-scale, proof-of-concept experiments will be scaled up to a pilot heap including steps of investigating stirred tank and column reactors. The consortium will cover the process in terms of innovation and research and will comprehensively study engineering, chemistry, and microbiology, e.g. by using molecular biological and ‘omics’ methods.

Stay tuned and meet the members of the MiCCuR project for more detailed insights in our work. The summer school is organized by the MiCCuR team. We are looking forward to welcome you to the beautiful and historical city Freiberg.

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