Microorganisms are nature‘s most performant chemists and as such are the origin and end-point of exploiting raw materials. The Laboratory of Microbiology develops innovative biotechnological approaches to harness the power of naturally- occurring microbes for metal exploitation and recycling. This can be applied both at the stages of mining, as well as in the valorization of waste material. The last aspect could be a cornerstone contribution to the realization of a sustainable “Circular Economy”.
The Laboratory also studies biologically- controlled mineral formation, a process that contributes to the generation of novel materials or material optimization. The approach used is based on the understanding of the ecology of bacteria and fungi in natural environments, and the transfer of this knowledge into manmade ecosystems. LAMUN‘s expertise in metal- mineral-microbe interactions should contribute to the challenges of obtaining and recycling raw materials as well as to adding value to such materials.