New environmental way of bioleaching for minerals refining and metals extraction from tailings
Ekolive is the first and leading provider of a new ecological bioleaching method for the ecological release of elements and degradation of organic contamination. The company was founded in 2018 and has since developed rapidly towards the industrial and commercial application of its technologies. It is a start-up of a dedicated team of experienced biotechnologists, geologists and business developers.
The aim of the project was to test the properties of the company’s bioleachate. The KET4CP funded project helped the company in confirming the production of a highly valuable biofertilizer from their bioleaching operations, which can replace pesticides and artificial fertilizers. The project showed the antimicrobial effect of bioleachate on plant pathogens such as Erwinia species, which is a common and notorious pathogen of fruit trees such as apples and pears. Furthermore, the project showed a beneficial effect of using bioleachate as a fertiliser in the plant growth study performed during the project.
KET Technology Centers involved
Biorenewables Development Centre | United Kingdom
Bay Zoltan Nonprofit Ltd. | Hungary
The cooperation with the KET TCs confirmed that the company’s process based on a novel bioleaching approach is environmentally safe and economically efficient. A bioleachate is a high-quality organic fertiliser, which, in turn, can reduce the use of chemicals in agriculture.
The KET TCs expertise also showed the antimicrobial effect of bioleachate on plant pathogens and the beneficial effect of using bioleachate as a fertiliser in plant growth. The plant growth study demonstrated that bioleachate could improve the indicator plant growth. With the help of KET TCs, the method for contracting metal and high-purity minerals was tested. It could be a solution for dealing with environmental hazards and cleaning contaminated sites that are polluted with heavy metals and/or organic substances, reducing the use of chemicals in the mining sector, increasing the local availability of RM and similar. During the project, it was determined that organic acids produced by bacteria have pesticide-like effects. The method for concentrating bioleachate was developed as well.
The project and collaboration with the KET TCs allowed the company to confirm that the bioleachate has antimicrobial properties. It also proved that it enhances plant growth and yield and can be successfully processed by an improved concentration method developed during the project.
This project allowed the company to access KET TCs facilities and expertise not available to them before the project. The company is very satisfied with the results and outcomes of the work within this project. The expertise of researchers at the KET TCs allowed them to consider new directions for business development, which will impact not only the raw materials sector but also the agriculture industry. Taught by excellent experience, the partners are interested in future cooperation.
This is a big opportunity for ekolive to test our by-products from the bioleaching process as a potential replacement for hazardous pesticides. We confirmed its positive effects on plants in this cooperation with the BDC and to optimized the process with Bay Zoltán. Thanks to the KET4CP project and resulting collaboration we can proceed in delivering organic alternatives to the farmers for safe food production.