In collaboration with research groups from all over Europe, in a EU funded project we investigate biofilm formation on the surface of the world’s most abundant copper mineral, chalcopyrite. By applying con focal microscopy, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics, bioinformatics, and computer modelling we investigate how acidophilic microorganisms interact with the copper mineral and each other. This knowledge will be applied to bioheap inoculation to shorten the lag phase between building industrial bioheaps and the release of copper. In turn, this will increase the economic feasibility and industrial interest in bioleaching as a sustainable technology.

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