The primary objective of the INTERREG VA AT-CZ project ATCZ172-REEgain and its partners is to develop a technology based on environmentally friendly and sustainable methods to recycle rare earth elements or generally remove metals from water. The technology itself, but also its development, generate new opportunities both in research and in teaching, but also subsequently opportunities for regional companies to expand their portfolio.
So far, the rate for rare earth elements recycling is below 5 %. Current methods are harmful to the environment and are not practiced in Europe. The approach to solve this problem with a biotechnological process is novel and innovative in its overall concept. It is also an environmentally friendly and sustainable approach that can be used even in the event of accidents or disasters. In detail, not only are new applications for the fermentation of microorganisms being developed, but completely new methods such as co-cultivation of several symbiotic organisms or modern algae are used.
This project is funded by the EU, in particular the European Regional Development Fund, as part of the Interreg V-A Austria-Czech Republic program.