Biotechnological Approach For Recovery Of Rare Earth Elemets And Scandium From Uranium Solution Obtained By Underground Leaching – (BARREES)

Project Management:M.Sc. Mehmet Ali Kücüker
M.Sc. Iryna Atamaniuk
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kerstin Kuchta
Client / Funding:Ural Federal State Autonomous Educational Institution of Higher Professional Education (Russia)
Project Partners:Ural Federal University (RUS)
Duration:24 Months
Running Time:10/2014 - 11/2016

The objectives of this project are to develop, jointly by Russian and German University research groups, a biotechnological process as an innovative approach for recovery REEs from wastes and co-products of major uranium mining activities. In order to reach this goal, the research quality, capability, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats of the research potential of institutions were considered.

The project aim responds the growing public concern for the environment in the last decade that already resulted in stricter regulations worldwide for the management of increasing hazardous, heavy metal containing wastes such as wastes of major mining activities. These regulations have prompted producers and authorities to seek for technically and economically viable alternatives for the management of these wastes. Therefore, research and development (R&D) of the best available technologies for these wastes has the prime importance for the environmental and industrial sustainability.

This project intends to exploit state-of-art knowledge and experience to provide scientific and technical throughput and support for the basic knowledge, the development and implementation of most innovative biotechnological processes for the recovery of REEs from technological uranium solutions caused by underground leaching.

The general aim of the project will be achieved with a specific list of objectives as listed below:

  • to characterize the uranium solutions obtained from underground leaching and its inventory of rare earth elements
  • to expand the research capacity for recycling and recovery in Russia
  • to incorporate bio-hydrometallurgical processes (biosorption) for the recovery of REEs
  • to design models and conduct life cycle assessment (LCA) of the biotechnological recovery processes
  • to synchronize and strengthen the research efforts currently undertaken by the partnering institutions concerning the processes for the recovery of REEs
  • to establish sustainable research cooperation and foster training and education capacity for young Russian and German researchers
  • to develop and implement viable cooperation models for research and development (R&D) activities between Russian and German universities