Bio-sourced reagents for the flotation of minerals in the mining industry

Many mineral ores are concentrated by froth flotation, a process that often uses toxic chemicals to selectively alter mineral surface properties. With increasing regulatory restrictions, the industry could face a dead end with no alternative reagents that are sufficiently efficient, low cost or environment friendly. It has been previously shown that peptides could selectively bind mineral surfaces. This project therefore aims at the development of alternative flotation bio-reagents by performing i) large-scale screening of peptides libraries; ii) peptide modeling and in-silico optimization integrating hydrophobic/hydrophilic functions into selective sequences identified in (i), in order to favor mineral flotation; iii) constructing expression systems that will present the bio-reagents in the most effective way as well as maximize yield; iv) optimizing a bioprocess to produce the best bio-reagents selected/designed in (i/ii) at their maximum yield. TO BE CONT'D

Dariush Azizi
Faculty Supervisor: 
Alain Garnier
Partner University: