all technological, mining, treatment and processing processes, where are for achievement of qualitative changes of inorganic as well organic mineral raw materials and their wastes used microorganisms or the products of their metabolic activities. Fundamental base of the mineral biotechnologies are environmental correlative, cyclic, biological-chemical processes at the contact of abiotic and biotic systems in biosphere, i.e. minerals - raw materials - rocks and autochthonous microorganisms.
Research course was founded by
Prof. Dr. h. c. Ing. František Špaldon, DrSc. in 1985.
In 1988 was founded autochthonous microorganisms internal bank, where are stored 60 various tribes, species, and phylums at the present time.
In 1992 was established detached department
, where headed by assoc. prof., Ing. Mária Kušnierová, PhD. are working specialists in different research areas of mineral biotechnologies with specific orientation on the problems of own raw materials basis and environment.
Study of fundamental knowledge and possibility of their application is aimed at research areas:
- Explanation of biological - chemical oxidation processes and sulphide transformation for the development of environmental technologies, their processing with utilization of autochthonous and physiological adapted bacteria Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans.
Explained were processes of arsenopyrite, pyrite, antimony, tetrahedrite, galenite, and chalcopyrite biological- chemical oxidation and transformation. For example was developed the technology of biological - chemical treatment and Au obtaining from refracted Au-As-Sb-Fe ores at Pezinok, or methods of non-extraction application of microorganisms in the processes of selective bioflotation.
- Determination on factors affecting metabolic functions and interactions of bacteria with mineral surface. These factors are enable to rectify bioleaching processes rate and efficiency in Fe extraction, which is main ineligible component of non-metallic raw materials (kaolines, quartz sands, feldspars, zeolites, and fly-ashes)
- Study of biochemical weathering phases of rock-forming minerals in the ore and non-metallic deposits area, bacterial species identification by the methods of DNA isolation molecular technology.
- Study of sulfate reducing-bacteria metabolism and their application in the processes of heavy metals and sulfates elimination from acid mine drainage, study of mineral raw materials and their wastes treatment and processing, study of nanosorbents biological-chemical preparation on sulphide base.
- Study of biodiversity of autochthonous acidophilus bacteria Acicdithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and Leptospirillum ferrooxians in the areas of abandoned and flooded mines as well old mine loadings after mining activities of sulfide ores in Slovakia, which forming natural geobioreactors producing acid mine drainage waters (pH ~ 2, high mineralization and as well heavy and toxic components content).
- Study of organic pollutant biodegradation, mainly oil hydrocarbons in soils and waters. In the co-operation with the company Environcentrum Ltd. was developed kinetics monitoring of biodegradation processes in laboratory as well as "in situ" in surroundings of ecological disaster or decontaminating station.
- Study of autochthonous microflora influence at the exogenous process behaviour in energetic wastes stock-piles - fly-ashes and at the coal-masse transformation from the point of its sorptive characteristics.
- Biological-chemical oxidation study of metallurgical wastes with Fe content in order to prepare Fe nanodispersions industrial utilizable like a sorbents and pigments.