Energy-efficient degradation of persistent wastewater constituents with the aid of white rot fungi
The aim of the project is the investigation and qualification of a biocatalytic process for the energy-efficient treatment of persistent organic carbon compounds, such as those found in municipal wastewaters (anthropogenic trace substances and pharmaceutical residues), wastewaters from the food industry (coffee, pastries), or from biogas and biorefinery plants (e.g. liquid phase of fermentation residues).
Technologically, the process is based on the enzymatic oxidation of organic carbon compounds with the help of white rot fungi (including Trametes versicolor). T. versicolor naturally produces and secretes the enzyme laccase for lignin degradation. Laccase catalyzes the oxidation of persistent organic substances with atmospheric oxygen, which is possible directly or via a mediator also secreted by the white rot fungus.
The main objective of the project is to determine the most suitable cultivation method for different applications or trace substances and the reaction rates that can be achieved with the new concept under specific conditions. The data and findings thus obtained are the fundamental prerequisite for a technically and economically viable implementation of the process.