Discovery and Engineering of New Biocatalysts for Bioremediation
Pollution of watercourses represents a global concern, making necessary the appropriate treatment of industrial and municipal wastewaters. In addition to traditional contaminants (i.e. dyes, amines, phenols, heavy metals, surfactants, etc.), new harmful micropollutants have been recently discovered, as endocrine disrupting chemicals pharmaceutical and personal care products.
Conventional processes are inefficient towards these compounds, which, hence, progressively accumulate in watercourses. The MUT is investigating an alternative approach based on fungi and their complex enzymatic pattern, being environmental and technical sustainable.
Several fungi have been already characterized for their enzymatic pattern and a hyper producer of laccases have been selected. For Trametes pubescens MUT 2400, the laccases production has been optimized till values of about 300.000 U/l.