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Chiamaka Belsonia Opara wins the “Lightning Talk Committee Award” at MiCom 2021

SULTAN researcher Chiamaka Belsonia Opara has been awarded the “Lightning Talk Committee Award” at the 8th International Conference on Microbial Communication for Young Scientists – MiCom 2021. The conference was organised by Friedrich Schiller University Jena in March 2021. Opara’s winning presentation was entitled: “An Innovative bioleaching Approach for the Extraction of Valuable and Hazardous Elements from Mining Waste”

Opara's research at HIF is focusing on the development of alternative bioleaching processes for treating mining waste (tailings & waste rock) at less acidic (pH>2) to neutral conditions.

The objectives of her project are to investigate bioleaching potentials of (halo) alkaliphilic and/or marine sulphur-oxidising microorganisms and to study the interactions of selected promising bacteria with minerals

Benefits of tbhe project:

  • Novel approach in biomining
  • Leaching at higher pH unlike acidophilic bacteria – prevents the acidification of the environment
  • Leaching at high Cl concentration – applicable in sea water, saves fresh water

In her talk at MiCom 2021, C. Opara presented her research results regarding Conventional bioleaching VS bioleaching with marine sulphur-oxidizing bacteria (Thioclava electrotropha and Thioclava pacifica).

Chiamaka Belsonia Opara award winner MiCom 2021

Image source: MiCom 2021 Confrence


Opara's presentation slides from MiCom 2021 conference can be found here.

More about C. Opara and her work in SULTAN project.


The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Horizon 2020 Programme under Grant Agreement no. 812580 (MSCA- ETN SULTAN).