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Microbiological Cyanides Decontamination


The Microbiological Methods for Decontamination of Wastewater’s from Gold-Extracting Factories in Kyrghyzstan: Environmental and Medical Aspects

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-IND/Industrial Biotechnology/Biotechnology
  • MED-DRG/Drug Discovery/Medicine
  • BIO-REM/Bioremediation/Biotechnology

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Alexandrov K A

Leading Institute
National Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyzstan / Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek

Supporting institutes

  • Research Center of Molecular Diagnostics and Theraphy, Russia, Moscow


  • Environmental Technologies Exchange GmbH, Germany, Dulmer\nThe University of Utah, USA, UT, Salt Lake City\nMax Plant Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Germany, Potsdam\nUniversity of Turku / Finnish-Russian Joint Biotechnology Laboratory, Finland, Turku

Project summary

The objective of the project consists in a complex development of biotechnological processes for decontaminating cyanide compounds and their derivatives (metal complexes) in effluents of gold-mining and other industries and in studying the effect of these compounds onto the normal microflora of living organisms as well as in developing the bacterial preparations preventing inactivation of them.

Actuality of this project is explained by the fact that Kyrghyzstan is one of the leading countries worldwide in terms of its gold ore reserves. In the existing technological cycles of gold ore processing there have been used for about ten recent years the ecologically harmful cyanide process of gold extraction. A considerable quantity of tailing ponds at presently operating plants has been already formed and their decontamination is carried out exclusively by natural decomposition of cyanides. The performed studies revealed that concentration of cyanides in the open water basins is maintained at the level between 7 to 15 mg / l. There was discovered the increased concentration of cyanide in air and contamination of water basins by hydro cyanic acid on the extensive areas adjacent to industrial plants. The population of these areas is permanently affected by low and medium dose of cyanides as well as by the catastrophic consequences of accidents at tails storage facilities and pulp supply lines, even more when frequent earth quakes and technical breakdowns occur. Release into the air of a huge quantity of cyanide compounds in the form of hydro cyanide acid and aerosols in densely populated areas of the world causes anxiety and trouble among population and specialists engaged in this particular field. The urgent need of studying the environment protective and medical aspects of this problem is not only scientific but also social and political problem to be settled by the country.

Within the frame of this project the following mechanisms and processes will be studied, developed and prepared for implementation:

1. Colloidal biotechnology for the destruction of cyanides and their derivatives (metal complexes) in effluents of operating gold-extracting plants and in accumulating tailing ponds will be developed. In this case the previously produced bacterial strains – destructors genetically modified for increasing the resistance towards heavy metals are supposed to be used as well as new associate cultures would be separated from technogenic wastes of cyanide involving industries. On the base of fundamental researches there will be examined and specified the optimal parameters of biochemical transformation of cyanides by Pseudomonas bacteria strains. Special attention will be paid to mechanisms and techniques of utilizing by cells of toxic metals resulted from metal complexes decomposition. The effect on cells of the electric field applied discovered by the authors of this project will be used with the objective of intensifying biochemical processes. The performed works will result in the development of biotechnological process for the destruction of cyanide compounds as well as of pilot plant design that will allow to implement the process under the operation conditions.

2. Specific bacterial preparations (probably food products) will be developed for protecting and balanced maintenance of normal microbiocenosis of living organisms suffering from the chronic influence of low and medium doses of cyanide compounds. The particular attention would be paid to the influence of metal complexes on microorganisms under the conditions when cyanide effect is supplemented by toxic metals like silver, cadmium, zinc, copper released in the process of complexes decomposition and being present in ionic and colloidal state. The performed researches will result in the development of a number of apparatus for the production of experimental lots of the above – mentioned preparations


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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