Vancouver, BC – In a partnership with Dr. Sue Baldwin at the University of British Columbia, and with funding from Genome BC, Teck Resources Limited (Teck) is exploring how to optimize the use of microbes in water treatment to reduce selenium. Selenium is a naturally-occurring substance that can be released through the mining process and impact aquatic health in high quantities. The research aims to understand which microbes affect treatment efficiency and under what conditions these biological processes could be optimized. This project is part of an extensive research and development program Teck is undertaking to address water quality in BC’s Elk Valley as part of its Elk Valley Water Quality Plan.
“Our goal with this work is to make bioreactors as efficient and effective as possible,” says Dr. Baldwin, a Professor in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at the University of British Columbia. “For example, we will look at nutrients that assist microbes in optimizing the removal of selenium from mine-affected waters.”
“This research is part of a major R&D program that Teck has been undertaking to protect water quality in the Elk Valley watershed,” said Marcia Smith, Senior Vice President, Sustainability and External Affairs, Teck.
If this research is successful, it has the potential to make the removal of selenium much more efficient.
“The ongoing collaboration between Teck and Dr. Baldwin is a great example of academic and industry partnerships,” says Dr. Catalina Lopez Correa, Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President, Sectors at Genome BC.
“We are pleased to invest in work that applies genomics to real-life challenges.”
This research project is valued at $400,000 and was funded by Genome BC and Teck through the User Partnership Program (UPP). For more information on Genome BC’s funding programs, please click here.