Project Title: Biological Approach to Improving the Evaporation Rates of Mine Waste Waters Treated in Evaporation Ponds.
The objective of the study is to investigate the use of a biological approach to improve the evaporation rate of concentrated reject brines at the eMalahleni water reclamation plant. The biological approach will include the identification of pigmented halophiles capable of surviving in, or already resident in, the eMalahleni brine ponds. The abstraction is that the introduction of pigmented metallotolerant halophiles to the ponds may enhance evaporation. Since the microorganisms are indigenous and/or contained, the biological approach would minimize the detrimental environmental impacts associated with the addition of colored solutions to improve evaporation rates. The over-production of microbial pigments is an additional investigation that will be considered to increase evaporation rates further. Cloning and functional expression of a well-characterized pigment biosynthetic gene cluster in a selected halophilic microorganism will be used to engineer pigment over-production in autochthonous microorganisms in the eMalahleni brine ponds. Over-production of pigments by microorganisms has been achieved through recombinant expression of pigment biosynthetic pathways in heterologous hosts. However, this technology has not been utilized for wastewater treatment, therefore the technology constitutes an innovative green technology for wastewater treatment.
Who am I?
I am a proudly born Zimbabwean guy who is the first in a family of two children. I did my Advanced Level studies at Embakwe Christian Brothers College in Plumtree after which I obtained a Diploma in Applied Biotechnology from the Bulawayo Polytechnic College. However, this qualification wasn’t enough and I found myself pursuing a Honours degree in Applied Biology and Biochemistry from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. I later enrolled in the Masters in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology offered by NUST from which I graduated in 2014. Apart from doing research I like socializing, music, exploring new flavors in terms of food and cooking.