Lithotrophic and anaerobic metabolism is unjustly neglected in terms of usage in the technical environmental protection. This project is aimed to achieve a change through two technical and one methodological solutions. The first attention is focused on lithotrophic metabolism represented by a group of microorganisms that are hence called Thiobacillus-like microorganisms.
Applied research of metabolic options creates preconditions to transfer this knowledge base into a reactor system called LITHIM, which is designed to biologically immobilize toxic elements in wastewater streams on site and in situ. The second area is the construction of bioremediation technologies based on the anaerobic metabolism under natural conditions. The technological concept deals with the identification of parameters and resources that can be actively changed to favorably accelerate biodegradation processes. The final part of the solution is the development of a methodological framework for the characterization, quantification, and acquirement of functional evidences of both Thiobacillus-like microorganisms and especially of the functional components of microbial communities, which are the carriers of the biodegradation processes (especially denitrification and sulfate respiration). In both cases, the result provides a prerequisite for successful application of technical solutions contributing to the decrease of environmental pollution based on simple and inexpensive technologies. In many cases of the so-called old environmental burdens, the availability of such a low cost technology represents the only economically viable hope for their successful rehabilitation.