The search for new efficient bioflocculants: cooperation with the University of Fort Hare


The group from Fort Hare organised a guest lecture for GenØk employees.

The group from Fort Hare organised a guest lecture for GenØk employees.

GenØk and the University of Fort Hare in South Africa are working on a joint research project financed by the Norwegian Research Council’s SANCOOP-program. The goal of the SANCOOP-programme is to establish the basis for long-term research co-operation between Norway and South Africa through the funding of joint research projects.

Professor Okoh, Professor Mabinya and Dr. Nwodo from Fort Hare visited GenØk in November for a workshop in the project titled “Development of efficient bioflocculants by exploring the microbial diversity of South African Eastern Cape Province for Novel Bioflocculants”. GenØk’s project leader is Dr. Arinze Okoli.

Flocculants are extensively applied in the treatment of wastewaters, other industrial effluents and in the recovery of suspended solutes from solutions. Unlike inorganic flocculants, which are not biodegradable and have been known to cause a risk to human health, bioflocculants are non-toxic, biodegradable and hence environmentally friendly. Hence, they are preferred to synthetic flocculants in water and wastewater treatments. This project emphasizes the unique and diverse marine environments of Eastern Cape Province (ECP) of South Africa (SA), which has been underexplored as sources of novel bioflocculants.