SO4-BIORED Demonstration of biological sulfate reduction in cold climates




Fortum Waste Solution, Boliden Mineral

Erika Lönntoft



Purpose and goal

The aim of SO4-BIORED is to offer an energy and resource efficient solution to reduce the water footprint from the Swedish mining industry. The goal is to demonstrate a sulfatereducing bioprocess pilot plant (TRL 6) with a reduction efficiency of 95%. The main innovation of this project is the effective microbial consortia which has the ability to reduce sulfate in the cold climate prevailed in Swedish mines. The product, hydrogen sulfide, can precipitate metal ions which create a concentrated and stable product (metal sulfides), these can be reused and thereby create value.

Expected results and effects

SO4-BIORED will contribute to many of SIP STRIM´s goals, including a reduced water footprint, zero waste and increased resource efficiency for metal recovery. The effect of the project is expected to be large since the mining industry uses 72 million cubic meters of water annually. SO4-BIORED facilitates recirculation of water without creating new waste streams.

Planned approach and implementation

The project will scale up the bioprocess for sulfate reduction at Boliden. The work is divided into 4 work packages, including project management (WP1 – RISE), lab experiments that examines the robustness of the innovative microorganism consortium for different process conditions (WP2 – RISE), mobile pilot run of process water from Boliden (WP3 – Fortum) and calculations on the techno-economical potential (WP4 – Boliden). SO4-BIORED has a well-developed strategy for implementation. The work and the goals are set to facilitate the implementation after the project.


Within the project, a mobile water treatment plant for handling pollution and purification of process water from industries was developed. The purification takes place with the help of microbiology.

More information

Presentation slides from Swedish Mining Innovation Program day 2020

Presentation from SIP STRIM program day 2019