Author Archive

  • We wish you a happy and successful New Year!

    The Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology Group of BME’s Department of Applied Biotechnology and Food Science from Budapest, Hungary, wishes  success and happiness in 2020 to all the colleagues, students, partners and collaborators!


    Posted at 2020-01-07 » By : » Categories : News »
  • The SCALE project is 3 years old

    The Scale (Scandium Aluminium Europe) project became 3 years old on the 30th November, 2019.

    The consortium has held its 3 year Project Meeting and the 3rd year Review in Brussels, on 16-17 October, 2019.

    Dr. Viktória Feigl and Emese Vaszita attended the meeting on behalf of BME..

    BME’s research group is involved in the project with the following main tasks: assessment of the environmental effects of the planned processes, chemicals, wastes and products, environmental risk management, Life Cycle Analysis and development of an environmental database  for scandium bearing wastes (included into the MOKKKA-ENFO database ).

    Posted at 2019-11-06 » By : » Categories : News »
  • Zsófia Berkl, our PhD student, received the Best Poster Award at EURO CD 2019

    We are pleased to announce that our PhD student, Zsófia Berkl, received the Best Poster Award at the 6th European Conference on Cyclodextrins (EURO CD 2019) ( organised in Santiago de Compostela, Spain between 2-4 October 2019 for the poster entitled:

    The effect of cyclodextrins on the biofilm formation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa – Modulation of quorum sensing

    Authors: Berkl, Zs., Molnár, M., Bordohányi Á., Fekete-Kertész, I., Németh, I., Fenyvesi, É., Szente L.

    Congratulations Zsófi!

    Posted at 2019-10-09 » By : » Categories : News »
  • We participated at EURO CD 2019, in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 2-4 October, 2019

    We participated at the 6th European Conference on Cyclodextrins (EURO CD 2019) ( organised in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, between 2-4 October, 2019.

    The goal of EURO CD 2019 was to offer a multidisciplinary meeting point for scientists involved in cyclodextrin production, chemistry and modelling, or applications in diverse fields including analytical chemistry, drug formulation, gene therapy, regenerative medicine, cosmetics, food, bioremediation and agriculture.

    The attendees had an excellent opportunity to learn the latest findings on raw materials, products, procedures and equipment affecting cyclodextrin field, and how to integrate them into the own research, to directly engage people working in complementary fields, make professional connections and create scientific synergies, to discover the similar challenges faced by other researchers and keep the mind open to novel ways of dealing with chemistry, biomedical, food technology and ecological problems exploiting the endless capabilities of cyclodextrins.

    Our group was represented at EURO CD 2019 by 3 members: Mónika Molnár, Ildikó Fekete Kertész and Zsófia Berkl, presenting 3 posters.

    Mónika Molnár presented a poster on cyclodextrin mediated quorum quenching in the Aliivibrio fischeri bioluminescence model system.

    Molnár, M., Berkl, Zs., Németh, I., Fekete-Kertész, I., Márton, R., Timár B., Fenyvesi, É., Szente, L. (2019) Cyclodextrin mediated quorum quenching in the Aliivibrio fischeri bioluminescence model system – Modulation of bacterial communication, (PO-37),

    Ildikó Fekete Kertész presented the quorum quenching effect of different CD molecules and their derivatives in the P. aeruginosa model system based on pyoverdin and pyocyanin pigment production.

    Fekete-Kertész, I., Berkl, Zs., Tóth, Zs., Fenyvesi, É., Szente, L., Molnár, M. (2019) The quorum quenching effect of cyclodextrins on the pigment production of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, (PO-92).

    Zsófia Berkl’s poster presented the study on the effect of cyclodextrines on the biofilm formation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    Zs. Berkl, M. Molnár, Á. Bordohányi, I. Fekete-Kertész, I. Németh, É. Fenyvesi, L. Szente (2019) The effect of cyclodextrins on the biofilm formation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa – Modulation of quorum sensing, (PO-36).


    Posted at 2019-10-09 » By : » Categories : News »
  • We participated at ECCE12 and ECAB5 joint congresses in Florence, 14-19, September, 2019

    We participated at the joint Congresses ECCE12 (the 12th European Congress of Chemical Engineering) and ECAB 5 (the 5th European Congress of Applied Biotechnology) organised  by the European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE)), the European Society of Biochemical Engineering Science (ESBES) and the Italian Association of Chemical Engineering (AIDIC) in Florence between 14-19, September, 2019 (

    The conferences covered a wide range of research themes under the umbrella of Chemical Engineering and Applied Biotechnology. The topics treated were all typical of Chemical Engineering and Applied Biotechnologies, from the classical ones, like process simulation and reactor design, to the most current ones, like nanotechnologies, bio-fuels, bio-catalysts, food and water, that represent the challenges of the future and are of interest to everybody.

    Our group was represented by Emese Vaszita, who presented in an e-poster the most recent results of one of our research topics, biochar, as soil amendment. The poster detailed the results of a laboratory incubation study monitoring the effects of artificial biological aging on the physicochemical, biological and ecotoxicological properties of five biochar types.

    The e-poster can be viewed at the conference webpage (Screen 44, P/392):

    The abstract of the presentation is available in the Book of Abstracts, page: 1832-1833 of the Conference:

    Molnár, M., Kőszegi, M., Vaszita, E., Gruiz, K., Farkas, É. (2019) Influence of artificial biological aging on physicochemical, biological and ecotoxicological properties of five biochars – a laboratory incubation study, ECCE12, The 12th European Congress of Chemical Engineering, ECAB5, The 5th European Congress of Applied Biotechnology, Florence 15-19 September 2019, Book of Abstracts, pp. 1832-1833, ISBN : 978-88-95608-75-4, DOI: 10.3303/BOA1901

    Posted at 2019-10-07 » By : » Categories : News »
  • We participated at the ISTA 19 Symposium in Thessaloniki, Greece, August 25-30, 2019

    We participated at the 19th International Symposium on Toxicity Assessment (ISTA 19) (, hosted by the Division of Hydraulics and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in collaboration with the Society of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety (SECOTOX) in Thessaloniki, Greece, between August 25-30, 2019.

    ISTA conference series has been biennial since 1983 and it serves as a catalyst for fruitful exchanges between researchers, managers and legislators involved in all fields of environmental science, safety and health. ISTA provides a forum for discussions dealing with current advances in toxicity and risk assessment, fundamental and innovative concepts in ecotoxicology.

    The programme of the symposium can be downloaded from the Symposium webpage:

    Maria Tolner, on behalf of our group, presented a poster (see title below) in the Soil Microbiology and Ecotoxicity Topic of the Symposium:

    Farkas, É., Kerekes, I., Tolner M., Szabó, Á., Vaszita, E. and Molnár, M. (2019) Biochar mediated short-term effects on acidic sandy soil and influence on soil living animal Enchytraeus albidus preference behavioral test as a screening tool to assess soil habitat function, Abstracts ISTA 19 , p. 39.

    The abstract of the presentation can be reached in the Book of Abstracts, available at the conference webpage ( page 39).

    Posted at 2019-10-07 » By : » Categories : News »
  • ELECTRA H2020-NMBP-BIO-CN-2018


    Project title: ELECTRA – Electricity driven Low Energy and Chemical input Technology foR Accelerated bioremediation

    Project website:

    Topic: CE-BIOTEC-04-2018

    Type of action: RIA (research & innovation)

    Funding Agency: European Union / European Commission

    Project duration: 2019. 01. 01 – 2022. 12. 31

    Project type: consortial

    Project partners: 

    ELECTRA is a consortium of European and Chinese partners.

    The EC-funded consortium gathers 17 partners from 6 EU countries,1 Associated Country. 1 large Chinese company is part of the EC consortium without claiming any funding from the EC since NSFC finances only fundamental research and does not allow for the inclusion of companies as partners in NSFC projects. This company has a key/essential role in replicating field test experiments from European sites to Chinese sites.

    Institution Abbreviation Country
    17 ENI S.p.A. ENI IT
    18 Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing)  – Chinese Coordinator IMCAS China
    19 Research Centre for Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing) RCEES China
    20 Nanjing University (Nanjing) NJU China
    21 University of Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Hefei) USTC China
    22 Nanjing Agricultural University NJAU China


    The ELECTRA project is a EU-China RTD joint initiative that will deliver 2 innovative sets of novel electromicrobiology based environmental biotechnologies, facilitating/improving electron transfer during microbial degradation processes. Our approach will accelerate the elimination of several classes of pollutants and mixtures thereof in contaminated wastewater, groundwater, sediment and soil.

    The first set of biotechnologies employs bioelectrochemical systems requiring low energyinput and no chemical addition.

    The second set comprises biotechnologies, which necessitate no energy input and minimal chemical amendment using electromicrobial concepts.

    ELECTRA biotechnologies will build on recent groundbreaking advances in biotechnology to develop them for environmental bioremediation applications and test the 4 most advanced technologies during field trials under various environmentally relevant conditions in both Europe (4 sites with contaminated wastewater, groundwater, soil, and sediment) and China (4 sites: mirroring tests concept) to prove their efficiency and robustness.

    The ELECTRA project deliberately addresses the accelerated elimination of compounds representative of hydrocarbons and derivatives, emerging pollutants, metals and nutrients and mixtures thereof in environmentally relevant concentration as a wise and careful approach taking into account the real problem of contaminations by organic and inorganic pollutants as well as nutrients.

    The ELECTRA project addresses the accelerated elimination of:

    1. Hydrocarbons (TPHs: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and alkanes) and their halogenated derivatives (e.g.chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAHs), polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs, halogenated aromatics);
    2. Metals (Sb, Pb, As, Hg, Cd, Zn);
    3. Nutrients (NH4+ and NO3-)
    4. Emerging micropollutants: antibiotics (e.g. fluoroquinolones and sulphonamides); flame retardants and endocrine disrupting chemicals (e.g. tetrabromobisphenol A and bisphenol A) and pesticides (e.g. bromoxynil and propiconazole).

    The environmental impacts and financial costs associated with ELECTRA’s bioremediation technologies will be estimated from a life cycle and risk perspective to support the decision process in future treatment selections.

    LCA will be used to evaluate the efficiency of the remediation technologies and to choose the technology Champions to be tested.

    A web-based EDSS (Environmental Decision Support System) will be developed to help support relevant decision makers in selecting the most appropriate treatment option for target applications based on technical, environmental and economic criteria.

    The main task of the Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology Research group within BME’s Applied Biotechnology and Food Science Department will be ecotoxicological monitoring of the experiments.

    A problem-specific and complex monitoring methodology will be developed and applied by BME to follow changes in the ecotoxicity of contaminated WW, GW, soil and sediment before and after technology applications. The toxicity associated to the contaminated matrixes of the selected sites will be evaluated using a suite of ecotoxicity tests. For each matrix/contaminant, the most suitable ones will be then selected for the evaluation of the toxicity changes at the end of the bioremediation processes. For each matrix, test organisms from at least three trophic levels will be chosen and extrapolation to the complex ecosystem will be carried out.

    Acute, chronic toxicity and genotoxic effects will be tested with standardized (based on ISO and OECD standards) or pollutant-specific test methods (e.g. D. magna heartbeat rate test for micropollutants). For the pollutant and matrix specific (WW, GW, soil, sediment) ecotoxicity toolkit BME will select the best combination of the following test organisms: Aliivibrio fischeri (luminescent aquatic bacterium), Bacillus subtilis (soil bacterium), Salmonella typhimurium (in Ames-test), Lemna minor (aquatic plant), Sinapis alba and Triticum aestivum (terrestrial plants), Tetrahymena pyriformis (protozoan), Daphnia magna (water living crustacean), Heterocypris incongruens (sediment living ostracoda), Folsomia candida (soil living insect), Enchytraeus albidus (potworm), etc. Except for aquatic test organisms, most of them can be applied for the testing of both liquid and solid samples.

    In case of soils and sediments, both water extracts and whole soil/sediment samples (direct toxicity assessment, DTA) will be tested. DTA draws the attention to the chemically unmeasured or non-measurable, but existing hazardous components.

    BME will be involved also in Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) of the different technologies to estimate environmental impacts associated with the application of the technology and in the development of the knowledge base of the multi criteria EDSS.

    Posted at 2019-01-30 » By : » Categories : Ongoing Projects »

    The German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) in cooperation with the SCALE Project, organised a workshop on secondary raw materials / urban mining data management in close connection with a scientific exchange platform for stake holders of the European scandium inventory.

    Our group was represented at both events.

    On behalf of our group, Dr. Éva Ujaczki presented a lecture on the ENFO-MOKKA environmental database, which incorporates the SCALE database planned within the SCALE project.

    The SCALE database may include information not only on Sc containing wastes but also on other Critical Raw Materials.

    The lecture on the ENFO-MOKKA database (E. Vaszita, V. Feigl, É. Ujaczki, I. F. Kertész, Z. Berkl & M. Molnár, Budapest University of Technology and Economics: Hungarian ENFO MOKKA environmental database: Environmental information on scandium containing wastes) can be reached via the SCALE project website:

    Posted at 2019-01-10 » By : » Categories : News »
  • Our review paper on the re-use of bauxite residues was published in the Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology

    Dr. Éva Ujaczki, as first author, in collaboration with Hungarian, Irish, Swiss and Greek scientists, has presented a stop-gap review article on  bauxite residue in the Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.

    The paper does not only discuss the  re-use options of bauxite residue (red mud), but it outlines  their environmental consequences.

    The paper (Éva Ujaczki, Viktória Feigl, Mónika Molnár, Patricia Cusack, Teresa Curtin, Ronan Courtney, Lisa O’Donoghue, Panagiotis Davris, Christoph Hugi, Michael W.H. Evangelou, Efthymios Balomenos, Markus Lenz: Re‐using bauxite residues: benefits beyond (critical raw) material recovery) can be reached via:

    The work was carried out with the support of a Swiss-Hungarian Sciex project and the Scale H2020 project.

    Posted at 2018-07-17 » By : » Categories : News »
  •  „DIFPOLMINE” Diffuse pollution from mining activities (LIFE 02 ENV/F/000291)

    Project title:  „DIFPOLMINE” Diffuse pollution from mining activities

    Funding Programme:  EU Life

    Project Identification Number: LIFE 02 ENV/F/000291

    Project duration: 01. 10. 2002 – 31. 12. 2006

    Project type: Demonstration project

    Project partners:

    ADEME, France, Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maitrise de l’Energie, France

    IRH Génie de l’Environment, France

    Limburgs Universitair centrum, Belgium

    Budapest University of Technology and Economics

    Project title:  „DIFPOLMINE” Diffuse pollution from mining activities

    Funding Programme:  EU Life

    Project Identification Number: LIFE 02 ENV/F/000291

    Project duration: 01. 10. 2002 – 31. 12. 2006

    Project type: Demonstration project

    Project partners:

    ADEME, France, Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maitrise de l’Energie, France

    IRH Génie de l’Environment, France

    Limburgs Universitair centrum, Belgium

    Budapest University of Technology and Economics


    The Difpolmine project aimed to reduce pollutant flows through both water and air in the area of the former Salsigne and Combe du Saut mines. It planned to develop a new cleaning system that would use, but also go beyond traditional cleaning treatments of excavation, confinement and solidification. In particular, it sought to optimise water management systems in the area and investigate the feasibility of an adapted soil phytostabilisation methodology to minimise residual and diffuse pollution and its subsequent impact. Phytostabilisation consists in using plants which are able to contain, degrade or eliminate pollutants such as metals and pesticides from the medium in which they are contained. Whilst the project looked to demonstrate the applicability of this technique to the specific conditions of the project area in France, it also aimed to prove its transferability to a different mining site in Hungary: a closing zinc and lead mine at Gyöngyösoroszi. It thus hoped to provide an example and source of information for managers of metal-polluted sites in a range of countries and sites. The project contributed to the development of a full treatment plan for the Gyöngyösoroszi mine site in Hungary, based on a study of the adaptation of the project methodology to its particular characteristics. This shows the potential for use of adapted versions of this methodology across various sites around Europe.

    Project Work at the Hungarian demonstration site

    The postmining activities at the Hungarian site required the management of both the point and diffuse sources. The main environmental risks were related to the mobile Cd and Zn content of the mine wastes, surrounding soils and transported sediments, endangering the surface waters. The toxic metals originated from the exploited sulphide ore veins hosted in andesite rocks. 1–3 pH leachate was produced around the waste rock heaps due to the complex chemical and biological oxidation of the pyrite containing material in contact with the rainwater and runoff. A complete Environmental Risk Management methodology was worked out. The approach was „GIS based” and „catchment scale”, using a three tiered, iterative Environmental Risk Assessment methodology and development of a combined chemical and phytoremediation technology, able to reduce mobility, biological availability of toxic metals, providing long term reduction of toxic metal emission and transport via any pathway.

    Posted at 2018-03-05 » By : » Categories : Completed projects »