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Detoxifiers from the landfill

June 18, 2021 | Annette Ryser

Bacteria from an Indian landfill could help eliminate contaminated chemicals. The focus is on pesticides such as lindane or brominated flame retardants, which accumulate in nature and in food chains. Researchers at Eawag and Empa used these bacteria to generate enzymes that can break down these dangerous chemicals.

Can we recapture or detoxify the chemical waste of past generations? Microbiologist Hans Peter Kohler from the aquatic research institute Eawag and Empa chemist Norbert Heeb, together with researchers from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and two Indian institutes, put the question to the test.

Read the full article on this topic on the Empa website: Detoxifiers from the landfill

Cover picture: Avinash Kumar für Unsplash


  • Empa
  • Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)

Original publication

Heeb, N. V.; Hubeli, J.; Fleischmann, T.; Lienemann, P.; Nayyar, N.; Lal, R.; Kohler, H. P. E. (2021) Transformation of ε-HBCD with the Sphingobium Indicum enzymes LinA1, LinA2 and LinATM, a triple mutant of LinA2, Chemosphere, 267, 129217 (12 pp.), doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.129217, Institutional Repository