Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Ekolive

Sustainable soil-boosting bacteria

Agriculture & Energy

One startup gives a second life to contaminated or exhausted soils, enables regenerative farming, and improves primary and secondary minerals

Sign in or buy a plan to view this innovation

Spotted: In our ever-developing world, demand for raw materials surges, surpassing our supply. Until now, we have relied on increased mining and agrochemicals to try and balance supply with demand. However, this has come at the expense of our resources, environment, health, and the planet’s biodiversity. 

Using a technology that’s been developing for over 35 years, Slovakian startup Ekolive is rewriting the playbook. The company has found a way to ecologically process minerals, revive mining waste, and rejuvenate contaminated or exhausted soils using microorganisms. 

The company’s eco-friendly solution to the mineral supply-demand challenge harnesses the power of bacteria to remove impurities. This method enhances raw material value, accessibility, and usability of unprocessed, primary materials and secondary minerals. Ekolive’s technology can also be applied to hazardous materials like mining waste, giving newfound value to materials previously deemed useless. 

But that’s not all: Ekolive discovered its technology also had amazing effects on agriculture. Managing Director Darina Štyriaková explains that the specially selected mix of minerals and microorganisms “regenerates” contaminated soils, optimises the structure of exhausted soils, and “strengthens plants in different ways.” Štyriaková adds that these results are “not created by mixing chemicals” but “by a replication of natural weathering and soil formation recipe.” 

Founded in 2018, Ekolive is now focusing on commercialisation after successful validations. The company currently has five bioleaching production sites in the EU, with three more in the pipeline outside of Europe. 

Springwise has previously spotted other innovations that process soil contaminants, from soil-cleaning microbes to pre and probiotics that improve soil health and crop resilience.

Written By: Georgia King




Download PDF

Springwise Services:
Our expertise in spotting the latest innovations is the best resource to empower your team’s future planning.

Find out More