Bacteria that can mine rare-earth elements from wastewater identified
Mar. 02, 2023.
1 min. read. 6 likes. 1
German researchers have identified bacteria that such critical minerals from wastewater
New research published in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology reports on a novel way of extracting rare-earth elements from waste streams – using bacteria!
Rare-earth elements are vital in modern technology such as wind turbines, LEDs, catalysts, and magnets, but they are unevenly distributed around the world, and securing their supply in an uncertain geopolitical situation has been a cause of concern.
The researchers identified 12 with the highest accumulation rates for further study. These bacteria were able to accumulate high concentrations of REEs from wastewater without any need for additional energy inputs or chemical agents.
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