Inspirational appetizers on remarkable startups, emerging trends and bleeding-edge research

Sweet solution


Some packages are tricky to open. The earth, too, keeps important resources under lock and key.

Now, joining this recycling approach, a research team from Cornell University is using bacteria to help extract rare elements from ore.

These minerals are required, above all, to manufacture electronic products. To meet US needs alone, 71.5 million tonnes of raw ore are processed annually.

That’s why the team is experimenting with the gene structure of a particular bacteria, which, when fed with sugar from cellulose, produces a sustainable acid.

This, in turn, helps break down phosphate, meaning the desired elements can be extracted at low pressure and temperatures.

An environmentally-friendly, efficient alternative to using hot sulphuric acid – and a sweet release.

Share the inspiration

Previous article
Next article

More Chillipicks In This Category

Stay Connected

Get a head start with the weekly newsletter

Sign up for your weekly inspiration sent directly to your inbox each friday. Providing you with positive news on innovation. Get a fresh perspective, sparking ideas and preparing you for warm-hearted conversations.

Related Chillipicks