BRAIN BioXtractor

Sustainable metal extraction in the circular economy

Precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum or palladium are in greater demand than ever, as they are needed for many high-tech applications. However, ore yields are declining, and ore mining pollutes the environment. The recovery of used precious metals from waste, e.g. from electronic scrap, is therefore becoming increasingly important.

BRAIN Biotech, German bioeconomy pioneer, has developed a biological solution for the extraction of valuable metals from secondary raw materials that is not only powerful but also mild and environmentally friendly.

The natural protagonists in this process are microorganisms – identified and optimized by us, they act on the secondary raw materials and extract precious metals with a yield of up to 100% depending on the source material and the type of metal.

BRAIN Biotech owns intellectual property rights for the bacteria and processes used and has successfully transferred the technology from laboratory to pilot scale.

Our expert in this field
Portrait von Esther Gabor

Dr. Esther Gabor

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The BRAIN BioXtractor:

  • is a mobile, fully equipped, self-contained plant on a pilot plant scale;
  • contains pioneering technology for bio-based and sustainable metal extraction;
  • constitutes a powerful yet safe biological process solution for metal recovery from by-products, waste streams and primary resources;
  • is suitable for on-site process demonstrations and can be adapted to specific plant requirements.

We’re ready. Are you?

The BRAIN BioXtractor is ready for a test phase at our main site with companies

  • who are interested in joint development and marketing;
  • who would like to talk to us about licensing the microorganisms involved;
  • who want to use the entire technology package at their production sites worldwide.

Are you interested in creating additional value from your resources – e.g. e-scrap, metal-containing filter and shredder dust, ashes, slags, process residues or catalysts – using sustainable technologies? If yes, please contact us!

BRAIN BioXtractor Flyer

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The gold microbes (Article in German)

from: 79Au, The philoro Magazine, Issue 6, 2021 ( Customer magazine of philoro EDELMETALLE GmbH)

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Mikrobielles Gold – Fachartikel im UmweltMagazin 10-11 | 2020 (VDI Fachmedien)

Mikrobielles Gold – Article (in German) from Umweltmagazin 10-11/2020

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Want to know more?

If you would like to talk to us about business opportunities or learn more about our development programs, please contact us.

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1 ton

Year by year we end up with more than 40 Million tons of electronic trash, with one ton of computer circuit boards alone containing up to 250 grams of gold and one kilogram of silver.

1 gram

The production of 40 mobile phones, which have an average lifespan of just 2.5 years, requires around one gram of gold. About one ton of gold ore needs to be mined in order to extract the same amount of gold.

20 kilogram

In the steel and metal industries, hundreds of millions of tons of dust, sludge or cinders containing precious metals are scrapped every year. Per ton, metallurgic slags for example may contain up to 20 kilograms of gold as well as many other metals.

3 tons

Incinerator bottom ashes (IBA) partly serve as an asphalt ingredient for road building. In Germany, up to 3 tons of gold and incredible amounts of other metals end up as road surfacing every year.

Gold recycling: bacteria as gold washers (in German)

W wie Wissen, ARD, 25.4.2020

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Bacteria instead of hammer drills – BRAIN AG extracts precious metals from waste

Technologieland Hessen Schaufenster
(Article in German)

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BioXtractor: sustainable precious metal extraction with a BRAIN

Mining Technology, 24 April 2019

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BRAIN BioXtractor: Biobased Metal Extraction for the Circular Economy


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EU funds BRAIN project on wet mechanical-biological treatment of secondary resources

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Press release, 25 September 2018

BRAIN BioXtractor short-listed twice for the 2018 Global Game Changers Awards

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BRAIN Publication

BRAIN BioXtractor Flyer

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