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August 2017


Research on the exploitation of unused waste streams for the generation of valuable biomass or the extraction of precious metals is increasing and has substantial market potential for a circular economy. The use of fossil resources may be reduced and the growing need for high-tech valuable material may be met.

This BLICKWINKEL provides an insight into our technological skills and solutions relevant to the issue. Our innovation in this field is based on microorganisms from BRAIN’s BioArchive which have been modified for particular applications. The aim is not to discard valuable resources but rather keep them in a long-term bioeconomic value chain.

One of our most recent projects in the areas Urban Mining and Green Mining, a particular highlight, was the manufacturing of a BRAIN BioXtractor for the extraction of precious metals like gold and silver from industry and household waste. In addition, two highly elaborate guest commentaries by Dr. Michael Carus, Managing Director of nova Institute, and the UK-based Ellen MacArthur Foundation, deal with the differences between bioeconomy and circular economy including an initiative called The New Plastics Economy.

We also provide insight into the topics of the ZeroCarbFP innovation alliance, which is coordinated by BRAIN and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Dr. Jörg Mampel from BRAIN explains how the dreaded greenhouse gas CO2 may be used for sustainable processes in industrial production. Our colleague, Dr. Birgit Heinze, describes the development of high-quality lubricant additives from waste chip fat – just to mention some of our diverse topics.

© Bureau Bureau

The bioeconomy is much more than a circular economy

Dipl.-Phys. Michael Carus explains how to make best use of both concepts of bioeconomy, circular economy and biomass cascading.

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BRAIN BioXtractor – next generation metal extraction

Precious metals are rare and increasingly difficult to find. What can we do about that? Part of the solution is to stop treating precious metals as trash.

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Barbaraott Aufmacher Mitwolken

Well lubricated

What uses are there for waste chip fat or residues from biodiesel production? Dr. Birgit Heinze, research scientist and project manager at BRAIN, and her team are addressing such questions within the framework of the ZeroCarb- FP Innovation Alliance.

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Planet 0

1001 planets

Since 2014, the photographer and conceptual artist Daniel T. Braun has been creating art works using a combination of mobile camera and cheap telescope. Looking for and zooming on material structures and light formation, he creates an illusion of planets in his pictures.

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Brain Mikroorganismus Co2 3

use of carbon 

Intelligent use of carbon dioxide – Carbon dioxide (CO2) certainly is the most discussed resource of our age. However, carbon dioxide is available in abundance and does not even cost a penny. Nature itself shows us how it can be put to use.

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Rauch Schornstein

Sustainable resources

There is an abundance of carbon in secondary streams and waste streams such as fumes, sewage and effluents. The ZeroCarbFP Innovation Alliance coordinated by BRAIN relies on new technologies to transform these resources into new components for industrial production.

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Rz © Aryfahmed With Credit Line 1 Bea

Global momentum for 
a plastics rethink

The New Plastics Economy, developed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, presents a bold vision for a system in which plastics never become waste.

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Biooekonomische Wertschoepfung

Bioeconomic value added 

Bioeconomy is growing due to the biologisation of our industry and consumer world. Biotechnology is a key driver to exploit new value chains.

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Blickwinkel Brain Q3 2016 17
Circular 08/2017 Download issue
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