Micro Miners – Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The Micro Miners team develops and deploys innovative biotechnologies to sequester and recover rare earths from low-grade sources (e.g., mine tailings, geothermal fluids, and recyclable materials) for further diversifying the global rare earth supply chain. It focuses on research and development of cost-effective and eco-friendly approaches that rely on environmentally safe microorganisms. To increase efficiency and specificity of rare earth extraction, it utilizes both native microbial features as well as advanced bioengineering technologies. With the development of an extraction pipeline that promises the delivery of rare earth materials with high efficiency and purity, it addresses the vulnerability and criticality of rare earths to emerging clean energy technologies.