Next generation metal extraction.


Our mission

There is an increasing demand for precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum or palladium, which are a key resource for many high tech applications. But 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

It is time to introduce bioeconomy game changer technologies that allow us to treat secondary resources as valuable substances for an ongoing value creation.

BRAIN AG is a German bioeconomy pioneer and has developed such solutions based on modern biotechnology for ‘Urban Mining’ respectively ‘Green Mining’ and in the sense of an efficient circular economy.

The natural heroes that have been identified in the BRAIN BioArchive and further developed in labs are microorganisms. These bacteria, which are the industrial property of BRAIN, process secondary resources and thereby extract precious metals with yield rates up to 100% depending on the source material and metal.

The technology has been successfully transferred from lab to pilot scale. BRAIN is ready for partnerships to make use of the needed natural resources and technologies to develop efficient commercial applications.

The BRAIN BioXtractor

  • is the bioeconomy game changer technology for next generation metal extraction based on biotechnology and microorganisms identified in the BRAIN BioArchive.

  • offers innovative, high-performing and safe biological process solutions for metal recovery from various waste and side streams and primary resources.

  • offers a sustainable answer for decreasing ore grades, increased environmental protection and volatile markets and constitutes an exciting option to secure future precious metal supply.

  • is a mobile, fully equipped, (self-) contained tech-scale operation unit ready for on-site process demonstration and adaptation to specific plant requirements.

  • is open for flexible business models for joint commercialization strategies with partners that want to create additional value out of its resources with sustainable technologies.

  • is ready to get explored by enterprises willing to test, co-develop and jointly commercialize or license our microorganisms or the entire technology package at their own production plants worldwide.

The pilot container

The first BRAIN BioXtractor pilot container is based at BRAIN’s headquarters in Germany. The goal is to produce the first batches of BRAIN BioX-gold soon.

If you want to

  • talk about possible business opportunities
  • or find out more about the technology program

please send an Email to

Follow us on Twitter (@BRAINbiotech, #BioXtractor).

You can find photographs, links about the topic and further information for download under BioXtractor resources.

“BioXtractor” is registered as a trademark of BRAIN AG for the European Union.


BRAIN BioXtractor Flyer

Quarterly Magazine #3 2016/17 BLICKWINKEL circular

Recycling with bacteria (Hessenschau, 19.11.2018 > from min. 19) Part 1 (in German)

Obtaining raw materials with bacteria (Hessenschau, 20.11.2018 > from min. 17) Part 2 (in German)

Impressions of the pilot container

The BRAIN BioXtractor pilot container arrived at BRAIN’s headquarters in Germany on 17 August 2017. It was painted by the artist Guido Zimmermann. Planning partner was Ingenieurbüro Anlagen-Maschinensicherheit Jung, Execution Partner was Umwelt- und Ingenieurtechnik GmbH (UIT).