2021: BioLan


Rare-earth metals (RRE) have extraordinary and unique physical properties which make them suited for a variety of purposes. Our project, BioLan, uses an exotic protein, recently characterized by an extremophile bacteria. This protein, LanModulin (LanM) specifically binds to lanthanides and with this, we developed our project to extract these rare metals (listed below). We hope to provide another perspective and opportunity for biomining by creating a process that refines specific metals from REE-Minerals without the use of extensive energy and chemical chelators. Using a biological method we hope to create a more environmentally friendly and conscientious method for lanthanide processing. But what makes lanthanides so special?


Lanthanides are present in everyday technology. You are all using it right now to view our Wiki. Computers, Smartphones, Tablets require lanthanides to function properly. Neodymium(Nd) helps speakers, headphones, and microphones function.


MRI scans sometimes require contrasting agents and the most common one is based on the lanthanide Gadolinium (Gd). Other medical uses enabled by lanthanides include potential new drugs and radioisotopes both for imaging and treatment.

and more

High-powered magnets from Dysprosium (Dy) or Holmium (Ho), reactor control rods made with the help of Samarium (Sa), car batteries made with the help of Lanthanum (La). There are a lot more integral uses for these metals.

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