A New Zealand Startup Is Using Microbes to Suck Solid Gold Out of E-Waste

Microscopic organisms can extract precious metals from discarded devices

Photo: Johner Royalty-Free/Getty Images
Inside Mint’s pilot plant in Auckland. Photos: Mint Innovation

“Electronics have a lot of waste, so what if we could get precious metals out of them? What if we could get gold out of electronic waste?”

A vanilla ice cream-like texture after the microbes have been added to the solution.
A Silly Putty-like, purplish goo after the microbes have absorbed the gold.

Filipina. Freelance writer. Chocoholic. Words @ The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, BBC Travel, and more.

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