Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 4/18/2022

Environmental Microbes as a BioEngineering Resource (EMBER)

The Environmental Microbes as a BioEngineering Resource (EMBER) program aims to develop novel, bio-based technologies to overcome key challenges facing domestic supply of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) critical to the U.S. and Department of Defense (DoD). The EMBER program will leverage the diversity, specificity, and customizability of environmental microbiology to enable new biomining methods for the separation, purification, and conversion of REEs into manufacturing-ready forms. Microbes (and/or biomolecules), including those from extreme or metal-rich environments, can be biologically engineered or adapted to bind, assimilate, and manipulate individual REEs. These biological components, once developed, may be assembled into an in-line separation, purification, and recovery workflow resulting in individual, purified REEs. Scalability of EMBER’s approach will be demonstrated with proof-of-concept, pilot scale studies aligned with existing mining/waste treatment infrastructure.


o Proposal Abstract Due Date and Time: 4:00 PM ET, August 16, 2021

o Full Proposal Due Date and Time: 4:00 PM ET, September 27, 2021

Areas of Interest
  • TA1: Bioengineering for REE Utilization
  • TA2: REE Biomining
Funding Type