Researchers winning technology resource germanium from plants




A group of German scientists engaged in the extraction of germanium, a key raw material for the construction of electronics, from plants. This gathering of such material should be easier and cheaper.

One of the researchers, Professor Hermann Heil Meier, explained in an interview with Reuters from how does the extraction of germanium in his work. Usually, germanium in small amounts taken out of the ground, but this is a complex process that high costs are incurred. The German researchers use plants to do the heavy lifting: they ensure that plants absorb germanium in the roots, after which it can be extracted. This can be achieved with sunflowers, rice and reed grass.

According to Heilmeier is the extraction of germanium in this way considerably more efficiently than with the conventional methods. This is partly because the extraction can take place in a biogas plant. Because the transformation of plant material into biogas germanium can be taken out need to set up the extraction method little extra money cost.

The researchers have for some years engaged in doing research for germanium extraction from plants. Recently, they have discovered that the best way to scale up the production process currently taking place in extracting just a few milligrams of germanium won per liter of fermented plant material. The researchers want this scaling up to a gram per liter to make it commercially attractive. By a cash injection from the German government, the extraction should soon be more widespread.

Germanium is a chemical which is used for various electronic devices. In recent years, warned of a worldwide shortage of germanium; it is one of the rare earth metals, wherein production takes place mostly in China.


In: Technology & Gadgets Asked By: [15446 Red Star Level]

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