Damian Palin is developing a way to use bacteria to biologically "mine" minerals from water -- specifically, out of the brine left over from the desalinization process.
Research engineer Damian Palin has long been fascinated by the process of biomineralization–with particular attention on the mechanisms involved for mineral precipitation. At the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (in collaboration with Nanyang Technical University, Singapore), he conducts experiments to assess the ability of microorganisms to mine selected minerals out of seawater desalination brine. This study was based on compelling and burgeoning evidence from the field of geomicrobiology, which shows the ubiquitous role that microorganisms play in the cycling of minerals on the planet.
He says: "It is my aim to continue to research in the field of biomineralization, while exploring the mechanisms responsible for mild energetic mineral (including metal) precipitation for the production of mineral composites."
Read our in-depth Q&A with Damian Palin >>