Universal Bio Mining (UBM) is a privately held biotechnology company based in Tucson, Arizona. It focuses on applying molecular biology, metagenomics, and synthetic biology to the mining industry to improve both mineral extraction processes and remediation processes. UBM offers speciation and monitoring services as well as customized biological consulting services.
UBM's primary targets are the copper mineral chalcopyrite and gold deposits with refractory contaminants. It is engineering the natural process of extremophiles used in metal extraction of certain types of mineral ores. The company aims to displace smelters and roasters, which generate immense amounts of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide and enable the processing of waste ore and the development of uneconomic deposits.
UBM had a contract with NASA through the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program to advance the development of biological in situ resource utilization for NASA’s space exploration programs. The proposal was to build a foundation to use synthetic biology to engineer microorganisms to extract metals from naturally occurring extraterrestrial regolith. Regolith is a layer of loose deposits covering solid rock, that includes dust, soil and broken rock present on Earth, the Moon, Mars and some asteroids.
John W. Shield
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- Cluster: BiotechnologyA cluster of topics related to biotechnology.
- Cluster: Clean technologyA process, product, or service which reduces negative impacts on the environment while offering competitive returns for investors and customers. Clean technologies provide solutions which reduce energy usage, use sustainable resources, or protect the environment.
- Cluster: Synthetic biologyA cluster of topics related to synthetic biology.