Manila, Philippines – A new plant in Zambales was discovered to have the potential of eating metal. The discovery was pioneered by scientists from the UP Los Banos. According to them, the plant has the capacity to abosorb metals of large amount. The said plant from northern Zambales is called Rinorea niccolifera (scientific name) and is known as a species of "hyperaccumulator" plants which is said to only have a total of 450.
The lead researcher and author of the said plant is Professor Edwino Fernandez. According to him, Rinorea nicclifera has the capacity to absorb 18,000 parts per million of nickel. With this, it is assumed to be absorbing more than a normal plant can do. In fact, it can absorb 1,000 times. Dr. Marilyn Quimado, Professor Edwino Fernandez’s colleage said that the studies can be found online through PhtoKeys.
During a press release, the team of researchers who discovered the said plant species said that the place of discovery was on the western part of Luzon Island. According to Augustine Doronila, the co-author of the study, the said that hyperaccumulator plants have the capacity to seize the development of green technology, among these are phytoremediatoin and phytomining.
The removal of heavy metals from contaminated soils by hyperaccumulator plants is called phytoremediation while with regards to how hyperaccumulator plants give way to harvesting and recovering of metals of commercial value in plant located in sites which are rich in metal is called phytomining. With the said discovery, the plant has the capacity to clean the soil and also gives way for mining of metals.
The researchers are still focused on studying more of the said plant for more benefits. This is good news in terms of our discoveries. There are so many benefits that we can get from the plant and let us look forward to more news about this.