RANAU: The Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (Mosti), through NanoMalaysia, and Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM) will conduct a research collaboration to implement a phytomining project at the Kampung Monggis greenhouse here, says Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
The Science, Technology and Innovation Minister said the phytomining was the production of metal-active substances from high biomass plants, and the project was carried out under the NanoMalaysia Energy Storage Technology Initiative Programme (Nesti).
He said phytomining uses local native plants, namely Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi and Rinorea bengalensis, that will produce nickel and cobalt which are the active ingredients for lithium-ion type batteries.
"The findings of this phytomining research can conserve the limited supply of active materials in lithium batteries; it can also reduce the conventional mining activities of active materials to produce new lithium-ion batteries.
"The phytomining project involves battery sustainability, leading the development of sustainable battery technology in line with Malaysia's aspirations to become a high-tech country by 2030," he told reporters after visiting the phytomining site at Nickel Garden, Kampung Monggis here Wednesday (Oct 5).
Dr Adham said this phytomining research can indirectly make the metal mining sector sustainable through Phyllanthus rufuschaneyi and Rinorea bengalensis plants and other natural plants that will be discovered later.
He said the ministry will support activities to obtain intellectual property rights from the research and development activities of these species.
He also said the results of this cooperation are that all parties, especially the ministry, through NanoMalaysia Bhd, and Sabah via Sabah Parks as well as the Sabah Biodiversity Centre will make phytomining a key sector in the development of the country's expertise in the field of greenhouse mining.
"This agricultural sector is able to increase the income of rural communities by creating job opportunities while also contributing to the Malaysian economy, especially increasing the flow of income for metal farmers," he added. - Bernama