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How ‘agromining’ — farming plants that contain metal — could help power the future – ABC News

These plants suck metals from the soil at amazing rates. Scientists hope farming the plants could provide an environmentally-friendly alternative to mining.

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When scientist Alan Baker made a cut in the side of an exotic plant in the Philippines jungle, the sap that bled out had a jade-green glow.
The shrub was a newly discovered species, soon to be known as Phyllanthus Balgooyi, one of a rare variety of plants that naturally suck high amounts of metallic elements from the soil.
The fluorescent sap turned out to be nine per cent nickel.
It was a welcome finding, but not a surprise, as Professor Baker’s research into so-called “hyperaccumulators” had already…

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