Metals, engineering industry crucial in PH recovery: DOST exec
by Philippine Resources - June 16, 2022
Photo: Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary Rowena Guevara (File photo courtesy of DOST)
The metals and engineering industry has contributed much to the country's recovery efforts, an official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Wednesday.
"We can never disregard the contribution of the industry. We owe it to the metals industry to celebrate milestones and special accomplishments for without you, upstream industries will weaken," said DOST Undersecretary Rowena Guevara during the 1st National Metals and Engineering Conference held in Bicutan, Taguig City.
The metals industry has played a huge role in helping the country rise from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, she pointed out.
Guevara cited as an example the mass production and distribution of face shields for front-liners at the onset of the pandemic. The Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) did this through the plastic injection molding technology.
"The face shields, which were too costly because there was not enough supply at that time, were distributed all over the country through this MIRDC initiative," she said.
Another contribution was the use of the Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT) to ferry front-liners to and from work in Cauayan, Isabela, for free.
HERT is an alternative mass transportation designed and developed by the MIRDC. It was already turned over to the city of Cauayan. Currently, present, Cauayan and Ilagan cities have plans to fabricate new HERT units to be used as mass transportation alternatives. (Read: Ilagan City to fabricate hybrid road train)
Last year, the DOST launched two facilities at the MIRDC: the Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMCen) and the Advanced Mechatronics, Robotics, and Industrial Automation Laboratory (AMERIAL). Both facilities feature industry 4.0 technologies.
"Through the AMCen and the AMERIAL, we are already able to serve MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) and the academe. We started to encourage the establishment of partnerships that advocate R&D (research and development)," Guevara said.
The agency, according to her, has been providing an enabling environment to let researchers access modern technologies and unleash their innovative ideas.
Guevara called on researchers to o continuously engage in R&D, scientific paper writing, and research presentations.
"We can be like highly developed countries through R&D," she said as she emphasized that R&D is a powerful driver behind a successful metals industry.
Meanwhile, Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) executive director Enrico Paringit said the industry must also consider harnessing emerging technologies to make the industry more competitive.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are among the emerging technologies, aside from additive manufacturing, sensors, quantum computing, virtual reality, etc.
The DOST targets to broaden the curriculum on AI and conduct training programs to upskill the workforce on AI, he said. By Ma. Cristina Arayata
Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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Marcelle P. Villegas - June 29, 2021
Renewable Energy project with German Biogas Tech and METPower Venture Partners
To support the Philippines’ renewable energy transformation initiatives, a comprehensive training series on biogas technology was launched by a German biogas technology provider -- Lipp GmbH, and the German Biogas Association (GBA), along with German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI / AHK) [Deutsch-Philippinische Industrie-und Handelskammer]. Their training series covers the functionality, use and maintenance of biogas system in the Philippines.
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Philippine Resources - July 01, 2022
Sampulna cites need for more mineral processing plants to boost PH production
Photo credit: DENR - Mr. Jim O. Sampulna Former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna pushed for the establishment of more mineral processing plants and utilization of rare earth deposits to help increase the country’s mineral production and revenue generation. “Mineral processing plants make the mined mineral ready to use for application. For example, limestone, if processed, will become cement, which is ready to use for construction,” Sampulna cited. “If we have more of these plants and more minerals will be processed in the country, then its value will increase even more than 100 percent, and lesser raw materials will be shipped out to other countries, like Japan or China,” he said. The DENR-Mines and Geosciences Bureau has so far issued 108 mineral processing permits, most of which are for construction materials. Likewise, Sampulna proposed the identification of rare earth elements (REEs), such as scandium and yttrium, in operating mines. Sampulna, who was the former DENR undersecretary for mining, said that these metals are essential parts for many high-technology devices. “The Philippines is conducive to these minerals. It could contribute to the national government through the identification and utilization of these commodities. To date, there are only a few operating mines which have identified REEs,” he said. Sampulna cited that a proposed iron mineral processing plant in Zamboanga had its groundbreaking ceremony on June 18, to support the DENR’s initiatives toward self-utilization of mineral commodities in the country. “We hope that investors will push for the opening of more processing plants in the Philippines,” he said. He also assured Filipinos that the DENR will continue to strengthen its regulation and monitoring of mining operations to ensure sustainable and responsible mineral production in the country. Article courtesy of Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Philippine Resources - June 29, 2022
DENR Awards MGB with Plaque of Appreciation for the Success of the Boracay Island Rehabilitation
Photo: The MGB Boracay Island Rehabilitation Team together with former DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu Four years after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) spearheaded the rehabilitation of the Boracay Island, the DENR Acting Secretary and Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) Chair Jim O. Sampulna CESO I awarded the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) a Plaque of Appreciation for its valuable contribution to the success of the Boracay Island Rehabilitation during the BIATF’s culminating event on June 16, 2022. Boracay Island is one of the most developed and densely populated karstic islands in the Philippines. The extensive alteration of its natural landscape, as well as the alleged discharge of wastewater into the sea, posed a major environmental concern, prompting its temporary closure on April 26, 2018. The BIATF then launched the rehabilitation of Boracay island to safeguard its sustainable development. As part of the BIATF, the MGB team, led by Lands Geological Survey Division (LGSD) Chief Liza Socorro J. Manzano, was composed of technical personnel from the LGSD of MGB Central Office and the Geosciences Division of MGB Regional Office No. VI. The team conducted studies on hydrogeology, coastal geohazards, karst subsidence hazard, and geophysical investigations using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and georesistivity. The highly specialized studies sought to provide a holistic understanding of the island’s karstology and the impacts of tourism development to ensure that the rehabilitation efforts of the government are predicated on the ecological sustainability of the small island karst. Ultimately, the results of the GPR investigation on pipes discreetly disposing wastewater and polluting the seawater of Boracay which resulted in the discovery of their existence and eventual dismantling of the same is a "game-changer" relative to the implementation of science-based strategies and crafting of policies for appropriate wastewater and solid waste management in the island. Article courtesy of the MGB
Philippine Resources - June 28, 2022
The Fault with Cobalt: Overcoming the Challenges of Battery Metal Exploration
upply Co., Inc. Cobalt is an important element used to manufacture rechargeable batteries. Cobalt has unique properties that help improve thermal stability, which is critical for the batteries to function properly. It also helps improve some batteries’ energy density, so they can last longer. The demand for cobalt is high, so geologists need fast, accurate tools to help them meet these requirements. Portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) analyzers are one of these tools, as they provide on-the-spot material chemistry results. Why Choose Portable XRF for Cobalt Exploration? Portable XRF provides rapid, in situ, multielement geochemistry for immediate results in the field. This is useful for greenfield and brownfield exploration, ore grade and process control, environmental monitoring and remediation, and researching/teaching within the geological/environmental sciences. For battery metal exploration, portable XRF provides decision-quality data faster than traditional, lab-based XRF, and also enables more discriminatory laboratory sampling, helping reduce costs and improve ROI. With sample preparation, pXRF produces high-quality quantitative data that is comparable to laboratory analysis. Challenges with Analyzing Cobalt XRF is prone to inter-element interferences. Iron (Fe) on cobalt (Co) and nickel (Ni) on cobalt (Co) are two common examples. This means that when a lot of iron is present, it becomes difficult for XRF to identify cobalt at low levels. Likewise, the presence of nickel also makes it difficult for XRF to ID cobalt. Unfortunately, cobalt is routinely explored for in the presence of significant amounts of iron and nickel. To solve this challenge, we developed a GeoChem method for Vanta™ pXRF analyzers that offers improved analysis for battery metals exploration by being able to detect cobalt in the presence of iron and nickel. This innovative method overcomes the interference that has historically made it very difficult for portable XRF analyzers to detect cobalt in the presence of these other elements. The method we developed for the Vanta analyzer is built on the current GeoChem method, but with a more sophisticated way of deconvoluting the iron/cobalt/nickel peaks. Before deploying this solution, we tested it on client samples to make sure that it produced good results. Test Results We analyzed 16 samples with high iron content—9% < Fe < 50%, 50 ≤ Co ≤ 6000 ppm, Ni < 500 ppm. We also analyzed 50 samples with a moderate amount of iron—0.5% < Fe < 15%, 16 < Ni < 8000 ppm, 50 ppm < Co < 2.3%. The samples were pulps in XRF cups, and they were analyzed using 60 seconds per beam with no corrections. The graphs below show excellent agreement between the results obtained from a lab and results obtained using a Vanta portable XRF analyzer, indicating that the modified GeoChem method can accurately detect the presence of cobalt when it’s in the presence of both large and moderate amounts of the interfering elements iron and nickel. Geologists now have another important tool that they can rely on when exploring for new sources of this vital element.
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