Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
Yes, we all know that thing about getting high from banana peels was a 1960's hoax, but this is the real deal. A team of researchers has found that minced banana peels can clean pollution from river water, such as lead and copper. Not only that, but they can do it more quickly and efficiently than conventional chemical water treatments. Okay, so you'd probably need a ton of bananas to clean up a big site, but the discovery does have some implications for small scale uses, especially where budgets are tight.

Agriculture

Toxic Metals in Your Water? No Problem, Have a Banana

Yes, we all know that thing about getting high from banana peels was a 1960’s hoax, but this is the real deal. A team of researchers has found that minced banana peels can clean pollution from river water, such as lead and copper. Not only that, but they can do it more quickly and efficiently than conventional chemical water treatments. Okay, so you’d probably need a ton of bananas to clean up a big site, but the discovery does have some implications for small scale uses, especially where budgets are tight.

researchers discover minced banana removes  metals from waterYes, we all know that thing about getting high from banana peels was a 1960’s hoax, but this is the real deal. A team of researchers has found that minced banana peels can clean pollution from river water, such as lead and copper. Not only that, but they can do it more quickly and efficiently than conventional chemical water treatments. Okay, so you’d probably need a ton of bananas to clean up a big site, but the discovery does have some implications for small scale uses, especially where budgets are tight.

The Mighty Banana Water Pollution Cure

The researchers, who were funded by the Sao Paulo Research Foundation, were looking for an inexpensive, non-toxic means of treating metals in wastewater.  Silica is one material with a lot of promise because of its efficiency as a metal collector, but in order to function it has to be modded out with expensive toxic chemicals.  In contrast, banana peels are efficient metal collectors in their natural state. The researchers also found that the same batch of minced peels can function effectively up to eleven times, without losing its ability to bind to metals.

Many Roads to Greener Water Treatments

Coconut fibers and peanut shells have also been identified as natural metal collectors with a lot of potential. It’s all part of the green chemistry movement, which seeks to replace conventional chemicals with safer, more sustainable ones. Some other examples are vitamin b12 and potassium lactate, a milk derivative. These are being developed as a means of removing volatile organic compounds from soil.

Greener Chemicals, Greener Processes

Another aspect of the green chemistry movement is the development of more sustainable water treatment equipment, like the new generation of nanoengineered ceramic water filters. New processes like ultraviolet light and ultrasound will also come into play, though ideally the energy needed to power this equipment would have to come from a sustainable source.

Image: Bananas by toddalert on flickr.com.

 
Check out our brand new E-Bike Guide. If you're curious about electric bikes, this is the best place to start your e-mobility journey!
 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Advertisement
 
Written By

Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

Comments

You May Also Like

Cars

Liuzhou, China has the highest percentage of EV sales in the world except for Oslo, Norway. How did it do it?

Clean Transport

Originally published on Transport & Environment. By Eoin Bannon The global shipping fleet will be required to reduce its carbon intensity by just 1.5% a year...

Air Quality

After President Richard Nixon proposed establishing the U.S. Environmental Protect Agency on July 9, 1970, Republicans have assumed some level of responsibility for cleaning...

Fossil Fuels

Rather than strengthening the desperately outdated Lead and Copper Rule to protect people’s — especially children’s — health, the US Environmental Protection Agency chose...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.