Banana Peels and Water Purification

I love bananas and there’s nothing better for a bit of a boost in energy than a lovely cool banana. Well, now there’s an even better use for them – particularly the banana skins it seems. And the planet will thank us too. Anne Minard reported for National Geographic News on the interesting study undertaken to see if heavy metal contamination could be extracted from river water – with banana peels. And guess what – it actually works. With the heavily contaminated rivers and waterways in the US alone, we’d better be consuming those bananas fairly quickly I think if we’re to save our planet.

banana peels and water purification, Here is a snippet from National Geographic’s report:

Metals such as lead and copper are introduced to waterways from a variety of sources, including agricultural runoff and industrial wastes. Once there, heavy metals can contaminate soils and pose health risks to humans and other species.

Traditionally, water quality engineers have used silica, cellulose, and aluminum oxide to extract heavy metals from water, but these remediation strategies come with high price tags and potentially toxic side effects of their own.

Bananas, on the other hand, appear to be a safe solution. Banana peels also outperform the competition, says Gustavo Castro, a researcher at the Biosciences Institute at Botucatu, Brazil, and a coauthor of a new study on this new use of the fruit’s peel.

For the study, Castro and his team dried and ground banana peels, then combined them in flasks of water with known concentrations of metals. They also built water filters out of peels and pushed water through them.

In both scenarios, “the metal was removed from the water and remained bonded to the banana peels,” Castro said, adding that the extraction capacity of banana peels exceeded that of other materials used to remove heavy metals.

Previous work has shown that other plant parts—including apple and sugar cane wastes, coconut fibers, and peanut shells—can remove potential toxins from water.

The new study appears in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, a journal of the American Chemical Society.

Well I never!!! I wonder if we’ll all be encouraged to eat a banana a day to fix the rivers from now on… I can see a massive leap in the production of bananas if we’re to help fix the water problems in the world.

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4 responses to “Banana Peels and Water Purification”

  1. Eric H says:

    Sounds good if it really works. Question is how many bananas would be required on an ongoing basis and what happens to the skins with the heavy metals attached afterwards? How are they disposed of? Safely.

  2. yvesjmeulien says:

    I hope bananas will save us, but for the time being I can say Iam able to remove heavy métal from waters, with the Cartis Technology, and I can bring you solutions in case you may have such issues. Do not hesitate to ask me for further requirements. yjmeulien

  3. Sunil kataria says:

    sound very good, it will work .In India banana also known as Holy fruit as its never infected by bacteria.

  4. Donna says:

    yeah i agree with @Eric H. As i read the articles, i can only say that the minced peelings is mixed with the contaminated water. How can we dispose it? You know when you put the minced peelings with the water, was it supposed to mixed with water? what will happen since it mixed with water does it works like attracting the heavy metals and will just stay with the solution ? i was kinda confused thanks for reply.

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