Jan 22, 2011

Science Scene - A slippery proposition?

Just when you thought that banana peels were destined merely to be the tormentor of cartoon characters and video-game go-kart racers, science has finally found a use to nature's most slippery litter. 

It turns out that peels can clean dirty water, too.

A chemist named Milena Boniolo from the Federal University of São Carlos, near São Paulo, has made a discovery that could potentially save thousands of banana peels from the garbage heap. When dried and ground into a powder, says Boniolo, peels have the ability to clean up polluted water.


For Boniolo, inspiration for finding a practical use for banana peels came after seeing so much of them going to waste. She estimates that her city's restaurants alone discard around four tons of the stuff each week. If her technique is implemented, it could be a low-cost alternative to the expensive methods used by industries currently -- which often use things like magnetic nanoparticles to clean water.



  1. Wow ... I wonder what possessed them to think of testing the various uses of a banana peel.

  2. I have read a lot about the use of Banana skins and I bury them in the garden near the plants as they are supposed to be good for the soil ~ Ally x

  3. Interesting! I'm impressed.

  4. Neat! I have long believed that there is an answer for most every dilema hidden in nature.

  5. Love the inovative folk, who can think much above my head. Sounds like a great idea.

  6. Have no clue. SOme people uses these in gardens for compose. Someone told me that if you put it near your roses, it'll grow nicely. MIne didn't do well last year. We'll see if they do this year.

  7. This is great news. Water insecurity is a problem that affects more people in the world than lack of oil does. Places in African can be irrigated and grow food and people can be able to cook and consume fresh water.


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