The Crotchet’s Corner

My perspective about all things inconsequential

No more slipping on a banana peel

The ubiquitous banana is a tasty and relatively inexpensive fruit that offers several health benefits.  Tropical by origin, it represents a significant source of income for several countries, particularly in Africa.

 A tonne of bananas, however, generates an estimated ten tonnes of waste (skins, leaves and stems), which is a bit of a shame.

 Parts of the banana tree do get used – the leaves are used to eat food from, and the stem is used as a vegetable in certain parts of the world.

The peels have no function unless you want to slip on one (and provide merriment to watchers).

Banana peel1

I read recently that a new use has been found for the peel, and, for that matter, some of the other stuff from the tree. Pioneered by a PhD student and supported by researchers at the University of Nottingham, an alternate use has been found – the conversion of this waste into briquettes that can be burnt for lighting, cooking and heating.

The creators of these briquettes claim that no machinery is required, that the process is very simple, and the end product is a fuel source that is fairly efficient and cost effective.

This would be a good energy alternative, and would reduce the rapid deforestation that is taking place, particularly in some of the biggest banana-producing countries like Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi, where more than 80% of current energy needs are met from burning wood.

The researchers are prepared to give the idea away for free.

If this means one less banana peel to slip on, it’s certainly no bad thing.

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May 13, 2009 - Posted by | About this and that | , , ,

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