Jessica Dailey

Research Finds Banana Peels Can Efficiently Remove Toxic Metals From Wastewater

by , 03/13/11

banana peels clean toxic metals from wastewater, banana peels, green wastewater treatment, eco friendly wastewater treatment

We’ve seen a lot of interesting and inexpensive green methods of cleaning wastewater: algae, sewage eating poo-gloos, and indoor wetlands, just to name a few. But a new method discovered by a group of scientists in Brazil takes the cake for innovation. The team found that minced banana peels quickly and effectively remove toxic metals from wastewater. In fact, the method works better than many leading chemical treatments, and the same batch of peels can be used up to 11 times!


banana peels clean toxic metals from wastewater, banana peels, green wastewater treatment, eco friendly wastewater treatment

Photo credit: Kensaku Kuranaga

With funding from the Sao Paulo Research Foundation, the group tested the material in removing copper and lead from water and measured its accuracy by comparing it to results from other materials, like Na-bentonite, AMP-modified silica gel, expanded perlite, and modified peanut husk. All of the testing on these materials was done in previous studies by different groups. For the nitty gritty details and equations, you can read the team’s full report here. The results showed that the banana peels function up to 20 times more effectively than other materials.

As the team points out, banana peels are very attractive as a water purifier because of their low cost and the fact that they do not have to be modified to work. While you would need a ton of peels to implement the system in a large treatment plant, it could easily be used in small scale batches where funding for water treatment is scarce.

Via Clean Technica

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4 Comments

  1. pasha yegor October 22, 2011 at 1:46 am

    it is true this method will suit to the nature. but what about the cost of the method?

  2. Dr.M.A.R.Iyengar April 28, 2011 at 2:36 am

    This is arguably a difficult question to answer.But anyway what does one do with industry wastes containing heavy metals, or RO rejects from drinking water purification units etc.accumulating in large quantities??.The safe solution would be to stow away such wastes, to exclude contact with water and other environmental media, so that these extracted metals do not enter our living environment, and poisoning the same again!.
    In the case of above process, the metal enriched banana peel, the simpler option could be to incinerate the same under controlled conditions of temperature-to exclude lead volatilization-,leading to a carbon ash, with the metals intact,which could be stored conveniently.

  3. pdinger March 11, 2011 at 9:53 am

    What do you do with all of the banana peels that are now contaminated with heavy metals?

  4. caeman March 11, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Once again, nature wins.

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