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Banana peels purify contaminated water
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 16, 2011

illustration only

topic of the latest episode in the American Chemical Society's (ACS) award-winning "Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions" podcast series.

It actually points out that minced banana peel performs better than an array of other traditional purification materials.

Gustavo Castro and colleagues note in the podcast that mining processes, runoff from farms, and industrial wastes can all put heavy metals, such as lead and copper, into waterways.

Heavy metals can have adverse health and environmental effects. Current methods of removing heavy metals from water are expensive, and some substances used in the process are toxic themselves.

Previous work has shown that some plant wastes, such as coconut fibers and peanut shells, can remove these potential toxins from water. The researchers wanted to find out whether minced banana peels could also act as water purifiers.

They discovered that minced banana peel could quickly remove lead and copper from river water as well as, or better than, many other materials.

A purification apparatus made of banana peels can be used up to 11 times without losing its metal-binding properties, they note.

The team adds that banana peels are very attractive as water purifiers because of their low cost and because they don't have to be chemically modified.

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Notre Dame, IN (SPX) Aug 10, 2011
A paper co-authored by William Phillip of the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Menachem Elimelech, Robert Goizueta Professor of Environmental and Chemical Engineering at Yale University, appearing in this week's edition of the journal Science offers a critical review of the state of seawater desalination technology. Elimelech and Phillip an ... read more

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