Banana Peel Can Clean Up Heavy Metal Contamination of River Water

Researchers from the Biosciences Institute of Botucatu, Brazil, has found that banana peel can be used to pull heavy metals that contaminate the water. "Not only that. Its performance was better than other techniques," said Gustavo Castro, researchers from the Biosciences Institute.

Castro and colleagues dried banana peels. Then they mix the banana skin with water. The result, as described by Castro, clean water from the metal. "Metal stick to the banana skin,"explained Castro. He also added that the ability to attract metal banana skin over other materials.

Metal contamination in water is usually extracted using silica, cellulose, and aluminum oxide. Cleaning water is expensive and have side effects.

Although Castro has proven the ability of a banana skin, he has not been suggested for purifying water at home. Tap water usually contains no metal. Moreover, the layman may not be able to measure the metal content in water. The research results are published in the journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research is aimed at industry.

Besides bananas, researchers have also tried other crops, such as apples, sugar cane waste, coconut fiber, and peanut shells, to clean the water from toxins.