Don't throw that banana peel in the compost just yet: It could help clean toxic stuff from river water, Brazilian researchers reported online February 16 in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. Minced banana peel, pulverized into micrometer-sized pieces, successfully pulled copper and lead out of water, the team found. A wash with nitric acid recovered more or less all of the metal adsorbed, and the same batch of peels could be used 11 times before recovery rates started falling. The researchers also tested the peel in raw river water, with similar results. Other natural extraction materials, such as peanut shells, have been tried before, but the banana peel's effectiveness was better, closer to the metal-sopping power of widely used silica gels, which can be toxic.
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|Title Annotation:||SCIENCE NOTEBOOK|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Jun 18, 2011|
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