Engineering PhD student Joel Chaney of the University of Nottingham has developed new fuel technologies using banana waste.
The usually discarded stalk, stem and skin of the banana are being used to develop banana briquettes which can be burnt in order to provide for cooking and heating. The research is aimed at communities in Africa where fuel is in short supply and bananas are grown as a staple crop. The banana waste is combined with sawdust or dried banana stems and pulped using hand-operated machinery.
After baking this mixture in an oven at 105 degrees – or leaving it to dry in the sun – it “forms an ideal fuel, burning with a consistent steady heat suitable for cooking.”