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Friday, December 17, 2010

Going bananas for energy in Africa


You've heard of "green" fuel. Now get ready for yellow as scientists have found a way to turn banana waste into a sustainable fuel source that could be relevant to many countries across Africa.
Banana waste
Rotting banana skins are mashed into a pulp, then mixed with saw dust
The simple, low-tech idea, was developed by researchers at Nottingham University.
They used banana skins to create briquettes that can be burned for cooking, lighting and heating.
It could alleviate the burden of gathering firewood, the dominant energy source in many parts of the continent.
This would help reduce deforestation, which makes a significant contribution to global climate change.
Go yellow
In some African countries, like Rwanda, bananas are an important and versatile crop, used for food, wine and beer.
But experts estimate that the edible fruit makes up just a small part of what the plant produces.


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