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Nature’s Detox


Biomimicry,”the examination of nature, its models, systems, processes, and elements to emulate or take inspiration from in order to solve human problems” (Wikipedia) will hopefully be an important part of creating a sustainable society.  A good example of biomimicry just showed up in my inbox: using banana peels to clean up polluted water.

Turns out a Brazilian researcher (and banana-holic) Gustavo Castro has demonstrated that banana peels are able to remove toxic elements like copper and lead found in polluted water.  The compounds naturally found in the peel (nitrogen, sulfur and acids) filter and break down the nasty stuff.  And it works just as well as standard purification systems.

If the idea can be scaled up, this is very good news because it would allow towns and cities to detoxify their water sources in a way that is sustainable (you can always grow more bananas) and without the use of dangerous chemicals.  But, I wonder what the water tastes like at the other end?


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