For those of us who aren't deathly allergic to all things banana, it turns out they have a use other than being sustenance and screwing up opposing players in Mario Kart. It turns out banana peels actually purify water. A new study shows that banana peels can pull heavy metals, such as copper and lead, from contaminated river water. Water engineers generally use aluminum oxide, cellulose and silica to rid water of heavy metals, but the way they actually work -- removing the heavy metals via the presence of acids -- is potentially toxic. Thus, banana peels (unless you are highly allergic to bananas), can be much safer than a bunch of acid.
Gustavo Castro, a researcher at the Biosciences Institute in Brazil, claims banana peels are not only safer than the regular methods, but are also more effective, which he and his team found through a study in which they ground banana peels and put them into flasks of contaminated water, as well as built water filters out of the peels. They found that the contaminants stuck to the banana peels in both tests. Of course, this doesn't mean one should soak a bunch of banana peels in their water -- especially since the levels of contaminants in the water in our homes are too low to matter -- but could lead to better filtration methods in the future.
(National Geographic via Neatorama)