Going Bananas

Richard Stanley, December, 2011

The kind of variations you, Paal and others are experiencing in attempting to combust such as a bannana peel, reflect much of the fine tuning we have to do when selecting agro residues even those of a particular species in different bioregions.. Intersting eh ? The notion that one could waash out soloubles such as potassium to make the bananna skin more combustible is well practiced in many plants at the local level. Its in finding and incorporating technico-cultural practices like this, that the more clever biomass briquette maker thrives. Combined with an analytical assessment of the process its a powerful tool eh ?

But you are not alone on the western front either:
A one Joel Chaney has recently completed his PhD in Mechnical Engineering at Nottingham University. Prior to that asn erhaps as part of it, he had been working on banana briquettes for some time in Africa. ( His crowning demonstration of the feasability of using the peels was in the briquetting of them and cooking with them to make …Banana fritters…

Less facetiously, Joel has done a wonderful technical analysis of the briquette combustion as a function of shape in the course of his studies…
Here is his email contact: Joel Chaney But I see that Marc kindly sent you more specific referencesto Joels work and to a BBC piece on him while at Nottingham.

At the same time a on Lee Hite, a professional engineer and woodworker, with Engineers without Borders in Ohio, US, has been working on technologies for processing agroresidues focussing on bananna bark --for briquetting. His efforts have culminated in new forms of simple hand operated presses, a chopper and grinder.
Lees site is;

Richard Stanley

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