What is the problem? The problem is that there is a lot of ocean pollution due to metal deposit into the ocean. The article I read was mainly about the Panama River in Brazil, which contains a lot of copper and lead. Copper and lead in water cause problems because they can be toxic to drink and cause damage to the kidney and liver. Lead can lead to physical and mental development problems for children. Also it can lead to high blood pressure.
What is the solution? BANANAS. As astounding as it sounds a Brazilian scientist and also banana lover called Gustavo Castro found that the nitrogen, sulfur and most importantly for this ‘product’, organic compounds (carboxylic acid) found in the banana skin can bind with the metals that are supposed to be extracted from the ocean water.
How does this work? Mr. Castro did some research and found out that the banana peel contains useful chemicals like nitrogen, sulfur and carboxylic acid. These are all capable of bonding with copper and lead which the river is full of and the people need to get rid of. When copper and lead bond with carboxylic acids a reaction takes place that knocks out or replaces the metals. This is because the acid is much stronger than the copper and lead found in the water.
Does it work? Gustavo Castro tried it with some colleges by first drying and mincing the skin and then he put them in jars with water from the river. They built filters by compressing the peel and then let the water through them. This seemed to work even better than some other ways scientists have tried to clean the water. Also you can use this filter up to eleven times befor it stops working.
Would we and the environment benefit from this technique? Yes, I strongly believe that using this would benefit the environment in large amounts as it would be a way to get rid of the waste we put into the water. Also bananas are generally very cheep, not hard to find and are not very rare. Additionally they don’t leave any chemical residue. Plus you can re-use them 11 times. However scientists do not advocate this cause for home use as there is a minuscule amount of metal found in water from the tap especially as there is sometimes even an extra filter build into the tap. Still this method could be useful in places where they do not have clean water. This method could provide them with clean and fresh water, which could solve dehydration problems and spare people from certain sicknesses.
Summary: The main idea of the article is that bananas have important chemical properties that help get rid of the unwanted chemicals from metals in the ocean and water. Copper and lead can be extracted from water by using the nitrogen, sulfur and carboxylic acids found in the banana peel.
Definitions: Residue– the remainders or deposit from the use Advocate– to agree/ encourage a cause in spoken or written form Minuscule– very small
Bibliography: Dolasia, Meera. “Banana Peels – The New Water Purifier?” DOGOnews. DOGOnews, 27 Nov. 2011. Web. 22 Sept. 2014. McFarland, Mark L., Tony L. Provin, and Diane E. Boellstorff. “Drinking Water Problems: Corrosion.” Drinking Water Problems: Corrosion (n.d.): n. pag. Drinking Water Problems: Corrosion. . Web. 25 Sept. 2014.