Bananas a Fuel of the Future?
by Pat Hannen (Queensland Country Life) Damaged bananas and banana bunch stalks can be converted into a gaseous fuel by anaerobic digestion. — … The aim is to utilise a number of ‘waste steams’ as feedstocks in the future to generate a wide range of sustainable chemicals, fuels, synthetic rubber, cosmetics, detergents and textiles.
While the most common potential feedstocks mentioned are sugar cane bagasse, sorghum stover, algae and recycled waste/used lube oil, Growcom hopes that other feedstocks such as banana waste from the horticulture industry will be utilised.
More than 30 000 tonnes of bananas are grown in Australia each year, mainly in northern Queensland. About 20 per cent of the banana crop, some 60 000 tonnes a year, is damaged or bruised during harvesting and transport to packing sheds and cannot be sold.
Damaged bananas and banana bunch stalks can be converted into a gaseous fuel by anaerobic digestion, a process in which bacteria break down carbohydrates in the absence of air, producing a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide. READ MORE