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Development of an automated process to extract fibres from the waste of banana food production for exploitation as a sustainable reinforcement in injection- and rotomoulded products (Badana)
Start date: Jul 1, 2009, End date: Jun 30, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

18% of the European consumption of bananas is produced in Canary Islands. Around 10 million banana plants are grown annually in Gran Canaria. The fibre obtained from the superposed layers of the pseudo-stem is called badana. In the past, the banana plant waste was used as a support element for tomato plants, and, for some decades, it was used in handicrafts such as basket-making and artificial flowers. The plant waste was used as fodder for cattle and goats, but factory farming has replaced it by pre-digested fodder. Today, however, these vegetable wastes are deposited in ravines where they become decomposition material. An estimated 25,000 tonnes per annum of natural fibre is found in this waste.The BADANA project will develop a process to extract high-quality natural fibre from this waste and to exploit the fibres’ properties in polymer composites to be used in rotational- and injection-moulded products. This will be for the benefit of SMEs involved in the production of bananas and SMEs that supply OEMs and end-users with sustainable moulded composite products in the automotive, packaging, and consumer goods industries. This will provide the SMEs new market opportunities through satisfying the rapidly-growing demand of product manufacturers for ecoaesthetic (green) materials. The fibre production will be integrated in a food production cycle where a fish culture in dams provides water to banana cultivation. The fish will be fed with flour made from banana wastes. This provides a truly sustainable process of materials production that is complementary to existing food production practices and will not displace food production.

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