Researchers in Bangi, Malaysia, have found an innovative way to recycle and reuse waste from pineapples!
Normally, the leaves of these harvested fruits from the Hulu Langat region are burned, a process that contributes to air pollution. That’s why scientists were so eager to find a solution that would be better for the environment while also increasing income for local farmers.
Enter Professor Mohamed Thariq Hameed Sultan from Putra University. Mohamed has spent the past three years developing sustainable uses for pineapple waste, which ultimately resulted in his latest invention: an unmanned aircraft, or drone, made of pineapple fiber.
“We are transforming the leaf of the pineapple into a fiber that can be used for aerospace application, basically inventing a drone,” he told Reuters.
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Using an inexpensive method to extract the sinewy fiber from pineapple leaves, Mohamed created a drone that is lightweight and has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than drones made of synthetic fibers. It can fly up to 3,280 feet for about 20 minutes at a time, and perhaps most impressively, it’s biodegradable. If a drone becomes damaged or lost, it will break down in about two weeks.
Mohamed hopes to create even bigger drones in the future to carry heavier payloads.
“Our role here is to help the industry, the farmers, to increase their yield and make their jobs much easier,” said William Robert Alvisse of the Malaysian Unmanned Drones Activist Society.
Researchers like Mohamed have been working on this project since 2017, and their new innovation came at the perfect time! The additional income is especially important this year since farming businesses worldwide have been impacted by COVID-19.
It’s one thing to create new technology that’s better than what we have now, but it’s even more incredible to solve several problems at the same time! We need more eco-friendly innovations like this one!
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