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Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Banana Trunk Invention That Pays Off

On April 13th, 2010, The Star reported that two Malaysian students have won international recognition for inventing a simple device that removes spilled oil from water by using modified banana trunk fibre. The link is here.

This low cost device that they invented can come in very useful during multi-million dollar oil spills.

Banana plants are native to South East Asia and they grow abundantly in Malaysia; in the villages, jungles, along highways and open areas. Banana fruits are eaten raw or fried in batter. Banana flowers can be eaten raw or cooked in soups and curries while the leaves are used as wraps in cooking and storing food. In certain Indian and Muslim restaurants, rice is served on banana leaves. It makes the food taste better. In the rural areas, some farmers cut the banana trunks into small pieces and feed them to ducks, otherwise they will be chopped off and thrown away.

A banana plant flowers only once. The fruits grow in hanging clusters in tiers along a bunch. A bunch has 3-20 tiers while each tier has 3-10 banana fruits. The seeds are very tiny and it is easier to propagate by suckers that grow from the ground.

Isn't it great to know that our banana plant is multi-purpose ?

This is also my entry for Thursday Challenge Theme which is "Green".

Post publication update: I'd like to thank Andrea for highlighting to me that it should be banana plant, not a banana tree as it does not have a proper trunk.


  1. What a great accomplishment, removing spilled oil from water.

    I remember seeing banana trees when I was in Israel many years ago. We don't see them in New Jersey. My mother, who was born in Russia, never ate a banana until she came to the U.S. when she was 5. She said it was like a funny tasting potato.

  2. Banana tree is like the coconut tree, has so many usages beside just the fruits!

  3. Those tropical banana trees are so green and lush! They remind me of my visit to south India one year ago where I saw a lot of banana trees!

  4. Now you remind me that I haven't seen banana trees for quite some time. They are being rarer in cities.

  5. Hi, everyone. Thank you very much for the visit and nice comments.

    Khengsiong, I hope you'll believe me if I tell you that I can still see banana plants in the heart of KL city. Look out for them whenever you are near green areas where plants grow wild, e.g. near the mamak stalls, next to schools or while travelling along highways.

  6. The banana tree is a beautiful tree and your story was interesting! A great contribution to this weeks theme! :)

  7. Wonderful photo...and such interesting information! I love to be in places that these fabulous tropical plants grow...so lush and beautiful!

  8. That's a good discovery! :)

  9. Hi Autumn Belle, i saw the changes, hehe. I've seen some ornamental bananas during our photo shoot last Saturday, it is a pink one. I just dont seem to be excited resizing and posting these days.


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Autumn Belle


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