How Mango Peel can clean up Oil Contamination

Mangoes are one of the most popular fruits across the world. In addition to being delicious, pulpy and amazing, mangoes pack a host of health benefits too. According to a latest research, peels of mango could be used to break down oil sludge. The University of South Australia researcher Biruck Desalegn Yirsaw has proven that an extract of the fruit's peel can be used to fuse the material that can break down contaminated soil.

At present, boron hydride is used to fuse the material that can break down oil, or the soil is left contaminated. Yirsaw said the new plant-based nano-particles he created using dried, crushed, boiled and filtered mango peel mixed with iron chloride could combine a more efficient material that could remove 90 percent of toxins from soil. 

"It's not yet tried in the field but we used a field sample in the bench study and it showed more effect than the commercially available one," Yirsaw said. The same material that is synthesized by mango peel extract also removed 99 percent of the toxic form of chromium from contaminated water. The new discovery presents a sustainable, green solution for cleaning up oil pollution. 

Mangoes are high in iron, but Yirsaw said it was still not known precisely which bio-molecules were involved in breaking down oil. "It shows that potential where we can focus more to identify or know the more specific bio-molecules that are engaged in the synthesis of the nano-particles.”

Australian Mango Industry Association Chief Executive Robert Gray said 95 percent of Australian mangoes were sold as whole fruit rather than in products such as yoghurt or drinks, where the peel was removed. The mango industry would certainly support the development of uses of mango by-product that may come from processing mangoes.

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