Although pineapples are rich in vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants, and are considered one of the most important fruits in the world, the harvesting of this delicious and healthy fruit results in tons of pineapple leaves waste. Left to rot or burning it, this waste can release harmful chemicals and greenhouse gases that can cause serious environmental problems.
Therefore, NUS researchers have devised a simple and low-cost method of using pineapple leaf fibres to create ultra-light, biodegradable aerogels. When coated with specific chemicals, these biodegradable aerogels that can be used to keep fruits and vegetables for a longer period, and to remove toxic metals from wastewater, among a wide range of other applications.
According to an article on miragenews.com¸ these eco-aerogels can be reused, further reducing waste and improving sustainability. They can also be safely disposed into the environment without causing pollution.