A novel way have been developed by scientists to use fibres from bananas, pineapples and other fruits to make a new generation of green vehicles.
Nano-cellulose material from bananas, pineapple, and other fruit can be used to make strong, light-weight, and more sustainable motor vehicle parts, the researchers found.
"The properties of these plastics are incredible," said study lead author Alcides Leao, Sao Paulo State University College of Agricultural Sciences, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
"They are light, but very strong - 30 percent lighter and 3-to-4 times stronger than the materials used today. We believe that a lot of car parts, including dashboards, bumpers, side panels, will be made of nano-sized fruit fibers in the future.
"For one thing, they will help reduce the weight of cars and that will improve fuel economy. They also will help us make more sturdy vehicles," Leao added.
Besides improving gas mileage, nano-cellulose reinforced plastics have mechanical advantages over conventional automotive plastics. These new plastics, for instance, are more resistant to damage from heat and spilled gasoline.