The Malaysian team turns pineapple waste into drones
The Malaysian team turns pineapple waste into drones

Malaysian researchers have developed a method for converting fibers from usually discarded pineapple leaves into solid materials that can be used to build UAV structures.

The project is led by Professor Muhammad Thureeq Hamid Sultan of the University of Putra in Malaysia and aims to research the sustainable use of pineapple droppings produced by farmers in the Hulu Langat area, about 65 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur.

"Through the invention of drones, we transformed pineapple leaves into fibers that can be used in space applications," the professor told Reuters in a seminar.

He explained that drones with biomechanics have a higher power-to-weight ratio than drones made of synthetic fibers, and they are also cheaper, lighter and easier to use.

If the drone is damaged, he said, the tire could be buried in the ground and decompose within two weeks.

He added that the prototype UAV can fly at an altitude of about 1000 meters and stay in the air for 20 minutes.

The research team hopes to develop a larger unmanned aircraft for a larger payload, including image sensors for agricultural use and aerial checks.

"Our mission here is to help industry and farmers increase their incomes and make their jobs easier," said (William Robert Alves) of the Malaysian Association of Drone Activists.

Before the project started in 2017, farmers threw or burned pineapple leaves after harvest, which could lead to air pollution.

Farmers now hope that the drone projects will encourage more innovation to create uses for the waste and increase their income through the sale of agricultural waste.

A pineapple farmer (Irwan Ismail) said: When it comes to health and economic problems caused by the Coronavirus, the company is desperate and has no choice but to increase its income.

The researchers hope the project, which was launched in 2017, will encourage other Malaysian scientists to make the most of their waste.

A pineapple grower said: 3 acres of land can produce 5 or 10 tons of this waste at a cost of $ 0.25 per kilogram, which means that this waste has a significant financial impact on society, especially people. Small groups of farmers.

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