I met Marco Cassin. He is the founder and one of the directors of Beleaf along with his father and someone else.They are based in Monaco.
Marco found a way to make a veneer from a waste by product of the Organic banana industry.
The veneer uses the core of the banana plant which is 30% of the plant stem, the fibre in this core is 10 times stronger than man made carbon fibre. They are trying to find a way to use the rest of the stem to make an MDF type board to bond the veneer to. For now they bond it to a formaldehyde free MDF.
If you didn’t know, the banana plant is a plant, not a tree. It is a bit like an asparagus, it shoots up and 6 months later produces bananas, then this is cut down and the cycled starts again. Normally the plant is burned or left to rot which produces CO2. It would be better to compost the waste, capture the bio gas to use for cooking then use the compost to feed the soil of the Banana plantations.
The veneer gets it’s natural colour from oxidation, being exposed to the air. Naturally it starts off totally pale, then turns different variations of brown.
The veneer is bound together using just it’s natural glues that are contained in the banana fibre, no extra glue is added.
In the factory, they minimise heat and electricity by prolonging the production process which means that they don’t have to use higher wattage more agressive machines. They don’t use water but instead produce a liquid that comes out of the banana core, this contains minerals and organic compounds that they use to fee the plants with to improove the soil. Marco says they want to be as low impact as possible.
Duncan Richards imports the Beleaf veneer to the UK.
What I particularly like about Marco is that he is actually interested in sustainability, he wants to produce the best, most natural product, it isn’t just a gimmick to jump on the green bandwagon. And I believe that because he chooses to use Organic bananas rather than traditional sprayed Bananas which he could easily do, and he prefers to slow down the manufacturing process and use less electricity rather than blast it and get it out as quickly as possible, maybe this comes from his Italian background where cooking of meals is a process when one takes their time and puts love into the mix.
This video below shows how amazingly flexible the banana veneer is.
My aim is to promote the use of such great natural materials.
29 April 2012
I would be pleased to Connect with you here:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CustomCarpentry
Facebook Business Page: https://www.facebook.com/customcarpentryuk
You Tube Channel: Search for “CustomCarpentryUK” or click here: http://tiny.cc/76moe
Twitter, search for “@TristanTiteux” here: https://twitter.com/
LinkedIn, search for “Tristan Titeux”
Alternativelly Search Tristan Titeux in Google for more.
[…] Or Organic banana veneer. […]
Iam a handpaper maker. Make paper from agro fiber waste such as Banana fiber, jute,pineapple fiber,
sisal, sunhemp e.t.c.,
Very much interested in this project. Can u guide/suggest how to go through.
It will be a very great help to all n contributing a part to save the environment.
Thanks n regards
What you do sounds interesting! I have not seen pineapple fibre paper before. Do you have a website?
I saw your work on bannana veneer and instantly became your fan.
i am a farmer in india and grow banana in 50 acres.
May i ask you for some helpon setting up a similar roject here in india on my farm.
please give your suggestions.
Hello Ravi, tell me more! And thanks for your nice message, you made my day. :o) Keep in touch on facebook? ecodesignerhome ecomaterials customcarpentryuk or my personal page tristantiteux
[…] with the material world. You can have a look at his blog to meet some other interesting people like Marco Cassin who creates veneer from a waste by product of the Organic banana […]
Sounds good! Thank you.
Where can I get Banana venner in Japan.
Please let me know the contact as selling agent for the Banana venner at Tokyo.
Thank you in advance.
I have no idea about banana veneer in Japan sorry!
Plaease let me know the contact as selling agent for Banana veneer at Tokyo Japan.
Thank you in advance.
Sorry Yoichiro, I don’t know anyone who sells Banana veneer in Japan. Contact the Italian veneer maker, they might know?
Hi Tristan Titeux,
Just sent you a FB friend request. As you can guess from my name, I am from India. My hometown also has lot of banana plantation. I would like to know the technology and investment amount to start similar veneer manufacturing unit in India.
Can you please help me by sharing details?
Great news! I hope you manage to find a way to make banana veneer. Did you get anywhere with it?
Dear Tristan Titeux,
We are maker of banana fiber from India. we are interested to take up this venner project here in India. we want to about technology transfer conditions and payment details. we are ready for any kind of partnership with your company.
Awaiting prompt reply.
Hello Arvind, That is great that you want to make veneer in india. I don’t make veneer, I just promote it, so you would have to ask the people who make it.
Best of luck
can the banana veneer be used to make a board in the same way they make plywood.?? from what’s known wood veneer are the ones used for plywood
Probably you can, but I don’t think it would be worth it because banana is used just as a veneer because it is very thin. So it is used to clad the outer skin of mdf for example to use as a decorative finish.
Dear Tristan Titeux,
we are seriously thinking to take up the veneer project in India, We approached an Australian company M/S Papyrus Australia Ltd for the Technology transfer and for licencing. But they denied our request. The Australian company is making Veneer as well as Veneer plyboards like Plywood. Can you suggest any other companies who is in the field so as to get more information and get the technology transfer.
I only know the italian company that is featured in the blog post. Beleaf