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When I was in college, I got a job as a student researcher in my Engineering department. My job was to research coconuts. My professor was trying to find ways to turn coconuts into value-added products. The goal was help promote economic development in countries like Papua New Guinea where coconuts are plentiful but are not fully utilized. We researched all aspects of coconuts and how they can be used. As a result, I gained a lot of random knowledge about coconuts. So I thought that I would share some of the more interesting things with you. Here are some unusual uses or coconuts.

Step 1: Coconut Husks: ​Medium Density Fiber Boards

The husk of a fresh coconut is made of very strong fibers. The material between the fibers has a high lignin content. This lignin can act as a natural glue. All you have to do is shred the coconut husk and press it into a mold. Then heat it up to a few hundred degrees and it will turn into a solid board that is similar to medium density fiber board. You don't need to add any additional glue or filler. It can be made from 100% coconut husk. This can be used for construction just like regular fiber boards. Coconut boards are even being considered for use in car floor boards.

If you are interested in the science behind this process, you can check out the attached pdf of a paper by one of my former research partners Stanton Greer.

<p>Something else interesting-There are groups out there that harvest coconut shells and turn them into a very efficient charcoal.</p>
I have four tall coconut trees and when they fall it sounds like a natural disaster or something happening outside. When I mow the lawn outside under them I ar least hold a hand over my head. I figure the chance is slim but I dont want to take it
I also fear of a falling coconut when i mow my aunts lawn. I always try to take them down or keep an ear just in case but a helmet is the best option now that i think about it.
<p>FANTASTIC ideas!<strong> thank-you for sharing</strong>!!<strong> :^D </strong></p>
<p>My dog, Yobo, likes to tear apart coconuts after they've fallen from the tree and dried a bit. The shredding fibers act as dental floss, naturally cleaning her teeth beautifully.</p>
<p>coconut oil is also very good as part of a wood polish. I melt pure beeswax, add coconut oil. When it melts clear, take off the heat (an old pan in another pan of boiling water) then add olive oil and pour into an old jar and allow to cool. It takes a couple of goes to estimate the quantities. The polish should be easy to wipe out of the jar with a soft cloth, though I find it easier with my fingers. Rub liberally onto the sanded wood surfaces, allow to soak in in a warmish room for about an hour and polish, beautiful.</p>
<p>I do the same thing, mixed up a batch 3 years ago and it's wonderful, no petrol chemicals. I like to heat up the wood in the oven first for easier penetration. </p>
<p>heat the wood sounds like a good idea. Do you apply the polish while the wood is hot? How hot should the wood be and does it vary on which wood it is? Bet you wish you hadn't mentioned it!!</p>
<p>I heat up the oven to 170F which on my oven is as low as it goes, I do this for metal stuff as well, same temp. I use driftwood cedar that I dye. The photos show different ways that I heat the coconut oil mix, melt off the excess with a heat gun, and apply it to heated wood. Just depends on how many I have to do as to which technique I will use.</p>
<p>Very interesting posting, thanks! One point, where I have to be a grammar-Nazi, step six should be coarse not course.</p>
Thanks Ithica now I do understand the meaning of protein and nutrition bars.Thanks for your valuable guidance.I will try my best If I could prepare it at home.<br><br>Regards<br>Johnny
<p>see my reply below to Dennis T33. You could pretty easily do this. Best of luck! Hope your injury heals quickly :)</p>
<p>For those with an abundance of coco waste, one word: biochar</p><p><a href="http://biochar-international.org/biochar/" rel="nofollow">http://biochar-international.org/biochar/</a></p><p>#32 save the planet</p>
<p>Excellent point! Bio char is easily made with many materials, but coconut husk is a perfect medium for this because of its porosity. Easily exported in bags, and readily usable on a small or large scale farming or gardening operation. Also easily turned into activated charcoal by adding the next step, then creating filters for areas suffering impure water sources. japneet singh, you might look into this. Small scale, heat over a fire in a large tin with a few holes poked into it. Look for the instructable on how to make your own charcoal, and you will have the beginnings of an easy to do business!</p>
<p>I use coconut oil in/on everything. Sauteed onions....scrumptious. Oatmeal... I enjoyed this info very much. And I'd like to mention that fresh coconut water is nearly identical to breast milk and has been used when necessary. </p>
<p>Another use of a cleaned out, half of a coconut shell is to stretch your plantar fascia muscle on the bottom of your foot. Put the 1/2 shell on the floor, cut side down, and step on it, manipulating your foot and how much weight you place on it til you feel the stretch. . </p>
<p>If any of yu want to try any of this, I currently have 42 coconuts growing on the tree in my yard. You just have to come get them. Oh, did I mention they are 25 feet in the air?</p>
<p>Karenw50 - I hope you are being careful and avoiding the falling coconuts! This was an informative, yet funny article. I love coconuts but it's hard to get a good one in the supermarket here in Indiana!</p>
<p>The coconut husks are used to make an erosion control fabric.</p><p>http://www.shoreline.msu.edu/shorelinemgt/erosion-control/</p>
<p>Ah I love the cycle attachment..are they available on a well known website? I guess it could get a bit noisy if everyone had one... </p><p>As someone who got hit by small child on a bike it could provide a good early warning system though..I still panic after a year and wish they all had little bells to gently alert you from behind!</p>
<p>Hi I am 57 yrs old chef and now unemployed due to mild fracture on the spinal cord disc.You have given me a new hope by yr research on coconuts waste.Can you suggest me a small project which I can start at home and earn my bread and butter and also could send products for exports if I succeed. Saranjit Singh my e.mail saranjitsingh330@gmail.com my whatsapp no is 91-9717846535.New Delhi,India. I shall be ever greateful to you.Waiting for your early reply. </p>
<p><a href="http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Coco-monkey-Parrot-Parakeet-Fun-Coconut-Foraging-Toy-/231980446685?hash=item36031cb3dd:g:p1EAAOSwMNxXYank" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Coco-monkey-Parrot-Parak...</a></p><p>That is where the money is my dear friend</p>
<p><a href="http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Coco-monkey-Parrot-Parakeet-Fun-Coconut-Foraging-Toy-/231980446685?hash=item36031cb3dd:g:p1EAAOSwMNxXYank" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Coco-monkey-Parrot-Parak...</a></p><p>That is where the money is my dear friend</p>
<p>As a chief try creating a food bar/nutrition bar/protein bar that is cheap taste good and does not contain large quintiles of sugar. </p>
Hi Ithica thanks for your valuable guidance.I understand being a Chef but space is required for bars etc which is very expensive in India and also need lot of finance.I just desire to do something from my home.As I am without job from 10 months reason being had a mild fracture on the spinal cord disc for which I was unable to sit,stand and sleep for long time.<br><br>Regards Johnny from New Delhi,India
<p>I guess you misunderstood ithica2012's meaning of bar in &quot;food bar&quot;. The meaning that he uses is this: &quot;a <a href="http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/solid_1" rel="nofollow">solid</a> <a href="http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/block_1" rel="nofollow">block</a> of a <a href="http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/substance" rel="nofollow">substance</a> such as <a href="http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/chocolate" rel="nofollow">chocolate</a> or <a href="http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/soap_1" rel="nofollow">soap</a></p><p>a <a href="http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/chocolate" rel="nofollow">chocolate</a> bar</p><p><strong>bar of</strong>: <br></p><p>a bar of <a href="http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/soap_1" rel="nofollow">soap</a>&quot;</p><p>You seem to be using another meaning of bar which is: &quot;a <a href="http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/place_1" rel="nofollow">place</a> that <a href="http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/serve_1" rel="nofollow">serves</a> <a href="http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/food" rel="nofollow">food</a></p><p>a <a href="http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/sushi_1" rel="nofollow">sushi</a> bar</p><p>a <a href="http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/sandwich_1" rel="nofollow">sandwich</a> bar&quot;</p>
<p>I think the most money is made with the sale of pet products made from coconut shell.</p><p>You will find very expensive toys made from coconuts for pets like parrots on-line.</p><p>This one is sold on ebay for &pound;22 !!!!!</p><p><a href="http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Coco-monkey-Parrot-Parakeet-Fun-Coconut-Foraging-Toy-/231980446685?hash=item36031cb3dd:g:p1EAAOSwMNxXYank" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Coco-monkey-Parrot-Parak...</a></p>
<p>I think the most money is made with the sale of pet products made from coconut shell.</p><p>You will find very expensive toys made from coconuts for pets like parrots on-line.</p><p>This one is sold on ebay for &pound;22 !!!!!</p><p><a href="http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Coco-monkey-Parrot-Parakeet-Fun-Coconut-Foraging-Toy-/231980446685?hash=item36031cb3dd:g:p1EAAOSwMNxXYank" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Coco-monkey-Parrot-Parak...</a></p>
<p>wow! What a lot of terrific information! Thank you! :)</p>
<p>In the Caribbean, the coconut shells are also used to make costume jewelry, even painted on. The coconut shell is also used to make containers and drinking cups complete with its own stand. These are usually etched with designs and coloured.</p>
<p>Let's see: Use for intravenous hydration or oral diuretic. Hunh???<br><br>By the way, if coconut 'water' is sterile, how can it ferment IN the nut? Must be some of that spontaneous generation stuff of the 19th century.<br><br>There are some interesting ideas in this instructable, (I like #1), but there are a couple that make me say &quot;hunh?&quot;.<br><br>Paul</p>
<p>You would have to be living in the tropics to know the FULL potential of coconut water and the other uses of the coconut. Although each tropical country/island uses the coconut differently. As the nut gets older, and the meat gets thicker, the water does ferment in the nut, that it is undrinkable. Fresh coconut water is what is used as a sports drink, and also as an intravenous liquid. Coconut milk and oil are made from the coconut meat. Personally, I like the coconut water when the meat is a little thicker, and the fermentation is at an early stage - that is when the water begins its slightly fizzy stage - delicious!!</p>
Hi ithica thanks for your valuable guidance.I will definately try.<br><br>Regards<br>Johnny
<p>Excellent compilation! I live in South India, and see a lot of coconut in daily use - its abundantly available and grown all over!. One of my favourite uses is a maraca (a percussion musical instrument with seeds inside), and also as the common-man's liquor (coconut fenny from Goa, India :)</p>
<p>I once saw the hood of a truck get destroyed after the guy parked it in the shade of coconut tree. It only took one coconut too. Lovely and cool inside - but whole new hood required. You win some, you lose some I suppose.</p>
How does cocunut repeail fleas
Great instructable. I didn't realize half this stuff. I didn't realize that people get killed from those things in trees.
<p>The same thing happens with Brazil nuts. </p>
<p>I read that 150 die per year from falling coconuts.</p><p>If a guy could get his hands on some millstones you could probably grind the shells like they mill flour then make a variety of things like they have displayed on this site. Here in the U.S. I don't know how easy it would be to come by coconut shells though.</p>
<p>Nice but most require technology to apply. Meanwhile, the coconut tree and nut have so many uses that are not listed here and require virtually no complicated processing: for making a fire, all parts of the tree and nut are unparalleled, providing tinder, kindling, and fuel: a dry empty coconut including husk will burn hot and long. The meat was mentioned but is an excellent food source. In Central America, they cut a dry coconut incl. husk crosswise (at the equator) and use the rough fibrous surface to polish tile floors or any hard surface. </p>
<p>Sounds like you are on your way to be the George Washington Carver of the coconut! Nice I-bile!</p>
<p>This is actually really cool, I didn't realize how many things you can do with coconuts! But now I know!</p><p>Thank You! </p>
<p>What about the young coconut waste utilization ? because in my country many young head of waste that can not be utilized . tanks.</p>
<p>Have you thought about converting it to charcoal then taking it and mixing it with say cassava or other binding agent and making charcoal briquettes you can also mix the charcoal (biochar) into the soil to improve it. Charcoal making requires little in the way of equipment. </p>
That is one of the problems. In a lot of countries there so many coconuts that go unused that they become an agricultural wastet that needs to be dealt with. There just needs to be a system in place to process them into valuable product.s
<p>It seems to me that many of these countries have very poor soil (basically just sand) so if they they added the the coir (the hairy outside part of the shell) to the soil they could soon grow more valuable products like sugar to make rum or wheat to make 'summer' style beer. </p>
<p>May need a technology that can develop young coconut shell waste into a value more or mingkin alternative energy sources. If there who can create that is an appreciation of its own and certainly in some countries can adopt these technologies.</p>
Cut a hole in the bottom and use them as planters?
I use a four stroke 2 wheeler for my transportation .The mileage claimed by the company is in plus or minus49 .Once in a year I mix 20ml of coconut oil with 5liters of petrol(in petrol tank). The mileage increases. I dont no what causes the increase in mileage to55km/pl. Can anyone explain this?
What is the best, low-tech, way to shred the coconut husks? <br><br>...and don't try to remove the husks from a mature coconut with a knife (it's hard work, even with softer, immature nuts!) - the best way is to use a metal spike in the ground - a piece of scrap Y-12 re-bar works (sharpen a chisel point with a grinder, or just bash with a big hammer)

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Bio: My name is Jason Poel Smith I am a Community Manager here at Instructables. In my free time, I am an Inventor, Maker, Hacker, Tinker ... More »
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