Engr305 peanut sheller project

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Revision as of 07:06, 4 February 2008 by MariaC (talk | Contributions) (New page: {{305inprogress|May 15, 2008}} ==Background== This project stems from an established organization called The Full Belly Project. This group has provided the universal peanut sheller to s...)
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Engr305 Appropriate Technology page in progress
This page is a project in progress by students in Engr305 Appropriate Technology. Please do not make edits unless you are a member of the team working on this page, but feel free to make comments on the discussion page. Check back for the finished version on May 15, 2008.


This project stems from an established organization called The Full Belly Project. This group has provided the universal peanut sheller to several communities with the vision of reducing hunger in the developing nations. There are general guidelines on how to make a peanut sheller, but they can and should be adapted to the local materials in specific communities.

The sheller was first created by Jock Brandis, who realized the need for a mechanized peanut sheller on a trip to Africa. Peanuts provide a wide range of benefits, from preventing soil erosion to being a primary source of protein, but the women of the village felt that the work of shelling nuts was too labor intensive to grow them on such a scale. Brandis then promised to return in a year with a way to shell the nuts faster and easier, thus spawning the creation of the universal peanut sheller.[1]

Description of Opportunity

The project that I am undertaking is the creation of a peanut sheller. It will be used in a developing nation where the diet is largely dependent on peanuts or other shelled nuts. The country where my sheller will be used has not been chosen as of yet, but will most likely be used in Africa or Asia. The machine will be most useful in villages where a considerable amount of time is used to process peanuts.

The peanut sheller will be used to expedite peanut processing. By being able to shell more than one nut at a time, the peanut sheller will increase production while at the same time cut down on the time spent on it. It must be made form local materials without much difficulty and have a lifespan of at least fifteen years. The use of local materials is very important because they will be used in villages where the resources and materials are taken from the local environment. Therefore, it will also be adapted to the specific location of where the sheller will ultimately be used. The lifespan of the machine is also important; it should last a fairly long time without having to be replaced. Otherwise, the users will be spending more time fixing or replacing the machine, which will add to the workload when it is supposed to reduce it. It should be easily replicable and simple to use. If it is not easy to operate, people will have a hard time adapting to it and will be less likely to use it. The ability to make multiple machines will give the users more freedom to choose when they do the work instead of having to wait for a turn or delegate a person to the task.

The people who will benefit most from this machine are the women of these countries whose labor spent on shelling peanuts will be dramatically reduced. The hours of saved time could be used for other responsibilities or obligations. It will also save women from tedious work that is exhausting to their hands. Versions of it are currently used now in several countries, primarily in Africa, and the reception of the sheller has been positive. The success of the existing peanut shellers reinforces the need for such a machine.


  1. The Full Belly Project[1].