Updated on July 29, 2020


Created on June 3, 2014

Universal Nut Sheller

Upcoming Update

The Universal Nut Sheller uses a hand crank to remove the shell from peanuts and other nuts.

Developed By Unknown
Content Partners


Product Description

The Universal Nut Sheller is a machine made of concrete with a metal hand crank that can be used to remove the shell from peanuts and other round nuts. The sheller can remove shells faster than by hand and can be used by women farmers to increase their crop production and income. The low price point makes the sheller affordable to low-income families.

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

The Full Belly Project sells the product to co-ops in Zambia and trains the producers on how to assemble, operate, and maintain the machine.

Manufacturing/Building Method

Mass produced by manufacturers that end-users partner with, or individually produced with the instructions/kits provided by The Full Belly Project Interview with representative

Intellectural Property Type

Open Source

User Provision Model

Details of design, construction and training along with basic materials can be purchased from The Full Belly Project. Interview with representative

Distributions to Date Status

As of 2017, 8 units were sold to families in Zambia, and 105 units were built by the Full Belly Project.

Shelling capacity (kg/hr)

50 kg/hr

Manual or motorized


Perforation sizes for nuts (mm)


Shelling efficiency (%)



Cement, sand, metal hardware

Varieties shelled

Peanuts, coffee, neem, shea nuts, jatropha

Nut breakage rate (%)

5 %

Design Specifications

The Universal Nut Sheller is made using a mold made of plastic, wood, and metal bolts. The mold is assembled and a mixture of concrete and sand is poured into the mold to create an inner and outer concrete cone. A metal bracket is attached to the outer cone and the inner cone is placed inside with a metal rod. A metal crank is attached to the rod and bracket. Nuts are poured between the inner and outer cones and the crank is turned to press the nuts between the cones to split open the shell. The nuts and shells are deposited out of the bottom of the sheller. The sheller can be adjusted allow for bigger or smaller nuts. Additional machines such as a modified bike or motor can be attached to the crank for more power.

Technical Support

Customers can receive support by contacting The Full Belly Project. Interview with representative

Replacement Components

The customer is responsible for creating replacement components using the construction kit supplied by The Full Belly Project or the instructions found in online manuals. The customer can also build a relationship with a local manufacturer whom they can contact to replace components. Interview with representative


The device is expected to last 20-25 years after which it should be dismantled and parts can be recycled Interview with representative

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

The manufacturer specifies that the sheller can shell peanuts at a rate of 50 kg/hr and that the sheller can shell any round nut.

Vetted Performance Status



Care must be taken to inform users of the dangers of cross-contamination between peanuts and biofuels. Since customers are capable of adapting the design, danger occurs if local materials are mixed with the concrete since it will make them weaker. Interview with representative

Complementary Technical Systems

Customers will sometime adapt the designs of the product to accomodate electric and petal power to increase production capacity. Interview with representative The Pedal Powered Agricultural Center (PPAC) can be added onto the Universal Nut Sheller to increase the amount of peanuts that can be shelled from 50 to 90 kg/hr.

Academic Research and References

Atiku, A. A., Aviara, N. A., and Haque, M. A., 2004, Performance evaluation of a bambara ground nut sheller, Agricultural Engineering International: the CIGR Journal of Scientific Research and Development, 6, pp. 1-18.

Raghtata, A. S. and Handa, C. C., 2014, Design and fabrication of groundnut sheller machine,  IJIRST, 1(7), pp. 38-45.

Compliance with regulations


Other Information

The Universal Nut Sheller has won the 2008 Purpose Prize, the 2006 Breakthrough Award, and the 2006 Ideas Award.

Leave a Reply

Explore similar solutions


February 16, 2021

Gradian Health Systems Universal Anaesthesia Machine

Read Solution


November 17, 2019

Solar Street Universal Solar

Read Solution


September 6, 2021

Alvan Blanch Groundnut Sheller Model GS100

Read Solution


September 15, 2021

Iketsetse Single Stroke Maize Sheller

Read Solution


April 27, 2023

Bici Desgranadora de Maíz

Read Solution


October 20, 2020

VIP Maize Processing Technology

Read Solution
All Solutions

Contribute to E4C's Library of Breakthrough Sustainable Development Technology Solutions

Suggest A Solution

Get more information about Solutions Library and its features.

Learn More

Have thoughts on how we can improve?

Give Us Feedback

Join a global community of changemakers.

Become A Member