Rejected watermelons that are currently plowed back into the field due to blemishes or misshapenness—and therefore deemed unsalable—could be used to drive your car.
Results published in the open access journal Biotechnology for Biofuels show that the juice from these culled watermelons can either be efficiently turned into ethanol or used as a diluent for other biofuel crops.
“About 20% of each annual watermelon crop is left in the field because of surface blemishes or because they are misshapen. We’ve shown that the juice of these melons is a source of readily fermentable sugars, representing a heretofore untapped feedstock for ethanol biofuel production,” explains lead author Wayne Fish with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory.
Fish also says that watermelon juice is a source of lycopene and L-citrulline, two ‘nutraeuticals’ (a word-combination of nutrition and pharmaceuticals) that are in high demand in the health-foods’ market. After these compounds are removed to be sold, the juice can still be fermented into ethanol.
Citation: Wayne W Fish, Benny D Bruton and Vincent M Russo . Watermelon juice: a promising feedstock supplement, diluent, and nitrogen supplement for ethanol biofuel production. Biotechnology for Biofuels. August, 25, 2009.
Biofuel company eyes dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico for creating fish-powered fuel
(08/18/2009) ‘Dead zones’ in the ocean are called such for a reason. Every year agricultural run-off, especially fertilizer, floods the oceans with an abundance of nutrients leading to algae blooms, i.e. massive explosions of phytoplankton. The demise of these blooms, and the rise of bacteria feeding on them, eventually starves the entire area of oxygen creating a ‘dead zone’ where the vast majority marine life can’t survive. Considered by most to be an environmental catastrophe, a new company is looking at dead zones in a different light: fuel and profit.
Beer waste to be used for home biofuel production
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