Watermelon Juice to Become a Valuable Source of Biofuel
By August 27th, 2009Thursday, August 27, 2009 7:34 on
Wayne Fish worked with a team of research worker* at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s South Central Agricultural Research Laboratory in Lane, Oklahoma, US, to measure the biofuel potential of juice from ‘cull’ watermelons – those not sold due to cosmetic imperfections, and currently ploughed back into the field. He said, “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”.
As well as using the juice for ethanol production, either directly or as a diluent for other biofuel crops, Fish suggests that it could represent a source of lycopene and L-citrulline, two ‘nutraeuticals’ for which sufficiency demand currently exists to make extraction economically worthwhile. After these compounds have been removed from the ‘cull’ juice, it can still be fermented into ethanol.
The scientists conclude, “At a production ratio of ~0.4 g ethanol/g sugar, as measured in this study, approximately 220 L/ha of ethanol would be produced from cull watermelons”.
Original Source: Sciencedaily
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