Wednesday, May 20, 2009

USDA studies Watermelons for Ethanol

USDA researchers are looking for a way to use blemished watermelons ususally left in the field. They estimate 20% of the total crop goes unharvested. They are also looking at other crops with simple sugars--such as sweet sorghum--that could be rotated with watermelons to supply biorefineries more consistently. This would be a vital part of making the plan work. Another important aspect is that valuable neutraceuticals could be extracted from the watermelons in addition to the sugars for ethanol. This would prabably provide the primary revenue stream.
Watermelons Tapped for Ethanol / May 20, 2009 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service: "On average, a 20-pound watermelon will yield about 1.4 pounds of sugar from the flesh and rind, from which about seven-tenths of a pound of ethanol can be derived."

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