Could Waste Watermelons Be Used for Ethanol?

Watermelon Planning on serving watermelon at your Memorial Day picnic?

A group called Agricultural Research Service in Oklahoma has shown that your favorite summertime fruit may be able to serve another purpose: Fueling your car. ARS has proved that simple sugars in watermelon juice can be made into ethanol. Specifically, 20 pounds of watermelon would yield about 7/10 of a pound of ethanol.

For those concerned about the issues of turning food into fuel, we’re not talking about the watermelons at your picnic, but rather the 800 million pounds of melons with deformities or physical blemishes that make them unsuitable to harvest and sell. This portion — about 20% of the total U.S. watermelon crop — is simply plowed over after the harvest.

The Department of Agriculture now wants to look at ways to optimize the energy potential of waste watermelons through chemical and enzyme treatments. It’s all part of the push not only to wean the U.S. off foreign oil, but to diversify the type of crops used in biofuels.

Watermelons Tapped for Ethanol (USDA.gov via Autoblog Green)

Comments 

verby

Whether they are blemished or not you create a secondary demand for the product which impacts the market.

Scientists work to improve seed stock to reduce the number of unacceptable melons produced. This work increases the profitability of the farmer by allowing him to produce more melons on less land using less water. As time goes on the number of unacceptable melons will drop below 20%.

But you've created a secondary demand that will want that same 20% to continue to produce ethanol.

J

Maybe we should make cars run on methane gas, as long as someone gives gas, our cars can run.
This is just as logical as ethanol.

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