Watermelon Juice May Be Next "Green" Fuel
Wayne Fish, chemist, at the Agricultural Research Service in Oklahoma has shown that ethanol fuel from watermelon juice may be the next 'green' fuel. Because consumers of watermelons only want melons that appear perfect, rejecting those that are misshapen or marred, many are left in the field to rot. Part of the appeal of watermelons, is the taste of the abundant sweet juice. Wayne Fish's research has shown that watermelons can produce substantial amounts of ethanol.
"If you figure a field of watermelon may yield somewhere between 60 and 100 tons per acre of watermelon, a fifth of that can be substantial," Fish said.
When he and colleagues were experimenting with extracting antioxidant compounds from watermelon juice, they realized the waste stream of sugary fluids could be a source of ethanol.
The researchers obtained yields of 23 gallons(87 l) per acre using reject watermelons. About 20% of watermelons normally are left in the field.