Watermelon Waste for Fuel

The tasty summertime treat may be great for more than snacking.

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Memories of juice dripping down your arms from digging into those summertime watermelon wedges may be slightly altered. Researchers from the journal, Biotechnology for Biofuel, are positing that watermelon juice, combined with other feedstocks, may make for an eco-friendly ethanol biofuel. Growing watermelons specifically for this purpose is not in the plans, however. The report explains that 20 percent of each annual watermelon crop is left in fields because of odd shapes or bruises, and concentrating the juices two- to three-fold could serve as sole feedstock. These unwanted watermelons could be used for three different functions in ethanol biofuel production: as a promising feedstock supplement, a diluent, and as a nitrogen supplement.

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