Crop Waste for Energy
Whats are farmers to do with 800 million pounds of deformed, misshapen and just plain ugly looking watermelons? Well in 2007 they were simply just left to rot. All that crop waste has got to be useful somehow. That just sounds like such a waste when instead they can be used to produce ethanol. Crop waste for energy was then born as a possible solution of turning a waste product into something useful. The usual ethanol crops are corn, switch grass, sugar cane, and sweet sorghum. The sweet succulent summer fruit might be added to that list since a 20 pound watermelon can yield up to 1.4 pounds of sugar. From that scientists can produce seven tenths of a pound of ethanol from crop waste for energy.
So while that may sound like a small amount of ethanol you must consider that watermelons are not being grown as a biofuel crop. We are benefiting from a little boost in oil independence from leftover melons that would have gone to waste. This could be a great new market for watermelon farmers although research is still being done, it sounds like a wonderful and promising breakthrough.
Perhaps research could be done to benefit the waste of all crops. There are so many farmers out there that probably could benefit from the loss of their crops, which would be useful for our oil independence.
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