Every summer, hundreds of thousands of tons of watermelons are transformed in garbage because they aren’t good enough for marketplace. A new research says that the juice extracted from these watermelons could be used to the biofuel production.
According to the researchers, the watermelon juice could be used as a “diluent, supplemental feedstock, and nitrogen supplement” with other biofuel crops or it can be fermented and used directly. This juice could serve an economic and health purpose in that capacity as well if it is used as a supplement to other crops. From watermelons could be produced the L-arginine (an amino acid that is critical for the production of nitric oxide) and neutraceuticals lycopene (found to be important to prostrate health). After all these the waste juice can be used for ethanol production.
Every year 20% of the annual watermelon crop doesn’t go to market due to bad spots, imperfections, or weird shapes. The researchers claims that they could be very useful as a renewable energy source. “The results of this investigation indicate that watermelon juice as a source of readily fermentable sugars represents a heretofore untapped feedstock for ethanol biofuel production. The 8.4 t/ha of unmarketable watermelons left in the field at harvest would produce about 220 L/ha of ethanol for on-farm use or as an additional revenue stream for the grower.”
Watermelon juice contains about 35 umol/ml of free amino acid, and bout 10% directly fermentable sugars which can be fermented to produce biofuel.