Watermelons could be turned into ethanol

LANE, Okla. (AP) - An Oklahoma-based chemist for the U.S. Agriculture Department says sugars in the juice of watermelons could be used to make ethanol.

Wayne Fish works with the department's research service laboratory in Lane. He says his research began two years ago during a study on how to enrich watermelons for their effect on health.

Watermelon producers asked researchers if they could find a use for cull or discarded watermelons, which Fish says led to the discovery.

He says there are advantages to using watermelons instead of corn to make ethanol. Unlike corn, in which starch must be broken down before it can be fermented, the watermelon researchers went directly to fermentation.

But he says one disadvantage of using watermelons is the cost of picking them, transporting them and returning the finished product to a farm.
Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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