Producing approximately 5 million tons of citrus peel waste annually, the Florida orange juice industry has the potential to provide up to 60 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol for Sunshine State residents, according to Bill Widmer, a research chemist with the USDA-ARS Citrus and Subtropical Products Laboratory in Winter Haven.

"Where the process stands right now is we can break apart the complex carbohydrates and liquefy the citrus waste. Basically what we end up with is a four to five percent fermented stream -- or citrus beer. I use that term 'beer' loosely. You definitely would not want to drink that stuff." -- Bill Widmer, U.S. Citrus & Subtropical Products Research Laboratory, research chemist