Citrus Peels: A Cheaper Way to Fill Up the Gas Tank?

Platte City, Missouri [Cattle Network] Thanks to recent hikes in gasoline prices, there is a renewed interest in finding a cheaper way to fill up the gas tank. Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Citrus and Subtropical Products Laboratory in Winter Haven, Fla. have been working on a potential substitute: citrus peels. In 1992, Karel Grohmann, then research leader of the Winter Haven lab, began researching the feasibility of converting citrus peel waste into fuel ethanol. Citrus waste materials are rich in pectin, cellulose and hemicellusic polysaccharides, which can be hydrolyzed into sugars and fermented into alcohol. Most of this dried peel residue–a total of 1.2 million tons annually in Florida alone–is currently marketed as low-value cattle feed, despite its relatively high processing cost. …
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