Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gotta Love Those Melons...!


Do you get gas from watermelon? You could...check this out from the Houston Chronicle...!

LANE, Okla. — An Oklahoma-based chemist for the Department of Agriculture said his research suggests that sugars in the juice of watermelons can be used to make ethanol.

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

“Then some watermelon producers asked us to find something they could do with their cull watermelons,” he said.

Joel Tumblson, a watermelon producer in Rush Springs, said finding a use for cull or discarded watermelons would be “amazing.” He said he sometimes has to leave as much as one-fourth of his crop in the field each season because the melons are overripe, cracked, sunburned or misshapen.

“Right now we just feed them to the animals or plow them under,” Tumblson said.

Fish said there are advantages to using watermelons. Unlike corn, in which starch must be broken down before it can be fermented, researchers working with watermelons were able to begin the process at fermentation.

But a disadvantage: cost.

Fish said the picking and transporting the fruit, along with returning the finished product to a farm, can be pricey. He said the first step toward using watermelons for ethanol “is to invent a mobile fermentation unit” that could be moved from grower to grower.

Such a unit might not be far from completion. Jim Rausch, the president of Common Sense Agriculture, a Texas-based company, said he hopes to finish a pilot project next year that would simplify the ethanol processing sequence.

“We’re looking at a mobile unit that could be moved from grower to grower, that in a three-month season could turn out 20,000 gallons,” he said. “The whole production process can eliminate transportation costs.”

He said the goal is to turn a waste crop into something that is profitable for farmers.

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee. Can't do the patio today 'cause it's raining!

14 comments:

Rae said...

Very funny. You had me. Not exactly the gas I thought you were talking about. Now that would be unique - watermelon in the gas tank. What will they come up with next?

TEAM HALL said...

It still amazes me how much food we call "waste". Boggles my mind!
So it's indoors for coffee this morning, eh? All right! Do you happen to have any of those PB cups left?!?! hehe
You have a grand day, Jim!

HermitJim said...

Hey Rae...
Guess that means that we could start to use corn for food again without having to turn so much of it into ethanol...

Thanks so much for the visit today!


Hey Cath...
You got that right! I'll bet there are a lot of hungry folks out there that would take some of those extra melons as food, not caring if they were pretty to look at!

Come on with your coffee cup...and I'll get the PB Reese's, my friend!

vlad said...

Makign ethanol is a wonderful idea.
What we don't drink can be used for motor fuel. Ethanol is 99 octane.

Kyddryn said...

Well, now, brings new meaning to "The WWatermellon Crawl", doesn't it?

Good morning, Mister Hermit, sir - cool way to start the day!

It's been raining here, too...for which I am thankful. The local lake is still down a dozen feet or so (although up from the 20 foot deficit of this time last year!), and we're happy for every drop.

I haven't baked this week...but I've got some Thin Mints to share...

Shade and Sweetwater,
K

JoJo said...

Good morning my Special Friend,
Glad to hear about the rain. I hope it rains enough to help things out.
Gas from melons huh. maybe I should grown a patch help with my house on wheels.
I will be heading home today, don't know how long I will there. :)

HermitJim said...

Hey Vlad...
I wonder why someone didn't think of using the extra melons before? Maybe because it makes too much sense!

Hey, thanks for coming by, Vlad!


Hey K...
Bring on those thin mints! I like 'em...

Glad to hear that you're getting some water back in the lake. We really needed the4 rain here, for sure!

Thanks for coming by, K...


Hey JoJo...
It's supposed to rain all through the weekend, so I'm sure it will help a bit! We'll take what we can get!

You be careful on the road, OK?

Don't want anything to happen to my favorite girl!

Phelan said...

With the shear amount of people clicking over to my blog from this post, I thought you were talking about my melons. I have very nice melons you know, and am very disappointed to see that it was not my melons you were discussing.

;)

There are all kinds of things they can do with "unwanted" watermelons. Wine makers and jelly makers for starters. Sell these "unwanted" produce at a deep discount. It is tiring when people are unwilling to do their own research and find a solution to a problem.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phelan...
Sorry, but I wasn't talking about your melons! In fact, I don't know you well enough to even bring up your melons...I don't think!

Seriously, I'm glad you are getting some readers from here, but it's probably just because you always have something good to share with us!

I know I often learn something at your place...and I always enjoy the visit!

Hey, thanks for coming by today!

Off Grid Terlingua said...

interesting, you know it used to be common law to allow people to come into your field to gleen 15 % from any farm selling produce. I think that guy needs to advertise free water mellon when he needs to get rid of them. but that would probably start more problems than its worth.

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Not a bad idea at all. We are using more and more ethanol to keep our cars going so ahy not makit from old watermelons? Wouldn´t be a big thing over here though, it´s to cold here so we would never get overripe, not even ripe to begin with :-) :-)
have a great day now!
Christer.

HermitJim said...

Hey Off Grid...
Wonder if we could find something growing around Terlingua to use instead of melons?

I remember last year reading about a family that posted an ad in the local paper to let folks know that they could come and glean his fields...And they had so many show up, for two days they had to stop all harvesting around the farm just because of the crowds!

Hey, thanks for coming by today!


Hey Christer...
Guess you would have to find a substitute for the melons! Bound to be something you could use, right?

Thanks for the visit, my friend!

Diane said...

It is just amazes me to learn what else a "plant" can produce eh?
Now what about cabbage and or beans??It produces lots of gas for humans what about a car???

HermitJim said...

Hey Diane...Good point! Gotto be something there, right? Maybe we should research that...I'll make a pot of beans tonight as a start!

Hey, thanks for the visit today!