E85 Boondoggle of the Day: Meloncholy, Baby

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

Move over corn. There’s a new sheriff in Ethanol City and his name is Watermelon. Every year, famers leave about 800 million pounds of watermelons to rot; the fabled orbs simply weren’t perfect enough for persnickety melon buyers. According to Automotive Fleet, USDA scientists in Lane, Oklahoma are converting melon juice from the abandoned fruit into ethanol. Researchers have determined that a 20-pound watermelon can yield about 1.4 pounds of sugar, which can be converted into ethanol more easily than corn. Allegedly. Common Sense Agriculture, a small biofuels company in College Station, Texas, is developing an in-field, watermelon-to-ethanol conversion machine for next season. They don’t say how much ethanol the equipment will have to produce to offset the fuel used to get to the melons, make the conversion and transport the liquid back to base. Here’s hoping this doesn’t lead to any watermelon riots, as Fourth of July and Labor Day picnickers protest a shortage of their fruit of choice.

Frank Williams
Frank Williams

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4 of 16 comments
  • Wsn Wsn on Sep 01, 2009

    I would vote for converting broccoli and grapefruit to fuel. Leave corn and watermelon alone.

  • Wsn Wsn on Sep 01, 2009

    The real problem is at the core of the American electoral system. Voters are not equally represented by their votes. Should use a simple "majority wins" system and then there won't be any need for recount. The rural population won't hold the entire nation hostage.

  • Dzwax Dzwax on Sep 01, 2009

    Our Government did not create this problem. They were sold this problem by special interests and lobbyists. Many drops could fill a bucket.

  • MMH MMH on Sep 01, 2009

    I prefer this method: Cut small hole in watermelon. Pour in vodka. Put watermelon in freezer for a day or so. Slice and enjoy!