How to run your car on bananas

Boffins at the University of Central Florida have worked out how to brew  ethanol from waste products such as orange peel and old newspapers.

Daniell’s technique  uses plant-derived enzyme cocktails to break down orange peel and other waste materials into sugar, which is then fermented into ethanol.

His method is apparently greener and less expensive than the current methods available to run vehicles on cleaner fuel.

Apparently he can run your car on sugarcane, switchgrass and straw although it does require new engines.

Currently corn starch now is fermented and converted into ethanol. But ethanol derived from corn produces more greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline does. Ethanol created using Daniell’s approach produces much lower greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline or electricity.

Apparently there is an abundance of waste products that could be used without reducing the world’s food supply or driving up food prices. In Florida alone, discarded orange peels could create about 200 million gallons of ethanol each year, Daniell said.

Her research also found a use for tobacco to producing the enzymes instead of manufacturing synthetic versions .

Tobacco is handy because it is not a food crop, it produces large amounts of energy per acre and now that people are packing in smoking the farmers have to work out something else to do with it.