Researchers Develop Technique For Turning Winery Waste Into Biofuels
Winery waste is composed of the skins, pulp, stalks, and seeds that are left over after grapes have been pressed. This waste cannot be used for animal feed or composted, so it typically ends up as toxic landfill. Researchers at Swinburne University of Technology have been investigating how to break down the grape waste and Ph.D. student Avinash Karpe has discovered four fungi, that when combined with a heat activated pre-treatment, successfully broke down grape waste biomass. This process resulted in the production of alcohols, acids, and simple sugars which could have industrial and medicinal uses. "We have demonstrated this technique in the laboratory, but this process can be scaled up to an industrial scale," stated Chair of Swinburne's Department of Chemistry and Biotechology, Professor Enzo Palombo. More information is available online.