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Scientist Develops Process To Turn Winery Waste Into Useful Compounds

September 23, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Australian scientists have figured out a way to turn the waste materials resulting from winemaking into biofuel and medicinal compounds. Most winery waste is sent to landfills because it cannot be used as animal feed or compost. Researchers investigating how to break down cellulose, pectins and lignins into simpler compounds found that various fungi use enzymes to degrade winery waste into soluble sugars. A 30-minute heat activated pretreatment helped break down these biomolecules. Fermentation takes one to three weeks, producing alcohols, acids and simple sugars with industrial and medicinal potential.
Avinash V. Karpe et al., "Optimization of degradation of winery-derived biomass waste by Ascomycetes", Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology , September 23, 2014, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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