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Agave Can Produce Effective Biofuels for Transportation

May. 25, 2020

The agave plant is known for the basic ingredients of tequila, but now scientists have discovered that it can be used as an environmentally friendly solution to Australia's transportation fuel shortage and hand disinfectant production. Our company provides 50ml tequila glass bottle.

A team of researchers from the University of Sydney, Adelaide University and the Exeter University in the UK analyzed the possibility of bioethanol production from Agave, high sugar, and succulent plant common in Mexico.

Currently, on the Atherton plateau in Queensland, Australia, MSF sugar, an agribusiness, is growing tequila as a source of biofuels. Daniel Tan, an associate professor of Agronomy at the University of Sydney who led the project, said the plant "is expected to have some significant advantages over existing sources of bioethanol, such as sugar cane and corn.".

Professor Tan of the University's Agricultural Research Institute explained: "tequila is an environmentally friendly crop that we can grow to produce ethanol-based fuel and health products.

"It can grow in semi-arid areas without irrigation; and it will not compete with food crops or demand limited water and fertilizer supplies. The agave is resistant to high temperatures and drought and can survive the hot summer in Australia. "

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"Our analysis highlights the possibility of bioethanol production from Agave grown in semi-arid Australia, which places minimal pressure on food production and water resources," said Dr. Yan Xiaoyu of Exeter University, who is responsible for life cycle assessment

"The results show that bioethanol extracted from tequila is superior to bioethanol extracted from corn and sugarcane in terms of water consumption and quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and ethanol production."

Tan said the study is the first comprehensive assessment and economic analysis of the life cycle of bioethanol. Bioethanol was produced in a five-year field trial of Agave in northern Queensland.

"Our analysis shows that with 5 years of Agave cultivation, the annual bioethanol production per hectare can reach 7414 liters," Tan said

The study also found that sugarcane yields 9900 liters per hectare per year. However, Agave outperforms sugarcane in many ways, including freshwater eutrophication, marine ecotoxicity, and water consumption.

The project points out that at the same yield, tequila uses 69% less water than sugarcane and 46% less water than corn. "This shows that tequila is the economic and environmental winner of biofuel production in the next few years," Tan added.

In addition, the researchers said that tequila's efficient, low water treatment process can also help produce ethanol for hand sanitizers, which is in high demand due to the popularity of COVID-19.

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