Researchers at the Swinburne University of Technology have found a way to turn waste from wineries into compounds that could be used as biofuel or in medicine.
As the world’s sixth largest wine producer, Australia crushes around 1.75 million tonnes of grapes every year, almost half of which becomes waste. Unfortunately, grape waste has limited use as animal feed or compost, so this development could finally find a good use for the byproduct, and have a significant positive impact on our economy.
The process, which is being developed by Swinburne UTS PhD student Avinash Karpe, works by using four types of fungi to break down the grape biomass into simpler compounds, which could have medicinal and industrial uses.
Right now, the experiments have only proven successful within a lab, but with continued investment in this and other projects, Swinburne would be able to begin investigating methods for scaling up the process for real-world applications.
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[img source] N. Kennedy (CCA 2.0) bit.ly/1vH0vOF