Science

Tequila plant agave could produce cost-effective biofuel for farmers

The agave plant has long been used to make tequila, the drink often blamed for a big night, but it could now help produce a cost-effective biofuel for Australian farmers.

The plants are being grown at Central Queensland University in Rockhampton for a science project.

Scientists say the plants are hardy so they are well suited for drought conditions.

Associate Professor Nanjappa Ashwath says the stem of the plant is used to make alcohol but the discarded leaves could be used to make biofuel.

People have been using the stem for a long time, for decades, and nobody has used the leaves to produce bioethanol, he said.

It can take five to seven years for the plants to be ready for harvesting tequila, but researchers in Rockhampton hope the leaves will be harvested all year round to make bio ethanol — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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