Researchers say agave can be used for hand sanitizer
The University of Sydney research team discovered other uses for agave than producing tequila. A major finding in coronavirus crises and one that may be useful in the future. The researchers evaluated the environmental impact of ethanol produced from agave. They concluded that the plant outperformed corn and sugarcane in several environmental impacts.
More precisely, the study emphasizes that the yields of agave ethanol are similar to those of Brazilian sugarcane. It also consumes 46% less water than corn and up to 69% less than sugar cane. In addition to showing a lower amount of other water-related impacts.
These results open up new avenues and opportunities in agriculture and the biofuel industry. As agave grows in semi-arid areas, deserts can become potential agricultural areas for the plant. This is what the study indicates. And therefore potentially generate a completely new industry. Furthermore, agave is a plant that does not need irrigation or other cultivation techniques such as food.
How does agave relate to Covid-19?
The current coronavirus crisis may provide the boost that is so desperately needed: since ethanol is also a major ingredient of hand sanitizers – whose production is under increasing strain as manufacturers cannot cope with the increased demand induced by Covid-19 – agave could quickly become a viable industry as demand for its by-products increases.
These developments could make the agave plant a green solution to many of today’s pressing problems. If done correctly, agave could well be the supplier of a biofuel and a disinfectant in high demand in the future.
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