Fuel from water hyacinth

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People who maintain ponds and lakes will know how much of a nuisance water hyacinth is. Sure, this aquatic weed is nice to look at, but it is considered a pest in many countries.

Thanks to the researchers at Indian Institute of Technology – Kharagpur (IIT – Kharagpur), water hyacinth – which contains up to 50 per cent hemicelluloses – can now be used as an economical and abundant source of biofuel.

The research, highlighted in a recent issue of the Nature Scientific Reports, claims that the pore scale phenomena can be used to result in a four-fold increase in the yield of fermentable sugars and bioethanol from hemicelluloses.