Agave waste could be turned into paper
A new project has found that cellulose in agave waste from Tequila and mezcal production could be extracted and turned into paper and cardboard.
The Yucatán Center for Scientific Research (CICY) has developed the process, with funding from Conafor, Mexico’s National Forestry Commission, and believes that Tequila and mezcal producers could benefit.
At present, Tequila and mezcal distillers discard around 500,000 tonnes of agave fibres each year.
Gonzalo Canché Escamilla, project leader, told Mexico News Daily that 180,000 tonnes of that waste could be used to extract cellulose, which can then be used to make paper.
He said a pulping process was used to remove unwanted components from the fibre, leaving the cellulose behind.
The resulting ‘artisanal’ paper could then be used by small Tequila and mezcal producers in their day-to-day operations, he added.
This latest Tequila innovation follows the filing of a patent by a scientist who claimed to have developed an Indian version of Tequila made using a plant from the agavaceae family.