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Lumber Liquor Wood Fermentation Without Heat Turns Biomass into Tasty Alcohol

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In Japan, researchers at Japan’s Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute found a way to produce an alcoholic drink made from wood and hope to have their "wood alcohol" on shelves within three years. Using similar wood fermentation as what is used to produce biofuel, they were able to remove toxins and make it flavorful. Their method pulverizes the wood into a creamy paste, adds yeast and an enzyme to start the fermentation process without using heat which preserves the specific flavor of each tree’s wood. They have used cedar, birch and cherry thus far. Four kilograms of cedar wood gave them 3.8 liters of liquid, with an alcohol content of around 15 percent which is similar to Japan’s sake.

Researcher Kengo Magara this month told Japan Today (Tokyo, Japan), "We thought it would be interesting to think that alcohol could be made from something around here like trees. Japan has plenty of trees across the nation and we hope people can enjoy wood alcohols that are specialized from each region."

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