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Christmas trees could fuel cars of the future

Leftover Christmas trees from the festive period could be recycled to produce green fuel for cars, it has been suggested.

Researchers at the Dutch company DSM have suggested that five Christmas trees could produce as much as 20 litres of ethanol, enough to power a car for over 120 miles.

DSM spokesman Andre van der Elsen suggested that although it has currently only been studied in a laboratory, it will be a few years before it will be able to be commercially viable.

The technology involves the extraction of sugar from molecules stored within the fibre of the trees.

Nearly a million trees are thrown away in London alone every year, enough to make a significant amount of fuel.

Volkert Elaassan of DSM added: "We already have a working prototype of the system and we are planning the first large scale trials within a year."

Currently, all 33 London boroughs offer the opportunity to recycle Christmas trees.

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