Scots scientists create car biofuel from whisky by-products

Bottles of whisky pass before light as they are scanned by workers at a bottling house
Bottles of whisky pass before light as they are scanned by workers at a bottling house. Whisky lovers have another excuse to enjoy a dram -- scientists in Scotland on Tuesday unveiled a biofuel to help power cars developed from the by-products of the distillation process.

Whisky lovers have another excuse to enjoy a dram -- scientists in Scotland on Tuesday unveiled a biofuel to help power cars developed from the by-products of the distillation process.

Researchers at Edinburgh Napier University have developed the and filed a patent for the product, which they said could be used to fuel ordinary cars without any special adaptations.

The biofuel, which has been developed during a two-year research project, uses the two main by-products from the production process.

These are "pot ale", the liquid from the copper stills, and the spent grains called "draff", as the base to produce butanol which can then be used as fuel.

"The new biofuel is made from which has been already generated," said Martin Tangney, who is leading the research.

"Theoretically it could be used entirely on its own but you would have to find a company to distribute it."

He added the most likely way the biofuel would be used was by blending five or 10 percent of the product with petrol or diesel.

"Five or 10 percent means less oil which would make a big, big difference," he said.

The biofuel "potentially offers new revenue on the back of one Scotland's biggest industries," added Tangney.

Richard Dixon, the Scotland director of environmental campaign group WWF, praised the new product, saying unlike other biofuels it could be made without causing "massive to forests and wildlife.

"Whisky-powered cars could help Scotland avoid having to use those forest-trashing biofuels."


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Citation: Scots scientists create car biofuel from whisky by-products (2010, August 18) retrieved 10 April 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2010-08-scots-scientists-car-biofuel-whisky.html
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