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Scottish Scientists Develop Biofuel From Whiskey

August 18, 2010

Scientists in Scotland unveiled a biofuel on Tuesday that will help power cars developed from the by-products of the distillation process of whiskey.

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

The biofuel uses the two main by-products from the whisky production process known as “pot ale” and “draff.”
 
The “pot ale” by-product is the liquid from the copper stills, and the “draff” is the spent grains that are the base used to produce butanol.

“The new biofuel is made from biological material which has been already generated,” Martin Tangney, who is leading the research, told AFP news.

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

He said that five or 10 percent of the biofuel could be blended with petrol or diesel.

“Five or 10 percent means less oil which would make a big, big difference,” he told AFP.

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, said the new product is unlike any other biofuels, and it also could be made without causing “massive environmental damage to forests and wildlife.”

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

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