Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Save the world, have a dram

I always knew that strong drink was the answer to all our problems. Some Scottish scientists have come up with a biofuel that's 30% more efficient than existing ones, made solely from the waste products of the whisky industry - meaning that you won't need to grow fuel crops instead of food. And the air will smell wonderful.

Using samples from the Glenkinchie Distillery in East Lothian, researchers at Edinburgh Napier University have developed a method of producing biofuel from two main by-products of the whisky distilling process – "pot ale", the liquid from the copper stills, and "draff", the spent grains.
Copious quantities of both waste products are produced by the £4bn whisky industry each year, and the scientists say there is real potential for the biofuel, to be available at local garage forecourts alongside traditional fuels. It can be used in conventional cars without adapting their engines. The team also said it could be used to fuel planes and as the basis for chemicals such as acetone, an important solvent.
The new method developed by the team produces butanol, which gives 30% more power output than the traditional biofuel ethanol

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