Whisky Bottles (source: flickr/Mark H. Anbinder)Enlarge Photo
There seems to be no end to the number of organic materials that can be converted into usable biofuel to power a car. We’ve seen fuel derived from garbage before, a race car that ran on chocolate, and even a Volkswagen Beetle running on fuel generated from human waste, and now we have news of a biofuel developed from whisky by-products.
Developed in--you guessed it--Scotland, more specifically, Napier University in Edinburgh, the new biofuel can be used in any regular car without the need to modify the engine. Furthermore, the fuel is a biobutanol type that generates 25 percent more power than conventional bioethanol fuels used widely today.
The fuel is derived from two main by-products of the whisky production process; pot ale, which is the liquid from the copper stills distillery, and draff, which are the spent grains.
The major advantage of the whisky-based biofuel is that it is derived from waste products rather than newly grown crops, such as most ethanol fuels. Scotland’s malt whisky industry generates more than 1,600 million liters of pot ale and 412,000 tons of draff annually, meaning there is potentially a new revenue source on the back of one of the country’s biggest industries.
Its developers now plan to establish a private company to help bring the whisky-based biofuel to market, with the hope that it will eventually be available alongside regular gasoline and diesel at local gas stations.