Gallery: Scottish Researchers Transform Whiskey into Fuel


Don’t drink and drive, but feel free to let your car party all it wants! After two years and $400,000, researchers at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland have successfully turned whiskey into fuel. The researchers were provided with the general products needed to make whiskey as well as the byproducts that typically result from production of the alcohol. They found they were able to make a form of biobutanol — which is 30% more efficient than ethanol — with two whiskey byproducts – pot ale and draff. Finally, a discovery worthy of a toast!

The EU has declared that biofuels should account for 10% of total fuel sales by 2020. We’re committed to finding new, innovative renewable energy sources,” noted Professor Martin Tangney, Director of the biofuel research centre at Edinburgh Napier University. “While some energy companies are growing crops specifically to generate biofuel, we are investigating excess materials such as whisky by-products to develop them.”

Pot ale is a liquid created from copper stills, and draff comes from the spent grains used to create whiskey. Each year the whiskey industry throws away 420 million gallons of pot ale and 410 million pounds of draff, and the researchers proved that this “trash” could be used to power vehicles successfully. Talk about an innovative way to save and create a cleaner fuel.

Via The BBC


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  1. Johnie June 1, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Ppl like you get all the brains. I just get to say tnhaks for he answer.

  2. World's Greenest Whiske... November 9, 2010 at 1:02 am

    […] are recycled on-site in a bioenergy facility: for example leftover barley grain will be used as biomass fuel. In addition, water reclamation measures will save up to 300,000 cubic meters of water per […]

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