Brewing up some whiskey and biofuel

Sounds like a joke, but scientists at Edinburgh’s Napier University in Scotland have come up with a process that creates biofuel out of the stuff left over when you make whiskey.  The ‘stuff’, also called pot ale and draff, are the byproducts from the distilling process – the pot ale is the liquid residue from the copper still, and the draff is the leftover grain. The researchers have taken the leftovers and used it to create butanol, which is a more powerful biofuel than ethanol – butanol gives you about 30% more power output than ethanol. The butanol can be used in regular cars with no modifications – something that’s known as a “drop in” biofuel.

The Napier University team that developed this biofuel have filed a patent and plan on starting a company to commercialize their process.  Sounds like a win-win.  Currently, the whiskey byproducts are simply thrown away.  By locating a biofuel plant right next to a whiskey distillery, you have a built in source of feedstock for biofuel – no new crops are needed for the biofuel.  The grain and other things that you use to make whiskey goes in one end, and out the other end comes whiskey and biofuel. You can’t do much better than that!

via: Discovery News

WordPress theme: Kippis 1.15