• Edinburgh scientists develop biofuel from whisky
    Whisky by-products can be turned into biofuel, according to Edinburgh researchers

Biofuel Industry News

Edinburgh scientists develop biofuel from whisky

Aug 19 2010

The Scottish whisky industry could soon enter a new generation with the news that by-products from the distillation process can be used to make highly efficient biofuel.

Pot ale - the liquid that runs off from the copper stills - and the spent grains used, called draff, can both be processed to produce a renewable source of butanol.

Discovered by scientists at Edinburgh Napier University, the biofuel is 30 per cent more powerful than ethanol.

What's more, it can be used in petrol-powered cars without the need for the engine or fuel tank to be converted.

Professor Martin Tangney, director of the university's Biofuel Research Centre, says: "While some energy companies are growing crops specifically to generate biofuel, we are investigating excess materials such as whisky by-products to develop them."

Butanol was used as a fuel source in the early 1900s, the university notes, but was overtaken in popularity by cheaper petrochemical alternatives.

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