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Drinking and driving is a bad idea, but drinking to help put fuel in the tank? That’s worth looking into.

Researchers at Edinburgh Napier University in the Scotland have come up with a new biobutanol development process that uses the whiskey by-products pot ale and draff. Pot ale, says the BBC, is the liquid from the copper stills, while draff is the spent grains. It makes sense to find a use for these by-products, since the whiskey industry generates 1,600 million litres of pot ale and 187,000 tons of draff a year. The research took two years and &ound;260,000 ($406,000 U.S. at today’s exchange rates).

WWF Scotland’s director, Dr Richard Dixon, told the BBC making butanol this way is an important step in the whiskey cycle:

Since the whisky industry relies on Scotland’s clean environment for its main ingredients it would be great if the industry could help Scotland reduce its emissions from road transport.

As we’ve noted in the past, butanol has more energy than ethanol and can be used in gasoline engines without modification, so it’s a win-win to make it from waste sources. The researchers say the next step is to get the whiskey fuel to refueling stations. We’ll drink to that.

[Source: BBC | Image: foxypar4 – C.C. License 2.0]

Cheers! Scottish researchers turn whiskey into butanol (sort of) originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Tue, 17 Aug 2010 11:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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