Saturday 16 December 2017

Scientists invent whisky 'petrol'

A sample of Biobutanol, a biofuel made from by-products of the whisky industry
A sample of Biobutanol, a biofuel made from by-products of the whisky industry

Scientists have said they had created a new biofuel made from whisky by-products which could be used to help power cars currently on the road.

Edinburgh Napier University has filed a patent for the product, which can be used in ordinary cars without any special adaptions, scientists said.

The biofuel has been developed over two years by the university's Biofuel Research Centre.

As part of the research the centre was provided with samples of whisky distilling by-products from Diageo's Glenkinchie Distillery in Tranent, East Lothian.

The biofuel uses the two main by-products from the whisky production process - "pot ale", the liquid from the copper stills, and "draff", the spent grains, as the basis to produce the butanol that can then be used as fuel.

The university now plans to create a "spin-out" company to take the new fuel to the marketplace.

Professor Martin Tangney, who is leading the research and is director of the Biofuel Research Centre, said: "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."

The £260,000 research project was funded by Scottish Enterprise's Proof of Concept programme.

Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: "This pioneering research is testament to Scotland's world-class science base and demonstrates how Scottish Enterprise helps to transform cutting-edge knowledge into successful new high-growth sustainable businesses for Scotland.

"By proactively taking innovative ideas from the laboratory to the global market place, Scotland can continue to compete at the highest level and successfully boost its economic recovery."

Press Association

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