18 Aug 2010:
New Whiskey Biofuel
Is Developed by Scottish Scientists
Scottish researchers have developed what they call a “super” biofuel using by-products of whiskey production.
Employing a method similar to a 100-year-old process that produces butanol and acetone through the fermentation of sugar, scientists at Edinburgh Napier University
developed a process to
convert the waste from the whiskey-making process — pot ale, which is the liquid from copper stills, and the spent grains known as draff — into a fuel that can be used in automobiles and is 30 percent more efficient than ethanol. Given the enormity of Scotland’s £4 billion ($6 billion) whiskey industry, which produces 1,600 million liters of pot ale and 187,000 tons of draff annually, scientists say there is the potential for whiskey biofuel to emerge as a significant source of fuel for cars and even airplanes. “This is a more environmentally sustainable option and potentially offers new revenue on the back of one Scotland’s biggest industries,” said Martin Tangney, director of the university’s Biofuel Research Centre.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
e360 on Facebook
Donate to e360
View mobile site
Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscribe to our feed:
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
, winner of the Yale Environment 360 Video Contest, documents the work of African researchers monitoring wildlife in Uganda's remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Watch the video.