Company creates biofuel from whisky residue

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Alcohol and driving never mix -- unless you’re putting a new biofuel in the gas tank.

Edinburgh-based Celtic Renewables has shown what’s possible by driving a car powered by a biofuel derived from making whisky.

Their scientists developed a process to manufacture biobutanol from barley kernels and a yeasty liquid which are whisky byproducts that are usually thrown away.

Biobutanol also has an advantage over other biofuels. More of it can be included in consumer gasoline -- as much as 15 percent -- without requiring engine modifications. 

Martin Tangney, the president of Celtic Renewables and director of Edinburgh Napier University's Biofuel Research Centre, said it’s both a technical and business innovation.

 

"The whisky industry will now have a sustainable and reliable way of disposing of their residue," Tangney told Reuters. "Plus we’ll create a brand new industry out of something that has no value whatsoever."

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