Don't Drive Drunk but Drive Your Car With Whiskey

This post is presented by SBE, the Society for Biological Engineering--a global organization of leading engineers and scientists dedicated to advancing the integration of biology with engineering.

Did you ever think that a bottle of Scotch whiskey would help transport you to your local supermarket?

Whiskey barrels at Springbank Distillary (via Flickr User Draig)

Well thanks to researchers at Edinburgh's Napier University, that scenario may not be too far from the truth. The university has filed a patent for the new biofuel, which is said to be 30% more powerful than traditional biofuels but doesn't negatively affect farmland, which has been a criticism of traditional, crop-based biofuels. Edinburgh's Napier University had this to say about how it's made:

It uses the two main by-products of the whisky production process - 'pot ale', the liquid from the copper stills, and 'draff', the spent grains, as the basis for producing the butanol that can then be used as fuel.

With 1,600 million litres of pot ale and 187,000 tonnes of draff produced by the malt whisky industry annually, there is real potential for bio-fuel to be available at local garage forecourts alongside traditional fuels.

Unlike ethanol, the nature of the innovative bio-fuel means that ordinary cars could use the more powerful fuel instead of traditional petrol.

Leading research on this new whisky-based biofuel is Professor Martin Tangney, Director of the Biofuel Research Centre at Edinburgh Napier University.

Read more about him and the research at Edinburg Napier University's news site.

Image of Whiskey Barrels via Flickr User Draig under Creative Commons License.


RGCook's picture

I just finished a mass balance on this research. I conclude that I become energy independent at 856.3 ml Crown consumed per day. I also am too drunk to drive so I think that factors in somwhere. That part needs more work.