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Whiskey Biofuel FTW: Fine Beverage VS. Global Warming

Professor Martin Tangney, Director of the Biofuel Research Centre -- Photo: REUTERS

Professor Martin Tangney, Director of the Biofuel Research Centre — Photo: REUTERS

Captain Whiskey, he’s our hero… gonna take pollution down to zero…

As if whiskey wasn’t already awesome enough, scientists at Edinburgh Napier University have discovered a way to turn by-products of whiskey production into butanol biofuel. Like ethanol, butonal can be used as an alternative automobile fuel source. The scientists claim that butanol is superior to ethanol, with a 30 percent greater efficiency and power output. It can also be introduced to unmodified engines, unlike ethanol which requires engine modification.

The biofuel formula consists of “draff” (spent grains) and “pot ale” (the liquid from copper stills distillery equipment) — both wasted by the whiskey making process. Waste not, want not. Transforming these by-products into biofuel is both economically and environmentally fiscal, and for obvious reasons.

”Scotch whisky is world-renowned and one of Scotland’s biggest exports, so it is great to see plans that could not only help power the cars on our roads and reduce fossil fuel emissions but also help reduce the environmental impacts of the industry itself. The production of some biofuels can cause massive environmental damage to forests and wildlife. So, whisky-powered cars could help Scotland avoid having to use those forest-trashing biofuels.” — Dr. Richard Dixon, Director of WWF Scotland.

Fine Beverage saving the planet? I can get down with that …


  1. osumarko | Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    Kudos to you for the Captain Planet reference. I really like how this process can offset the fossil fuels involved in the making of the whiskey.

  2. Ashley Routson | Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    I love love love love love that this is happening. As both an environmentalist and a fine beverage revolutionary, this story really excites me.

  3. kristyn | Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    awesome! i would gladly drive a whisky by-product fueled car than a petrol one any day of the week of the year. hopefully i’ll get to see and drive this in my lifetime. in the meantime, me thinks i’ll have a dram in support and in cheers.

  4. Ashley Routson | Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    Oh I would totally drive a whiskey fueled car!

  5. the hoparazzi | Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    I read a funny quote on another site about this … something like “sorry officer, I wasn’t drinking … it was my car.”

  6. Natalie Morgan | Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    I would so rather dump whiskey in my car than down my throat. Eck.

  7. Daniel | Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    Super cool

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