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Booze Power

  • Posted by on August 22, 2010 in Energy
  • Looks like Scottish scientists have given whiskey lovers another good reason to enjoy a few fingers of scotch. Last week, researchers at Edinburgh Napier University unveiled a new biofuel made from byproducts of the whiskey distillation process. The biofuel, they say, can power regular vehicles without any special engine adaptations.

    There is a cruel irony associated with most biofuels -- while they pollute less than diesel or petroleum, demand for biofuels is spurring tropical deforestation, so they may actually do as much as environmental harm as good.

    This whiskey-derived biofuel avoids that pitfall. Not only that but it offers a potential new revenue stream for one of the biggest industries in Scotland.

    Aye, cheers to that.

    (Via PhysOrg)

    Photo: Bottles of whisky pass before light for scanning by workers at a bottling factory. (PhysOrg)

    "The new biofuel is made from biological material which has been already generated," said Martin Tangney, who is leading the research.

    "Theoretically it could be used entirely on its own but you would have to find a company to distribute it."

    He added the most likely way the biofuel would be used was by blending five or 10 percent of the product with petrol or diesel.

    "Five or 10 percent means less oil which would make a big, big difference," he said.

    The biofuel "potentially offers new revenue on the back of one Scotland's biggest industries," added Tangney.

    Richard Dixon, the Scotland director of environmental campaign group WWF, praised the new product, saying unlike other biofuels it could be made without causing "massive environmental damage to forests and wildlife.

    "Whisky-powered cars could help Scotland avoid having to use those forest-trashing biofuels.


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