Whisky biofuel could power cars

* Scientists create fuel from whisky by-products * Cars don't need adaptation * Plans to make it commercially available...

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What Car? Staff
18 Aug 2010 14:47 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

Whisky could now find its way into your petrol tank after scientists at Napier University in Edinburgh made fuel out of its by-products.

The biofuel, biobutanol, can be used in cars without the need to modify the engine and gives 30% more power than bioethanol, the biofuel currently most widely used.

Biobutanol 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 product that can then be used as fuel.

With 1600 million litres of pot ale and 187,000 tonnes of draff produced by the malt whisky industry annually, the university claims there is real potential for the biofuel to be available on forecourts alongside traditional fuels.

Professor Martin Tangney, director of the Biofuel Research Centre at Napier University, said: 'While some energy companies are growing crops specifically to generate biofuel, we are investigating excess materials such as whisky by-products to develop them.

'This is a more environmentally sustainable option and potentially offers new revenue on the back of one Scotlands biggest industries.'

The university now plans to create a company to take the new fuel to market in a bid to make it available at petrol pumps.