A Scottish company has unveiled the first sample of a biofuel made from Scotch whisky by-products.
The biofuel is produced from draff - kernels of barley which are soaked in water to facilitate the fermentation process in whisky production - and pot ale, the yeasty liquid that is left over following distillation.
The fermentation produces gases, and the broth is distilled to make three primary products. Researchers are excited about one of the main products made from the process: butanol. In fact, butanol has almost the same amount of energy as petrol does. Butanol has several benefits, such as being mixed with diesel and biodiesel. There is also a chance that butanol will be used for jet planes, rather than vehicles.
This process, called the Acetone-Butanol-Ethanol (ABE) fermentation, was first developed in the UK a century ago, but died out in competition with the petrochemical industry. However bio-butanol is now recognised as an advanced biofuel – a direct replacement for petrol – and the Scottish company is seeking to reintroduce the process to Europe for the first time since the 1960s, using the millions of tonnes of annual whisky production residues as their unique raw material.
UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “The UK is one of the best innovation nations in the world and since 2011 have pumped over £1bn into low carbon innovation alone”.

Source: Factor CO2

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