Car fuel to be made from whisky by-product

Posted on 25 Sep 2012

By-products from a Scottish distillery will be turned into fuel for cars in a process developed by Napier University in Edinburgh.

The Tullibardine distillery in Perthshire has collaborated with a spin-out company from Napier University in Edinburgh to develop the process.

The technique uses bacteria to feed on the “leftovers” from the whisky making process.

This produces butanol which can be processed into a form suitable to fuel vehicles.

According to a report by the BBC, more than 90% of the product that comes out of a whisky distillery is not whisky.

The leftovers – including pot ales and draff, the remains of the grain mash after fermentation – are high in sugar and are normally used to manufacture fertiliser and cattle feed.

The Biofuel Research Centre (BfRC) at Napier University has already shown that butanol is produced when the right bacteria feed on those whisky by-products.

The process has been developed over the last few years and there are several earlier reports of the viability of bio-butanol from whisky distilling.