…well not literally as I don’t want to be seen encouraging drink driving. No what I’m talking about is the fact that Scottish scientist have found a way to turn “pot ale” and “draff” into biofuel.

For those who have yet to go on a distillery tour the pot ale is the liquid from the cooper still and the draff is the spent grains. Therefore they are by products of the whisky industry, things that would otherwise just be disposed of.

The scientists from Napier University found they could make Butanol from the two main by-products at Glenkinchie Distillery*. There are copious amounts of both produced in the distilleries across Scotland, and cars do not need to adapt in any way to run on Butanol.

The main concern about some of the biofuels that are produced is that the organic material that is needed to produce this is a primary source and the planting of it takes up valuable arable land that could be being used to feed people. However, as the Napier scientists have discovered a use for otherwise thrown away products is the direction that biofuels should be looking. What organic waste is not going into either human or animal consumption anyway that could be used to this end? We can’t start planting the developing world to grow crops for our fuel while they starve.

* Yes, I have toured this East Lothian distillery in my tasting travels.

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