Scottish Scientists Discover How to Run Cars on Whisky (By-Products)

Researchers at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland have filed a patent for a type of biofuel made from by-products of the whisky distillation process. According to Physorg, ordinary automobiles wouldn't need extra parts or specifications to use the fuel.

The biofuel, which has been developed during a two-year research project, uses the two main by-products from the production process. These are "pot ale", the liquid from the copper stills, and the spent grains called "draff", as the base to produce butanol which can then be used as fuel.

"The new biofuel is made from 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."


In all likelihood, the whisky-derived fuel would be mixed (with diesel or petrol) rather than served to cars straight-up. But even at a rate of five or 10 percent, that could contribute to a significant decrease in fossil fuel useage—while also utilizing a product that would otherwise be discarded.

Photo (cc) by Flickr user Iain Watson