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Scientists Crack the Secret of Turning Beer into Gasoline

“Brewtroleum” doesn’t just fuel your car—it helps protect the environment as you drive.

image via youtube screen capture

Leave it to New Zealand to come up with the one, and only, instance where the combination of “alcohol” and “automobiles” is actually a good thing. There, local brewer DB Export has developed a new type of eco-friendly biofuel, the sin qua non for which is, yes, you guessed it—beer.

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Algae Is the New Corn

Can pond scum power the world?

Biofuels like ethanol are the green-seeming answer to energy independence and climate change that environmentalists love to hate, with good reason. Growing corn for ethanol instead of food drives up the price of food around the world, eating up petroleum-based fertilizers in the process.

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Animal Poop Could Hold the Key to Better Biofuels

Biofuels come from breaking down plant matter, and digestive systems are quite good at doing that. But some creatures are better at it than others.


Scientists in search of better biofuels are increasingly poking around in the droppings of zoo animals. Ashli Brown, a biochemist at Mississippi State University, announced at a conference this week that she and her colleagues had found a biofuel-boosting bacteria in panda poop collected at the Memphis Zoo. And a team of Tulane University scientists found their butanol-producing bacteria after collecting samples from all manner of animal droppings at New Orleans’ Audubon Zoo. Why are scientists looking to zoo poop to improve biofuel production?

Because biofuels come from breaking down plant matter, and digestive systems are already very good at doing that. Ethanol, the most commonly produced biofuel, is a natural product of yeast’s digestive process. Yeast is very good at breaking down sugar, but plant material must be broken down to a simple sugar in order for the yeast to do its work.

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Banned Four Loko to Be Reborn as Fuel

So what's happening to all that leftover Four Loko, now that it's been banned? It's being turned into ethanol, of course.

So what's happening to all that leftover Four Loko, now that it's been banned? It's being turned into fuel.

A Virginia recycling facility called MXI Environmental Services is expecting "a couple hundred" truckloads of Four Loko and other alcoholic energy drinks. That's hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of cans.

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