Scotland, in the words of Ron Swanson, is where “where God’s chosen elixirs are distilled, barrelled, and prepared for consumption.” Now, it’s also where brilliant scientists are turning out high-quality biofuel.
Not just any biofuel, mind you. This stuff is born of the waste produced from the whisky distillation process. Called biobutanol, it’s made using draff (the residue of barley husks) and pot ale (a yeasty, carbohydrate- and protein-rich residue).
The whisky waste was supplied by the Tullibardine Distillery, a family-owned operation that’s been producing fine single-malt Scotch whisky for almost 70 years. Researchers with Celtic Renewables supplied the brainpower,
The liquid pot ale is combined with the draff and fermented. The biobutanol that’s produced can be substituted for gasoline. There’s no need for engine modifications as with some biofuels. Just top off the tank with biobutanol, turn the key (or push the ignition button), and drive away!
According to an article from the BBC, whisky distillers produce around 800,000 tons of draff and well over half a billion gallons of pot ale every year. Celtic Renewables is confident that’s enough to turn biobutanol production into a $130 million industry in Scotland alone. They hope to take their process to other major whisky- (and whiskey) producing nations, too, including India, Japan, and the good ol’ U S of A.
That’s great news, since this is the perfect modern fuel to power classic American vehicles like Ron’s trusty late-70s Ford F-Series and his beloved Buick Park Avenue… or whatever car real person Nick Offerman actually drives.
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