8 Jul 2017

One for the road: Scotch proof for whisky biofuel

11:08 am on 8 July 2017

The world's first car running on a biofuel made from whisky residue has had its first successful test drive in Scotland.

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The fuel, called biobutanol, is designed as a direct replacement for petrol and diesel and does not need the car to have its engine modified.

The fuel - made from kernels of barley called draff, and a yeasty liquid left over from fermentation called pot ale - was created by company Celtic Renewables.

Founder Martin Tangney said the byproducts were of no value to the whisky industry.

Almost 750,000 tonnes of draff and two billion litres of pot ale are produced by the malt whisky industry in Scotland every year.

"So what we devel was a process to combine the liquid with teh solid and used an entirely different trad fermentation process called the A.B.E."

"And it makes this chemical, which is called biobutanol, and that's a direct replacement here and now for petrol."

"This is the first time in history that a car has ever been driven with a biofuel produced from whisky production residues."

Prof Tangney said it was fitting the fuel was developed in Scotland.

BBC Scotland reporter Lisa Summers was behind the wheel for the car's first-ever journey using the whisky biofuel.

She said the car felt smooth on the short drive - and did not notice any difference from a petrol or diesel-fuelled vehicle.

The Edinburgh-based company recently received a £9m government grant to build a commercial demonstrator plant in Grangemouth, near Falkirk, that would be fully operational by 2019.

It believes its whisky biofuel has huge global potential, and could create an industry in Scotland worth £100m.

It also planned to target other whisky-producing countries, such as Japan, India and the US.


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