According to the researchers at Edinburgh Napier University, whisky is being used to develop a new biofuel, which could power cars and even airplanes in a few years. They found a new way to produce biofuel from two main byproducts of the whisky distilling process: “draff”, the spent grains and “pot ale”, the liquid from the copper stills.
Scientists believe biofuel could be available at local garage forecourts alongside traditional fuels since enormous quantities of both waste products are produced by the £4bn whisky industry every year.
It could be used in our cars, without modifying the engine. The team claims this new whisky-based biofuel could also be used to power airplanes and as the basis for chemicals such as acetone.
Unlike the traditional biofuel ethanol, the new method developed by the team produces butanol, which gives 30% more power output. It is based on a 100-year-old process that was originally developed to produce acetone and butanol by fermenting sugar. Meanwhile, the researchers plan to commercialize the invention by creating a spin-off company.