Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Booze and Biofuels Meet: Making Whiskey and Fuel Side by Side

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Now this is the kind of entrepreneural spirit of innovation that I wish we had more of in America. But it falls to Scotland to start the process. A Scottish company is setting up to use the waste products from the whiskey industry to make a biofuel that can be used in existing car engines with a far smaller carbon footprint than using petroleum based gasoline. Good for the environment, good for energy independence, good for the economy, and it creates jobs as well (see, THAT'S how it's done!). From BBC News:

A new company has been formed to commercialise a process for producing biofuel made from whisky by-products.

Edinburgh Napier University's Celtic Renewables Ltd will initially focus on Scotland's £4bn malt whisky industry to develop biobutanol and other chemicals.

The company said biobutanol could be used as a direct substitute for fossil-derived fuel...

Celtic Renewables is now working with Scottish Enterprise to produce the biofuel from sustainable resources on an industrial scale.

Its fermentation process uses the two main by-products of whisky production - 'pot ale', which is the residue left in copper stills, and 'draff', the spent grains...

Research has suggested biobutanol provides 25% more power output than the traditional bioethanol.

Hear that? Why aren't we doing this in America? You don't even have to have specially modified engines to use the stuff. It can directly substitute for the stuff OPEC and their Republican allies have addicted us to. The article does include a small dig at the rest of the world:

Mr Ewing said: "Turning our whisky industry's by-products into raw materials for sustainable biofuels which can be used to power ordinary family cars is an example of the sort of innovative thinking Scotland excels in."

Yep...I really think America, led by the anti-education, anti-science, anti-small business Republicans, has lost the innovative spirit it had through most oft he 20th century. Republicans just want us to keep on being addicted to oil and want most of the profit to go into the pockets of the 1%. And they are willing to cut education and science to do it.

But maybe Jack Daniels wants to sign up to be next in line. They can help the planet and create local jobs in Tennessee. I'd certainly drink to that!

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