Nature & Environment

Biofuel Generated From Whisky Fermentation Used For Fueling Cars

Rosanna Singh
First Posted: Oct 05, 2015 02:55 PM EDT

Biofuel can now be generated from whisky fermentation, say researchers from Celtic Renewables who recently received a grant for $16.7 million USD from the British government, which will facilitate in building the world's first biofuel production plant that uses the remains from the whisky industry to generate biofuel.

The funding will used be used to build a biofuel facility that is expected to be in operation by December 2018. Researchers have anticipated that the biofuel plant will produce an average of 1 million litres of biofuel per annum, which will be used to power cars, the company announced, and the first facility in Europe for acetone-butanol-ethanol fermentation for 50-years, according to Martin Tangney, the founder and President of Celtic Renewables.

This process uses bacterial fermentation to create advance bio fuels from glucose and starch which are basic types of carbohydrates. The method originatedg in the UK, and was used to produce acetone for explosives during the World War I.

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"Our aim is to reintroduce that process but in a modern context which allows us to use the leftovers from the whisky industry to create a fuel source that contributes to the low carbon future we all want," Tangney said, in a news release

Biofuel is produced from draff- which is the sugar-rich kernels of barley that are soaked in water to allow the fermentation process to take place for whisky production.

Celtic Renewables became a spin-off company from under the Biofuel Research Centre (BfRC) at Edinburgh Napier University. They have spent the last 18 months developing their process which is a part of a £1million program  funded by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) under its Energy Entrepreneur Fund.  

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