Industry Market Trends

Whiskey By-Products Create Biofuel Buzz

Aug 25, 2010

UK publication Telegraph recently reported that efforts are under way to bring a new type of biofuel to market which can be used in ordinary cars without any special adaptations. Using two main by- products from the whiskey production process, this new biofuel is made from biological material and therefore more environmentally friendly than other biofuels.

Here's what Dr. Richard Dixon, WWF Scotland's director, had to say about the project:

''Scotch whisky is world-renowned and one of Scotland's biggest exports, so it is great to see plans that could not only help power the cars on our roads and reduce fossil fuel emissions but also help reduce the environmental impacts of the industry itself. The production of some biofuels can cause massive environmental damage to forests and wildlife. So, whisky-powered cars could help Scotland avoid having to use those forest-trashing biofuels.''

Edinburgh Napier University are the lucky ones to have filed a patent for the product, which can be used in ordinary cars without any special adaptions, scientists said. But for this to happen, another company would have to distribute it.  The article speculates that the most likely form of distribution of the biofuel would be a blend of 5 per cent or 10 per cent of the biofuel mixed with petrol or diesel. This obviously means using less oil which would make a huge difference on the price of oil and impact on the environment. In addition, this is a more environmentally sustainable option and potentially offers new revenue on the back of one Scotland's biggest industries.

''The EU has declared that biofuels should account for 10 per cent of total fuel sales by 2020," said Professor Martin Tangney, who is leading the research and is director of the Biofuel Research Centre."We're committed to finding new, innovative renewable energy sources."

Without knowing all of the specifics, it would appear that some sort of biofuel mix, as mentioned above, makes perfect sense as a means to wean the U.S. off of its so-called addiction to oil. My guess is that this approach would bring the price of gasoline down, reduce emissions and best of all, it doesn't require additional investments by consumers. Sounds like a win-win to me.