Hugh Pickens writes writes: "BBC reports that a new company, Celtic Renewables Ltd, has been formed to commercialize a process for producing biobutanol from the by-products of whisky that can be used as a direct substitute for fossil-derived fuel. Research suggests that biobutanol provides 25% more power output than the traditional bioethanol and in contrast to ethanol, butanol can run in unmodified engines with petrol and may also be blended with diesel and biodiesel. During the fermentation process used to produce whisky two main by-products are produced — 'pot ale', which is the residue left in copper stills, and 'draff', the spent grains. Each year the industry produces 1,600 million litres of pot ale and 187,000 metric tons of draff. "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," says Energy Minister Fergus Ewing. "Scotland's whisky has a worldwide reputation for excellence and generates huge benefits for our economy. It's fitting, then, that the by-products of this industry are now being used in an area where we have so much promise – sustainable biofuels.""
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