Whisky residue biofuel successfully powers car for the first time

/ 04:30 PM July 09, 2017

Image: Celtic Renewables Ltd.

Edinburgh-based start-up Celtic Renewables Ltd. successfully fueled a car using whiskey residue biofuel.

The fuel is called biobutanol and is billed as a direct replacement for petrol and diesel. Celtic Renewables made it using draff and pot ale. Draff is the sugar-rich kernels of barley used in whisky production, while pot ale is the copper-containing yeasty liquid left over after distillation.


Partnering with Tullibardine Distillery in Perthshire, Scotland, Celtic Renewables was able to get enough raw materials to develop their process of creating biobutanol.

Scotland’s malt whisky industry creates around 750,000 tons of draff and 2 billion liters of pot ale. The company is hoping to repurpose this ample supply of whisky waste products to produce a renewable fuel source.


Celtic Renewables also claims that no engine modification will be necessary when switching to biobutanol.

“This is the first time in history that a car has ever been driven with a biofuel produced from whisky production residues,” according to Professor Martin Tangney, Celtic Renewable’s founder and president. “It is fitting to do this historic drive in Scotland, which is famous not just for its world-renowned whisky but also for being a powerhouse for renewable energy.” JB


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TOPICS: biobutanol, biofuel, draff, malt whisky, pot ale, Scotland, whisky, whisky residue
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