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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 March 2008, 00:46 GMT
Dram 'helps clean contamination'
A secret by-product from whisky is currently being tested
A by-product from whisky is being used by researchers in a bid to clean contaminated ground and waste water.

The team at the University of Aberdeen believe they have a new technique, potentially worth millions of pounds.

They say the Device for the Remediation and Attenuation of Multiple pollutants (Dram) has major potential in industry.

The Glenfiddich distillery in Speyside has helped researchers get to this stage by donating the by-product, the nature of which is being kept secret.

The University of Aberdeen said it was estimated that there were 330,000 contaminated sites in the UK.

These include former industrial areas, small dry cleaning firms, car servicing companies, large refineries and chemical plants.

The clean-up of contaminated groundwater is an absolutely massive global market
Dr Graeme Paton
University of Aberdeen

It is claimed early tests show Dram removes multiple pollutants simultaneously in a pioneering move that is quicker and more cost effective than current techniques.

The researchers are considering forming a spinout company to commercialise the technology, which could be licensed.

Dr Graeme Paton said: "Currently we are using the by-product of Scotland's most famous export but our technology can utilise other by-products from the food and beverage industry.

"The clean-up of contaminated groundwater is an absolutely massive global market.

"The technology that we have developed here at Aberdeen is environmentally friendly, sustainable and has the potential to put Scotland at the forefront for remediation technologies."

Scottish Enterprise has provided almost 300,000 of funding into the research via its Proof of Concept Programme.

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