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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 August 2007, 10:20 GMT 11:20 UK
Researchers brew up whisky fuel
Whisky distillery
Beer and whisky waste will be used to create biofuels
Cars could be powered with by-products from breweries following research by Scottish scientists.

Researchers at Abertay University have been awarded a grant to investigate how to turn residues from beer and whisky into biofuel.

They will look into new methods of turning spent grain into bioethanol, which is more environmentally friendly than fossil fuels.

It is CO2 neutral, and produces 65% fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Experts have estimated that about half of the world's oil reserves have been used up in the last 200 years.

More environmentally friendly alternatives are being developed, including biofuels.

Waste products

Brazil and the USA have both been very successful in creating bioethanol from sugarcane and maize starch respectively.

However, these methods have been open to criticism because they have created an increased demand for land for growing energy crops.

Scientists all over the world have been trying to find a simple and cost effective way to produce more biofuels from waste or low value products.

That is the focus of the year-long research project in Dundee, led by Professor Graeme Walker.

He said: "Our research will be looking at the far more complicated process of turning waste products from industry into bioethanol as an example of a second-generation biofuel.

"These products are currently disposed of or processed for animal feed and turning them into fuel would be an attractive use of the resource.

"At the moment many technical challenges remain to converting waste biomass into fuel.

"We will focus on finding more efficient and cost effective processes."

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