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Research Team Explores Turning Alcohol Byproducts into Biofuel

September 10, 2007

DUNDEE, Scotland --- Cars in the future could be running on fuel made from the byproducts of alcohol brewing and distilling, thanks to a new research project at the University of Abertay Dundee. Researchers in Abertay's School of Contemporary Sciences have been awarded a Carnegie Trust Research Grant to investigate turning residues from beer and whisky processes into biofuel. The year-long project will look at new methods of turning grain into bioethanol. "Brazil and the USA have both been very successful in creating bioethanol from sugarcane and maize starch, respectively," said Professor Graeme Walker. "Between them, these countries produce over 70 percent of global supplies. The U.S. has overtaken Brazil in production but Brazil remains the largest exporter, sending around 3.2 billion liters abroad last year alone. However the methods used in these countries are open to criticism since they create an increased demand for land for growing energy crops. In countries like Brazil, this may also threaten tropical forests and perhaps cancel out any benefits from using biofuels. 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."
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