A Perthshire-based distillery has signed a deal, believed to be a world first, to transform its whisky by-products into car fuel.
The Tullibardine distillery has joined forces with Celtic Renewables, a company formed under auspices of Napier University.
The plan is to create butanol, an effective fuel for vehicles, by introducing bacteria to whisky waste such as pot ales and draff.
With 90 per cent of the output of whisky distilleries being anything other than the ‘water of life’, it could revolutionise cost saving in the industry.
With many firms looking at ways to create new revenue streams and cut back on spending, the move could join invoice factoring in its success.
Factoring is proving to be an effective new Scottish commercial finance strategy for many, reducing waste and increasing prospects.
The leftovers of the whisky making process are largely used for cattle feed and fertiliser. Turning this into fuel instead could quickly become the preferred method of dealing with waste, offering a profitable solution.
Presently, Tullibardine spends more than £250,000 disposing of the waste. Expressing his delight at the deal, the Managing Director of the distillery, Douglas Ross, said:
“It takes a cost to us and turns it into something that has social as well as commercial value.”
He went on to laud the positive effects the process could have on the environment, with thousands of tonnes of leftovers planned to be used for fuel.
The long-term plan for Celtic Renewables is to create a £60m industry for the process, which has received financial support from the Zero Waste Scotland scheme.