Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Whisky galore

Biofuels get a bad rap for distorting agriculture and pricing food out of reach of poor people. So, here's a good Biofuel story:
A new company has been formed to commercialise a process for producing biofuel made from whisky by-products. Edinburgh Napier University's Celtic Renewables Ltd will initially focus on Scotland's £4bn malt whisky industry to develop biobutanol and other chemicals.
Admittedly, Whisky itself is non-essential (although, arguably, it is a useful storage mechanism for calories). Reusing byproducts, though, strikes me as a useful process. Again, as with the tide power below, diversity and inspiration will produce more and newer different ways of achieving the ends. So long as the biofuel industry remains a natural dependent variable on the whisky production, then it shouldn't produce distortions in the food market.

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