The raw material in beermaking is left-over beer yeast, which usually goes to feed animals. Ethanol is extracted from the leftover beer/yeast slurry and blended with 90% gasoline to make a partially beer-based fuel. Gull Kingsland, the company behind Brewtroleum, already makes a similar fuel using leftover whey and imported Brazilian sugarcane.
Using ethanol to power cars isn’t new. In the United States, some corn is grown exclusively for the purpose of being turned into the biofuel. Brazil, taking a slightly greener approach, has been recycling sugarcane waste to create ethanol for years. And on the beer front, Molson Coors, a brewing company giant, has been making ethanol from beer since 1996, and in 2008 all cars at the Democratic National Convention in Denver ran on their version of the beer-based biofuel.
Their blend had one advantage over the Brewtroleum being made in New Zealand. While the New Zealand blend was 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent beer-derived ethanol, the blend created for the 2008 convention was 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The reason for the lower percentage? Many cars still can’t run on such high proportions of ethanol to gasoline. Using the wrong fuel can cause problems in engines particularly small ones like chainsaws or lawn mowers.
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