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  1.  (8789.1)
    From Scotland (where else?) comes a process for making biofuel from distillery byproducts.

    I suspect somewhere an oil company's marketing department is already saying "Screw Techron! We're doing Red Label, Green Label & Black Label!"

    (And made me think of a gag a friend in Oklahoma recently passed on; apparently the State dropped its requirement for ethanol in gasoline, so many stations started advertising alcohol-free gas...and one of his local liquor stores put up a "gas-free alcohol" sign.)
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2010
     (8789.2)
    I do wonder what all the fuss is about when your average diesel engine will run quite happily on warmed up vegetable oil. Couldn't possibly be something to do with all those people making huge amounts of money from mineral oil and petroleum (both production and taxation) could it? Nah, i'm just a silly, paranoid old git, me...
    • CommentAuthorOrpheus
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2010
     (8789.3)
    I enjoy the idea that distillery by-products are being used for biofuels, but really... I think Brazil did this on a much more grand scale...

    First by making Cacha├ža.
    And then by making the worlds first sustainable biofuel economy.

    Sugarcane! The possibilities are endless.
    • CommentAuthorsacredchao
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2010
     (8789.4)
    @ Roadscum & Orpheus

    The problem with biofuels is they turn farmland that could otherwise be used for food crops into cash crops, thus making people in the developing nations in which they are produced dependent on foreign countries for food supplies. Also, biodiesel still emits carbon, though it doesn't emit a lot of the really nasty chemicals that petroleum products do.
  2.  (8789.5)
    Heh. All environmental and economic problems aside, I'd like a car that ran on actual whisky, with a little tap on the dashboard so you could enjoy a bit of liquid refreshment at journey's end.

    Of course, there would have to be some kind of breathalyser built in so you couldn't start the car without being safe to drive. I am, after all, a responsible drunk.

    S.
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      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2010
     (8789.6)
    Am I the only one that remembers Homer Simpson and te alcohol-fuelled car? "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me."
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2010
     (8789.7)
    See, I would have figured this would have been an Irish invention...
  3.  (8789.8)
    The Irish would politely remind you that whisky works just fine; there is no need to add a car to it.
  4.  (8789.9)
    The thing that I find most exciting about this is that it could be used for aviation fuel. We have a lot of alternatives for road fuel, but plane fuel's been really tough to crack. It would be nice to have a cheaper alternative so that the airlines can bring down the cost of putting my ass in an uncomfortable but fast-moving seat.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2010
     (8789.10)
    @John Skylar: I wonder, would warmed up vegetable oil do here as well? I remember a mate who had some military flying experience telling me that a Lynx helicopter could run on straight diesel for a couple of hours in an emergency. And Virgin tried something a while ago.
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      CommentAuthorArtenshiur
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2010
     (8789.11)
    @sacredchao: While biofuels do technically release carbon, all of that carbon was captured by a plant in the recent past, whereas the carbon from oil was trapped millions of years ago. It's the release of ancient carbon, not engaging in a short carbon cycle, that people are worried about.

    As to whiskey... while there are much technically better alternatives in my opinion, this one has the beneficial side effect of whiskey, which I support.
  5.  (8789.12)
    @roadscum I think oil biodiesel lacks the energy density to run a jet engine. There was a lot of promise from Virgin's coconut thing, I agree, but I don't know if it's gone anywhere since, which is disappointing to me.
  6.  (8789.13)
    Algae pods, man, that's where the future lies.
    • CommentAuthorsacredchao
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2010
     (8789.14)
    @artenshiur -
    Interesting. I'd never thought of it that way. But either way, doesn't it still release carbon into the atmosphere that would normally go back into the ground or into our stomachs?
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      CommentAuthorArtenshiur
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2010
     (8789.15)
    @sacredchao: Both of those biological cycles result in the relevant hydrocarbons being metabolized by something, either you or whatever microbes etc in the ground enjoy that sort of thing. The result of that process? Again carbon dioxide. Certainly some plant matter gets eventually covered over and compressed into oil etc, but that's only a small fraction, and very little of it is, say, cultivated barley.

    @Brendan: I, too, like algae. Not for eating, though.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2010
     (8789.16)
    @ John Skylar:
    I think oil biodiesel lacks the energy density to run a jet engine.


    Apparently not.
  7.  (8789.17)
    @roadscum

    Badass. :)