Get Drunk While Wasting Nothing

Alcohol production is very energy intensive due to the temperature changes and sheer number of plant resources that go into it. Alcohol production is therefore quite wasteful.

However, on the consumption side of alcohol the waste can be dramatically reduced. You may have seen bartenders squeezing a lime then discarding it or similar practices. Soon you may never see a bartender waste anything. There is a new movement to make serving alcohol less wasteful and therefore more po

“Sustainability is unsexy. It’s a challenge,” acknowledged Griffiths, speaking to a group of bartenders as they sipped his blended sour. This is an industry that thrives on late nights and bad habits, not restraint and long-term planning, to sell alcohol.

His pitch: Atruism is certainly great, but reducing costs related to water, energy, and raw ingredients “actually earns you money in the long term.”

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Biofuel from Whiskey

Celtic Renewables has found a way to turn a byproduct from the creation of whiskey into something even more flammable: fuel. This will greatly lower the wast from whiskey distillation while contributing to the growing field of bio-energy. Neat!

This isn’t the first time someone has thought to turn whiskey waste into energy. A handful of other distilleries, including the American bourbon producer Maker’s Mark, use anaerobic digesters to convert waste into biogas, which is then used to fuel the distilling process—a neat little closed-loop system. But Celtic Renewables’ process creates three useful substances instead of just one.

When I spoke to the company’s founder and chief scientific officer, an Irish industrial microbiologist named Martin Tangney, he excitedly ennumerated the virtues of the byproducts his process produces: As a fuel, biobutanol is 25 percent more efficient than ethanol. Acetone has all kinds of industrial uses—plus, it’s a nail-polish remover. The animal feed is rich in protein.

Read more at Mother Jones.

Delicious Green Beer

I love Beau’s beer because it tastes good and today I found another reason to love it – it’s super green. Beau’s set out to make an environmentally friendly beer and did it with gusto.

Still, Beauchesne acknowledges that the skeptical non-investors were half right. “If you’re making the decision to go all-natural or organic based just on the bottom line, you probably shouldn’t be doing it,” he says. “But, to us, that was such an important part of what we wanted to be about.”

As for the market demand, Beauchesne and his father have had the last laugh. The company has grown to 45 employees from its initial five.

In 2010, Beau’s had about $4 million in revenue, and is earning a profit. There have already been a few expansions, and another one is planned next year, since the current facility has reached its full capacity of 1 million litres per year.

There have been some struggles along the way, Beauchesne admits. One of the biggest was going all-organic, which the brewery finally managed in 2008. At first, it was hard just to source the ingredients.

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Whisky Biofuel from Scotland

A lot of people enjoy Scottish whisky and now their cars can also enjoy the same beverage. Scottish scientists have figured out how to use the byproducts of whisky production as a source for biofuel.

Copious quantities of both waste products are produced by the £4bn whisky industry each year, and the scientists say there is real potential for the biofuel, to be available at local garage forecourts alongside traditional fuels. It can be used in conventional cars without adapting their engines. The team also said it could be used to fuel planes and as the basis for chemicals such as acetone, an important solvent.

The new method developed by the team produces butanol, which gives 30% more power output than the traditional biofuel ethanol. It is based on a 100-year-old process that was originally developed to produce butanol and acetone by fermenting sugar. The team has adapted this to use whiskey by-products as a starting point and has filed for a patent to cover the new method. It plans to create a spin-out company to commercialise the invention.

Read more at The Guardian.

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