Biofuels are slowly making headway in the fuel market with feedstocks and non edible plants being used either in a marketable product or under development for a viable fuel. We have also seen the rise of food waste as a source of bio-diesel, even algae and I recently wrote about Tobacco and Jatropha as a possible source.
A new source that I read about recently comes from New Zealand: Brewtholeum! It is simply the waste yeast from the brewing process that is used to provide the source of the fuel. Back in the UK when I was growing up I was fed Marmite (and still love the stuff!) which was an early form of recycling. Brewers yeast that was full of Vitamin B was stuffed into funny shaped jars and sold as a great spread for toast and as an ingredient for soups and stews etc. The idea worked and generations of people were raised eating “sludge on toast” – it is an acquired taste but for the converts like me, it’s delicious!
“Brewtholeum” takes the waste yeast from the brewing process and turns it into a product that more people could get used to buying! DB Breweries is the brewer in question and they have produced a batch of ethanol from the waste and then worked with a fuel company to mix it into E10 fuel, basically 10% ethanol and 90% petroleum. This is a common ethanol/petroleum mix concentrate so no major technological barriers have been broken.
This doesn’t appear to be an ongoing fuel, rather a marketing event to raise awereness of the products. 60 fuel stations will sell the mix and the brewer made 30,000 litres of ethanol which in turn made 300,000 litres of the mix. Perhaps if this sells well, it will become a staple for New Zealanders! Incidentally 8,800,000 bottles of beer were also created at the same time to produce enough waste for the fuel mix.
The article I read said that MillerCoors in the US were the first to use brewer’s waste to create a fuel mix, however DB is the first to sell it to the public.
In my opinion, any viable waste source like this should be recyced into a useable fuel rather than going into landfill. I’m sure that there are lots of by-products in many industries that could be used. Every little drop helps to reduce our dependance on fossil fuels and provides us with cleaner options to power our lives.
About DB Breweries
Firstly, the featured image on this post is copyrighted and owned by DB Breweries in New Zealand. They have been operating since 1930 in New Zealand and shouldn’t be confused with DB Brewers in Virginia who produce the Devils Backbone beer. The DB in question is the Dominion Breweries. One of their main beers is DB Export and it is this beer that the waste is produced from, which in turn makes the ethanol. DB is currently owned by Heineken.
A nice motoring correlation is that DB is also the moniker for many Aston Martin’s coming from their days being owned by David Brown during the 50s and 60s.