Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Alternative Fuels to Solar Power.

I'm fairly certain that the majority of people, if asked, would go along with the need to develop alternative energy sources to the existing fossil based fuels we currently rely on.
No. I'm not talking about the nuclear option, which seems to have the potential to A: solve our problems. & B: increase them at the same time...

I'm talking bio-fuels.
I bet every Fish and Chip shop owner in the past decade has seen their operating margin rise due to the competition to buy their waste product. It must be a very tempting option if you have a diesel vehicle to be running it on re-cycled chip fat oil.

I was impressed and horrified in equal proportions when watching "Kevin McCloud's Man-Made Home" programme this week which involved him trawling London's sewers for solidified fat. Link to programme details. Definitely not tea-time viewing for those without a strong stomach and especially for those with "smelly-vision." 
It looked like an awful lot of trouble and probably cost more than Chanel No5 to produce. However, under the guidance of Professor Matthew Davidson from the University of Bath's chemistry department, Kevin turns it into bio-diesel, and illuminates a lamp for an hour using one bucket of the gathered sludge. Nevertheless, it just goes to show that we're throwing (flushing) away a valuable resource. 

Now for the good news....We can all do our bit for the environment and the UK economy, by drinking more Whiskey.

Napier University in Edinburgh’s Biofuel Research Centre are helping the Tullibardine distillery in Perthshire with plans to convert their by-products into a petrol substitute. 
It sounds like a win-win solution as the distillery spends £250,000 disposing of sugar-rich ground barley and the yeasty liquid every year. If the technology takes off then Scotland's 100+ distilleries could generate a £60m industry.

Can you imagine being pulled over by the police who smelling alcohol, enquire ,"have you been drinking, sir." You can reply, "no, I've just filled the car up!"

It sounds a lot better than shovelling $hi*, to keep the lights on...

Twitter: (@solaricarus)

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