Tagged: ethanol

Turning CO2 into ethanol: is this the new hydrogen?

Last week my facebook feed nearly overflew with shares of an amazing discovery: a group of US scientists of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tenessee had accidently stumbled upon a catalyst that turns CO2 into ethanol. For those of you unfamiliar with catalysts, they are materials or substances that speed up or slow down the rate of a chemical reaction by providing a ‘reactive site’. The catalyst itself is not altered during the process (don’t run away, the article won’t get more complicated than this ;) ).

Well well, I thought. It’s about the fourth or fifth time this year I read about a new technique to suck CO2 out of the air. This one sparked my interest more than previous discoveries, though. (more…)


Photo of the week: running your car on beer, sort of

The New Zealanders just found the perfect excuse to drink a few more beers in the bar. Beer brewer DB Breweries teamed up with bio-fuel producer Gull to produce what they claim to be the first commercial gasoline made from a beer by-product. They gave it the apt name Brewtrolium. It’s a mixture of 90% 98-octane gasoline and 10% bio-ethanol distilled from yeast left-overs. “We’re helping Kiwis save the world by doing what they enjoy best—drinking beer,” DB breweries spokesperson Sean O’Donnell told the NZ Herald.

Compatible with most modern cars that run on 98-gasoline, Brewtrolium is more sustainable than classic gasoline. The ethanol part is renewable — just keep drinking guys! — and DB Breweries claims a reduction in greenhouse gases with 8% because of a more efficient burning of the bio-fuel. When using 30 liters of Brewtrolium every week, it saves up to 250 kg of carbon dioxide a year in comparison with a traditional fuel. Until now, yeast left-overs were usually used for animal food or went to landfill.

DB Breweries teamed up with bio-fuel producer Gull to create the world's first fuel running on a beer by-product (photo: DB Export)

DB Breweries teamed up with bio-fuel producer Gull to create the world’s first fuel based on a beer by-product (photo: DB Export)

According to DB Breweries, everyone can now save the world by drinking beer. But is Brewtrolium really going to make a difference? The product in itself probably not. But the tendency of using left-overs for bio-fuel production is a good one, since until now often corn is used as base product. And corn can better be used to feed people than cars, right? That being said, it’s still way better to stop burning fuels altogether.


Digital Trends
DB Breweries