Bristol scientists made the world’s first beer-based sustainable petrol


It is widely accepted that there is an urgent requirement for sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels, especially for diesel and petrol. Scientists have converted the imaginary need into reality by creating sustainable petrol using beer as a key ingredient

Many countries used bioethanol as a sustainable alternative to petrol, according to researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK.  However, it is also known that ethanol is not a great replacement for petrol as it has several problems such as lower energy density than petrol and mixes too easily with water. It can also damage engines.

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Chemists at the University of Bristol have spent years developing the world’s first beer-based sustainable petrol. They have developed a new technology to convert widely-available ethanol into butanol. According to the researchers, butanolis much better fuel alternative to the widely-used ethanol but it is difficult to make from sustainable sources.

Professor Duncan Wass, whose team led the study published in the journal Catalysis Science & Technology said that turning alcohol into petrol was a bit of fun, as the alcohol in alcoholic drinks is actually ethanol

“If our technology works with alcoholic drinks (especially beer which is the best model) then it shows it has the potential to be scaled up to make butanol as a petrol replacement on an industrial scale,” Professor Duncan Wass said in a statement.

To convert ethanol into butanol you need a catalyst- these are chemicals which speeds up and controls a chemical reaction.  The petrochemical industries worldwide are already using these chemicals. The chemists successfully converted the ethanol in beer into butanol, or more specifically isobutanol during their test.

They also said that the next step concerning application is to build this larger scale process and considering the previous processes this could take around five years.

We can use beer in a real industrial process as it is an excellent model for the mixture of chemicals. So this new technology could take the excellent model one step closer to reality, according to Wass.