Beer has many uses. Alongside making people tolerable (or intolerable), it will soon power your car. Why?
Beer. The fuel that powers sexual exchange, marriage and ultimately divorce seemingly has another string in its already harped bow. And that’s harped as in…oi, so I met this person the other night and they’re bloody jasfhkheje. You know?
If the people of science have their way with the amber fluid, it will soon power your car. And yes, consider it a meta-level of drink driving.
Scientists from the University of Bristol’s School of Chemistry have been working for several years to develop technology that will convert widely-available ethanol (booze) into a sustainable fuel source.
This has already been demonstrated in laboratory conditions with pure, dry ethanol but, if this technology is to be scaled up, it needs to work with real ethanol fermentation broths.
These contain a lot of water (about 90 percent) and other impurities, so the new technology has to be developed to tolerate that.
So alcoholic drinks are an ideal model for industrial ethanol fermentation broths — ethanol for fuel is essentially made using a brewing process.
Professor Duncan Wass, whose team led the research, said: “The alcohol in alcoholic drinks is actually ethanol — exactly the same molecule that we want to convert into butanol as a petrol replacement.
“So alcoholic drinks are an ideal model for industrial ethanol fermentation broths — ethanol for fuel is essentially made using a brewing process.
“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.”
I’m unsure how late in the day this interview was undertaken, but Professor Wass also said: “Turning beer into petrol was a bit of fun, and something to do with the leftovers of the lab Christmas party, but it has a serious point…beer is actually an excellent model for the mixture of chemicals we would need to use in a real industrial process, so it shows this technology is one step closer to reality.”
Look, I’m all for advancements in technology, and especially alternates to our current fossil fuels, but with self-driving cars on the horizon, are we not just enabling the next generation of drunk drivers?
Think about it. Being whizzed back from the shops by a blind schwasted driver that will not listen to reason, slow down or herald your pleas for you take the wheel.