New Zealanders can now run their cars on the same fuel they run themselves on–beer. Brewtroleum is a new biofuel which mixes beer by-products with regular gasoline to power the nation’s cars. The raw material is left-over beer yeast, which usually goes to feed animals.
Ethanol is extracted from the leftover beer/yeast slurry and blended with 90% gasoline to make a partially beer-based fuel. Gull Kingsland, the company behind Brewtroleum, already makes a similar fuel using leftover whey and imported Brazilian sugarcane.
The Brazilian connection is apt. The country produces huge amounts of sugarcane, and processes the waste into ethanol based fuel. All cars in Brazil now run on this mix, which has been in mandatory use since the mid 1970s. Not every country produces as much sugarcane as Brazil or corn as the U.S., though, so the Kiwis turned to the only product they have which is as ubiquitous as their sheep–beer.
There are emissions-cutting possibilities, too. The New Zealand Automobile Association says that using 30 liters (around 8 gallons) of 98-octane Brewtroleum per week would “save more than 250kg (550 pounds) of carbon dioxide emissions every year.”
“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.