New Zealand beer company DB Export might have just invented another way to love beer.
Earlier this year, DB Export set out on a mission to turn beer into a biofuel that can be used to power cars. Simon Smith, a spokesman for DB Export, told Vice:
“A few guys having a few beers came up with the idea back in February.”
Now five months later, at Gull Petrol Stations across New Zealand, drivers can fill their cars with DB Export Brewtroleum, which is made from the leftover yeast found in fermented beer, better known as slurry. Simon explained:
“The yeast slurry is passed on to farmers for stock feed, but sometimes it can go to waste.”
When DB Export realized that they could turn the wasted slurry into ethanol, a central ingredient in biofuel, they sent 15,300 gallons of slurry to a refinery to purify it until it could be mixed with petrol.
Professor Peter Scales from the University of Melbourne explains that biofuels are broken down into two separate categories: Generation one biofuels are made from crops grown specifically to make ethanol, and generation two biofuels are extracted from waste products — like DB Export’s slurry.
Simon explained that although the biofuel is not considered generation one quality, it has the same ratio as the E10 at the local gas station, which is the gas that most modern cars run on.
“Brewtroleum is 10 percent ethanol from our yeast, and 90 percent petrol.”
DB Export recently made 79,250 gallons of the Brewtroleum biofuel, which is expected to last about six weeks depending on how people like it, but so far, Simon said, “It has gone off with a bang.”