Chase believes that sugars in fluid remaining in the coppers after distillation may still be fermentable – convertible via yeast-caused anaerobic action into carbon dioxide and alcohol – along with the potato waste.
He said: “We have known for a long time that potato starch is an excellent source of bio-ethanol, but this new scheme will tap the resources left behind in distillery waste.
“There has been research completed at Edindurgh Napier University that has demonstrated that ‘pot ale’ fluids left behind from the distillation process can be fermented into biobutanol. I don’t see why we can’t do the same in Hertfordshire.”
Next generation biofuel
Some experts believe that biobutanol could provide the next generation of biofuel, since it is claimed to provide combustion engines with 30% more power output than ethanol. More crucially, supporters argue that it can fuel ordinary cars without the need for expensive engine adaptations.
“We would need local partners to create enough biomass to make the project commercially viable, but I firmly believe that vegetable matter will provide…the next generation of fuels,” Chase added.
Chase Distillery launched the first English potato vodka in 2008, and revealed to FoodManufacture.co.uk in August that it was confident of doubling its turnover to £3-4m in 2011 on the back of its recent entrance into the US market.