Running your car on wine

If the cost of fuel makes you want to drown your sorrows, stop – there is an alternative use for your tipple that is both financially beneficial and environmentally friendly.

Prince Charles made headlines this week when it transpired that his Aston Martin DB5 sports car has been converted to run on wine and cheese – or at least bio-ethanol dstilled from locally-produced wine and then improved with alcohol extracted from fermented whey, a bi-product of cheesemaking.

Winemakers operate under a quota system so any excess has to be destroyed or sold for a nominal amount for use as bio-fuel. The wine is distilled to produce ethanol that is almost entirely pure and requires only a small top up of alcohol to ensure it is suitable for most petrol cars – subject to a simple engine tune. The result is a car that is able to run on a on a mix of 85% ethanol and 15% petrol, thereby dramatically reducing its emissions.

A spokesperson for the Environmental Transport Association said: “We British are naturally resourceful and there are many things we can do to reduce costs and go green in the face of mounting fuel costs – the production of Prince Charles’s bio-ethanol was carried out by Green Fuels, a company better known for its pioneering ‘Fuel Pod’, a device that allows people to produce their own bio-diesel from used cooking oil, but even small changes to the way we drive can help save costs and the environment.”

Prince Charles’s other cars run on biofuel made from cooking oil, and the royal train has also been converted to run on biofuel.

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