New Zealand brewer DB Breweries are attempting to create commercially viable biofuel from the by-products of brewing beer.

In a statement released today, the brewer announced that its "brewtroleum" will be made using ethanol derived from beer by-product which will be mixed with normal petroleum.

The brewer said it hoped to create the biofuel, which would emit less carbon than normal petrol, by next month.

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Head of domestic marketing Sean O'Donnell said they had been working with Independent Petroleum Laboratories and their research had found that ethanol could be stripped from the yeast slurry of the brewing process and distilled to produce high-grade bioethanol created by blending 10 per cent ethanol and 90 per cent premium 98 octane petrol.

Bioethanol created from a by-product of dairy production was already available in New Zealand and the world, and had been proven to be more environmentally-friendly than normal petrol, O'Donnell said.

The first sample of DB's bioethanol would be ready for testing in a few weeks, he said.

If successful, the biofuel would be made available through one of the country's major fuel retailers, O'Donnell said.

Although the retailer is yet to be announced, independent fuel retailer Gull currently stocks biofuel. In 2007 it became the first major fuel retailer in New Zealand to add it to its petrol.

More than 58,000 litres of leftover yeast slurry would go in to the production of the biofuel and the brewing company hoped to produce an initial release of more than 30,000 litres of ethanol, O'Donnell said.

DB Export are hoping to produce more than 30,000 litres of ethanol from a yeast slurry by-product left over from the beer brewing process.
DB Export are hoping to produce more than 30,000 litres of ethanol from a yeast slurry by-product left over from the beer brewing process.