US dairy farmers want to turn milk production waste into biofuel for cars
While Australia relies on crops to produce ethanol for biofuels, dairy farmers in the US and Canada claim they can turn waste from milk production into eight million litres of ethanol a year.
A North American dairy farmers group claims it can help offset 14,500 tonnes of carbon emissions a year by turning the leftover waste from milk production into eco-friendly biofuels.
As first reported by Automotive News, the Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) has partnered with Canadian business Dairy Distillery to blend ethanol – which has been created from milk permeate, a byproduct of milk production – with petrol, resulting in lower-emissions fuel.
While the fuel itself will be similar in concept to the E10 petrol available at most Australian service stations, it is created in a unique way.
Depending on the state, Australia’s E10 fuels can be made from a mash of sugarcane and sorghum or wheat starch, which is then fermented into ethanol and blended into 91 octane unleaded.
The method proposed by the MMPA instead uses milk permeate – which is the lactose and vitamin B-rich portion of full-fat milk – and utilises a similar fermentation process to create the ethanol portion of the fuel.
According to the MMPA, the group will spend $US41 million ($AU66.8 million) to build a 790-square-metre facility in Michigan which will be capable of producing more than eight million litres of ethanol annually from 2025.
The group also claims the milk byproduct-blended petrol could offset 14,500 tonnes of carbon a year – the equivalent of almost 875 hybrid Toyota Corollas being driven for 200,000km.
The MMPA’s Ontario-based partner Dairy Distillery has been producing milk-based alcohol – and its own brand of vodka – using the production methods since 2018, later prioritising ethanol production for hand sanitiser during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The post US dairy farmers want to turn milk production waste into biofuel for cars appeared first on Drive.