Transformation Areas

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DB Breweries & Gull New Zealand – innovation in biofuel

In July, New Zealanders became the first in the world to power their cars with commercially-available biofuel made from a by-product of beer.

Yeast slurry, a beer-brewing by-product, usually goes to waste but DB’s research showed that ethanol could be stripped from it and refined to produce a high grade E10 biofuel.  The company saw this as an opportunity to take a natural by-product of the brewing process and turn it into something that would help the environment.

So in conjunction with Gull, New Zealand’s leading biofuel retailer, DB created a process to ferment ethanol biomass, through a process similar to brewing beer, refine it, and then mix it to create a world first.

DB Export Brewtroleum is a blend of 10 per cent refined ethanol and 90 per cent performance premium petrol. Together Gull and DB Breweries created enough Brewtroleum to last six weeks and temporally replaced Gull’s existing biofuel, Gull Force 10, at pumps.  Over the course of the campaign, 300,000 litres of Brewtroleum was sold, saving the equivalent of 55 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

DB Breweries and Gull are finalists in the 2015 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards in the Renewables Innovation and Renewables Impact categories.