18 June 2015 - Best Beer HQ

NZ brewery turning beer by-product into biofuel

NZ brewery turning beer by-product into biofuel

Drink beer and save the world… that’s the slogan behind a new initiative by DB Export to turn its waste into biofuel.

The New Zealand brewery plans to create “DB Export Brewtroleum” by mixing the ethanol derived from a by-product of the beer brewing process with regular petrol. The resulting fuel will emit less carbon than regular petrol and could be used to power cars, boats, or anything with a combustion engine.

DB Export’s head of domestic beer marketing Sean O’Donnell said beer-drinking Kiwis will be able to save the world by doing what they do best – drinking beer.

“Brewtroleum was an idea sparked over a few beers, which presented the opportunity to take the natural by-product of the brewing process and turn it into something that can genuinely help the environment.

“What’s more, men can help to save the world just by doing what they already love – drinking DB Export.”

DB Export has been testing and refining the Brewtroleum product since February this year. The company’s next step will be demonstrating to the world that its biofuel works via a live pilot within the next few weeks.

More than 58,000 litres of yeast slurry will go into the production of Brewtroleum. The ethanol will be distilled and refined to 99% purity, which will then be blended with 10% ethanol and 90% premium 98 octane petrol.

If successful, the fuel will become available to the public via at least one of New Zealand’s leading petrol stations.

According to the Brewtroleum media release, biofuel can reduce a car’s carbon emissions by 8%. The fuel performs well when compared with regular petrol, without any performance issues whatsoever.

But not everyone is pleased about DB Export’s plans. In particular, the brewery’s “drink beer to save the world” slogan is drawing criticism from some New Zealand health campaigners.

About DB Breweries

DB Breweries was founded in 1930 by New Zealand inventor Morton Coutts, who has been credited with the invention of the continuous fermentation method.

Coutts’ grandfather began brewing beer in Otago near the turn of the 19th century, before moving to Palmerston North in 1900 and starting a family brewery there. That brewery was eventually passed down the family line, before Coutts inherited it from his father in 1918 at the ripe old age of 15.

Later, DB Breweries was acquired by Asia Pacific Breweries, a division of Heineken International.

The DB Breweries stable of New Zealand beers include DB Export, Export Gold, Tui, Monteith’s, Flame, and Double Brown.

News / Weird and Interesting New Zealand /


  • mon ignacio says:

    i would like to ask on how do you separate ethanol from the yeast slurry. i would like to know the process for our research purposes. i am a mechanical engineering student from the philippines and a response is greatly appreciated, thank you so much

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