It’s no secret that they bloody love whiskey in Scotland but even those north of the border may be shocked to hear the beloved spirit may also be useful for the environment.
Apparently, leftover grain from producing the tasty alcoholic beverage is the new plan for cleaning up toxic waste near the Dounreay nuclear site.
Scientists are now testing whether the metal isotope ‘Strontium-90’ inside the radioactive waste, which was dumped deep underground at Dounreay’s Shaft between 1959 and 1977, can be absorbed by the grain through the process of ‘biosorption’.
The process is currently used to extract fragments of precious metals like gold from sewage, and the Dounreay Shaft and Silo clean up team hope the whiskey grains are the key to achieving the same in the nuclear waste.
Speaking to the BBC, Mike Gearhart, leader of the project, said:
We are pleased to be working with ERI to identify a sustainable solution that can be sourced locally. We still have a number of issues to address but results to date have been very promising.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of local distilleries from which the team can take the raw material. Oh whiskey – is there anything you can’t do?