The Next Great Renewable Fuel Source Comes from...Tequila?!?

July 28, 2011

For years, tequila has been the fuel for raucous frat pledge drives, bachelor and bachelorette party activities that were later used as evidence in civil divorce trials, and countless other of life's little mistakes. Now the devil's beverage could be used to fill the tank of your car.

The University of Oxford discovered that agave, the plants used to distill tequila, not only makes a damn tasty drink. They also make a damn fine ethanol. They didn't say if the ethanol that comes from it was also tasty, but I'm sure when it hits the market that some extreme drunk who tries to siphon a finger or two of the stuff out of his gas tank will be able to tell.

Most of the ethanol used now for things such as cars come from corn and new government mandates have driven the demand and price of corn to record levels, so scientists have been looking for a new plant to develop a biofuel from with lesser environmental impacts. Agave plants could fit that bill nicely since they produce a high level of sugar that converts to alcohol for tequila. They also produce a lower carbon dioxide emission than corn for the same amount of energy it produces.

Oh tequila, is there anything you can't do? I mean besides give me mystery bruises and an overwhelming wish for a swift, quick death.

Photo: Mark Lewis/Stone/Getty Images