Edinburgh, March 5 : Scientists at Aberdeen University have developed a new technique to clean contaminated ground and waste water using a natural by-product from the preparation of whisky.
According to a report in The Scotsman, the innovative technology - known as Dram (Device for the remediation and attenuation of multiple pollutants) - is said to be cheaper and easier to deploy than standard treatments.
In fact, it also has a massive potential to cut the UK's annual estimated spend on land remediation, which is remedying the presence of pollutants.
"Dram is a groundbreaking technology. Currently, we are using the by-product of Scotland's most famous export (whisky), but our technology can use other by-products from the food and beverage industry," said Dr Graeme Paton, one of the researchers and a leading soil toxicologist.
"We cannot identify the product on the advice of our patent lawyer. But it is a natural by-product of the distilling process," he added.
According to Paton, "The clean-up of contaminated ground-water is a massive global market. The technology we have developed here at Aberdeen is environmentally friendly and sustainable and has the potential to put Scotland at the forefront for remediation technologies."
"It is the first technology that can remove metal contaminants at the same time as degrading organic pollutants such as pesticides," he added.
The "passive" system the Scottish team has developed involves inserting the organic material from whisky processing into the ground to attract solvents, which it breaks down.
"No intervention is required to apply it to contaminated sites as it can use existing infrastructure and remain in place unobtrusively for years," said Dr Paton.