Whisky working magic on polluted groundwater in Scotland

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Edinburgh, Mar.5 : Whisky has emerged as the latest weapon to clean up polluted groundwater at contaminated land sites.

Aberdeen University scientists are using a natural by-product from the preparation of Scotland's national drink to clean contaminated ground and waste water in a pioneering technique, potentially worth millions of pounds.

According to the Scotsman, this 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 and has a massive potential to cut the UK's annual estimated spend on land remediation (remedying the presence of pollutants) of 1.2 billion pounds.

Scottish Enterprise has provided almost 300,000 pounds for the research via its Proof of Concept programme, and the world-famous Speyside distillery, Glenfiddich, has also helped researchers by donating the unidentified by-product.

Dr Graeme Paton, one of the researchers and a leading soil toxicologist, said: "Dram is a groundbreaking technology. Currently, we are using the by-product of Scotland's most famous export but our technology can use other by-products from the food and beverage industry.

"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."

Dr Paton explained that the current system for cleaning up contaminated groundwater involved pumping the water out of a site, processing it to remove any pollution, and then pumping it back into the ground.

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