The Biofuel Research Centre was founded in 2007 as the UK’s first research center dedicated to the development of renewable and sustainable biofuels. The University has established a twin research center in Hong Kong. The Center focuses on the development of biofuels from industrial and agricultural byproducts. Funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund and the Scottish Government.
The project of converting byproducts from whiskey distillation has gained global interest, particularly in the United States, the largest producer of ethanol. The project focuses on the development of biobutanol, which is similar enough to gasoline to run in unmodified engines. It also provides acceptable energy density, making it a reasonable alternative to gasoline. Until recently, biobutanol could not be produced easily in large quantities.