Whisky could help tackle toxic waste

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Scientists have begun an investigation into whether spent whisky grain can be used to clean up radioactive waste.

Researchers from Thurso’s Environmental research institute - part of the University of the Highlands and Islands - are looking at the potential of the whisky making by-product, as well as seaweed, shells and coffee grounds, for use in a process called biosorption.

The team are working with the Dounreay shaft and Silo project at the Dounreay Nuclear site in the north of Scotland.

Mike Gearhart, who leads the Dounreay Shaft and Silo project team, 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.”

Radioactive waste was disposed of underground at Dounreay until an accident in 1977.