Risa Maeda in Scientific American:
Japanese motorists may one day pump their cars full of sake, the fermented rice wine that is Japan’s national drink, if a pilot project to create sake fuel is a hit with locals in this mountain resort.
The government-funded project at Shinanomachi, 200 kilometres (124 miles) northwest of Tokyo, will produce cheap rice-origin ethanol brew with the help of local farmers who will donate farm waste such as rice hulls to be turned into ethanol.
“We want to present the next generation a preferable blue print — a self-sustainable use of local fuels,” said Yasuo Igarashi, a professor of applied microbiology at the University of Tokyo who heads the three year project. If the project catches on with locals then it could pave the way for similar endeavours across Japan that will see Japanese cars running on Japanese-made biofuels in the future, he added.