Bogus booze fed to microbes for electricity

COUNTERFEIT booze confiscated by trading standards officers was used to create electricity in Alfreton last week.

Seven hundred litres of “Drop Vodka” was poured into silos at Severn Trent’s Alfreton sewage works where microbes consume human waste and create methane, which is then burned to produce electricity.

A van containing 900 bottles of the made-up brand was stopped in Normanton by Derby City Council’s trading standards team in August after a tip-off.

Officers say the alcohol could have blinded drinkers because it used an ingredient used in cleaning products and anti-freeze, as well as methanol, a chemical which has been known to damage the optic nerve at the back of the eye.

They added it was likely to be sold to shops where students would have been the most likely market.

Vicky Levine, customer operations manager for Severn Trent in Derby, said the vodka would be mixed with the human waste to make it an even more attractive meal to the microbes.

She said: “We think the vodka will see methane production, and therefore electricity production, increase by about 15 per cent – enough to power a home for 10 days.”

Mrs Levine said the electricity created by the site’s digesters was used to power the site, with any surplus pumped into the National Grid.