Swedish custom officers with confiscated alcohol

Confiscated Alcohol to Biofuel

Smugglers trying to sneak alcohol into Sweden are unwittingly helping fuel the country’s public transport system and reducing its greenhouse emissions.

According to officials almost all of the 700,000 liters of smuggled alcohol seized by the customs service last year was turned into alternative fuel and used to power buses, trucks and a biogas train.

Customs spokesperson Ingrid Jerlebrink said that ”We used to just pour it down the drain, but because of the increased volumes we had to look around for new solutions.”

The beer, wine and liquor is taken to a plant in Linköping, 200 kilometers southwest of Stockholm, where it is heated and converted into biogas.

According to the company Biogas AB, biogas is used in Sweden to power some 1,000 trucks and buses and one train. The company added that 1 liter of pure alcohol is enough to make about half a literof biogas. And there is no doubt that it is good business, because the material to make it is free.

According to EU statistics, about one-quarter of the energy consumed in this Nordic nation came from renewable sources, more than four times as much as the European Union average of 6 percent.

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