Raising a glass to the Amazon

Dram-good clean: A Scottish firm has taken its whisky filter to the Amazon.

A SCOTTISH firm has been using whisky to help save the Amazon river.

Aberdeenshire-based firm SEM has taken its DRAM filtration technology to Madre de Dios, Peru, to support a local mine as it cleans up waste material.

SEM’s DRAM technology uses co-products from the distillation of malt whisky in its filtration system. The co-products act as a filter, to separate different types of waste metal.

The valuable metals that are separated out can then be reused or resold and the leftover liquid is cleaned for safe discharge into the environment.

Leigh Cassidy, lead scientist at SEM, said that whisky is trickier to come by in Peru than in Scotland, but the firm has been able to work with local craft brewers, whose beers now help fuel the DRAM filtration tanks.