Celtic Renewables produce biofuel from whisky by-products

Celtic Renewables to produce biofuel from whisky by-products

10:43 PM, 26th January 2012
Celtic Renewables to produce biofuel from whisky by-products
Professor Martin Tangney, Founder, Celtic Renewables and Director, Biofuel Research Centre, Napier University.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND: Celtic Renewables Ltd, an innovative start-up company, formed to commercialise a process for producing a superior next generation biofuel from the by-products of biological industries. The company is initially focused on the 4 billion pounds Scottish malt whisky industry as a ripe resource for developing bio-butanol – a next generation biofuel.  Biobutanol has 25 per cent more energy per unit volume than bioethanol. Celtic Renewables are innovatively re-developing a defunct fermentation technology, already proven on a global scale, to combine the two main by-products of the whisky production, namely ‘pot ale’ (the copper-containing liquid from the stills) and ‘draff’ (the used barley grains), to produce high value renewable products, including biobutanol.

The whisky industry annually produces 1,600 million litre of pot ale and 500,000 tonne of draff which could be converted into biofuel as a direct substitute for fossil-derived fuel, thereby reducing oil consumption and CO2 emissions, while also providing energy security particularly in remote/rural areas where the whisky industry is prevalent. The Celtic Renewables Ltd production process also produces other sustainable chemicals, acetone and ethanol, as well as high grade sustainable animal feed. The research is led by Professor Martin Tangney, Founder, Celtic Renewables and Director, Biofuel Research Centre, Napier University.

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