EXCLUSIVE: Holyrood MPs welcome Celtic Renewables plan to build new motor car bio-fuel plant at Grangemouth

Celtic Renewables' Prof. Martin Tangney
Celtic Renewables’ Prof. Martin Tangney

MPs in the Scottish Parliament have welcomed plans by Celtic Renewables to build a new bio-fuel plant at the Grangemouth petrochemical complex.

Celtic Renewables, a spin-out company from Napier University, has pioneered the use of waste by-products from whisky distilling to make a ‘green’ fuel to fire conventional internal combustion engines.

This disruptive technology has global potential to alter the entire geo-political balance in the supply and distillation of oil as the raw product to fuel motor vehicles.

Last week, Edinburgh-based Celtic Renewables was been named as Europe’s most innovative bio-tech SME after producing the world’s first advanced biofuel from whisky production by-products.

Celtic Renewables is widely regarded as one of the most innovative biotechnology companies in the UK, producing environmentally and commercially sustainable “drop-in” advanced biofuel (biobutanol) from the two billion litres of liquid effluent and 750,000 tonnes of barley residue produced annually by the £4 billion malt whisky industry.

It has developed partnerships with Tullibardine Distillery and Europe’s biotech flagship BioBase Europe Pilot Plant, where it has piloted its biofuel production process with a £1 million grant from the Department for Energy (DECC). 

The company – a spin-out from Edinburgh Napier University’s Biofuel Research Centre led by Prof. Martin Tangney – is currently bidding for  a share of a £25 million fund for advanced biofuel development from the UK Department for Transport to build its first commercial scale demonstration facility in Scotland.

The parliamentary motion by Falkirk East MSP Angus McDonald – supported by another 18 MSPs (including members of Holyrood’s Energy Committee) – congratulates Celtic Renewables on its Euro-bio award, and adds:

“Bio-butanol can be used as a direct replacement for petrol, or as a blend, without the need for engine modification”.

It welcomes Celtic Renewables’ bid to secure funding from the Department for Transport’s £25 million advanced biofuel demonstration competition which if successful, would then move to build its first demonstration facility at the Grangemouth petrochemical plant by 2018.

“We wish the firm every success with what it considers to be an exciting new venture.”

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