Scots whisky-waste car fuel maker Celtic Renewables wins €10,000 bio-tech prize

Professor Martin Tangney (left) with Nathalie Moll (Secretary General, European Association for Bio-industries) and Mark Simmers, Chief Executive of Celtic Renewables.
Professor Martin Tangney (left) with Nathalie Moll (Secretary General, European Association for Bio-industries) and Mark Simmers, Chief Executive of Celtic Renewables.

Edinburgh-based Celtic Renewables has been named as Europe’s most innovative bio-tech SME after producing the world’s first advanced biofuel – capable of powering vehicles – from whisky production by-products

The company was presented with the award and a cheque for €10,000 at the European Parliament by Carlos Moedas, the EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. 

Celtic Renewables’ founder and President Professor Martin Tangney and his colleagues made history when they unveiled the world’s first ever samples of biobutanol derived from whisky production residues.

The Most Innovative European Biotech SME Awards are organised annually by the European Association for Bio-industries.

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 – is currently targeting a share of a £25 million fund for advanced biofuel development from the Department for Transport to build its first commercial scale demonstration facility at a site in Scotland.

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