By DARA BUTTERFIELD
A Scottish renewables company has won £11 million of UK government contribution to its plans to manufacture bio-fuel for motor vehicles from waste by-products generated in making whisky.
Edinburgh-based Celtic Renewables has developed a process of using waste products from the whisky industry – which would otherwise be disposed of – to distil biofuels for the automotive industry.
The process has hugely disruptive potential on both the current oil industry – as a straight substitute for petrol – and also indirectly on the renewable energy industry by removing the need to de-carbonise transport with battery-powered vehicles (BPVs)
Transport minister Andrew Jones commented: “This is a great example of the UK government’s commitment to innovative transport technology and supporting jobs and growth.
“Biofuels have an important role to play in keeping Britain moving forward in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way. This £11 million is not only a vital investment in technology that will help secure a greener future but will also help support the creation of thousands of jobs.
“Advanced biofuels have the potential to save at least 60% of the greenhouse gas emissions from the equivalent fossil fuel. This successful bid show how the government is investing in transport and making better, clean journeys.
The funding will help Celtic Renewables invest in new premises and technology which will help generate over 5,000 new jobs by 2030, open up international markets and promote the renewable energy sector. Professor Martin Tangney, Founder, Celtic Renewables, said:
“This funding from the Department for Transport is transformational for Celtic Renewables and will underpin the development of a brand new innovative industry in the UK.
“The construction of our demonstration facility will herald the reintroduction of ABE-fermentation to the UK for the first time since the 1960s, but this time for advanced biofuel production using entirely sustainable raw materials.”
Transport Minister Andrew Jones MP visited Celtic Renewables to see at first hand how the financial support would enable them to turn low value by-products into high-value, low carbon, transport fuel.
The process could also transform Scotland’s whisky industry and generate up to £100 million of transport fuel a year from its by-products.
The winning schemes are:
- Celtic Renewables, based in Edinburgh, has been awarded £11 million to fund a new plant to make biofuels from whisky by-products, with plans to open a further three commercial plants across Scotland in the future
- Advanced Plasma Power, in Swindon, will receive £11 million to help develop biofuels from ordinary household waste
- Nova Pangaea Technologies Ltd, based in Tees Valley, will receive £3 million to help make biofuels from forestry waste