Celtic Renewables

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Celtic Renewables Ltd
Industry Biofuels
Founder(s) Martin Tangney
Headquarters Edinburgh, Scotland, United kingdom
Key people Mark Simmers (CEO)
Products Biobutonal
Website www.celtic-renewables.com

Celtic Renewables Ltd, is a Scotland's first biobutonal company launched to produce biofuel from the by-products of biological industries including whisky industry. This company is in limelight, for being the first company to commercialize a process for producing biofuel and animal feed from Scottish mash whisky industry by-products.[1][2]

Celtic Renewables Ltd is founded by Professor Martin Tangney. It is currently working with Scottish Enterprise to produce the biofuel from sustainable resources on an industrial scale. "The launch of Celtic Renewables is a very exciting development and there is huge potential for applying our process on a global scale," the founder said. He further said:

The pot ale and draff could be converted into biofuel as a direct substitute for fossil-derived fuel, which would reduce oil consumption and CO2 emissions, while also providing energy security – particularly in the rural and remote homelands of the whisky industry.[3]


It is the brainchild of Professor Martin Tangney, who is also the Director of the Biofuel Research Centre. It is launched on January 25, 2012, at the University’s Sighthill Campus by Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism.[2] Dr. Doug Ward, founder of 'Argent Energy', has been appointed as its chairman. Mark Simmers, fellow from The Saltire Foundation, has been appointed as its CEO.[4]


Scottish Enterprise provided £337,000, for the project to kick start. Out of which, £267,000 was provided for Napier research project and additional £70,000 grant to assist in technology scale-up and economic feasibility.[1] The company also received significant private investment from Donald Houston, who bought Adelphi Distillery in 2004.[2]


As reported in referenced articles, the fermentation process to create biobutanol uses two main by-products of whisky production.

  • Pot ale, the liquid residue from copper stills.
  • Draff, the spent grains.

It is also estimated that each year whisky industry produces 1600 million litres of pot ale and 500000 tonnes of draff.In addition to the biofuel, the production process will also produce acetone, ethanol, animal feed, and other sustainable chemicals.


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