Using whisky residues to fuel the bioeconomy

Posted on: 26/12/2017

Celtic Renewables has announced that it will build a whisky residue biofuel plant at Grangemouth in Scotland.


Celtic Renewables Ltd, the innovative Scottish start-up providing next generation biofuel, has secured planning permission from Falkirk Council to build a commercial demonstrator plant, which will produce over half a million litres of biofuel each year.

The pioneering young company has established a new PLC – Celtic Renewables Grangemouth PLC – specifically to deliver this plant in Grangemouth and has launched a funding campaign seeking to raise £5.25m through an ISA eligible investment with leading p2p investment platform, Abundance Investment.

Abundance Cofounder & Managing Director Bruce Davis commented: “We champion renewable projects across the UK and Celtic Renewables absolutely fits this remit.  The new demonstrator plant is an exciting step forward for biotechnology innovation for the UK. It is a win win for our investors seeking to diversify their investments in the transition to a clean growth economy.”

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Based in Grangemouth, the two-acre site will produce Biobutanol, the new advanced and sustainable biofuel made using whisky residue that is a direct replacement for petrol and diesel.

Used in a car for the first time in July 2017, Celtic Renewables has developed this ground-breaking process for biobutanol which is set to revolutionise sustainable transport.

Company Founder and President, Professor Martin Tangney, said: “This is a very exciting time for biotechnology in Scotland.  Our plant, which will use entirely sustainable raw materials to make high value low carbon products, will be the first of its kind in the world. It will shine a global spotlight on innovation in Scotland in the low carbon economy.”

Speaking about the new site, Mark Simmers, CEO of Celtic Renewables Ltd, said: “This is a huge step forward for Celtic Renewables as this demonstration plant will enable the roll out of the technology at full industrial scale across Scotland and internationally. Grangemouth is the perfect location for the plant, where we can benefit from the synergies of locating within the national petrochemical hub and work with a range of complementary partners with the full support of local and national Government agencies.”

With news that the plant will create 25 jobs in the local area, Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council said: “The new Celtic Renewables Grangemouth commercial demonstrator plant is great news for the local economy.

“Celtic Renewables choosing Grangemouth as the location for such an innovative facility is further proof that the Falkirk area is the prime location for Chemical Sciences development in this country and strengthens our imminent bid for growth deal funding to position Falkirk as the manufacturing and innovation hub for Scotland.”

Working closely with Tullibardine Distillery in Perthshire, Celtic Renewables is helping to derive value from the production residues of the Malt Whisky industry in Scotland which currently produces almost 750,000 tonnes of draff and 2 billion litres of pot ale, by converting it into much-needed advanced biofuel and other high value low carbon products.

With planning permissions now in place, building of the commercial demonstrator plant is due to begin in early 2018.


If you would like to discuss opportunities and support mechanisms for biotechnology innovations please contact a member of KTN’s Biotechnology Team.


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