Latest news - Celtic Renewables lands £11million grant after winning DfT competition
Celtic Renewables is the biggest winner in a competition run by the Department for Transport (DfT), earning an £11million grant to help it build the world’s first plant dedicated to the production of advanced biofuel from the residues of the whisky industry.
The Edinburgh-based company is one of three advanced biofuel producers to share in a £25million funding pot. Celtic Renewables is commercialising an innovative and patented technology, originally developed by the Biofuel Research Centre (BfRC) at Edinburgh Napier University.
Scotland’s £4 billion malt whisky industry produces more than 2 billion litres of pot ale and 600,000 tons of draff annually, which are problematic low value by-products from the whisky production process. The innovation is based on the ABE (Acetone-Butanol-Ethanol) fermentation process which uses bacteria to convert the residual sugars in the draff and pot ale into bio-butanol – a next generation biofuel – and four other high value commodities. To assist in the scale-up of this innovation from bench-top in the laboratory to pilot commercial scale, and to develop more understanding of the metabolism of the bacteria involved in the process, ETP has supported a studentship in research collaboration with Prof. Martin Tangney, Edinburgh Napier University and Celtic Renewables.
Most countries do not have oil but all have access to biological material that can be converted into biofuels that can establish their own energy security.
Prof. Tangney, Biofuels, Whiskey and Me.
David Green joined the team at Napier University under the ETP studentship program. He is very excited about working on a research project that has a direct commercial impact and is of benefit to society as well.
As a young research scientist it is very exciting to be at the forefront of such cutting edge research. I feel privileged to have this opportunity, I will not waste it
David has the opportunity to work with industrial co-workers as well as two main supervisors (Prof. Martin Tangney and Dr. Eve Bird). David found that the main research challenge is bending clostridia to his and the laboratory's will; bugs will be bugs! His previous studies include optimising alcohol yields for the whisky industry and maximizing bioethanol production from waste substrates.
Mark Simmers, CEO Celtic Renewables Ltd, shared his view on receiving supports from ETP.
The development of a new process technology requires a strong technical base in an organisation, and the ETP support has enabled Celtic Renewables to increase the capacity of its technical team, which will hopefully shorten the time-to-market for the technology.