Close Menu

UK government invests £11m in whisky-fuelled cars

Celtic Renewables has landed an £11million grant from the Department for Transport (DfT) to help build the world’s first plant dedicated to producing biofuel from whisky waste.

DfT Picture 2 copy
Biofuel is made using draff and pot ale from whisky production

The Edinburgh-based company were the champions of an initiative run by the government department to invest in transport technology; the DfT’s Advanced Biofuels Demonstration competition.

The funding will be used to build a facility that can produce at least one million litres of biofuel every year through acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation, and the company aim to be operational by December 2018.

Biofuel is produced from draff, the sugar-rich kernels of barley which are soaked in water to facilitate the fermentation process in whisky production; and pot ale, the copper-containing yeasty liquid that is left over after distillation.

Professor Martin Tangney, the company’s founder and President, said: “We are committed to developing a new industry in the UK that will be worth more than £100million-a-year and it starts here.

“We have already attracted investment and partners in the private sector and this funding announced today will allow us to scale-up to industrial production.

“Our next step is to open a demonstration facility and we are targeting a location in or near Grangemouth which is an area that’s strategically right for us.”

The company is one of three advanced biofuel producers to share in a £25million funding pot – the others are Nova Pangaea, which produces biofuel from forestry waste, and Advanced Plasma Products.

Andrew Jones, the UK Transport Minister, said: “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 £25 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.”

Earlier this year the company received investment worth a total of £500,000 from the Scottish Investment Bank and an equity stake acquired by an existing private investor.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No