‘World’s first’ whisky biofuel-powered car hits the road

10th July, 2017 by Annie Hayes

Celtic Renewables, which uses by-products of the Scotch whisky industry to produce a replacement for petrol and diesel, has powered a car with the biofuel for the first time.

Celtic Renewables uses by-products of the Scotch whisky industry to produce a replacement for petrol and diesel

Named biobutanol, the sustainable biofuel is produced from draff, the sugary kernels of barley that facilitate the fermentation process; and pot ale, the yeast-rich liquid left over after distillation.

The Edinburgh-based start-up has worked closely with Tullibardine Distillery in Perthshire to develop the fuel, which can be used with no engine modification required.

Professor Martin Tangney, the company’s founder and president, said: “This is the first time in history that a car has ever been driven with a biofuel produced from whisky production residues.

“It is fitting to do this historic drive in Scotland, which is famous not just for its world-renowned whisky but also for being a powerhouse for renewable energy.

“Celtic Renewables is playing its part in sustainability by taking this initiative from a research project at Edinburgh Napier University to, what we believe will be, a multi-billion-pound global business with the opportunity to turn transport green.”

Each year in Scotland the industry produces almost 750,000 tonnes of draff and two billion litres of pot ale.

Tullibardine distillery manager, John Torrance, added: “Right from the outset when Celtic Renewables approached us we could see the game-changing potential of a new fuel created from our by-products.

“We’re a forward thinking distillery and we’re happy to support what promises to be a groundbreaking first for renewable energy, for transport and for the Scottish whisky industry alike.”

The Edinburgh-based company recently received £9 million in funding from the Scottish Government, which will go towards building a commercial demonstrator plant in Grangemouth.

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