Vehicle fuel from whiskey distillates

Biofuels from biological industries


Celtic Renewables is commercialising next generation biofuels using the by-products of biological industries – such as converting whiskey distillates into vehicle fuel.

Celtic Renewables was awarded Shell Springboard funding in 2012 for its process that produces next generation biofuels from the by-products of biological industries. The Edinburgh-based company has been particularly successful in targeting the £4 billion Scottish malt whisky market, using fermentation technology to turn its waste materials into high value biobutanol.

The whisky industry annually produces 1,600 million litres of pot ale and 500,000 tonnes of draff which could be converted into biobutanol, a direct substitute for fossil-derived fuel. In 2012 the start-up signed a world-first deal with a Scottish distillery to do exactly that.

The company has since won a number of awards, including ‘Innovator of the Year’ from the Institute of Chemical Engineering, and the Scottish Green Energy ‘Best Innovation’ prize. A recent deal with Europe’s foremost biotechnology pilot facility attracted £1.2 million of funding, and will seek to replicate the conversion process at industrial scale.





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