Irish Scientist Nominated For Top International Honour
|One of Ireland's most eminent biofuel scientists has been shortlisted for a top international honour for his work in converting whisky waste into fuel.
Professor Martin Tangney, from Macroom, County Cork has been shortlisted as Innovator of the Year by the Institute of Chemical Engineering at the IChemE 2012 Awards.
The award is one of only two individual accolades offered by the Institute to mark outstanding contribution to scientific advancement, the other recognising the work of young chemical engineers. Others shortlisted candidates for the award include leading scientists from Australia, America and Singapore.
Professor Tangney, founder and president of the Edinburgh-based company Celtic Renewables, has been recognised for his groundbreaking work in developing the technology to produce biobutanol from the by-products of whisky production.
Last month Celtic Renewables signed a memorandum of understanding with Tullibardine Distillery in Perthshire, which became the first whisky distillery in the world to have its by-products converted into advanced biofuel, capable of directly powering vehicles which run on petrol and diesel.
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The company is currently undertaking commercial trials on the process, in partnership with Tullibardine, at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) at Redcar, in Teesside, with funding from Zero Waste Scotland.
Professor Tangney, who studied microbiology at University College Cork and later graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a masters in genetics, said he was honoured to be recognised by the Institute and to be included in such eminent company.
"This shows that companies and scientists in Scotland are still leading the way with innovation, particularly in the renewable energy sector," he said.
Dr Sandy Dobbie, Chairman of Chemical Sciences Scotland, the strategic partnership of the chemical industry, Scotland's universities and its government agencies, said: "Martin is a classic example of the entrepreneurial spirit that constantly drives innovation in our £10 billion chemical sector, which is second only to whisky in Scotland's exports.
"His shortlisting for the IChemE Innovation award is richly deserved as his pioneering approach to converting distillery byproducts into biobutanol is a real technology breakthrough developed right here in Scotland."
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