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Celtic Renewables Ltd is an innovative start-up company formed to commercialise a process for producing a superior next generation biofuel and other high value sustainable products, from the by-products of biological industries.
The Global biofuel market is currently dominated by bioethanol and biodiesel, but a new superior fuel – n butanol – is poised to enter the market. Biobutanol was legally recognised as a biofuel by incorporation in the 2009 amendment to the UK Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation(RTFO).
The inherent chemical properties of Biobutanol make it a superior transport fuel for use in combustion engines:
- Biobutanol’s energy content is closer to that of petrol compared with bioethanol. That means less compromise on fuel economy and more value to consumers as road fuel
- It has a low vapour pressure so it can be easily added to conventional petrol.
- Biobutanol can be used in higher blend concentrations than ethanol without requiring specially adapted vehicles, and will not force car manufacturers to compromise on performance in order to meet environmental regulations.
- Fuel specifications in the U.S., for example, allow biobutanol to be blended to 16% by volume—versus 10% by volume for ethanol—without compromising performance, durability, fuel economy or emissions. We believe actual blend limits for biobutanol usage in existing vehicles may be even higher.
- A 16% by volume biobutanol blend offers consumers the same fuel economy as a 10% by volume ethanol blend, while providing double the energy from renewable sources and double the GHG benefits.
- Biobutanol/petrol blends are less susceptible to separation in the presence of water than ethanol/petrol blends and are less corrosive
- Biobutanol can use the industry’s existing distribution infrastructure without requiring modifications to blending facilities, storage tanks or retail station pumps
Celtic Renewables will produce significant quantities of Acetone. The scale of the acetone production market is huge and growing (For example, in 2007 Chinese demand was reported as 800,000 tonnes). It is a very widely used chemical, both as a chemical feedstock and also as a solvent.
About half of world production is used for the production of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and thence acrylic plastics such as Perspex. It is also the starting point for other plastics such as epoxy resins and polycarbonates.
The UK depends on imports of acetone, almost entirely from the EU and particular Spain, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany, and in 2008 164,000 tonnes were imported at a cost of almost £100m (c.£610/t). Acetone is primarily traded as a commodity chemical, with the price per tonne fluctuates in line with crude oil prices.
The use of acetone as a raw material for the plastic industry opens the possibility of using it as a source of bioplastics. This could be of significant interest to some consumers and retailers as the carbon footprint of a plastic bottle made from renewably produced acetone will be negligible compared to one made from petrochemicals. Celtic Renewables Ltd will be creating a preferred buyers market for acetone as a commodity which is produced from renewable sources.
In 2008, world ethanol production reached 61 million tonnes per year, with the vast majority of ethanol derived from the fermentation of biomass feedstocks. In the chemicals industry, ethanol is used as a solvent and as a building block for chemical synthesis. It is relatively safe, and can be used to dissolve many organic compounds which are insoluble in water. Ethanol is a common solvent in:
Cosmetics (such as perfumes)
Food colourings and flavouring
Medicinal preparations (such as antiseptics)
Some cleaning agents
Ethanol can also be used to synthesise a number of basic chemicals and polymer precursors, including ethylene, ethyl acetate, and acetic acid. Production of ethylene is experiencing renewed interest as market demand for bio-based products increases. The main use of ethylene is in the production of polyethylene (PE); LLDPE, LDPE and HDPE. These are used in the packaging industry.
In terms of animal feed, today up to 80% of the protein needed for EU agriculture (dairy/beef farming, pig, lamb & poultry farming) is imported, mainly from South America.
Following the successful fermentation of the Draff and Pot Ale (by-products of whisky production), the solid residue will be separated and dried to produce a high grade animal feed.
The Celtic Renewables animal feed products help to reduce this reliance on imported material, offering a more sustainable source.
The feed has a high protein content and an excellent carbon/nitrogen ratio, which will be ideal for the cattle and dairy cow feed markets. Our process makes animal feed in a form that is more nutritional and is more appropriate to the needs of the farmer.