Professor Martin Tangney, originally from Cork, and with strong Scartaglin connections, has been made an OBE in Queen Elizabeth’s 2018 New Year’s Honours list in recognition of his services to engineering and energy.
Professor Tangney is being decorated for his notable achievement of using whisky residue to fuel cars without needing to modify the engine.
Van Run on Cooking Oil
I remember Willie Leane convincing me in Sheila Prendiville’s one night that the van I was driving at the time would work very well on cooking oil with no modification needed. I believed him – Willie is that class of man – but I never tried it.
A professor at Edinburgh’s Napier University and an expert in biofuels, Professor Tangney oversaw the first successful test drive for a whisky-fuelled car powered by biobutanol – a direct replacement for petrol – only last year. That’s according to Simon Fearn writing this week in The Drinks Business an on-line magazine for the trade and based in the UK.
The New Biofuel
Professor Tangney used draff, the sugar-rich kernels of barley soaked in water to facilitate whisky’s fermentation, and pot ale, the yeasty liquid heated during fermentation, to create the new biofuel.
“The Scottish malt whisky industry produces 500,000 tonnes of draff and 1.6bn litres of pot ale each year; only 10% of what flows out of the distillery is future whisky,” according to Mr. Fearn’s article.
President of Celtic Renewables
Professor Tangney, a son of Donal Tangney, Scartaglin, is founder and president of biofuel company Celtic Renewables, said that he couldn’t overstate how much of an honour it is to find himself in the company of some very great Irish people who have done much more significant things than him – he rather modestly concluded.
Ahead of His Time
The professor still has relatives in Scartaglin and Gerald Borgeat is a first cousin. The people who always swore that the late and wonderful Cornie Tangney was ahead of his time in the things he got up to, can sit or stand up again and take a bow.
Wouldn’t he be proud today of his nephew’s achievements in finding a legality in the drink / driving issue.
If you’d like to see Professor Martin Tangney in action and explaining his ‘Whiskey and Me’ voyage of discovery you can utter a dignified ‘Up Scart’ to yourself and click on the link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr_u7dKwg_w
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