Sunday 21 July 2019

Whisky-powered prof Martin scoops an OBE

Macroom scientist Tangney receives OBE in Edinburgh

Maria Herlihy

A Macroom native who is a leading biofuel and sustainability expert has received an OBE at a ceremony in Edinburgh.

Professor Martin Tangney, who is an Edinbugh Napier University based scientist, now joins a select list of previous Irish OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) recipients which includes F1's Eddie Jordan and Hollywood actor Pierce Brosnan.

Professor Tangney is an award winning  innovator who is  best known for developing a process to convert the residues of the whisky industry into an advanced sustainable biofuel called biobutanol (a direct replacement for petrol) - which not only providing a sustainable disposal route for the by-products of one of the Scotland's largest industries, but also integrating renewable fuel production with environmental sustainability and carbon reduction.

He is also the founder and President of Celtic Renewables Ltd, which is in the advanced stages of building a ground breaking world first, an advanced sustainable biofule plant, in Scotland.

"This is an immense honour that I am both proud and humbled to accept.  I am particularly delighted to be presented this award in Edinburgh, as this is where I have made my career and if I in anyway at all deserve an OBE it is only because of my work in Scotland," said Professor Tangney.

"I hope that I represent the strong Irish diaspora here who have been contributing to Scottish society in so many ways for so many years in our shared heritage and I will continue to do my best to remain worthy of this tremendous accolade," he said. 

Speaking about the prestigious award, Lord Lieutenant Frank Ross said: "It is my honour and privilege, on the Queen's behalf, to present Martin with his honorary OBE. His innovative approach to biofuel production - using by-products of whisky to create a viable alternative to petrol - has made industry ripples around the world. This medal recognises the lasting and meaningful impact on engineering and technology he has made. 

"My congratulations on behalf of everyone in Edinburgh."

The award ceremony took place at Edinburgh City Chambers which had many friends, family and business leaders in attendance.