FORGET turning water into wine - this Irishman takes whiskey and makes fuel.
Martin Tangney, who is from Co. Cork, has just been honoured for his work in biofuel and sustainability by the Queen.
The inventor, a professor at Edinburgh Napier University, received an honorary OBE for services to engineering and energy.
“This is an incredible honour that came very much out of the blue,” he said.
“I am humbled to be in the company of some outstanding Irish people who have received an honorary OBE.”
The Irishman has developed a way to convert residues from the whiskey industry into a sustainable biofuel.
His biobutanol can be used as a replacement for petrol, diesel and even used to make jet fuel.
It’s been predicted the new fuel course could be the start of a new industry worth £100million a year.
The biofuel made headlines last year when it powered a hire car.
It is made from draff, the sugar rich kernels found in barley that are used in the fermentation process of whiskey-making, and pot ale – a copper-containing yeast liquid left over after distillation.
In 2007, the Irishman established Britain’s first research centre dedicated to developing sustainable biofuel.
A former Innovator of the Year Award-winner at the Institute for Chemical Engineers International, he is also the Founder and President of Celtic Renewables Ltd.
“An honour of this magnitude reflects far more than I could accomplish as an individual and I am very grateful to the many people who have guided and shaped my career, and me as a person, over the years which has resulted in this tremendous recognition,” Professor Tangney said.
The Irish Government paid tribute.
“I am delighted for Martin on this recognition of his work, which is richly-deserved,” said Dr Mark Hanniffy, Consul General of Ireland in Scotland.
“He is a highly regarded figure in both the academic and the business communities in Scotland, and his work exemplifies the tremendous contribution that the Irish diaspora is making here.”