Dr. John E. Murtagh

John's Resume

John's Publications

The Alcohol Textbook

The Alcohol Glossary

The Worldwide Distilleries Guide

Distilleries and Fuel-Ethanol Plants Online Network


                    MURTAGH & ASSOCIATES

3409 Briarcrest Drive
Eau Claire, WI 54701, USA
Telephone: (1) 540-667-7757
Fax: (1) 715-831-8151
E-mail: murtagh@murtagh.com

Murtagh and Associates provide a complete service in alcohol-production consultancy, from initial technical and economic feasibility studies, through plant design and equipment selection, to commissioning, staff training and product marketing.

Murtagh and Associates undertake short-term assignments on increasing plant efficiencies and capacities, improving alcohol-product quality, providing expert-witness testimony, and consulting on litigation.

Murtagh and Associates also provide on-going contract consulting services adapted to meet the particular needs of distillery managements. These services include periodic site visits, preparation of detailed reports on recommendations for improvements, together with year-round technical support, answering questions and supplying information by telephone, fax or e-mail.

John Murtagh died on January 25, 2003.
The ethanol industry has lost a great expert. May he rest in peace.

John E. Murtagh

Ph.D., M.Sc., F.A.I.C., F.I.C.I., C.Chem.

John is an independent consultant in alcohol production, with extensive experience in many countries around the world.

He currently consults for clients in Europe, North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Australasia, in the beverage, industrial and fuel-alcohol industries. His recent and current assignments include the relocation of distilleries, the establishment of new production plants, and the conversion of fuel-alcohol plants to produce high-quality neutral spirit for vodka and other purposes. As as result of his assistance, several of his clients are producing some of the purest neutral spirit in the world. In 1995, he edited "The Alcohol Textbook" for Nottingham University Press, and contributed chapters on molasses, neutral spirits and rum. In 1997, he completed the compilation and editing of the "Worldwide Directory of Distilleries", which was also published by Nottingham University Press.

Other recent and current consulting assignments include solving fermentation and distillation problems, correcting equipment-design faults, conducting production-plant feasibility studies, project development, staff training, plant start-ups, performance testing, serving as an expert witness and conducting industry-privatization studies for foreign governments. Since 1990, he has been an arbitrator on the National Commercial Panel of the American Arbitration Association. 

John began his career with the House of Seagram, in 1959, and served in Jamaica, Quebec, New Brunswick and Montreal, Canada, managing whisky, rum and industrial-alcohol distilleries. After two years as a manager in Seagram's Research and Development Department in Montreal, he returned to the University of Wales to complete a Ph.D. study on grain-alcohol production processes.

Since establishing his independent consultancy practice in 1972, John's experiences have covered many more facets of alcohol production, and he is now acknowledged internationally as a leading expert in the field.

In the early 1970's, while based in Ireland, he consulted for clients in Europe and Asia on the production of alcohol from various raw materials. One assignment led to his engagement as manager of Iran Beverages of Tehran, for a two-year period. There, he controlled a beverage and industrial-alcohol distillery, producing Smirnoff Vodka, Gilbey's Gin and other international brands under license. He was responsible for greatly increasing capacity and overall performance, until the plant was closed by religious authorities after the Iranian revolution.

Since 1979 John has been retained as a consultant to Carbery Distillers Ltd. of Ireland, on the development and operation of their process for the fermentation of cheese whey, to produce very-high-quality neutral spirit for beverage and industrial uses. He has also been responsible for the commissioning of three whey-alcohol plants for Carbery licensees in New Zealand and the U.S., and continues to visit and assist these plants.

Now based in the U.S., John has become very familiar with most of the U.S. fuel-alcohol plants. In 1982, he conducted a detailed critical analysis of many of the medium-size plants, to identify problem areas, and to give appropriate advice on necessary action. He was retained in 1985 by the State of New Mexico, and in 1987 by the State of Louisiana, to examine all the fuel-alcohol plants in those states, to compile data for economic-impact studies.

In 1987, John was asked to update and expand the plant details in a U.S. nationwide directory of fuel-alcohol plants. As a result of this assignment he has become very knowledgeable on sources of redundant equipment and he has served as consultant for a major auction company, on the sale of more than thirty fuel-alcohol plants and whiskey distilleries.

From 1982 to 1997, John was a guest lecturer at an annual Alcohol School in Kentucky, covering subjects such as the production of neutral spirit and rum. He has also served as Chairman of the World Ethanol Conference in London, since its inception in 1998.

Dr. John E. Murtagh | Resume | Publications | The Alcohol Textbook | The Alcohol Glossary
 | The Worldwide Distilleries Guide | Index

Comments, questions and information may be forwarded to:

Murtagh & Associates
3409 Briarcrest Drive, Eau Claire, WI 54701
Telephone: (1) 715-831-851, Fax: (1) 715-831-8151
E-mail: murtagh@murtagh.com

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Copyright 1996-2007 Murtagh & Associates                                                                                                                            last updated 06/05/2007