The sixteenth-century historian Raphael Hollinshed wrote, “When consumed in moderation, whiskey has many medicinal benefits, but it turns out that its waste products can also benefit the environment.”
Very soon you will see vehicles running on fuel made from the waste material of whiskey. Scotch whiskey maker Glenfiddich has begun converting its delivery trucks to run on low-emission biogas made from waste products from its whiskey distilling process as part of its “Closed Loop” initiative.
Glenfiddich said it has set up fuel stations at its Dufftown distillery in north-east Scotland. These stations use technology developed by William Grant & Sons to convert their production waste into Ultra-Low Carbon Fuel (ULCF) gas that produces the least amount of carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions.
Stuart Watts, distillery director at William Grant & Sons, said Glenfiddich has sold leftover grain from the malting process used for high-protein cattle feed. But through anaerobic digestion – just as bacteria break down organic matter producing biogas, liquid waste can be used to make distillery fuel and all waste products can be recycled this way.
Watts said, “The thought process behind this was, what can we do that is better for all of us?” He said the company’s whiskey waste-based biogas is already powering three converted trucks that cover Glenfiddich Spirit from production in Dufftown through bottling and packaging to four William Grant.
The sixteenth-century English historian Raphael Hollinshed wrote, “When consumed in moderation, whiskey has many medicinal benefits, but it has been found that its waste products can also benefit the environment.”
Will help in reducing pollution
The distillery said biogas cuts CO2 emissions by more than 95% compared to diesel and other fossil fuels, and other harmful particulates and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 99%. Glenfiddich said each truck would discharge 250 tonnes of CO2 annually.
The trucks Glenfiddich is using are convertible vehicles from truck maker Iveco that normally run on liquefied natural gas. Watts said Glenfiddich has a fleet of about 20 trucks and the technology could be applied to the distribution fleet of William Grant & Sons’ whiskey brands and extended to fuel other company’s trucks. The Scottish whiskey industry is expected to achieve a carbon net zero target by 2040.
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