19 August 2015

Renewable heat created from waste at Diageo whiskey factory

Following the success of the first Anaerobic Digester in its Dailuaine malt distillery in 2013, global drinks firm Diageo will install a second digester at its Glendullan site.

The Glendullan whiskey production site will generate 2 million cubic metres of biogas a year thanks to a new anaerobic digestion plant.  The system which is designed by Clearfleau, converts waste output from the whiskey distillation process (known as pot-ale and draff) into biogas which then generates renewable heat.  This Diageo plant is expected to produce around 8,000MW hours of energy per annum and this will be used in the distillation process. The system also reduces waste disposal costs.

Diageo, which also owns Smirnoff, Johnny Walker and Guinness, released its 2014 sustainability report earlier this week and claimed to have saved almost 3 billion litres of water over the last year.  The company cut carbon emissions by 9% thanks to cumulative impacts of multiple energy efficiency initiatives and switches to renewable fuels, predominately biogas recovery and reuse.

Scottish Office Minister Lord Dunlop visited the Diageo facility last week and said:  “The commitment to powering distilleries like Glendullan with sustainable energy, recycled from the co-products of the whisky-making process, is also exactly the right thing to do. Good for the planet, good for the whisky industry and good for the Scottish economy.”

However Clearfleau spokesperson Craig Chapman warned that projects such as these might be in danger without continued Government support.  He stated that this project shows how British technology can enable a traditional but energy intensive Scottish business sector to embrace the circular economy, reduce its costs and create a more sustainable basis for production.  However, wider adoption of this technology requires on-going support for renewable energy.  The Scottish and British Government should be working together to support the development of indigenous renewables technologies and their adoption in a range of industry sectors, helping to deliver our long-term sustainability targets. 

Source: edie

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