A SCOTTISH whisky distillery is set to benefit from a new, innovative technology to make its distillation process greener.
Glenmorangie Distillery in Tain will implement a new biological cleaning system that will substantially reduce the use of chemicals to clean biogas, a byproduct of the distillation process and which consists mainly of carbon dioxide and methane.
Compared to the existing chemical cleaning system this will result in the continued reduction of carbon emissions and drive down operational costs for the distillery.
Alpheus, who has been contracted to introduce the process, already operates and maintains the wastewater treatment plant for the distillery, responsible for the production of the world-renowned single malt whisky.
The green biogas cleaning system will be integrated into the existing distillery’s Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant.
AD is a process through which bacteria breaks down the by-products of whisky production, turning them in to biogas which is used to generate clean green energy.
The overall treatment process also has a positive impact on water quality and biodiversity, with the treated effluent from the AD plant acting as a highly nutritious food for oysters to feed off and further enhance the water quality.
This has led to the long-term restoration of a native oyster reef located in the Dornoch Firth beside the Distillery. The DEEP (Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project) has successfully improved the biodiversity of and quality of the coastline, reintroducing more than 20,000 of the molluscs back to the seabed in just four years.
Earlier this year the Scottish Whisky Association (SWA) launched its new Sustainability Strategy. This aims to reduce dramatically the environmental impact of Scotland’s national drink, which commits the sector to reaching net-zero emissions in its operations by 2040.
This is five years before the Scottish Government’s target for Scotland and 10 years before the UK.
Recent evidence from the SWA also points to the fact that the sector has cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50% since 2008.
Developments such as that at Tain will go some way to delivering this target.
This green technology initiative reinforces the long-term partnership between Alpheus and Glenmorangie and is another step in the delivery of long-term sustainable value to the distillery.
Peter Nelson, operations director for Glenmorangie, said: “Events such as COP26 continue to reinforce the need for a sustainable future, and the whisky industry can lead in this transformation, by setting an ambitious target to be net zero by 2040.
“Working with our environmental partner, Alpheus, is key to achieving our sustainability targets, mitigating the impacts of climate change and ensuring that we make an overall positive impact on the environment around us.”
Declan Maguire, managing director of Alpheus Environmental, said: “We are delighted to be implementing this green biogas cleaning solution, supporting Glenmorangie in the production of some legendary whiskies and assisting them in operating their plant in the most sustainable and efficient manner.
“In addition to protecting the Dornoch Firth, the recovery of energy from the treatment process feeding back into the distillery makes it highly sustainable and beneficial for the environment.
“We greatly welcome the opportunity to work with Glenmorangie to deliver further efficiencies for this business over the coming years, delivering a clean green future.”