Scotch whisky maker Glenfiddich uses whiskey waste to fuel trucks, cuts CO2 emissions by more than 95%

On Tuesday, in a statement scotch whisky maker Glenfiddich said, it has started to convert its delivery trucks to run on low-emission biogas made from waste products from its own whisky distilling process as part of a “closed loop” sustainability initiative.

The company has installed fueling stations at its Dufftown distillery in north-eastern Scotland using technology developed by its parent company William Grant & Sons to convert production waste residues into an Ultra-Low Carbon Fuel (ULCF) gas that produces minimal carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions.

According to Stuart Watts, distillery director at William Grant & Sons, while earlier Glenfiddich use to sell its left over spent grains from the malting process to companies which make high-protein cattle feed. But now using anaerobic digestion, where bacteria break down organic matter into biogas, it can use the liquid waste to make fuel. It plans on eventually recycling all of its waste products this way.

“The thought process behind this was ‘what can we do that’s better for us all?’,” said Watts.

In a statement Glenfiddich, which sells more than 14 million bottles of single malt whisky a year, said its whisky waste-based biogas is already powering three specially-converted trucks that transport spirit from production at Dufftown through to bottling and packaging, covering four William Grant & Sons sites in central and western Scotland.

As a result of this recycling, it aims to cut CO2 emissions by more than 95% compared to diesel and other fossil fuels, and reduces other harmful particulates and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 99%.

Each truck will displace up to 250 tonnes of CO2 annually, said Glenfiddich.

The Scottish whisky industry hopes to hit carbon net zero targets by 2040.

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