Roma Have you ever tried adding whiskey instead of petrol? Don’t do this, even though you may be tempted to read what happened in Scotland. The famed Glenfiddich Refinery’s Speyside plant has converted waste from processing King of Spirits into biogas, and the resulting fuel is currently capable of driving three Iveco semi-trailer tractors. Three vehicles in particular made their way up and down from the Dufftown plant to bottling and packaging sites, covering four plants in central and western Scotland that belong to the William Grant & Sons company controlling Glenfiddich. No modifications to the engines, which thanks to this strategy would reduce their carbon footprint by 250 tonnes of CO2 per year.
But how is this possible? It all starts with discarded malted barley grains, grains that are typically pelleted and sold as livestock feed. Through an anaerobic digester, these wastes are mixed with certain bacteria to form biogas, which in turn is converted into fuel. Anaerobic digestion is the degradation of an organic material in practice by microorganisms under anaerobic conditions. A small revolution, because compared to diesel engines and other fossil fuels, biogas reduces emissions by 95% and particulate matter by 99%.
According to distillery director Stuart Watts, the experiment will expand to another 20 Ivecos in the Glenfiddich fleet, and will be followed by several distilleries in the country. “The thought process behind this project was figuring out what could be done to improve the situation for all of us.” (FP)
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