North British Distillery and HydroThane UK have won a major industry award for an anaerobic digestion (AD) project – developed in partnership with biogas digester & combined heat and power (CHP) supplier ENER-G.

The Edinburgh Scotch whisky grain distillery, which supplies famous brands such as Famous Grouse and Johnnie Walker Black Label, won the AD & Biogas Award for Best integration of AD into a food and drink business.

The £6m green technology project has reduced the distillery’s carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 9,000 tonnes per year, which equates to the annual carbon saving benefits of a 7,377 acre forest, or removing 3,000 cars from the road.

The project introduced high rate anaerobic digestion to help the company provide a sustainable solution to a bottleneck in the back-end production process. This comprises a by-products plant producing Distillers Dark Grain pellets for animal feed.

The AD plant, which was completed in two phases, is capable of treating 27,000Kg of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) per day and produces up to 24 000 MW hours of renewable energy in the form of biogas.

A high efficiency 500kW ENER-G combined heat and power system and a 1 000kW steam boiler convert the biogas into steam and electrical energy for use on- David Rae, Managing Director of North British Distillery, said: “By reducing our carbon footprint we are contributing significantly to the Scotch whisky industry’s global target of sourcing 80 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2050.”

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