The whisky heritage of the beautiful Scottish Highlands is being preserved, as Diageo leads the way by converting to renewable energy. The Diageo distillery at Dailuaine was first to use Clearfleau’s anaerobic digestion (AD) technology, becoming operational in 2013. Since August 2015 the site at Glendullan has been using the system to manage distillery co-products.
This bio-energy plant is:
• Generating over 2 million m3 of biogas
• Delivering 8,000 MW hours of thermal energy
• Turning 1,000m3 of co-products into 1MW per hour
• Saving over 1,000 tonnes of carbon each year
• Cutting over 15 truck journeys daily, with a new pipeline supplying the AD plant
Diageo is a global name in alcoholic beverages. Its brands are produced in 200 sites in 30 countries. Diageo is committed to efficient, sustainable production. This includes a global target to reduce the water it uses by 50% and to return 100% of it safely to the environment (see http://goo.gl/CvHAUJ).
Diageo is replacing outdated effluent treatment plants at its Scottish distilleries to increase sprit output and handle larger volumes of co-products. As with other food and beverage producers, plants that met past requirements no longer satisfy today’s regulatory standards. Distilleries, often located in places of natural beauty, need solutions to be fully integrated with the local environment.
A key engineering challenge for us was developing a bio-energy plant able to handle higher-strength materials such as pot ale alongside other more dilute distillery co-products. The on-site process uses bacteria to convert liquid co-products to valuable renewable energy for the distillation process.
Clearfleau’s unique liquid AD system reduces organic load from distillery co-products by 95%. This minimises additional treatment required for discharge of cleansed water to nearby rivers. Bacteria produce biogas, supplying renewable heat or power for the distillation process. The result, a cost-effective closed loop where Diageo’s residues are recycled and reused.
Diageo’s savings on energy and treatment costs, plus Government incentives for renewable energy generated, easily pay for the AD plant. Key results for Diageo are:
• Reduced treatment costs
• lower carbon emissions
• Decreased site energy costs
• Revenue from renewable incentives
• More sustainable production and improved CSR
Two bio-energy facilities, on Speyside Malt Distilleries, are examples of how the beverage sector can exploit this technology, supporting commercial and environmental goals with an attractive payback.
Deploying On-site AD
By generating bio-energy from its distillery co-product residues, Diageo is showing how one of Scotland’s most traditional industries can deliver significant cost savings and environmental benefits.
Keith Miller, Diageo’s Distillation and Maturation Director, said: “We’re very proud of our record in investing in cutting-edge sustainable technology at our distilleries. The bioenergy plant at Glendullan is the most recent example of how we use innovative technology which harnesses the potential of the natural raw materials we use in the distillation process to generate renewable energy.”FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ON SITE ADVIEW MORE CASE STUDIES