Genius: Glenfiddich Uses Waste from Whisky to Fuel their Trucks

The Scotch whisky maker Glenfiddich started converting its trucks for delivery to run on low-emission biogas that’s produced from waste products from their own whisky distillery.

The representatives of the brand say this move is part of their closed-loop sustainability initiative. For the purposes of this change, the company began installing stations for fueling at their Dufftown distillery in the northeast of Scotland.

The tech used is developed by their parent company William Grant & Sons. The tech helps convert the production waste and other residues into ULCF or Ultra-Low Carbon Fuel gas. It produces minimal CO2 and other harmful emissions.

Glenfiddich’s Switch to Sustainability

The distillery director of the family-owned William Grant & Sons, Stuart Watts, said that previously, Glenfiddich sold grain leftover from the malting process for high-protein cattle feeding.

However, through anaerobic digestion or when the bacteria dissolve organic matter producing biogas, the distillery can also use the liquid waste from this process to produce fuel and eventually, recycle all of its waste in this way.

Watts explains that the thought process behind this innovation was the decision to do something that will be better for everyone.

This distillery which sells more than 14 million bottles of single malt whisky per year explains their whisky waste-based biogas is already used to power their trucks.

These trucks transport their spirit from the production area at Dufftown to bottling and packaging. In total, it covers four William Grant & Sons locations in the west and center of Scotland.

Waste from Whisky Production may be Beneficial for the Environment

The waste products from the production of whisky may be advantageous for the environment.

According to the distiller, the biogas cuts CO2 emissions by more than 95 percent when compared to diesel and other fossil fuels. It also lowers other harmful emissions by up to 99 percent.

Each of these trucks will displace up to 250 tons of CO2 on a yearly basis. The trucks are converted vehicles from truck maker Iveco that usually run on liquified natural gas.

According to Watts, Glenfiddich has a fleet of approximately 20 trucks, and the tech may be applied throughout William Grant & Sons’ delivery fleets and also scaled up to fuel trucks of other companies.

The Scottish whisky industry has an ambitious goal of hitting zero carbon emissions by 2040.