Green Distilleries Competition: Phase 1 feasibility reports


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May 21, 2023

Green Distilleries Competition: Phase 1 feasibility reports

Updated 24 November 2021 © Crown copyright 2021 This publication is

Updated 24 November 2021

© Crown copyright 2021

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Led by Edrington alongside consultants Allen Associates.

High Temperature Heat Pumps (HTHP) have the potential to convert low-grade heat into steam for use in a variety of distillery applications. They have the benefit of improving overall energy efficiency as well as enabling fuel switching to renewable electricity from fossil fuels. Edrington aim to investigate this technology on an industrial scale, at Highland Park distillery and maltings in Kirkwall. The project will develop an innovative stillhouse heat recovery system with a HTHP at its core. The steam produced will be used to heat the malt drying kilns, replacing coke as the fuel source for this process and eliminating the associated carbon emissions.

Read the feasibility report.

Led by John Fergus & Co Ltd alongside Arup.

This project will specifically focus on the potential to use hydrogen at the distillery to significantly decarbonise the process heat required. The hydrogen could be produced two ways, by converting the gas generated at the local AD plant to hydrogen onsite and through electrolysis of local renewables onsite. Alternatively, it could be delivered to site from other local larger scale producers in the locality.

The distillery has already carried out a study looking at the energy that could be generated from the warehouse roof PV panels, this data will be brought into the study to determine the hydrogen production capacity. The study will also look at the implications of this additional renewable generation on the electrical system supplying the distillery. The use of the hydrogen within the existing but converted natural gas steam boiler or a newly installed hydrogen system displacing the sites remaining natural gas demand.

Additionally, the carbon footprint of the distillery has been the subject of a previous study. This will help to confirm the potential carbon savings of such a scheme.

Read the feasibility report.

The Uist Distilling Company Ltd.

The distillation process for most operational distilleries is fuelled by the raising of steam through burning of fuel oil or natural gas. This project will consider the opportunity for a new distillery to be designed as low carbon from the outset by running the distillery through a combination of a hydrogen burner and indirect heating of a thermal oil rather than conventional steam.

This innovative engineering design utilises indirect burning of hydrogen to create a safer operational environment and a cheaper solution than direct combustion. The project seeks to assess the feasibility of creating hydrogen onsite through installation of renewable energy generation and viable routes to market for excess hydrogen created. The production of hydrogen offsite using operational renewable energy assets and transport to site will also be investigated. The techno-economic feasibility of such energy systems will be assessed and discussed in the context of national and regional energy strategy and transition towards a hydrogen economy.

Read the feasibility report.

The Uist Distilling Company Ltd.

This project considers the opportunity for a new build distillery to be run via an electrically driven high temperature heat store as opposed to the counterfactual case of fossil fuel based oil burners. A significant proportion of existing and new distilleries are situated in rural areas where the electrical infrastructure is highly constrained. This limits the possibilities for new renewable electricity generation as export to the grid is not possible.

The insulted high temperature heat store will use electricity to raise the internal temperature of the storage medium which can then be transferred into process heat. This process heat can be dispatched rapidly (sub one second) allowing energy to be used flexibly and as efficiently as possible. This innovative fuel switching design allows for further integration with renewable sources of electricity and relieves local grid constraints by having a flexible and dispatchable load. The result is a zero or low carbon distillery with lower energy demands and higher resource efficiency that can be replicated across the distillation industry and applied in other industrial commercial settings with high thermal energy use.

Read the feasibility report.

Locogen Ltd.

This project will assess the feasibility of switching an operational distillery from fuel oil to hydrogen burners that provide direct process heat for distillation. Direct combustion of the hydrogen in burners would involve the retrofit of the fuel distribution and boiler systems within the distillery, whilst the option of creating hydrogen offsite and transporting onsite will also be investigated.

This innovative fuel switching project allows for integration with onsite or offsite renewable energy sources which can create hydrogen through electrolysis. The techno-economic feasibility of such energy systems will be assessed and discussed in the context of national and regional energy strategies and the transition towards a hydrogen economy. The project will realise a zero or low carbon distillery, converted from fossil fuel dependence, which can be replicated across the distillation industry and applied in other industrial commercial settings with high thermal energy use. The project will highlight the opportunities for the acceleration of the hydrogen economy.

Read the feasibility report.

Led by Sunamp with support from Heriot Watt University.

Sunamp will demonstrate through the Green Distilleries feasibility study how PCM thermal storage offer distilleries, both old and new, a safe and resilient pathway of fuel switching to zero and low carbon renewable technology as their main method of heat generation. Using energy and process modelling from Heriot Watt, with data from their on-campus distillery as well as industry input, we will show how a large-scale (MWh) PCM thermal store can be used to convert, capture and store renewable energy generation to be used at the point of demand, in effect decoupling generation from demand.

Read the feasibility report.

Environmental Resources Management Limited.

Hydrogen has the potential to decarbonise heat in UK distilleries. However, transporting hydrogen to distilleries, often in remote locations, can be a challenge. A potential solution is to transport and store the hydrogen using a liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC). LOHC can carry a similar level of hydrogen per unit volume as liquid hydrogen and can do so safely and cleanly at atmospheric temperature and pressure. It can be transported using conventional road tankers and stored in existing fuel storage tanks.

The objective of the project will be to determine the viability of using LOHC for decarbonising the distillery industry and outline a plan to demonstrate its technical performance, environmental, health and safety credentials and lifecycle cost.

Read the feasibility report.

Supercritical Solutions Ltd.

Supercritical's electrolysis system will produce hydrogen on site at unparalleled efficiency and minimal cost with renewable power supported by waste heat from our partner distillery. The green hydrogen will be looped back into the distillery's heat or power system to minimise its reliance on fossil fuels, demonstrating a route to a zero carbon distillery reliant only on its local natural resources. The demonstration will be the first of its kind, paving the way for distilleries and other industries across the UK to benefit.

Read the feasibility report.

Led by the Cornish Geothermal Distillery Company (CGDC) alongside industrial partners Geothermal Engineering Limited (GEL), Buro Happold and Forsyths.

This ground breaking project aims to demonstrate a cost effective high-temperature heat pump solution, capable of powering heat intensive distillery processes (from fermentation to distillation to maturation) utilising low grade waste industrial heat sources. The initial focus of the study will look at waste heat taken from the UK's first geothermal power plant at the United Downs Deep Geothermal Project where 80 degree heat is available as a by-product of the electricity production process. This heat stream will be elevated through a heat pump system to produce steam for the distillery, providing a stable, consistent and sustainable energy supply with zero carbon emissions and significant energy savings.

Read the feasibility report.

Led by the European Marine Energy Centre alongside research partner Napier University and industrial partners Edrington, and Orkney Distilling Limited.

HySpirits 2 will deliver the world's first hydrogen fuelled distillery; demonstrating that fuel switching to clean green solutions can be achieved anywhere. The first stage of the project will assess four different technology pathways to facilitate green hydrogen fuel-switching in the distilling sector enabling full decarbonisation of this industrial process. To achieve this, EMEC will use its world-leading expertise in applied R&D on green hydrogen production using wind and tidal energy in Orkney. Edinburgh Napier University's industrial decarbonisation team will provide 20 years of experience from the distilling sector. Finally, the global distilling group Edrington (owners of Highland Park Distillery in Orkney) and Orkney Distilling (a boutique, Orkney-owned distilling company) will provide end user inputs, support a market roll-out strategy, and help scope a pilot demonstration.

Read the feasibility report.

Colorado Construction & Engineering Ltd.

Dual fuel hydrogen/NG burners will be developed that can be co-fired with biofuels. This enables an immediate start to be made on the decarbonisation of distilleries using green liquid biofuels co-fuelled with NG, with a direct transition to green/blue hydrogen as it becomes available. Tri-fuel operation on hydrogen, NG and biofuels will be possible in the transition to 100% hydrogen fuel with 100% decarbonisation. NG/hydrogen dual fuel burners with axially staged biofuel injection will be used to utilise difficult to burn waste biofuels such as Pot Ale Syrup and Glycerine. Both steam heated and direct fired distilleries will be part of the programme.

Read the feasibility report.

Led by Colorado Construction & Engineering Ltd, a distillery design and installation company, burner manufacturer CBS Ltd, and research partner University of Leeds.

Waste distillery biomass, DRAFF and PAS, as well as other waste biomass will be batch gasified in a novel medium temperature gasifier that avoids tar formation. The hot gasifier gas will be transferred to a newly developed burner for heating of both steam and direct fired distilleries. Optimisation of the gasifier performance will use CO and gas temperature peak seeking control. The gasifier burner will initially be NG fired but a biofuel/NG/hydrogen combined burner will be developed to increase the decarbonisation efficiency towards the 100% that will be possible once green/blue hydrogen is available.

Read the feasibility report.

Bennamann ltd.

The Bennamann-Atlantic fugitive methane project will combine the expertise and experience of two pioneering Cornish companies to provide an innovative industry-wide fuel-switching solution with substantial carbon saving potential. The solution will be easily reproduced and scalable, promote local energy networks and support mutually beneficial cross-industry interaction.

The feasibility study will investigate the benefits of switching fuel to carbon negative fugitive methane captured from covered slurry-lagoon anaerobic digestors, by enhancing methane yield from the latter using leachate from brewery and distillery organic waste. This novel approach will create a closed-energy loop between energy provider and user, and maximise the carbon savings from switching fuels.

Read the feasibility report.

St Andrews Brewers Limited.

Malt Whisky production is an energy intensive process, with distillation accounting for most of the heat demand within the distillery. At Eden Mill Distillery, distillation accounts for approximately 70% of the heat demand.

Eden Mill distillery are in the process of relocating their distillery to the Eden Campus within St. Andrews University. In the building with which they share a common internal wall, there is a biomass fired energy centre which provides district heating to the main St Andrews University campus and Eden Campus. This presents a large source of hot water which can be used use by the distillery.

The hot water produced can be used directly for mashing and cleaning within the distillery. The distillation requires a higher temperature, and this is to be obtained using a heat pump to create hot water thought to be capable of powering the majority of the distillation process in conjunction with steam via a two stage external heat exchanger.

Green Hydrogen created using renewable electricity produced on site is to be used to create the steam required for the second stage of the heat exchangers.

Read the feasibility report.

Protium Green Solutions Limited.

The HyLaddie project sees Bruichladdich Distillery, Protium Green Solutions, and ITPEnergised come together to assess a pioneering heating technology to help Bruichladdich's Distillery meet its 2025 net zero emissions target. The project will assess the feasibility of deploying a hydrogen steam boiler system under commercialisation by Protium's affiliate business Deuterium. The system is a Dynamic Combustion Chamber (DCCTM), which the consortium will seek to deploy at the Bruichladdich distillery with the objective of providing an alternative to the existing medium fuel oil boilers currently in use.

The DCCTM is an innovative condensing oxy-combustion boiler that combusts hydrogen to generate industrial grade steam; relying on green hydrogen as the feedstock the burner emits no green house gases or pollutants and operates without a flue. The completion of the Green distilleries phase 1 competition run by the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) will deliver a viable pathway to Bruichladdich's 2025 net zero target.

Read the feasibility report.

A consortium of Highland Park Distillery, SSE Utility Solutions , Lumenion GmbH, Adrian Wilson (Independent Consultant) led by Protium Energy Ltd.

A consortium of Highland Park Distillery, SSE Utility Solutions , Lumenion GmbH, Adrian Wilson (Independent Consultant) and Protium Energy Ltd has been formed to remove the kerosene fuels currently burnt at the Orkney based distillery to raise steam for the distillation process. The aim is to replace this CO2-emmitting process with a direct and highly efficient transformation of renewable energy into high temperature CO2–free process heat.

The study will investigate the option of a high temperature heat store which takes electricity (when available) and stores it as heat, and then converts that heat to steam (on demand). Orkney is uniquely blessed in the UK with 120% of current electrical demand met by renewable energy sources however it also has electrical grid constraints, requiring significant levels of generation curtailment. The islands have an Active Network Management system, which is trying to get more renewable generation connected by introducing controlled loads such as EVs. It is highly likely that the addition of a multi-megawatt dispatchable load would enhance the system and facilitate even more renewable energy on the archipelago, while tapping into low priced but otherwise curtailed electricity production.

Read the feasibility report.