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Glenmorangie Distillery in Tain to integrate new biogas cleaning system in partnership with wastewater treatment specialist Alpheus Environmental


By Federica Stefani

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The green biogas cleaning system at Glenmorangie Distillery will be integrated into the existing distillery’s Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant.
The green biogas cleaning system at Glenmorangie Distillery will be integrated into the existing distillery’s Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant.

AN EASTER ROSS whisky producer will be implementing an innovative green technology initiative in a bid to reduce use of chemicals in the distilling process.

In partnership with water and wastewater company, Alpheus Environmental, Tain-based Glenmorangie Distillery will be introducing a new biological cleaning system aiming to substantially reduce the use of chemicals to clean biogas, a byproduct of the distillation process which consists mainly of carbon dioxide and methane.

According to the contractor, who already operates and maintains the wastewater treatment plant for the distillery the new system will result in the continued reduction of carbon emissions and drive down operational costs for the distillery when compared to the existing chemical cleaning system.

Peter Nelson, operations director for Glenmorangie, said: “Events such as COP26 continue to reinforce the need for a sustainable future, and the whisky industry can lead in this transformation, by setting an ambitious target to be net-zero by 2040.

“Working with our environmental partner, Alpheus, is key to achieving our sustainability targets, mitigating the impacts of climate change and ensuring that we make an overall positive impact on the environment around us.”

The green biogas cleaning system will be integrated into the existing distillery’s Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant, allowing bacteria to break down the by-products of whisky production and turning them in to biogas which is used to generate clean green energy.

The overall treatment process also has a positive impact on water quality and biodiversity, with the treated effluent from the AD plant acting as a highly nutritious food for oysters to feed off and further enhance the water quality, which has led to the long-term restoration of a native oyster reef located in the Dornoch Firth beside the Distillery.

Implemented in the Dornoch Firth beside the Distillery, the Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project (DEEP) has improved the biodiversity of and quality of the coastline and allowed the reintroduction of native oysters in the environment.
Implemented in the Dornoch Firth beside the Distillery, the Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project (DEEP) has improved the biodiversity of and quality of the coastline and allowed the reintroduction of native oysters in the environment.

The DEEP (Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project) has successfully improved the biodiversity of and quality of the coastline, reintroducing more than 20,000 of the molluscs back to the seabed in just four years.

Declan Maguire, managing director of Alpheus Environmental, said: “We are delighted to be implementing this green biogas cleaning solution, supporting Glenmorangie in the production of some legendary whiskies and assisting them in operating their plant in the most sustainable and efficient manner.

“In addition to protecting the Dornoch Firth, the recovery of energy from the treatment process feeding back into the distillery makes it highly sustainable and beneficial for the environment.

“We greatly welcome the opportunity to work with Glenmorangie to deliver further efficiencies for this business over the coming years, delivering a clean green future.”

This comes as the Scottish Whisky Association (SWA) launched its new Sustainability Strategy in the aftermath of the COP26 Glasgow conference. This aims to reduce dramatically the environmental impact of Scotland’s national drink, which commits the sector to reaching net-zero emissions in its operations by 2040. This is five years before the Scottish Government’s target for Scotland and 10 years before the UK.


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