Bruichladdich wins grant for alternative fuels research

Distillery to conduct feasibility study for hydrogen combustion technology
Bruichladdich production director Allan Logan with head distiller Adam Hannett.
Bruichladdich production director Allan Logan with head distiller Adam Hannett.
Bruichladdich has secured a grant to explore to use of alternative non-fossil fuels at its distillery.

The Small Business Research Initiative Green Distilleries Competition awarded more than £70,000 to Bruichladdich's project partner, Protium Green Solutions, to complete a feasability study on incorporating hydrogen combustion technology at its Islay facility.

Known as a bit of a boundary pusher in its whisky production, the distiller - maker of Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte and Octomore single malts and The Botanist gin - has already conducted investigations into the use of various renewable energy sources. Each viable option, including wind, solar and biomass power, will continue to be explored alongside the new hydrogen fuel feasability project.

Together with ITPEnergised and Deuterium, Protium will investigate the possibility of deploying a hydrogen-fuelled combustion chamber to meet the distillery's heating requirements. Expected to be completed in spring 2021, the study (named HyLaddie) is part of Phase One of the Green Distilleries competition; successful test results could see the teams apply for Phase Two funding to install the combustion chamber and assess its industrial application.

The project will be the first deployment of the combustion chamber - manufactured by Deuterium - in the UK. It works by combusting hydrogen and oxygen in a vacuum to generate steam, with the only by-product being water.

Allan Logan, production director of Bruichladdich, said: "At Bruichladdich Distillery, we understand that there is real potential for a hydrogen-based solution to decarbonise our industry. We are thrilled to have the support of Protium, Deuterium and ITPEnergised to help us assess the feasability of employing a green hydrogen fuel switching solution for our distillery - a move we hope benefits the broader industry."