One For the Road: Glenfiddich Uses Whisky Waste to Fuel Trucks

LONDON (Reuters) -
Stuart Watts, a director of Glenfiddich parent company William Grant & Sons, stands by a fueling station next to their truck, that runs on whiskey-by-product based biogas, in Dufftown, Scotland, Britain. (Courtesy of William Grant & Sons/Handout via REUTERS)

Scotch whisky maker Glenfiddich has begun converting its delivery trucks to run on low-emission biogas made from waste products from its own whisky distilling process as part of a “closed loop” sustainability initiative, it said on Tuesday.

Glenfiddich said it has installed fueling stations at its Dufftown distillery in north-eastern Scotland that use technology developed by its parent company William Grant & Sons to convert its production waste and residues into an Ultra-Low Carbon Fuel (ULCF) gas that produces minimal carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions.

Stuart Watts, distillery director at family-owned William Grant & Sons, said traditionally Glenfiddich has sold off spent grains left over from the malting process to be used for a high-protein cattle feed.

But through anaerobic digestion – where bacteria break down organic matter producing biogas – the distillery can also use liquid waste from the process to make fuel and eventually recycle all of its waste products this way.

“The thought process behind this was ‘what can we do that’s better for us all?'” Watts said.

Watts said Glenfiddich had a fleet of around 20 trucks and the technology could be applied throughout the delivery fleets of William Grant & Sons’ whisky brands and could be scaled up to fuel other company’s trucks.

The Scottish whisky industry hopes to hit carbon net zero targets by 2040.