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Scotch distiller Glenfiddich powers its trucks with whisky waste

Roadshow logo Roadshow 7/27/2021 Kyle Hyatt
This is where (part of) the magic happens. Antoine GYORI/Sygma via Getty Images © Provided by Roadshow This is where (part of) the magic happens. Antoine GYORI/Sygma via Getty Images

Sure, having a brewery or distillery is probably pretty cool, but in addition to producing an endless river of hooch, you also produce tons and tons of waste. 

Many alcohol manufacturers sell the spent grains left over from the malting process to be used as food for livestock, but Scottish distillery Glenfiddich figures it may have a new answer to an old problem, according to a report Tuesday by Reuters.

That answer is biogas. No, not the kind that seeps out of your dad in the car around a half-hour after he pounds a Costco hotdog with all the fixings -- well, actually, it is kind of like that -- but the type produced by anaerobic digestion of the leftover liquid waste from the distillation process. Glenfiddich has already converted four Iveco trucks to run on the stuff, and it plans to go a lot further than that.

a large clock on a table: This is where (part of) the magic happens. © Antoine GYORI/Sygma via Getty Images

This is where (part of) the magic happens.

The four biogas-powered trucks were initially designed to run on liquid petroleum gas and have been converted to use the biogas collected at the main distillery. These trucks are then used to transport that sweet Scotch whisky to the company's bottling and packaging plants elsewhere in Scotland.

Glenfiddich estimates that these trucks produce approximately 95% less carbon than if they were run on petroleum products. That's a pretty significant drop, and the cost savings of using a byproduct rather than conventional fuels for the company's fleet of around 20 trucks is likely pretty attractive as well.

Turning farm waste into biogas (photos)

a truck driving down a dirt road: RUTLAND, Mass.--It's not a common site on farms but the domed silo on this hill is an anaerobic digester, which will produce biogas through naturally occurring bacteria. The biogas will be siphoned of and used as a fuel for an electricity generator. It's part of a project among five farms in western Massachusetts to reduce manure waste and make power on site with the digester. This first one is going up at the Jordan Dairy Farm where the owner expects to feed enough surplus electricity to the grid to power 2,000 homes and earn him some additional revenue. The biogas will be made when bacteria digest cow manure and food waste which will be shipped in. See related story: "Dairy farm feeds grid with manure and food waste."

RUTLAND, Mass.--It's not a common site on farms but the domed silo on this hill is an anaerobic digester, which will produce biogas through naturally occurring bacteria. The biogas will be siphoned of and used as a fuel for an electricity generator. It's part of a project among five farms in western Massachusetts to reduce manure waste and make power on site with the digester. This first one is going up at the Jordan Dairy Farm where the owner expects to feed enough surplus electricity to the grid to power 2,000 homes and earn him some additional revenue. The biogas will be made when bacteria digest cow manure and food waste which will be shipped in. See related story: "Dairy farm feeds grid with manure and food waste."
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