Bruichladdich distillery explores hydrogen heating

Bruichladdich Distillery is exploring how hydrogen combustion technology can reduce reliance on fuel oil to meet the island-based facility's heating demand.

Bruichladdich distillery explores hydrogen heating

The study will commence in Spring 2021

B Corp Bruichladdich Distillery, which is located on the Hebridean island of Islay, will work with hydrogen energy services company Protium Green Solutions on a feasibility study looking at incorporating hydrogen to provide low-carbon heating power.

Currently, the distillery is using fuel oil to meet its heating demand, with the remote location hindering access to clean technologies. However, with the distillery aiming to decarbonise production-based emissions by 2025, a new feasibility study has been launched into the role that hydrogen can play.

Protium Green Solutions has received more than £70,000 in funding as part of the BEIS Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) to conduct the study. The HyLaddie feasibility project has been funded by the Small Business Research Initiative Green Distilleries Competition and will explore the deployment of an on‐site Deuterium Dynamic Combustion Chamber (DCC) for heating requirements.

ITPEnergised and Deuterium will also work on the project to investigate how the DCC can be integrated into the Victorian distillery. The DCC works by generating high-temperature steam using only oxygen and hydrogen. The process creates water, which can be recycled, and eliminates all harmful emissions.

Bruichladdich’s operates and production director Allan Logan 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 feasibility of employing a hydrogen fuel switching solution for our distillery – a move we hope benefits the broader industry.”

The announcement comes just days after a trail was confirmed in a village near Gateshead that will see more than 650 households and commercial properties use blended green hydrogen for heating.

Hydrogen is one of the key pillars of the UK’s Ten Point Plan to drive a green industrial revolution. The UK will aim to generate 5GW of “low-carbon” hydrogen production capacity by 2030. Up to £500m will be invested in a bid to create a Hydrogen Neighbourhood in 2023, a Hydrogen Village by 2025, and to create the first town running entirely on hydrogen.

Building on that announcement, companies including Orsted and Iberdrola have teamed up in a bid to increase the world’s green hydrogen production fifty-fold by 2026 – in a move they claim will halve costs.

Matt Mace

Comments (3)

  1. Colin Matthews says:

    Why not take a much simpler zero route by looking at BioLNG or BioLPG both of which will be far more cost-effective. The key points with this feasibility is where is the renewable hydrogen made and what is the energy efficiency of baking hydrogen and then burning it to produce heat when hydrogen has one third the calorific value of Methane? The distillery could even make its own Biomethane from waste organic streams!!

  2. Zak Preston says:

    with the distillery aiming to decarbonise production-based emissions by 2025"

    As 99% of all hydrogen currently produced is black hydrogen from fossil fuels it seems strange they’re looking at this as an option for decarbonisation, especially given the logistical challenges of hydrogen and the island’s remote location.

    Surely solar PV and wind with electric boilers, or even biomass would be a lower carbon alternative?

    Seems disappointing that UK Government aren’t exploring these options with as much focus as hydrogen is.

  3. Andy Cook says:

    You’re on the right track Zak. . Swap CO2 heat pumps in for the electric boilers, which can produce high temperature heat at lower temperatures, and a thermal storage large enough to iron out the intermittency of renewables. . and you’re pretty much there.

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