Liquor Firm Diageo Moving to CHP

Liquor company Diageo, which produces spirits such as Johnny Walker, Tanqueray and Smirnoff, is set to develop a biomass-fired on-site energy facility at a new distillery in Roseisle, on Speyside, Scotland. The plant is designed to utilize spent wash — a mixture of wheat, malted barley, yeast and water — from the distillation process to supply heat to the plant. Set to be designed, built and operated by Dalkia, the Roseisle Distillery will use a bubbling fluidised bed boiler to combust both biogas and solid wastes to produce thermal energy.

The £40 million [US $60 million] distillery, due for completion this spring, will produce 10 million liters of whisky a year from its 14 six-meter high copper stills. Producing around 6 MW of electricity and some 25 MW of thermal energy, the system also treats the spent wash by separating solids with a belt press, before the liquid portion goes to an anaerobic digester.

Initially the spent wash is treated by separating solids and liquid with a belt press, before the liquid portion goes to an anaerobic digester to produce biogas. Liquid from the digester plant is further processed to provide water to the thermal plant and some of the distillery needs. Both the biogas and solids from the press are combusted together, generating steam at 60 bar.

In this case the treated digester water is expected to provide around 30% of the distillery’s needs. Steam from the boiler passes to a two stage steam turbine, with some of the steam from the first stage supplying the distillery with process steam at 16 bar. The remainder goes on to the second stage of the turbine.

Costing approximately £65 million ($97.5 million), the planned facility is believed to be the largest single investment in renewable technology by a non-utility company in the UK. The project will provide around 98% of the thermal steam and 80% of electrical power used at the distillery.

The development follows the August 2008 announcement of plans by Diageo for a similar bioenergy CHP installation at Scotland’s largest distillery, Cameronbridge in Fife.

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