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Hydrogen-powered distillery to produce sustainable gin

Published: 2 September 2019 - Carly Wills

An environmentally friendly gin distillery could use hydrogen power to produce sustainable gin as part of £390m government investment to reduce emissions from industry.

The HySpirits project will explore the possibility of converting a craft gin distillery in Orkney in Scotland from using liquid petroleum gas to hydrogen to make the process more environmentally friendly.

Funding for the pilot project is part of £390m government funding to help industry cut emissions. This includes:

  • £40m hydrogen and fuel switching innovation fund to explore how the technology can be rolled out across the UK to help cut emissions
  • £100m competition to enable greater supply of low carbon hydrogen for use across the economy to help businesses decarbonise
  • £250m clean steel fund to support the iron and steel industry, which currently accounts for 15 per cent of industry emissions, to transition to a low carbon future, including using hydrogen

Climate change minister, Lord Duncan, said: “It’s great to know we can all enjoy an environmentally friendly tipple while helping our planet as we press towards a net zero emissions economy by 2050.

“Developing hydrogen technology has the potential to not only reduce emissions from industry, but could also help us seize the opportunities of the global shift to cleaner economies – with the prize of up two million jobs and £170bn of annual exports by 2030.”

Working with the European Marine Energy Centre’s plant – which uses wind and tidal technology to produce hydrogen – the HySpirits project would use this locally-produced ‘green’ hydrogen to supply zero-carbon heat for the gin distillation process. If successful, this would reduce emissions from the plant by around 86 tonnes of CO2 every year and show how the UK’s growing craft brewing industry can switch from using fossil fuels to cleaner alternatives.

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