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Trucks soon to be climate neutral thanks to whisky

The Scottish whisky brand Glenfiddich wants to convert its entire fleet to biogas. This is to be produced from the company's own whisky waste and could thus save 250 tonnes of CO2 - per truck and year!

Biogas as a fuel is much more climate-friendly than diesel and petrol. Compared to petrol, the emission of greenhouse gases is about 65% lower. Nitrogen oxide emissions are also significantly lower than with internal combustion engines. Compared to petrol vehicles, about 10% less nitrogen oxides are emitted; compared to diesel vehicles, emissions are even about 99% lower. Biogas is therefore not only better for the climate, but also for air quality and human health.

The Scottish whisky brand Glenfiddich now wants to produce such biogas from its own whisky production waste. In Scotland, about 750,000 tonnes of malt residues are produced annually during whisky production. The production of biogas from this waste has been explored for some time. The whisky distillery Tullibardine, together with the Scottish start-up Celtic Renewables, had been researching how to convert the malt residues from whisky production into biogas with the help of bacteria since 2012. In 2017, they had powered a car with the recycled product for the first time.

The world's third-largest whisky producer from the tranquil town of Dufftown in north-east Scotland has now announced that it will convert its entire vehicle fleet to biogas by 2040, thereby reducing the vehicles' CO2 emissions by around 90%. Converted, about 250 tonnes of CO2 could be saved per vehicle. And that's per year! 

Glenfiddich, which is part of the family business William Grant & Sons, wants to run not only the vehicles but also the entire production chain on biogas. In this way, the production of whisky is to become completely emission-free by 2040. By 2025, all packaging is to be reusable, recyclable or compostable.

With the conversion, the brand is taking on a pioneering role for the mammoth logistical task of the mobility turnaround for trucks. Since experts do not see electrically powered trucks as viable for the future - the batteries would be too large and heavy to supply fully loaded trucks with enough energy to cover really long distances - alternatives must be found. Hydrogen vehicles are one possibility. The decentralised production of biogas from the company's own waste, as at Glenfiddich, is another promising method of reducing climate-damaging CO2 as well as harmful nitrogen oxides.