Scotland’s Orkney is all set to become the first hydrogen-powered gin distillery in the world.
The HySpirits project will explore the possibility of converting a craft gin distillery in Orkney by using hydrogen instead of liquid petroleum gas to make the process more eco-friendly.
The pilot project is part of $480 million UK government funding announced to help industries cut emissions.
The HySpirits project will be working with the European Marine Energy Center’s plant – which uses wind and tidal technology to produce hydrogen – to supply zero-carbon heat for the gin distillation process.
If successful, this could reduce emissions from the plant by around 86 tons of CO2 every year – the equivalent annual emissions from 10 homes or 18 cars.
Another pilot project is aiming to use floating wind turbines to produce hydrogen.
The Dolphyn project will mount electrolysers – electrical devices to split water into hydrogen and oxygen – onto platforms to produce hydrogen.
One wind turbine alone has the potential to produce enough low carbon hydrogen to heat around 2,500 homes, fuel over 120 to 240 buses, or run 8 to 12 trains.
HySpirits and the Dolphyn projects are just 2 out of 20 companies that have secured a share of up to $49 million of government funding to explore how the use of hydrogen can be rolled out across the UK.
Out of these, a further seven projects have been selected to develop their concepts covering a range of sectors including steel, food and drinks, nickel, cement, and glass.
The best of these will be awarded up to $10 million to move their technologies towards commercialization.
According to the government, moving to a cleaner, greener economy could help the UK seize the benefits of clean growth, with the potential of 2 million jobs and $209 billion of annual exports by 2030.
Image and content: Orkney Distillery/Government of UK