Leave it to the Scotts to find new and inventive ways of using whiskey. William Grant & Sons, a Scottish distiller of whiskey, is using waste malt from the fermentation process in an anaerobic digester. The resulting gas is approximately 60% methane and 40% carbon dioxide. This biogas is then fed to several GE Jenbacher gas engines that provide more electricity than the plant can possibly use, thus providing a new product for the company to sell in the form of electricity.
The distillation plant uses on average 3 MW of power. The three J420 Jenbacher gas engines provide a total of 4.6 MW. An additional J620 unit produces 3.3 MW. All told, approximately 7 MW of maximum and an average 5 MW of power is available for use on site, leaving 2 MW available for sale to the grid. The total cost of the project was £15 million, but the time to pay-back is 5 years. At that time, the company will realize a positive return on investment over initial cost.
Jenbacher gas engines are used for their flexibility of fuel source and efficiency with fuel mixtures that would be too lean for normal internal combustion engines. General Electric’s gas engine headquarters is in Jenbach, Austria which lies in the Tyrol region.
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