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Why LPG is the perfect tipple for distilleries

Man working in a distillery

Legislation aimed at reducing air pollution is prompting manufacturers who are based in off-grid areas to rethink how they power industrial processes. For many distilleries currently using heavy oil, LPG offers one of the most viable options available. Adrian Heath, Calor’s National Accounts Manager for Industry and Transport, explains why LPG for distilleries is the perfect solution, and how distilleries can count on our reliable supply and unrivalled engineering expertise.

It is believed that the shape of the pot stills used for producing whiskey affects its character, which is why distilleries have kept their stills the same over the years. The same cannot be said for the fuel used to generate heat for whiskey production; as industrial boiler emission limits are being rolled out to curb air pollution, distilleries that have always relied on heavy oil are looking at alternative fuel sources to power their boilers.

Alternative power sources

There are a number of low-carbon technologies being considered to decarbonise industrial processes, namely the use of heat pumps, hydrogen and biomass boilers, and to generate the heat required. But each of these have drawbacks. Heat pumps are often impractical due to the high temperatures needed to make the steam and hot water used for mashing and distillation, together with an uneven energy demand profile. Hydrogen has also been touted to play a role in businesses off the gas grid. However, access to low-cost hydrogen is poor – it is expensive to store and transport, particularly down narrow country roads that lead to distillery sites. Biomass is already deployed at some distilleries to power boilers. But they don’t generate enough heat on their own, so will still need the back up from combustion plant fuelled by other means. What’s more, the emissions produced by burning biomass may not meet the limits for SO2, NOx or particulates set by the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations.

Why LPG for distilleries?

LPG for distilleries that are off mains gas offers a reliable, effective and technically viable energy solution. Also, as the fuel is stored in an LPG tank, it is virtually theft proof unlike fuels such as oil. It already meets legal standards for SO2 and NOx and particulate emissions as stipulated by the Medium Combustion Plant Directive, with margin to handle some tightening of maximum emission levels allowed in the future. What’s more, it can cut CO2 emissions by up to 16% compared to polluting oil-based systems1. It is an extremely efficient fuel, making it ideal for distilleries that require versatile power for steaming, boiling, sterilising and space heating, to name a few. And, there’ll be no need to worry about sustainability targets down the line, as our energy for manufacturing businesses are future-proofed. That’s because we’ve pledged to provide 100% renewable energy by 2040, so our customers will be offered even more sustainable solutions in the coming years.

One further point to make is that there is no potential environmental impact if a tank or pipe leaks, as you may find with oil, as there are systems in place to shut the tank down in the event of this occurring.

Changing distillery fuel supply

When changing to another fuel source, it will be paramount to ensure that disruption to production is minimised, the highest site safety standards are upheld, and the cost and process of switching fuel is kept under control. Our engineering expertise, together with an unrivalled reliability of service, make it simple for distilleries to tick all these boxes.

Using our technical experts, we can work with engineering consultants or directly with customers throughout the whole process to assist with finding a suitable and safe storage solution, planning applications, installations and even post-implementation requirements and documentation. In fact, one of our dedicated sales professionals will visit the site to complete a free survey to advise the best energy and storage solution. This is an important part of the process, because by providing advice and support for customers right from the beginning, we can help make the transition as smooth as possible and minimise the risk of delays and costs further down the project.

Why choose Calor

As soon as you switch to Calor, we allocate a dedicated sales professional and customer service team to your company to provide ongoing support – whether that’s 24/7 emergency cover, or to discuss your delivery schedule. Thanks to our operations at two of Europe’s largest storage terminals, our delivery fleet and our Auto-ordering system, you’ll have peace of mind regarding security of supply.  So by partnering with a leading LPG supplier like us that have over 85 years of experience in gas storage and supply, downtime will always be minimised.

Our team of experts can deliver turnkey and non-turnkey solutions, and for large or complex installations, we offer project design and management services together with a bespoke industrial LPG site installation service. To see how this can work for your distillery business, read more about our solutions for distilleries.

1 Atlantic Consulting 2017