By Scott Wright

THE Bruichladdich Distillery on Islay is poised to take a further leap forward in its clean energy ambitions by taking part in a project to explore the use of hydrogen combustion technology.

Protium Green Solutions, a UK-based green hydrogen services company, has received more than £70,000 to fund the study, which comes as Bruichladdich targets de-carbonising its production processes by 2025.

In May last year the distillery, which is owned by French drinks giant Remy Cointreau, became a certified B Corporation (B Corp) – the first whisky and gin producer in Europe to do so. The rigorous certification scheme, which was established in the west coast of America in the early 2000s, is designed to show that producers can strike a balance between “profit and purpose”.

READ MORE: Islay whisky distiller shows it can balance “profit and purpose”

Bruichladdich has been investigating renewable energy sources, including tidal energy, as it seeks to become an “all-Islay” operation. It plans to build its own maltings on the island by 2023, and has long-term ambitions to explore sustainable farming techniques with local farmers on its own 30-acre croft.

Allan Logan, operations and production director of Bruichladdich, said: “At Bruichladdich Distillery, we understand that there is real potential for a hydrogen‐based solution to decarbonise our industry. We are thrilled to have the support of Protium, Deuterium and ITPEnergised to help us assess the feasibility of employing a hydrogen fuel switching solution for our distillery – a move we hope benefits the broader industry.”

The Bruichladdich Protium project is among a series to be funded in a £10 million UK Government scheme to help distilleries switch to low-carbon fuels, such as hydrogen. Seventeen distilleries across the UK, including 11 in Scotland, have received funding for green energy projects.

READ MORE: Islay distiller reveals massive expansion drive

The Bruichladdich feasibility project will explore the deployment of an on-site Deuterium Dynamic Combustion Chamber to meet the distillery’s heating requirements. A statement noted that the study must balance take into consideration the distillery’s centuries-old equipment, safeguard spirt quality and consider the impact on the local community.

Christopher Jackson, chief executive of Protium and director of Deuterium, said “We are delighted to be given the opportunity to demonstrate how green hydrogen can deliver a zero emission heat solution for Bruichladdich.

“Green hydrogen will play a key role in decarbonising the UK manufacturing sector, particularly food & drink where Protium is well established in designing green hydrogen for industrial heat solutions.

"Together with ITPEnergised and Deuterium, we are eager to demonstrate how hydrogen can be used by Bruichladdich to reduce their footprint and emissions, and look forward to helping them spearhead innovation in a sector that is so rich in tradition and history.”