Image: Jericho Energy Ventures

Hydrogen Technologies (HT), a wholly owned subsidiary of Jericho Energy Ventures, is setting new standards with the world’s first zero-emission, closed-loop hydrogen boiler as part of a ground-breaking project with Bruichladdich Scottish Whisky Distillery and leading green hydrogen energy company, Protium, to help decarbonize the distillery’s operations.

The demonstration project, led by Protium, will see Jericho’s innovative boiler solution – the Dynamic Combustion Chamber* (DCCTM – installed to heat the stills used to create Bruichladdich’s world-renowned Scotch and artisanal gin, The Botanist, thereby removing a significant contributor to the brand’s overall carbon emissions.

This pilot project marks the first global deployment of the DCC, following an in-depth feasibility study conducted in early 2021 by Bruichladdich and Protium, the UK and Ireland’s exclusive licensee for the DCCTM. The UK Government backed the initiative through its Green Distilleries Competition, awarding the project team USD$3.5 million through the UK Government’s Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.

The project, dubbed HyLaddie, heralds a new age for decarbonization efforts, as it is one of the first cross-border green hydrogen collaborations including a group of challenger brands from the United States, Canada, England, and Scotland.

Commenting on the project, Brian Williamson, CEO of Jericho, said, “We are thrilled that the inaugural deployment of the DCC™ is with none-other than Remy Cointreau-owned Bruichladdich, one of the most prestigious and progressive distilleries, who shares our vision of forging a sustainable future. We look forward to working with Bruichladdich and the Protium teams to implement the ambitious decarbonization project with our game-changing zero-emission technology.”

“Now that COP26 has come and gone, we expect to see an increase in large corporates and multi-nationals expediting their global decarbonization efforts. I’m really proud to partner with other challenger brands across various jurisdictions so that we can collectively pioneer change while benefitting from international expertise.”

With 30% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions stemming from low, medium, and high-grade heat applications, the decarbonization of thermal operations plays a vital role in achieving global net-zero targets. Green hydrogen solutions enable hard-to-abate sectors, such as the food and beverage manufacturing industry, to reduce their environmental impact – the successful deployment of the DCC™ will provide an example for both commercial and industrial heat-intensive sectors to follow suit.

Douglas Taylor, CEO of Bruichladdich Distillery, comments, “Sustainability is in our DNA and is at the heart of everything we do. Leveraging Jericho’s DCC™ technology will have an enormous impact on the success of HyLaddie – a project we are extremely excited about as it can totally transform our approach to sustainability. Many distilleries across Scotland are making serious steps forward in decarbonizing their energy requirements, and we believe that hydrogen has a future in the Scotch industry. We’re thrilled to bring a team of experts from the UK and North America together to make our dream of being a net zero company a reality.”

Also commenting on the project, Chris Jackson, CEO of Protium, said, “Protium is delighted to accelerate our work with Bruichladdich to decarbonize their distilling process, working with our partners Jericho Energy Ventures as well as Petrofac and ITP Energised.”

“The drinks sector has been focused on decarbonization, with the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) targeting net zero emissions across the industry by 2040. Despite this focus, demonstrating viable technologies has been slow, so we believe that the successful deployment of the DCC™ will provide an important precedent for other industries to turn to when exploring options to decarbonize their thermal operations. There’s an enormous industry in the US that could benefit from this technology, and I am excited to work with our partners Jericho Energy Ventures to demonstrate how this project could be a blueprint for others in North America to follow suit.”

The announcement of the consortium’s hydrogen demonstration project follows a series of decarbonization updates following COP26 and signals a much-needed shift in global decarbonization efforts, most recently with the Biden Administration’s recent signing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which allocates $9.5 billion to clean hydrogen programs1. $8 billion of the total will go toward at least four regional clean hydrogen hubs2, one of which will focus on hydrogen use in heating.

The successful demonstration of the DCCTM will pave the way not just for other distilleries in the United States to begin their decarbonization journeys, but also for operators in a variety of industries to accelerate their net zero activities.

Nedim Husomanovic

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