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University of Edinburgh spinout awarded £3.6m to work on ‘decarbonisation machine’

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Left to right: Dr Markus Rondé of Exergy3 and Dr Adam Robinson of Annandale Distillery with Mark Trainor and David Ashton-Hyde of Buildings & Estates. Credit: Allan Devlin, Annandale Distillery
Left to right: Dr Markus Rondé of Exergy3 and Dr Adam Robinson of Annandale Distillery with Mark Trainor and David Ashton-Hyde of Buildings & Estates. Credit: Allan Devlin, Annandale Distillery

Related tags Sustainability Net zero

A spinout from the University of Edinburgh, Exergy3, has been awarded £3.6mn in funding to trial its new decarbonisation technology at a Scottish whisky distillery.

The researchers claim that they can replace up to 100% of the fossil fuels used in high temperature industrial processes and were awarded the funding by the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero as part of its £55m Industrial Fuel Switching Competition.

Food and drink manufacturing involves many high temperature processes that produce greenhouse gas emissions, with many firms currently aiming to reduce their carbon footprint.

However, Exergy3 has taken excess renewable energy from the National Grid and stored it at 1200C on a 40-foot shipping container, which Exergy3 state can be transported and then installed on site.

Dr Adam Robinson has been named as chief technology officer at Exergy3, which also received £400,000 in funding from Scottish Enterprise and £200,000 from the High Growth Spin Out Programme.

Robinson’s CEO Dr Markus Rondé described the new technology as “a game changer in the race to Net Zero​” due to its potential for decarbonising so many industrial processes.

We are very excited about the potential applications of this technology, from process heat provision for large-scale industry to decarbonising buildings through residential heating networks,”​ he continued.

The group will install a demonstration machine at Annandale Distillery in Dumfries and Galloway, which it hopes will produce a carbon-neutral whisky.

Our distillery is on a journey towards Net Zero​,” added distillery co-owner Professor David Thomson.

“Being able to raise all of the steam we need via green electricity would be a massive step forward for us, and for the Scotch whisky industry as a whole. We look forward to partnering with Exergy3 on delivering this really important project.”

In other news, our multimedia reporter takes a look into the future of meat processing​ as she recounts the expertise shared at the BMPA's annual conference earlier this week.

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