Published on August 26th, 2015 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Turning Spent Grains into Fuel in Scotland

A group of Scottish distillers is using spent grains from whiskey production to generate power for 8,000 homes!

Enjoy a good Scotch cocktail every now and then? So do we, and we’re pretty certain you don’t let any of that go to waste. But a whiskey distillery, just like any kind of food processing plant, does produce waste, and that material has to go somewhere. You can continue to enjoy that Scotch, though, without guilt: whiskey waste traditionally doesn’t go to the landfill.

A group of Scottish distillers is using spent grains from whiskey production to generate power for 8,000 homes!

A few years ago, that would’ve been the end of the story, but a group of distillers in Scotland’s Speyside region figured out something else they could do with the draff, or spent grains: produce energy. In partnership with Helius Energy, the 50 distillers created the Rothes CoRDe, a facility that produces energy from a combination of draff and wood chips. How much energy? “We generate 8.3 megawatts of electricity every hour of every day. We use some on site and export the rest – enough for 20,000 people in 8,000 homes,” explains Frank Burns, Managing Director, Rothes CoRDe. “We are powering all of the local communities.”

That doesn’t mean cattle are going hungry, though. In addition to energy, the Rothes facility converts pot ale – a byproduct of the early stage of distillation – into feed for cows.

Take a look at the video above for more insight into this effort to make good use of the waste produced by Scotch production. Know about other efforts to deal with whiskey distillery waste in other places? Do share…

This article originally ran at Sustainablog, republished here with permission. Image via Shutterstock.

Keep up with the latest sustainable food news by signing up for our free newsletter. CLICK HERE to sign up!

Tags: , , , , , ,

About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at

One Response to Turning Spent Grains into Fuel in Scotland

  1. Pingback: Eat Drink Better | Healthy recipes, good food: sustainable eats for a healthy lifestyle!

Back to Top ↑
  • Support our Site!

  • Let’s Connect!

  • Popular Posts & Pages

    Whether you are looking to completely give up animal products or just want to try eating vegan some of the time, we want to support you! Below, you’ll find articles answering some common questions about vegan cooking and nutrition. If you don’t see your question answered below, please get in touch with us! We are happy to investigate for you!

    Find out what's in season now, plus get plenty of recipe inspiration to help you make the most of every season's beautiful, local fare.

    I love infographics. When I came across this one about what, how, and when to plant vegetables, I thought I’d share. Keep reading after the pic for a few of my own lessons learned.

    Top Sustainable Food Jobs of the Week.

    Looking for an all vegan grocery store? Even if you’re not lucky enough to have one in your town, there are lots of online options for vegan grocery shopping.

  • Search the IM Network

  • The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by, and do not necessarily represent the views of Sustainable Enterprises Media, Inc., its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.