Whisky’s secret power: Turning waste to green hydrogen

Heriot-Watt University scientists have converted wastewater from the whisky distilling industry into green hydrogen

Researchers have uncovered a potential method to utilise wastewater from the whisky distilling industry for the production of green hydrogen.

The scientists at Heriot-Watt University have developed a nanoscale material, known as nickel selenide, which allows distillery wastewater to replace fresh water in the green hydrogen production process.

This innovation addresses the significant freshwater consumption associated with green hydrogen production.

The study emphasises the potential environmental impact, as the distilling industry globally produces approximately one billion litres of wastewater annually.

The researchers aim to scale up the production of the nickel selenide nanoparticles and analyse distillery wastewater for the possibility of salvaging additional materials.

Image: Shutterstock

The research was conducted in collaboration with the University of Bath’s Department of Chemical Engineering and The Scotch Whisky Research Institute.

It was funded by Heriot-Watt’s School of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

The next steps involve developing an electrolyser prototype and exploring potential material recovery from distillery wastewater.

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