Cleaning up on wastewater: Scottish malt whisky distillery relies on technology made by Freudenberg
Ardmore single malt whiskies are characterized by their peaty, smoky flavors. Founded in the late 19th century, the distillery produces up to 4.5 million liters of whisky per year, and is owned by Beam Suntory, one of the world’s largest producers of spirits. Before the rich gold-colored whisky reaches the glass, it has run through a complex production process, during which the protection of environment and nature is top priority. Leading-edge filtration solutions made by Freudenberg help make this possible.
The Ardmore distillery buildings in Kennethmont, Aberdeenshire, are under a historic preservation order. To protect the environment and meet the relevant legal discharge consent requirements, wastewater treatment needs to be state-of-the-art during the whisky-making process. Of course, the treatment has to be safe and efficient as well.
That is exactly what the Aquabio technology developed by Freudenberg Filtration Technologies was made for. Membrane bioreactors are the heart of the technology which separate the biomass generated in the biological stage of the process. “At Ardmore, we separate 99 percent of the organic constituents from the wastewater. We also significantly reduce the copper residues, which is particularly important for the health of aquatic life,” Jürgen Abt, Director Water Solutions at Freudenberg Filtration Technologies, explains. The high quality water that remains can be fed back directly into the environment with full legal conformity.
Also of great importance to Ardmore is the fully automatic operation of the plant and its real-time remote monitoring by Freudenberg. If there are any changes in the production schedule, the plant can be quickly adapted to the new conditions online.
In addition, the Aquabio technology is suitable for anaerobic wastewater treatment where biogas which is produced during the decomposition of organic substances is used to generate energy, removing the need for fossil fuels.
The membrane bioreactors form the heart of the Aquabio technology.
- Construction of a wastewater treatment plant
- Purification of 240 m3 of wastewater which is then fed back into the ecosystem
- Filtration of 99 percent of all organic constituents
- Reduction of copper residues to <0.5 mg/l
- Less odour nuisance
- Cost savings in terms of wastewater disposal for customer Ardmore