How to Achieve a Carbon Neutral Distillery?

The industry collaborative research project with Irish Distillers Ltd. aims to identify potential pathways to decarbonise the Irish Distillers’ production facility located in Midleton Co. Cork. The focus of this research project is to identify alternative uses of by-products generated during the distillation process and the potential to convert these into renewable energy. A key technology to achieve this is anaerobic digestion to produce biogas which can then replace natural gas used onsite. Assessment of the utilisation of digestate (biofertilizer) remaining after the anaerobic digestion process is also to be conducted. Additionally, calculation of potential GHG emissions arising from the production of animal feed which may replace the current animal feed produced at the distillery will also be conducted. Other potential renewable energy technologies for example; biomass combustion, increased electrification, and solar PV, may be assessed to determine their potential to further reduce GHG emissions.

The key outcomes of this work are; a number of resource assessments, techno-economic assessments, and life cycle assessments of potential pathways to reduce GHG emissions at the Irish Distillers’ facility, followed by multi criteria decision analysis to aid in the selection of an appropriate system.


1. Kang, X., R. Lin, R. O'Shea, C. Deng, L. Li, Y. Sun, and J.D. Murphy, A perspective on decarbonizing whiskey using renewable gaseous biofuel in a circular bioeconomy process. Journal of Cleaner Production, 2020.

How to Achieve a Carbon Neutral Distillery Project Factsheet

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Funded By

Irish Distillers Ltd Midleton & SFI


Dr Richard O’Shea, Dr Stephen Jackson, Prof Jerry D Murphy


Circular Economy, Climate Action



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