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Hy spirits: UK distillery taps hydrogen fuel cells to make low-emission gin

Surrey Copper Distillery's achievement could provide a decarbonization template for other distilleries to follow.

gin bottle, gin and tonic

Image via Shutterstock/Roman Debree.

Gin lovers will have the opportunity to sip on a low-carbon version of their favorite tipple this Christmas, after the Surrey Copper Distillery revealed it had successfully produced a limited edition batch of gin using hydrogen fuel.

The distillery announced earlier this month that it had produced a limited 500-bottle run of low-emission gin produced using hydrogen power.

The special edition gin was distilled using power provided by AFC Energy's H-Power Tower hydrogen fuel cell solution, which produces electricity by combining hydrogen fuel with oxygen.

Surrey Copper Distillery said the process resulted in significantly lower CO2 emissions from the distilling process than traditional methods.

The company said the project demonstrated how hydrogen fuel could be tapped to decarbonize hundreds of gin distilleries.

The company said the project demonstrated how hydrogen fuel could be tapped to decarbonize hundreds of gin distilleries around the U.K., as well as the broader food and drinks industry.

"Our collaboration with AFC Energy demonstrates a more sustainable manufacturing process," said Chris Smart, founder of the Surrey Copper Distillery. "Through the use of low-emission hydrogen power, we have been able to develop a gin which not only tastes excellent, but also has a lower carbon footprint."

Adam Bond, chief executive officer at AFC Energy, said the tie-up demonstrated the huge potential of hydrogen fuel cell technology across the food and drink industry.

"Hydrogen fuel cell technologies can be implemented today across a wide range of applications as demonstrated by our collaboration with our neighbors at The Surrey Copper Distillery," he said.  "The Copperfield gin harnesses the ingenuity of two local businesses to demonstrate creative ways in which clean hydrogen can be used to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and support the transition to a zero carbon future."

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