Supercritical, a UK-based clean-tech startup, has achieved a significant milestone in the sustainable energy industry with the completion of its innovative green H2 demonstrator at their Teesside facility in Northeast England. The advanced testing unit became the week’s epicenter of green innovation following a visit from Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, Lord Callanan.
The demonstrator is part of the WhiskHy project, a collaboration led by Supercritical with Beam Suntory, a global leader in premium spirits, and the Manufacturing Technology Centre, part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. Funded by the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio under the Green Distilleries Competition, the project innovates by combining traditional whisky production methods with zero emission technology.
This novel approach to water electrolysis, functioning at elevated pressures and temperatures, has set a new global benchmark in efficiency. The breakthrough is pivotal in reducing green H2 costs, fast-tracking its accessibility.
Supercritical's innovative approach, featuring a membraneless, iridium-free, and compressor-free solution, elegantly solves critical supply chain challenges and presents a scalable and efficient alternative to conventional methods.
Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance Lord Callanan said: “Innovation is central to delivering the new technologies we need to cut our carbon emissions and reach net zero. Backed by £2.9 MM in government funding, this new milestone will forge the way to using H2 in whisky production, helping to decarbonize our industrial heartlands.”
With the partnership, Beam Suntory hopes to apply direct H2 flames to copper stills, respecting traditional distillation techniques while reducing its carbon footprint. The objective is to revolutionize the whisky industry, crafting products of the highest quality with net-zero emissions.
Alistair Leckenby, Environmental and Sustainability Manager, Beam Suntory said, “At Beam Suntory, we are committed to supporting industry and government targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with our own ambitious goal to achieve net-zero emissions across our value chain by 2040. Innovative projects like WhiskHy are really moving the needle on how we can revive traditional distilling methods in a sustainable and responsible way, and we’re excited to see this new technology come to life.”
Matt Bird, CEO and co-founder of Supercritical said, "As we unveil our green H2 demonstrator in Teesside, it's not just a showcase of technology, but a testament to our commitment at Supercritical to revolutionize sustainable energy. This cutting-edge facility represents our innovative approach to electrolysis, offering a glimpse into a future where green H2 is both economically and environmentally viable. We're not just engineering a product; we're crafting the future of energy, proving that sustainability and efficiency can go hand in hand."
The facility is a global novelty in high-pressure green H2 production at 220 bar and serves as a crucial testing ground for optimizing Supercritical's innovative electrolyzer technology. With continued support, the company is poised to deliver green H2 below £1/kg before 2030, marking a transformative era in the energy landscape.
The hub for chemical processing and H2 production, Teesside offers an ideal setting for this demonstrator. With a rich legacy in chemical innovation, Teesside continues to lead the UK in H2 advancements, with potential to boost economic development, jobs and growth in the region.