A Cost Benefit Analysis of the Application of Biochar in the Scottish Whisky Industry
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Messenger, Simon P
Biochar is a carbon-negative process (Mathews, 2008) with large environmental credentials which is capable of sequestering vast amounts of carbon into the soil pool. Under the Kyoto Protocol, Biochar could one day be eligible for carbon credits and, depending on the legislation in the U.K., could be eligible for Renewable Obligation Certificates. The Scottish Whisky Industry is an ideal setting for the commercial development of Biochar due to the large amounts of draff coproducts produced through the production of Whisky. The Industry also has a high potential for the development of Combined Heat and Power projects as well as additional carbon capture and algal capture technologies which could lead to large energy and financial savings. The application of Biochar in the Scottish Whisky Industry could produce up to 6,000 tonnes of Biochar per distillery and could sequester up to 12,360 tonnes of CO2 annually. A Cost Benefit Analysis of the application of Biochar in the Scottish Whisky Industry shows that the development and application of Biochar in the Scottish Whisky Industry could have a positive Net Present Value over a 15 year period with returns on investment for the largest distilleries of between £2 and £2.5million. However, a Sensitivity Analysis of 84 scenarios underlines the many levels of uncertainties associated with the project which remain.