Whisky distiller aids Antarctic explorers
A new whisky distillery is helping a father and son with their bid to become the first people to trek to the South Pole only using renewable energy.
Explorer Robert Swan, 61, was the first man to walk unaided to both the north and south poles in the 1980s, and for his final major expedition he is teaming up with son Barney, 23, for the zero carbon South Pole Energy Challenge.
The explorers are preparing to set off from their base on Union Glacier in Antarctica and the hi-tech equipment they will carry includes solar snow melters which have been designed and built in Scotland at the Ardgowan Distillery in Renfrewshire. Mr Swan sen said: “By putting these clean energies to the test in Antarctica, the Earth’s harshest wilderness, Barney and I want to prove they can be developed for use anywhere and, therefore, play a crucial part in helping the planet transition to a low carbon future.”
Ardgowan Distillery chief executive Martin McAdam said: “Getting enough fresh water to drink is a constant challenge in the Antarctic and usually this is done by melting snow and ice with kerosene, which of course burns a lot of carbon.
“Our team designed a very simple and robust melter comprising a matt black stainless-steel flask encased in super-strong clear Lexan plastic, with inert argon gas as an insulating layer in-between.”