Whisky dis­tiller aids Antarc­tic ex­plor­ers

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS - BY KATRINE BUSSEY

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.”

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