After years of work, the Martell cognac house has announced the success of its new distillation method. With very little carbon emissions, the innovation meets environmental challenges, but it will take a few years before it becomes widely available.
Martell, the flagship of the Pernod-Ricard group, has announced the success and efficiency of its latest innovation, low carbon distillation. This is a process that improves on a first experimental steam distillation device, tested since 2019.
The innovation lies in a “system of recovery and recovery of energy” in the refrigerating part of the still. The alcohol vapors condense in a coil immersed in cold water. Usually, this step results in a significant loss of energy due to evaporation and the formation of fumaroles. But here, the heat flow is recovered by a heat pump, before being reintroduced into the alternative steam heating system.
“For the first time, the Charente still is able to meet the environmental challenges that France and Europe have set for 2050”, say Christophe Valtaud, cellar master at Martell, and Philippe Tizon, CEO of the Chalvignac group.
The Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) had indeed launched a call for a “sustainable distillation” project for cognac in 2019, to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to the distillation phase.
“By 2030, we must reduce our GHG emissions by 40%, and also our consumption of primary fossil fuels, of which gas is a part”, Christophe Valtaud had explained at the time.
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Featured photo : © Pernod-Ricard