New technology that uses algae to capture and recycle carbon dioxide emissions is being trialled at The Edrington Group's Glenturret distillery, home of the Famous Grouse Scotch whisky.

A micro-reactor able to capture an estimated 38 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year and convert it into oil and protein was officially unveiled at the distillery yesterday (5 October).

"We are confident this demonstrator project will be a huge success and benefit not only the Glenturret distillery but also the Scotch whisky industry," said David Van Alstyne, founder and CEO of Scottish Bionergy Ventures (SBV), which built and installed the reactor.

"The whole process is carbon negative," he added.

The technology captures CO2 emitted by the distillery's boiler exhaust and, via algae reactors, converts it into protein and vitamin rich animal feed. The algae reactors also eliminated chemicals and captured copper from the wastewater, said SBV.

The group has further plans to trial an oil extraction system at the distillery, with the aim of creating biofuels from the algae.

Glenturret production manager Neil Cameron said: "We as a company have a strong commitment to protecting the environment and are always looking for new ways to minimise the impact of the distilling process."

Built in 1775, Glenturret attracted more than 100,000 tourists to its Famous Grouse Experience visitor centre in 2008.

In July, Edrington Group reported a 44% rise in net sales and a 30% leap in pre-tax profits for its fiscal full-year.