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MBAA TQ https://doi.org/10.1094/TQ-56-2-0531-01  |  VIEW ARTICLE
Off the Grid Brewery: A Dream or Reality?

Holly Churman (1) and Chris Hertle (2). 1. GHD Inc., Houston, TX, U.S.A. 2. GHD Inc., Irvine, CA, U.S.A.

Historically, breweries have used larger quantities of energy and water than are strictly necessary (ranging from 4 to 10 gallons of water per gallon of beer) and produce considerable volumes of liquid and solid wastes that require disposal. Water supply and disposal options are often constrained due to environmental factors such as droughts, water restrictions, regulations governing discharge quality, and other issues. Treatment schemes using anaerobic treatment as the core technology can maximize both energy and water recovery. By recovering wastewater for non-potable use, breweries can minimize water supply needs and wastewater production. Incorporating the treatment of solid wastes into the anaerobic treatment process can significantly increase energy recovery and allow a brewery to approach energy neutrality. This paper will discuss drivers for implementing a combined water and waste recycling strategy, and the wastewater and solid waste characteristics that affect treatment technology choices. The paper will also provide an overview of anaerobic technologies that maximize renewable energy and water production and their strengths and weaknesses within breweries. For example, a case study from the Castlemaine XXXX brewery (owned by the Lion brewery and part of the Kirin Group) in Brisbane, Australia, demonstrated a 75% reduction in water and 15% reduction in energy costs through the effective implementation of a water recycling program. A conceptual scenario will outline ways to recover energy from brewery solid wastes by using hybrid anaerobic technologies, such as anaerobic membrane bioreactors.

Keywords: sustainability, brewery, wastewater, solid waste, treatment, energy, recycling, discharge