A state-of-the-art water recovery plant has been installed by CST Wastewater Solutions in partnership with Global Water Engineering (GWE) at Pacific Beverages’ new Bluetongue Brewery in New South Wales.
Bluetongue Brewery is an environmentally-sensitive brewery that makes more beer out of less water while using less energy.
The water recovery plant targets best-practice water reuse standards and also provides renewable energy for the brewery, reducing its dependence on fossil fuels.
Pacific Beverages – a joint venture by Coca-Cola Amatil and global brewer SABMiller – has ensured that the brewery employs strict environmental standards and world-class water and energy savings, says the CEO of Pacific Beverages Mr Peter McLoughlin.
“Using water recovery techniques and modern design principles, we are able to target a reduction in our water usage to 2.2 litres per litre of beer produced, which is amongst the best in the world and certainly well above the global average of 4 - 5 litres of water to every one litre of beer.
“Methane from this process will also power a third boiler, which will reduce our energy consumption by about 15 per cent,” Mr McLoughlin said.
Bluetongue Brewery’s water recovery is subjected to GWE’s state-of-the-art anaerobic treatment system that significantly reduces the brewery’s carbon footprint by avoiding the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to CST Wastewater Solutions Managing Director Mr Michael Bambridge and GWE CEO Jean Pierre Ombregt.
The wastewater passes through several pre-treatment steps before entering a GWE ANUBIX-B anaerobic methane reactor in which the wastewater’s organic content (COD) is digested by bacteria in a closed reactor, degrading the compounds and converting them into valuable biogas and cleaned effluent.
Biogas from the process is collected and reused as renewable energy to power the brewery’s boiler.
Treated effluent continues to an aerobic post-treatment stage in which organic content is further reduced by GWE’s proprietary MEMBROX Membrane Biological Reactor (MBR) system.
In the water polishing step, the water from the MBR unit is sent through a Reverse Osmosis (RO) installation. Finally the effluent is led to a disinfection and storage unit, where the recycled water is kept for reuse applications.
GWE and CST say environmental initiatives such as green energy generation from wastewater treatment systems do not always get as much attention as the more traditional renewables such as solar and wind. There is a huge, often hidden potential in using wastewater as a source of renewable energy.
Global Water Engineering (GWE) encourages businesses with organic content in their wastewater and waste streams to investigate the anaerobic potential for their specific case.