Craft Brewer Installs Wastewater Reuse System
Bear Republic Brewing Company has installed a Cambrian Innovation EcoVolt water treatment system, which the water and bioelectric technology provider says will cut the brewery’s water treatment costs, generate clean water and energy for on-site use and reduce the facility’s carbon footprint.
The EcoVolt system employs a proprietary bioelectric technology to treat wastewater and generate biogas. Cambrian says Cloverdale, Calif.-based Bear Republic is the first brewery to purchase the system.
Electrically active organisms eliminate 80 percent to 90 percent of the biological oxygen demand (BOD), Cambrian says. The bioelectrochemical system also converts CO2 directly into biogas that can be used on-site to generate both heat and electricity for Bear Republic’s production process.
The companies expect the EcoVolt to deliver an annual return on investment of more than 25 percent and allow the brewery to:
- Generate enough clean heat and electricity to eliminate more than 50 percent of the site’s baseload electricity use.
- Supply more than 10 percent of the facility’s requirements with recycled water.
- Cut operational costs by hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
Bear Republic plans to treat current water capacity and expand units as it grows. EcoVolt’s bioelectric capabilities allow for continuous, remote monitoring and control, further reducing operational costs.
Beer brewing is a water-intensive industry, typically consuming up to 10 times the amount of water for beer produced. Bear Republic has achieved a 3.5 to 1 ratio and with EcoVolt it expects to do even better.
California’s Clos du Bois Winery reduced its aeration pump electricity costs and produced a surplus of reusable energy during an EcoVolt field test, the companies announced in October. For the previous 15 months, Clos du Bois used Cambrian’s EcoVolt to treat up to 10 percent of its total wastewater flow. The EcoVolt system treated 80 to 90 percent of the wastewater’s biological oxygen demand (BOD) while simultaneously generating high-quality methane fuel. The winery experienced a reduction in aeration pump electricity costs and a surplus of reusable energy.
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