• 07.10.09

Coming Soon: Waste-Free Breweries

A German company has developed a way to use spent grains and wastewater to generate energy for brewing beer.


German biomass company BMP Biomass Projekt has teamed up with German firms INNOVAS, BISANZ, and Adato, a Slovakian company, to produce energy from spent wet grain in a process that could save breweries money and reduce the need to transport grain to farms. The process reportedly meets European environmental standards, producing less than 2,000 tons of wet ashes from 100,000 tons of spent grain.


Recycling grains into energy isn’t a new idea. Anheuser-Busch has been doing it for years in nine of its 12 U.S. plants (and one in China) with its Bio-Energy Recovery Systems, which turns nutrients from wastewater into biogas. But while Anheuser-Busch has only used the technology internally, BMP and co. want to commercialize their process. The team has already set up a test plant, and is now searching for business from environmentally savvy breweries. No word yet on the potential costs of the system or the percentage of energy it could provide to a brewery.

[Via Greenbiz]

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About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.