Friday 12 August 2022

Carbon capture in a small brewery


Very funky engineering

Brewing beer involves the fermentation of sugars (from malted barley) by yeast, producing alcohol, and carbon dioxide (CO2) which is largely vented off to the atmosphere. The very largest brewers, your Heinekens and your Molson Coorses, have huge great bits of equipment that capture this CO2, purifying it and condensing it into a liquid form they can then use for the kegging, canning and bottling of the beer. The smaller brewer, however, cannot capture this CO2 and must let it go, and then, in a cruel twist of circumstance, buy liquid CO2 to put back into the beer and to run the kegging, canning and bottling machines. Crazy eh?

But not for much longer. A genius Danish engineer, Kim Dalum, has successfully miniaturised the CO2 capture technology for use in smaller breweries, and the very first one in the UK is here at GADDS’, undergoing full sea trials.

To give you an idea of the scale of the CO2 given off during fermentation – here at GADDS’ it accounts for around 25% of our carbon footprint. We’re hoping to capture 2/3rds of this, reducing our fp by 17% in one go. We then sell the purified CO2 to our bottling company who will put it back into our bottled beers, reducing their footprint at the same time. Our aim is to prove the technology and concept, and then show other small brewers how it can help them, and their footprint.

Back the engineers, they have the answers.

The purity is very high indeed - this showing 16 parts per billion oxygen, which is better than most CO2 on the wholesale market.

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