Breweries may be micro or craft breweries generating a few hundred gallons of wastewater per day or large breweries generating millions of gallons of wastewater per day. Wastewater is generated during cleaning (CIP) operations when starting new batches as well as when substandard products are sent to wastewater. Brewery wastewater tends to have high concentration of sugars, alcohols, and solids and also have high temperature. Distillery wastewater is similar (both high concentration and high temperature), but have high volume as well. Breweries and distilleries generate wastewater up to five times the volume of the products produced at the plant. In fact, a small craft brewery can produce wastewater equivalent to more than 10,000 people in terms of organic loadings.
Headworks AnMBBR™ (Anaerobic MBBR) is the ideal process to remove bulk (70 – 90%) of the organics without any aeration (no blowers nor diffusers). The resulting savings in energy costs is a significant benefit to breweries and distilleries. In addition, biogas is generated in the AnMBBR™ process, which can be used to supplement heating gas used in the plants. The AnMBBR™ process may be combined with the aerobic MBBR process to reach low effluent BOD/COD values required for discharge. The combination of anaerobic and aerobic MBBR processes results in a very small footprint when compared to other conventional technologies at a fraction of energy costs as well as low sludge production.
By recovering the energy from the wastewater using the anaerobic process, the wastewater treatment facility can become a carbon-neutral facility.