NYS Governor's Awards for Pollution Prevention - Anheuser-Busch
Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Baldwinsville, New York
The Anheuser-Busch Brewery, located in Baldwinsville, employs 900 people in the brewing of malt beverages. The Baldwinsville brewery uses a comprehensive, energy-producing pollution-prevention system - bioenergy recovery - to treat wastewater from the brewing process. Also, the brewery successfully reduced the weight of solid waste nearly 70 percent in the five-year period from 1990 to 1994. The brewery found markets for previous "waste" materials, such as the beechwood chips used in the fermentation of Anheuser-Busch beers.
Methodologies and Procedures
Bioenergy Recovery System
As part of the treatment of waste from the brewing process at the Baldwinsville facility, the conventional system used aerobic bacteria. This system required significant quantities of electricity to pump oxygen into the wastewater so that the aerobic bacteria could function. It also produced large quantities of solids that had to be disposed at a high cost. Anheuser-Busch developed a bioenergy recovery system that incorporated Biothane Corporation technology to pretreat the wastewater. With the new system, the wastewater flows into the bottom of the vessel and into an anaerobic biomass, which consumes the carbohydrates, proteins, and other organic materials produced by the brewing process. These materials are converted to biogas - largely methane - which is piped to the brewery's boilers for fuel. Over the three years of operation, the bioenergy recovery system at the Baldwinsville brewery has generated more than 460 million cubic feet of methane, roughly the equivalent of the natural gas needed to heat 750 homes in the Onondaga County for a year. It also accounts for 10.5 percent of the brewery's boiler fuel needs.
The Baldwinsville brewery has eliminated the need to landfill sludge from the anaerobic treatment. This has been achieved by operating a compost system for the biosolids from the wastewater treatment plant. Since 1989 nearly 70,000 tons of sludge has been composted and then sold as a soil conditioner for landscapers, developers, gardeners, and athletic fields needs in the Northeast. This process has saved more than 112,000 cubic yards of landfill capacity.
The company can increase production without being constrained by the treatment system's capacity.
The 462 million cubic feet of methane generated by the bioenergy recovery system since start-up represents a value of $1.114 million.
The electrical savings, by reducing the amount of oxygen for the aerobic (conventional) system, have added an additional $1.2 million.
The brewery has also saved $4 million in landfill charges by composting wastewater sludge.
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This page was last modified March 8, 1999