The question of what to do with Spent Grain has gotten more complicated as thousands of breweries have opened across the United States and Canada - particularly in urban areas.
Traditionally, breweries were located in more rural areas and had the ability to donate spent grains to nearby farms to be used as a soil additive or as animal feed.
But, as the craft brewing industry has taken off, there are now more than 7,000 breweries in the US alone.
This has created new challenges and costs as a single 10-barrel brewing cycle can produce as much as 1,200 pounds of wet grain that must be disposed of, and not every city or town has a central composting facility or nearby farms that can accept this much material.
As a result, many breweries are forced to pay to dispose of this waste at landfills.
The problem however is much greater than the cost to transport and dispose of spent grain. The true costs come in the form of the environmental damage that decomposing organic waste creates via methane emissions which have been shown to be 72x worse than CO2 over a 10-year period in terms of their impact on climate change and global warming.
In 2011, Alaskan Brewing Company became the first brewery to utilize their spent grain as biomass to power their boiler. They were able to build a system that converts 1,150 pounds of grain per hour to steam at 125 psig, saving over 83,000 gallons of No. 2 Diesel per year. The system not only gives Alaskan Brewing Co a way to repurpose their 6-8 million lbs of spent grain each year, but also saves them $450,000/year in energy costs.
The catch: Their system cost $1.8M to build, in part using a $500,000 grant from the Rural Energy for America Program.
This created a new question: Could Alaksan's waste-to-power system to replicated but at a much lower price and for breweries producing much lower amounts of beer, or could this type of closed loop system only be implemented at scale?
Cleanpower Worldwide has the answer.
With systems that can process as little as 300 lbs of waste per day, or as much as 2,000 lbs of spent grains per day, CPWW has made it possible for breweries in US and Canada to leverage this technology for virtually any sized brewery.
Now, no matter how large or small, your brewery can work to reduce methane and carbon emissions, save money and time, and reduce your transportation and energy costs, all while saving the environment.
To learn more about our systems, please visit: www.cleanpowerworldwide.com.