Reuse of brewery wastewater—Aerobic and anaerobic membrane bioreactors

Sustainability Session
Bill Musiak, Pentair X-Flow, Rockford, IL USA

ABSTRACT: In today’s world, water is a scarce and valuable resource. In an ideal brewery, 1 bbl of water consumed would yield 1 bbl of beer. In the challenge to approach this level of efficiency, a big target is to collect, treat, and reuse the wastewater from malting, brewing, and CIP. This presentation explains how biological wastewater treatment (both aerobic and anaerobic) coupled with ultrafiltration membranes can reduce the organics and solids from wastewater to produce very high quality effluent suitable for reuse in boilers, cooling towers, and general non-product contact applications. The social, ecological, and economic benefits are numerous, and the ability to have a sustainable process will be a major factor in the success of businesses. The technology is already in place in a large number of breweries, malt houses, and beverage manufacturing sites in Europe, Russia, and Asia with capacities varying between 10 and 200 m3/hr of wastewater. Different case studies are presented. For example, at one of the most modern malt houses in the world, steeping water is reused five times before the water is discharged to the sewer. One of the largest brewers in the world has equipped several breweries with MBR technology in order to dramatically reduce water consumption from an average of 5 to 2 hL water of water/hL of beer. The treated effluent is used as process water in applications like boiler feed water, CIP, and bottling (rinsing, pasteurizing, and bottle washing). In addition, in some cases where high strength waste is treated, biogas can be produced and reused as a replacement fuel.

Bill Musiak has more than 15 years of experience selling and engineering membrane-based water, wastewater, and process systems. Much of this experience was gained at Ionics Inc., where Bill spent a number of years in the Build-Own-Operate group working on ultrapure water systems for the power generation industry. Bill is knowledgeable on many different types of membranes, including MF, UF, NF, BWRO, SWRO, EDR, and EDI. In his current role at X-Flow, Bill is responsible for both the capillary and tubular ultrafiltration membrane products in the municipal and industrial markets. Bill has a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering and an M.S. degree in environmental engineering, both from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and is currently pursuing his MBA.