This editorial letter originally appeared in iWWD July/August issue as "Commercially Viable Reuse?"
Carlsberg Group, which brews and sells Carlsberg beer, announced in mid June it will build and finance a water recycling facility on the site of its beer brewery in Fredericia, Denmark. This facility will reuse water from the facility processes and recycle it for use as process water.
This initiative is part of the company’s larger “Together Towards Zero Program,” which is a goal to make the company a zero waste business. The water plant I mentioned aims to reduce the water used in brewing from 2.9 hectoliters (hl) of water (76.7 gallons) for 1 hl of beer (26.4 gallons) down to 1.4 hl of water (36.9 gallons) for 1 hl of beer. This program is part of a Danish public-private partnership, and the equipment is yet to be sourced.
That said, according to Aquatech Trade, the facility will have the following treatment train: screens for coarse material removal, a reactor for degrading organics and producing biogas, ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis (RO), advanced oxidation, remineralization and chlorine dioxide for disinfection. For the RO equipment, it is seeking 90% yield with the remaining 10% being discharged to the municipal sewer system.
Ownership of the facility said they set this bar of water recycling high to push for a higher standard of water reuse. While this current project aims to produce and reuse this water for process water, Søren Nøhr Bak, expertise director for Carlsberg Group, told Aquatech Online that using the water as a beer ingredient could be in the future as water scarcity becomes a larger issue.
We know this is possible and can make for some great beers as evidenced by the Pure Water Brew challenge and others in the U.S. Whether those beers can become commercially viable is really the remaining question.
What do you think about the future of water recycling for private entities like this? Is reuse of this water as a beer ingredient the future for commercial use?