Italy: Beer production waste as potential feedstock for biogas

Sebigas says it has successfully used beer scraps to make biogas.

Recently the internal biological laboratory SebiLab completed a series of basic chemical analysis and Bio-Methane Potential (BMP) test on beer production leftovers coming from a local craft brewery that is willing to install a biogas plant to power its production facility in auto-consumption.

Beer production leftovers can be divided in three main components: sludge from internal waste water treatment, yeast and spent grains.

The three components presented optimal results for the anaerobic digestion process. In particular, spent grains are the solid leftovers remaining from the production process of malt, barley and other ingredients. They represent the major part of the leftovers and guarantee a considerable production of biogas, enough to be used in a biogas plant.

Sebigas, which has built more than 60 biogas plants since its genesis in 2008, believes the results from its tests could be used to boost take-up of this growing feedstock in Italy.

In 2016, the consumption of beer per person in Italy has exceeded the 2007 record, a percentage that seems destined to grow further if we also consider the rising number of craft breweries.

However, the scenario is different when it comes to renewables in this sector.

The first biogas plant fed with beer production leftovers was constructed in 2010 in UK, in the last seven years the market has remained substantially at the same point, leaving great opportunities to take advantage from.

Source: SebiBio and ENDS waste bioenergy.

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