First farts and now beer, methane gas is quickly becoming a popular alternative energy source. Eric Fitch, CEO of PurposeEnergy Inc, has turned his love of beer into energy by creating a device that recycles the waste from brewing beer into a functional natural gas.
Using the leftover energy from the hops, barley and yeast used to makebeer, Fitch’s anaerobic methane digester harnesses all that energy and then uses it to process the plant’s wastewater. The benefits are two-fold: not only is the system environmentally conscious – as it greatly reduces the plant’s waste – but it also cuts the costs of natural gas consumption.
Fitch’s company, PurposeEnergy, produces biphase orbicular bioreactors (BOB), which are basically giant, silo-like structures that convert brewery waste into 200 cubic feet of biogas per minute. He calls Magic Hat Brewery a client, and he is able to save the small brewery $2 per barrel of brewed beer. A win-win situation, the brewery not only reduces its carbon footprint, but it also has less waste and saves money, all while providing the public with an endless flow of delicious beer.
By essentially recycling its own energy, BOB enables breweries to partially power themselves, keeping beer costs lower and wastewater to a minimum.
So next time you have a pint of Magic Hat No. 9, you can think about how you are helping the environment!
+ PurposeEnergy Inc
Via PSFK and The Boston Globe
Photo: © Stefano Mortellaro