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P-67 Coupled energy and water systems—The key to become a sustainable and self-sustaining brewer

Presenter: Felix Wagner, M&L Engineering GmbH, Hofheim am Taunus, Germany

Sustainability is a major topic among brewers of the world. Large breweries strive to become “the greenest brewer.” But, small and midsize brewers are interested as well, as sustainability combines economics and consumer decisive soft facts, like trust and credibility in a brand. In times of climate change and limitation of resources, self-sustaining brewers are less prone to taking risks. This is not only valid for developing countries, but for developed ones as well—just remember power outages, rising energy costs in grid dependent systems, and other influences that might result from changes in legislation and possible future market regulations. When analyzing the material and energy flows into the system brewery, it comes down to electric energy and one form of combustible primary energy on the energy side, as well as fresh water on the material flow side. On the out-feed side, the major flows are product (thankfully!) but even more waste water (figures!). All energy usage can be calculated as CO2 effluent, depending on the energy mix used. Under this precondition, a sustainable and self-sustaining brewer minimizes the in-feed of water and primary energy and the out-feed of wastewater and CO2 effluent, while being as grid independent as possible. With the CorEvapEnergy system, a brewer can make a tremendous leap to become more sustainable and self-sustaining. Especially for American brewers, with the dawn of widely available natural fracking gas this system provides electricity and heat energy at unbeaten efficiency levels, as well as being economically related to the carbon footprint. On the other side, it enables a reduction in freshwater consumption and amount of wastewater effluent—truly a revolution! The CorEvapEnergy system consists of coupling natural gas-fired combined heat and electrical power generation with sophisticated evaporator technology. A highly efficient power generator transforms up to 43% of the primary energy into electricity. The residual thermal energy produced can be utilized either as process heat within the brewing process or to evaporate wastewater and recover the condensate as process water. Due to the continuous available heat sink of the evaporator, the electricity production can be continuously driven without the need to balance the energy streams of the brewery, even in non-continuous production phases. Process water recovery can be even increased by utilizing a vapor recompression unit to electrically drive the evaporation process. A total of up to 95% of the invested primary energy can be utilized.

After his apprenticeship in a small Bavarian brewery, Felix Wagner continued his education at the Technical University of Munich-Weihenstephan, where he graduated as a diploma engineer in brewing. He started his professional career with KHS Till in 1999, where he was responsible for R&D in the field of kegging. During this time he concluded his doctorate at Weihenstephan. From 2005 he led the mechanical design team for KHS Process Technology in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, before moving to China to work for the KHS China Joint Venture as plant manager and deputy general manager. In 2010 he returned to Germany, taking the lead as head of the KHS Competence Centre for Filling and Kegging Technology. In 2012 Felix switched to M&L Engineering GmbH, which is focusing on evaporator technology, a part of the corosys group. corosys GmbH was founded in 2001 by partners with longtime experience in the field of process technology, automation, and instrumentation. Its focus is the production and supply of high-quality sensors, complete process systems and skids, components, and automation to the brewing industry.

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