M-72: Waste-to-energy—Biomass benefits at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

J. Vanvoorhis(1), T. BACHMAN (1); (1) Symbiont–Science, Engineering and Construction, Inc., Milwaukee, WI, U.S.A.

Sustainability I
Friday, June 6 - 2:00 p.m.-3:45 p.m.
Level 4, Grand Ballroom

Symbiont was retained by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (SNBC) to provide a turnkey wastewater pretreatment facility for its new brewery. The new brewery is located on a green field site in Mills River, North Carolina. SNBC is a leader in practicing sustainability in the beverage and food manufacturing industries. Symbiont is providing several unique solutions to waste management for this project. One unique aspect is that Symbiont is utilizing a two-phase anaerobic digester to biologically treat high-solids waste streams such as grains and spent yeast. This treatment process will eliminate the volume of solids that needs to be disposed of off site and will increase the volume of biogas produced. (The biogas is considered a source of renewable energy.) The biogas is then used in two 200 kW microturbines to generate electricity. Excess biogas is used in a boiler to heat the digester and by boilers at the brewery to generate steam for brewing beer. Symbiont developed the design utilizing three-dimensional modeling. Symbiont executed this project utilizing design build to reduce the schedule and provide a performance guaranty. This project qualified for funding from several sources for renewable energy. Conference participants will be informed about a unique treatment process to treat all waste and create renewable energy.

Tom is a vice president and senior project manager at Symbiont. He has been involved in a variety of water and wastewater projects for both industrial and municipal clients since 1986. Tom holds two masters degrees—one in business administration and another in environmental engineering—from Marquette University. Tom was certified with the State of Wisconsin as a performance optimization specialist and energy auditor. This expertise provides him with the tools necessary to optimize biogas energy generation and the handling and distribution of biogas. Tom has served as project manager an lead wastewater treatment process design engineer on over 100 industrial and municipal wastewater projects that have total construction costs that exceed $500 million. During his career, Tom has been integrally involved in comprehensive studies for energy usage as well as design of wastewater energy production and recovery for several breweries and numerous food processors. 

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