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2017 Master Brewers Conference
52. Essential factors to consider in planning for biological pretreatment of wastewater at craft breweries

Matthew Seng, Baswood, Durham, NC, U.S.A.

Coauthor(s): Jeff VanVoorhis, Symbiont Science, Engineering and Construction, Inc., West Allis, WI, U.S.A.; John Mercer, Brewery Wastewater Design, Montrose, CO, U.S.A.

Saturday, October 14
8:30–10:15 a.m.

Many good references exist to describe why biological pretreatment of wastewater from craft breweries may be required even after implementation of high-strength waste segregation (spent grain, trub, spent yeast), pH neutralization, and screening or sedimentation for additional solids removal. This paper addresses how to plan for implementation of an actual biological pretreatment system by describing the essential factors that must be analyzed in the process of deciding the best biological pretreatment system for any given craft brewery. The essential factors are: biological process selection, treatment level required, process stability and reliability, operational requirements, sludge generation and management, size/footprint, and, of course, capital and operating costs. For biological process selection, the two main types of processes will be described in detail: anaerobic treatment and aerobic treatment. Furthermore, aerobic treatment will be further categorized by sub types: suspended growth and attached growth, the latter having attributes that are particularly suited for craft breweries. For treatment level, the capabilities of each process will be addressed in terms of pollutant removals. For process stability and reliability, operational requirements, sludge generation and management, size/footprint, and capital and operating costs, the coauthors will present real data and experiences from craft breweries around the country that can be translated to a decision-making process applicable to all craft breweries faced with the need to implement biological treatment.

Matthew Seng has 28 years of experience as an environmental engineer designing industrial wastewater treatment plants, including biological pretreatment plants for breweries. Matthew is a licensed professional engineer and has a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an M.S. degree in environmental engineering from Villanova University. He is a proud member of MBAA Districts New England, Mid Atlantic, Carolinas, and Mid-South.

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