Going Green: F.X. Matt Brewing
Terry Ettinger shows us what one local brewery is doing assist in the treatment of wastewater and local sewer systems.
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UTICA, N.Y. -- Five tanks like these, each 35 feet tall, 14 feet in diameter, and weight 40,000 pounds are going to use the waste from the beer brewing process to generate electricity.
"What we're going to do is we're going to be treating the wastewater from the brewery which would have a little bit of leftover beer in it from the tanks, it would have yeast in it, and it would have wort when we make the brews," explained Nick Matt, F.X. Matt Brewing.
These tanks are anaerobic digesters.
"I suppose there is a parallel in a way, to fermenting and making beer. Basically you're going to introduce some bacteria, which is going to eat up whatever residue is in the water and make the methane gas and carbon dioxide," explained Matt. "We'll be capturing that methane gas and burning that with a generator to make electricity. We estimate we'll make between 35 and 40 percent of the electrical requirements of the brewery."
State, federal, and National Grid grants are funding about half of the $4.5 million project, and brewery chairman and CEO Nick Matt, figures the company share of the cost will be covered by energy savings over the next four or five years.
"This process also cleans the wastewater by 80 to 85 percent before it goes for traditional wastewater treatment. There's a big benefit for the local sewer system, Oneida County sewer system. We're going to take a load off that sewer system in terms of what they have to do with the water to get it pure and put it back in the river," Matt said.