The brewing process generates several pollutants, and each one of them requires a specific treatment, which is provided in the adequacy project required for environmental licensing.
Some of the residues are solid, such as malt bagasse, cardboard boxes, broken/discarded bottles and packaging. At Sunset, the malt bagasse is entirely deposited in reusable barrels and directed to cattle farmers for cattle feed.
We have a glass collection program, which is destined for the recycling company in the city, the remaining waste is donated to an association of waste collectors. When possible, we use these materials in the brewery itself, such as the wooden pallets we have turned into service counters or the empty malt bags with which we make pillows and lovely cushions.
Other wastes are gaseous, such as those generated by the burning of LPG in the boiler. We finish the installations to use natural gas, after many months of management with the state company that distributes it. Natural gas is much less polluting and offers less risk.
The primary residue of microbreweries is represented by liquids, which originate from washing equipment, bottles, barrels, floors and other facilities, as well as the production process (trub, purges and beer discard). It is estimated that for each litre of beer produced, 6 to 8 litres of effluents are generated. Sunset installed a microbiological Effluent Treatment Station (ETE), consisting of a concrete tank for equalization of pH and temperature, tank for anaerobic digestion of waste, aerated tank for aerobic digestion, and decanter, from which the sludge returns activated for the aerobic step.
The microbiological treatment uses bacterial colonies of several species, which work in symbiosis, and allow the exit of water with a standard suitable for use in sewage or watercourses. Periodically, a small amount of non-toxic sludge is removed, which can be discarded in nature or used in organic fertilization.
In the treatment of effluents, the most commonly used options are the pure and simple discharge through trucks that collect the liquid, or the use of chemical ETE's, in which the suspended solids are precipitated utilizing synthetic products. Often, this process adds toxic waste to the natural environment - water that is unfit for release and sludge that requires particular disposal.
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