New Belgium Brewing Company (NBB) has conducted on-site wastewater treatment at their Asheville, NC brewery in phases. As part of Phase 2, NBB elected to go against historical convention and install an anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) system to anaerobically pretreat the combination of process wastewater and spent hops and yeast. NBB made this decision, as this choice adhered to their values on environmental stewardship and social responsibility. The design and operation of the AnMBR has met the objective of this phase of the wastewater treatment project. The treatment plant does not impact the aesthetics of the surrounding residential area or the brewery, spent hops and yeast are diverted away from the landfill and digested in the anaerobic pretreatment system, the treatment plant consistently generates final effluent which far exceeds the treatment requirements for discharging to the Buncombe County municipal treatment plant, and significant a significant quantity of biogas is generated, which prepares NBB for the final phase of the project: biogas utilization to recover green energy from the plant’s waste.
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