Heineken converts wasted beer into green energy

23 March 2021 by
Heineken converts wasted beer into green energy

With the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) predicting around 87 million pints have been wasted across the UK as a result of Covid-19 pub closures, Heineken is turning its beer into green energy as part its Brewing A Better World sustainability strategy.

Since May 2020, the brewery has processed 83,2105 50-litre kegs – which is the equivalent to 6,989,640 pints. The energy create is enough to heat nearly 28,000 average UK homes for a day, or make 45,488,120 cups of tea.

Thousands of kegs, which were not sent to pubs because of lockdowns, are emptied into brewing vessels before being drip-fed into the site's waste water treatment plant. The beer is then put into the anaerobic digester, which converts alcohol into biogas. The biogas, which is 100% sustainable and renewable, is then used to supplement the energy the site needs to brew beer and pasteurise and cans.

Having successfully reversed the kegging line, and connecting to a combined heat and power unit (CHP) which converts the biogas into heat and electricity. The biogas is also converted into heat in the site steam boilers utilising state of the art equipment.

Matt Callan, brewery and operations director at Heineken, said: "After all the care, attention and passion that went into brewing the beer in the first place, it would have been a great shame to pour it down the drain – no brewer wants to see their beer not be enjoyed. Our team of engineers and brewers at Manchester found a solution – using our kegging line to empty beer barrels and turning the beer that would have gone to waste into green energy to power the brewing of fresh beer, all ready for when the pubs re-open."

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