Wase technology produces renewable energy from brewery wastewater

Wase’s industriWASE technology is tackling the dual issues of excessive wastewater and unsustainable energy costs by allowing breweries to convert organic matter in wastewater into biomethane, a renewable energy source.

According to the company, founded in 2017 by Dr. Thomas Fudge to combat the significant issues of untreated wastewater and landfill overuse, globally, over 80% of wastewater is left untreated and discharged into the environment. While UK brewers are among the best in the world in making environmentally conscious decisions, over 70% the fresh water used in brewing still ends up as wastewater, which Wase said is not only potentially ecologically damaging, but also a waste of a valuable feedstock.

Breweries are energy-intensive businesses, and as such, have been particularly impacted by the soaring cost of energy in 2022/23. With wastewater and energy now accounting for around 8% of costs at UK breweries, brewers are faced with the difficult decision between squeezed margins, passing costs on to consumers, or both.

The modular and compact nature of Wase’s systems allows for the generation of bioenergy onsite, reducing operational costs from day one of installation.

Wase has recently signed £1.1m of contracts for its industriWASE system, which includes a £500k contract with Hepworth & Company, the Sussex-based craft brewery. Wase will install its state-of-the-art industriWASE 40 system at Hepworth’s site before the end of 2023, with the facility treating an estimated 7,800 cubic metres of wastewater a year. Once installed, the system will generate c.378 MWh of net energy a year and save over 100 tonnes of CO2e with the biomethane produced used to decarbonise Hepworth’s heating.

Dr. Thomas Fudge, CEO of Wase commented: “We are delighted to be working with Hepworth to deliver a sustainable wastewater treatment solution. Our approach demonstrates the affordability for businesses to adopt circular economy principles and to generate renewable energy from their waste streams. ”

Andy Hepworth, chairman and founder of Hepworth, added: “Hepworth is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and adopting sustainable business practices. By partnering with Wase, we will be able to lower our greenhouse gas emissions while also reducing energy costs, taking us one step further towards our net zero ambitions.”

Alongside its work with Hepworth, Wase has entered into negotiations with a number of other breweries and food and drink manufacturers and aims to secure orders of over £10m before the end of this year. Wase is targeting the installation of over 8,000 systems by 2030, saving over 1 megatonne of CO2e and generating 2200 gigawatt hours of renewable energy.

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