Skol Brewery Ltd Rwanda Uses Energy Produced From Wastewater to Heat Boilers

Skol Brewery Ltd Rwanda Uses Energy Produced From Wastewater to Heat Boilers

Source: The Water Network
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A beer making ​company in ​Rwanda is now ​producing ​energy from ​wastewater ​organic ​pollutants to ​power its ​boiler ​equipment. ​

The Skol ​Brewery has ​partnered with ​the Global ​Water ​Engineering (​GWE) to turn ​wastewater ​organic ​pollutants into ​biogas for ​internal use ​while achieving ​high environmental ​benefits. ​

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Rwanda has a ​strong need for ​sustainable ​technologies, ​with the World ​Health ​Organisation’​s African ​Regional Office ​identifying, ​“Rwanda ​undoubtedly ​faces ​significant ​environmental ​challenges, and ​needs to invest ​significantly ​in adapting to ​current climate ​challenges as ​well as in ​adaptation to ​future climate ​change.” ​

Water ​shortages are ​also a ​significant ​problem in ​Rwanda, with ​water needs in ​Kigali city ​being only met ​at 50% or less ​especially in a ​dry season ​in a ​city with ​urbanization ​growth rate of ​more than 9% ​annually. ​

Skol Brewery ​Rwanda’s ​new installation,​ incorporating ​some of the ​world’s ​most efficient ​and proven GWE ​waste-to-energy ​technologies, ​aligns Skol ​Brewery with ​top international ​environmental ​wastewater ​standards and ​demonstrates ​the company is ​taking ​important ​action to ​ensure the ​sustainability ​of its ​operations, ​says GWE ​Chairman and ​CEO Jean Pierre ​Ombregt. ​

The new ​process at the ​Kigali plant ​involves ​GWE’s ​globally ​distributed ​anaerobic waste ​digestion ​technology ​proven in more ​than 150 waste-​to-green energy ​plants ​worldwide, ​including ​dozens of ​breweries. ​

The technology ​not only ​improves ​sustainability ​outcomes but ​also decreases ​operating costs.​

The anaerobic ​digestion ​technology is ​also integral ​to 415 ​high-quality ​industrial ​wastewater and ​waste treatment ​plants in 62 ​countries, the ​benefits of ​which apply to ​any food and ​beverage, ​agribusiness or ​manufacturing ​operation with ​one or more ​organically ​loaded ​wastewater and ​waste streams. ​

Skol ​Kigali’s ​new continuous ​system – ​which replaces ​an old ​sequential ​batch reactor ​– highly ​efficiently ​removes organic ​waste material ​from production ​wastewater, ​converting more ​than 90 ​percent of ​the wastewater’​s Chemical ​Oxygen Demand (​COD). ​

The new ​wastewater ​treatment plant ​is a reliable ​method of ​turning organic ​waste into ​usable biogas. ​

This organic ​material is ​transformed ​into biogas (​mainly methane) ​to replace the ​need for an ​equivalent ​amount of ​fossil fuel to ​power the plant ​boilers ​equipment, ​while the ​treated ​wastewater ​effluent ​leaving the ​plant delivers ​high environmental ​benefits ​through ​achieving ​discharge ​limits of 250mg/​L COD. ​

The new ​process – ​now successfully ​in its first ​full year of ​operation ​– begins ​with pre-​treatment, ​followed by a ​modern ​treatment line ​utilizing ​GWE’s ​robust ​ANUBIX™-B ​system at the ​heart of the ​process. ​

Sludge ​management and ​dewatering unit ​are also used ​to process any ​excess sludge. ​

“ The methane-​rich biogas ​produced by the ​ANUBIX™ ​process is ​reused to power ​an existing ​boiler unit, ​replacing ​baseline power ​requirements, ​which is a ​further benefit ​to the brewery ​ ,” said Ombregt.

“ Breweries, ​and other food ​and beverage ​companies, are ​often literally ​flushing money ​down the drain ​in the form of ​wastewater. ​They are ​spending money ​to treat or ​dispose of ​their ​wastewater when ​they could be ​treating it as ​a resource and ​turning ​wastewater ​into a ​profitable ​source of ​energy ​ ,” he said.

Because it is ​a continuous ​system, green ​energy can ​continue to be ​generated ​consistently. ​This ​baseload ​green energy ​capacity ​represents a ​further ​significant ​advance on the ​plant’s ​previous ​Sequence Batch ​Reactor system. ​

The new GWE ​system handles ​wastewater ​inlet ​quantities of ​920 m3 per ​day.

The upgraded ​plant has a ​capacity of ​3220 kd/day of ​organic matter, ​or Chemical ​Oxygen Demand (​COD) load. ​

Inlet COD ​concentration ​is 3500 mg/L ​and the COD ​effluent ​discharge limit ​is 250 mg/L, ​with the GWE ​process ​removing more ​than 92% of COD ​and radically ​improving the ​effluent water ​quality, ​meaning that ​Skol Brewery ​has a minimal ​impact on local ​water systems. ​

“ Using this ​sort of ​technology to ​not only treat ​wastewater and ​turn it into ​green ​energy but also ​to power ​existing ​boilers or ​otherwise ​utilize the ​additional ​biogas is ​becoming ​increasingly ​common as ​forward-​thinking ​companies ​strive to meet ​sustainability ​initiatives ​and ​minimize ​their negative ​impacts on the ​environment. ​Larger ​anaerobic ​treatment ​installations ​can even ​generate ​additional ​profit in ​perpetuity ​because excess ​biogas or ​energy can be ​sold back to ​the grid ​ ,” said Ombregt.

Developing ​countries like ​Rwanda are ​highly aware of ​the need ​for ​sustainability ​and are ​increasingly ​implementing ​technologies to ​safeguard the ​environment and ​precious ​natural ​resources like ​water. ​

While there is ​still a long ​way to go ​– and ​this applies to ​everyone, ​globally –​ early adopters ​of environmentally ​harmonious ​technologies ​like Skol ​Brewery will ​pave the way ​for further ​advances in ​energy-​efficiency that ​will benefit ​communities and ​the country as ​a whole. ​