Some time ago, we told you about EcoVolt, the system that contains bacteria that eats organic waste and generates methane. It is owned by the start-up Cambrian Innovation, and it serves as an example to what wastewater-to-energy is all about. But the guys behind Cambrian did not stop there. When EcoVolt was introduced, the owners only suggested that it could be used in breweries, where wastewater could be converted into electricity. Now, just a few months later, this is not only a suggestion, it is a reality.
The system is now officially implemented in the Bear Republic’s brewery in Cloverdale, where it serves as a water treatment system. Being the first brewery to purchase the technology, Bear Republic is expecting to get as much as 25% return on their investment in the coming year. This will come not only from the in-house generation of electricity, but also from reusing around 10% of their wastewater. The upfront costs associated with future expansion are also reduced since the capacity can increase as the company grows, so are the operational costs associated with monitoring and control, because EcoVolt allows all this to be done remotely.
Considering that brewing of beer is quite a water consuming process, a system that can ensure a stable water supply, while greatly reducing sewer charges is really a great asset, and the guys at Bear Republic are the first to notice this. They once again established themselves as a pioneering brewery, which is proud to have integrated this incredible wastewater reuse system into their business.
Such technology is especially promising in California, where drought is becoming one of the biggest problems. If all water-intensive industries turn to something like EcoVolt, this might significantly reduce the water shortage in the region, but until more integrate the technology, we should be pleased that at least the Bear Republic did so.