In 2015, the Carlsberg Group consumed an average of 3.4 liters of water for every liter of beer produced at its global network of manufacturing sites. However, a ground-breaking project, involving DuPont™ closed circuit reverse osmosis (CCRO) technology, has helped transform their site in Fredericia, Denmark into what is claimed to be the world’s most water-efficient brewery.
Led by the Belgian circular water specialists’, Pantarein Water, and including Dutch water treatment system designer Lenntech and DuPont – the project, which was recognised as Industrial Project of the Year in the GWI Global Water Awards, has virtually eliminated wastewater from the water-intensive brewing process, much of which is used for cleaning and other industrial processes.
The state-of-the-art Total Water Management (TWM) treatment plant has allowed the facility to treat 82%-90% of the process water used for sanitation and bottle cleaning and reuse it for these same purposes, with the remaining material sent to a public wastewater treatment plant.
Through previous initiatives, Carlsberg had managed to reduce the brewery’s water consumption by 0.6 liters, but the TWM proved to be a game changer and now just 1.4 liters of water is required to produce each liter of beer – cutting the brewery’s overall water consumption by 500,000m3 per year.
As a result of these combined efforts, water consumption at the brewery has been reduced by 58.8%, exceeding the company’s 2030 goal of a 50% reduction several years ahead of schedule. Biogas, a byproduct of the TWM, is used to heat on-site facilities and accounts for about 15% of the total amount of heat used at the Carlsberg Fredericia brewery, further improving the site’s sustainability profile.
Andreas Kirketerp, Manager of the TWM facility at Carlsberg’s Fredericia brewery, said: “This pioneering project has transformed water usage at the Fredericia brewery and turned it into what we believe is the most water-efficient brewery in the world. It is also creating biogas, which is further improving the sustainability profile of the site.”
“As a result of this project, Carlsberg has not only exceeded its environmental target for the brewery, it has also saved money by dramatically reducing the amount of water used and created a blueprint for the rest of the business.”