The World Bank

Breweries Industry - Pollution Prevention Guidelines

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Courtesy of The World Bank

Introduction

Pollution Prevention Guidelines to provide technical advice and guidance to staff and consultants involved in pollution-related projects. The guidelines represent state-of-the-art thinking on how to reduce pollution emissions from the production process. In many cases, the guidelines provide numerical targets for reducing pollution, as well as maximum emissions levels that are normally achievable through a combination of cleaner production and end-of-pipe treatment. The guidelines are designed to protect human health; reduce mass loadings to the environment; draw on commercially proven technologies; be cost-effective; follow current regulatory trends; and promote good industrial practices, which offer greater productivity and increased energy efficiency.

Table of Contents

  • Industry Description and Practices
  • Waste Characteristics
  • Pollution Prevention and Control
  • Target Pollution Loads
  • Treatment Technologies
  • Emissions Guidelines
  • Monitoring and Reporting
  • Key Issues
  • Sources

Industry Description and Practices

Beer is a fermented beverage with low alcohol content made from various types of grain. Barley predominates, but wheat, maize, and other grains can be used. The production steps include:

  • Malt production and handling: grain delivery and cleaning; steeping of the grain in water to start germination; growth of rootlets and development of enzymes (which convert starch into maltose); kilning and polishing of the malt to remove rootlets; storage of the cleaned malt
  • Wort production: grinding the malt to grist; mixing grist with water to produce a mash in the mash tun; heating of the mash to activate enzymes; separation of grist residues in the lauter tun to leave a liquid wort; boiling of the wort with hops; separation of the wort from the trub/hot break (precipitated residues), with the liquid part of the trub being returned to the lauter tub and the spent hops going to a collection vessel; and cooling of the wort
  • Beer production: addition of yeast to cooled wort; fermentation; separation of spent yeast by filtration, centrifugation or settling; bottling or kegging.

Water consumption for breweries generally ranges 4–8 cubic meter per cubic meter (m3/m3) of beer produced. Water consumption for individual process stages, as reported for the German
brewing industry, is shown in Table 1.

Waste Characteristics

Breweries can achieve an effluent discharge of 3–5 m3/m3 of sold beer (exclusive of cooling waters). Untreated effluents typically contain sus- Breweries pended solids in the range 10–60 milligrams per liter (mg/l), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in the range 1,000–1,500 mg/l, chemical oxygen demand (COD) in the range 1,800–3,000 mg/l, and nitrogen in the range 30–100 mg/l. Phosphorus
can also be present at concentrations of the order of 10–30 mg/l. Effluents from individual process steps are variable. For example, bottle washing produces a large volume of effluent that, however, contains only a minor part of the total organics discharged from the brewery. Effluents from fermentation and filtering are high in organics and BOD but low in volume, accounting for about 3% of total wastewater volume but 97% of BOD. Effluent pH averages about 7 for the combined effluent but can fluctuate from 3 to 12 depending on the use of acid and alkaline cleaning agents. Effluent temperatures
average about 30°C.

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