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Carlsberg group’s water recycling plant: a leap towards zero water waste

Autor: Sarah Hofer

The water reuse process is also generating additional sustainability benefits.
Source: Carlsberg Group

23. October 2023 ǀ Leveraging water technologies from DuPont, the Carlsberg Group has developed a new water recycling plant that has significantly reduced water consumption in its brewing process.This pioneering project improved the Fredericia brewery in Denmark in the area of ​​water efficiency.

Using DesaliTec™ closed circuit reverse osmosis (CCRO) technology as part of its total water management (TWM) treatment plant, Carlsberg Group reduced water consumption by 58.8 percent—or 500,000m3 per year—virtually eliminating wastewater from the water-intensive brewing process at its flagship brewery in Fredericia, Denmark.Carlsberg’s total water management system project, which recycles the non-ingredient water used for cleaning and other industrial processes, was led by the Belgian circular water specialists, Pantarein Water and included expertise and technologies from Dutch water treatment system designer Lenntech, DuPont Water Solutions, and Danish industrial pumps specialist Grundfos.

Transforming the brewing industry: a leap towards water efficiency and sustainability

“As major users of water in the food industry, we are the ones who must make a difference through innovation, new technology and partnerships. At our brewery in Fredericia, we have taken a huge step with our new water system. This pioneering project has transformed water usage at the Fredericia brewery and turned it into probably the most water-efficient brewery in the world. It is also creating biogas, which covers 10 percent of the brewery’s total energy consumption,” said Andreas Kirketerp, Manager of the total water management facility at Carlsberg’s Fredericia brewery.

By reusing 90 percent of all process water from production, the plant has reduced the average water consumption at the brewery from 2.9 hl of water per hl of beer to 1.4 hl of water per hl of beer. And after two years with its pioneering water recycling system, Carlsberg estimates that the brewery in Fredericia has saved approximately 1 billion liters of water.

The water recycling plant is developed through collaboration with the multi-stakeholder Danish partnership for Resource and water efficient Industrial food Production (DRIP). In DRIP, companies, technology providers, research institutes and health and food authorities have been working to rethink how we use and reuse water and expand the boundaries of water purification and circularity. The Carlsberg Group and Grundfos were among others part of DRIP.

The success at Fredericia has enabled significant progress towards Carlsberg’s ambition for ZERO Water Waste, having become an important demonstration of the technology’s potential and a key sourcing of learning and best practice for other breweries – within and beyond the Carlsberg Group.

Pioneering water stewardship and sustainability in the brewing industry

“At DuPont, we envision a world in which every human has daily access to safe, affordable water; every industry has enough water to make the products on which we rely; and we optimize the circular nature of our resources,” said Alan Chan, Vice President and General Manager, DuPont Water Solutions. “This vision is only enabled when progressive organizations—like Carlsberg—rethink how they manage and reuse water, and we applaud Carlsberg for this exemplary project.”

The water reuse process is also generating additional sustainability benefits—in addition to operational cost savings. Biogas, a byproduct of the total water management facility, is used to heat on-site facilities and accounts for about 10 percent of the total amount of heat used at the Carlsberg Fredericia brewery, further helping to improve the site’s sustainability profile and helping to reduce energy consumption.

The award was presented at the 2023 Sustainability and Circular Economy Summit in Washington, D.C., by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Veolia, University of Pennsylvania Water Center, International Desalination Association, and the Water Reuse Association.

The Global Industrial Water Reuse Award recognizes top Fortune 1000 companies that incorporate the best-in-class water recycling and reuse programs to improve water stewardship and achieve their water management goals. The award program was developed as part of the National Water Reuse Action Plan (WRAP), a multi-stakeholder effort lead by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to advance the science, policy, research, and communications supporting water reuse and recycling.

DuPont’s water technologies help purify more than 50 million gallons of water every minute around the world. From wastewater to ultrapure water, DuPont’s innovative technologies allow for the purification, conservation, and reuse some of the hardest to treat water – enabling customers to address their goals for water stewardship, circularity and waste reduction, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction.

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