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Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
GE Helps Portuguese Brewery Save 72 Million Liters of Water Annually

A brewery in Portugal has significantly reduced water usage by improving operating performance and reliability with help from GE’s advanced membranes and water chemical technology.

The site, Sociedade Central de Cervejas e Bebidas (SCC), reused wastewater to its cooling towers, which enabled it to reduce its yearly water discharge by 72 million liters and cut its annual fresh water consumption by the same amount. It also increased production performance by 40 percent in the tertiary treatment.

GE has awarded SCC an ecomagination award to recognize the company for its reductions in fresh water consumption and wastewater discharge. GE’s ecomagination award recognizes the achievements of industrial users for striking a positive balance between today’s environmental, industrial and sustainability challenges. It is given to the top GE customers in environmental and economic performance.

SCC has some groundwater available at the site, but it was not enough to meet the needs of the brewery. The other option was to use extremely expensive city water. In addition, Portugal is at a high risk of water scarcity over the next decades, so SCC turned to GE to help develop a solution using GE’s advanced water technology.

By using GE’s low-fouling reverse osmosis membranes and advanced chemistry technology, SCC was able to improve tertiary water treatment performance, reducing shutdowns by five times, also contributing to cost savings.

In other recent beer news, Heineken has increased the percentage of renewable electricity it uses in its global operations from 9.3 percent in 2012 to 18 percent, to a total of 358,100,000 kWh, according to the beer maker’s sustainability report.

Speaking of innovations in beer production, a UK startup is turning entrepreneurial beer lovers into urban farmers. Grow Beer crowdsources hops from personal and community gardens for use at local breweries.

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