Company turns brewery wastewater into fish feed

A Colorado-based biotechnology company has added new equipment at a MillerCoors brewing facility to convert wastewater from the beer-making process into a protein source for fish and animal feed.

Photo courtesy Nutrinsic Corp.
Photo courtesy Nutrinsic Corp.

Colorado-based biotechnology company Nutrinsic Corp. said on Monday that it has added new equipment at a facility owned by brewing group MillerCoors LLC to convert wastewater from the beer-making process into a protein source for fish and animal feed.

The technology at the brewery's Water Reclamation Facility in Trenton, Ohio, processes the water, waste beer, spent barley and yeast to capture nutrients that would otherwise be undervalued or lost.

Nutrinsic's patented technology alters the water's conditions to encourage the growth of microorganisms that transform the nutrients into single-cell proteins, company spokeswoman Meagan Wairama told the Dayton Daily News. The protein is then harvested, concentrated, sterilized and dried.

"We work with food and beverage processors like MillerCoors to recover nutrients from their byproduct that would be otherwise wasted," Wairama explained.

The new facility — Nutrinsic's first in the United States — will produce up to 5,000 tons per year of ProFloc, a sustainable and eco-friendly product that can be used in place of other types of feed such as fish meal or used as a feed ingredient.

As well as producing a valuable product, the process releases clean water.

Previously, solids from the brewery's wastewater were used by farmers as fertilizer. Nutrinsic's process will divert about 20,000 tons, with the remaining solids still used for that purpose.

MillerCoors sees this as a further step towards achieving sustainability in all aspects of the brewing process, said Denise Quinn, vice president of MillerCoors' Trenton Brewery. The facility already reuses or recycles the majority of its waste and sends less than one percent to landfill.

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