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Old 10-26-2007, 12:53 PM   #13
Edward Hamilton
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sailboat in the Caribbean and hotels.
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I recently had the opportunity to talk to three distillery representatives who explained what their companies were doing to process their effluent. One distillery in the Caribbean sprays their spent yeast on the fields as a fertilizer. The second uses a sophisticated system of spent yeast recovery and recycles the waste and the third is handing the waste to their municipality since it is really their problem to meet the environmental regulations and it would cost a lot of money to handle the waste differently based on the cost of energy on that island. Three very different approaches to a common problem. Of course there are a lot of other factors that have to be factored in to this discussion. The distiller that spreads the waste on the fields has an interest in the sugar cane crop and the others import molasses. One distillery is in an urban setting and has been operating for about a hundred years and the third was built in the last ten years with an eye to the future.

Besides dealing with the spent yeast the fermentation process also produces CO2 gas which can be recovered, filtered and used to carbonate other beverages. The wine industry in California is wrestling with CO2 emissions and some distillers are seeing this as an opportunity to be better wardens of the environment.
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Edward Hamilton
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When I dream up a better job, I'm going to take it. In the meantime, the research continues.
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