London-based microbrewery is the first in Ontario to recycle CO2 in the brewing process – London | PKBNEWS

Anderson Craft Ales, a microbrewery in London, Ontario, is looking to become the first in Ontario to use carbon capture technology to recycle carbon dioxide during the brewing process.

During fermentation, yeast converts sugars into alcohol as well as CO2. The chemical compound is also used in the brewing process to carbonate beer and preserve its freshness.

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“All that carbon dioxide is emitted during fermentation [but] we will then need to bring in more carbon dioxide to transfer the beer and to carbonate it later in the process,” said Gavin Anderson, president of Anderson Craft Ales.

The brewery, which opened in 2016, will use technology to capture CO2 and reuse it, reducing CO2 emissions to near zero. The new equipment is expected to capture and reuse more than 100,000 pounds of CO2 – the equivalent of 1,000 trees – each year.

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“Before this technology, there was no way for a small brewery like ours to capture it, purify it, and reuse our own CO2,” Anderson said. “I’ve been keeping an eye on it since we opened because it’s something I’ve always been interested in.”

This project is part of a series of environmental initiatives by the local brewery, including the treatment of wastewater, the recycling of spent grains into animal feed and the reuse of packaging materials. Anderson said the brewery roof is also used as a solar energy site.

Its new equipment, slightly larger than a refrigerator, is specially designed for small breweries by Texas-based Earthly Labs.

Anderson said the only risk with this project would be if the CO2 was “not purified properly”.

“The CO2 we need to use is at least food grade, which is 99.99%,” he said. “This machine is supposed to purify it to 99.999%, so there shouldn’t be any problems. But if something happens there then you might get some weird flavors and stuff, but I don’t foresee that happening.

However, he said the brewery was “taking a bit of a risk, being the first microbrewery in Ontario to go ahead with this equipment.”

“But if it inspires a fraction of the other 1,000 breweries in Canada to implement similar initiatives, the environmental impact could be staggering,” Anderson said.

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