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First brewer to reuse purified waste water in production process

For years on end brewery Huyghe has been working hard to become the most sustainable brewer in Belgium. Many energy saving measures have been taken to reach that goal and today, the brewery has taken the next step. On 22 March – World Water Day – the brewery will inaugurate a new water purification installation – developed by the Pantarein specialists – allowing the brewery to reuse approximately 70% of its wastewater in the production process. This way, Huyghe creates a Belgian first.

No beer without water. For a brewery, water is of paramount importance, which is why brewery Huyghe – with key beer brands such as Delirium Tremens, Averbode and la Guillotine – is holding sustainable water management in high esteem. Previously the brewery managed to reduce its water consumption by 30%, thanks to the new brewing installation, inaugurated in 2011. Next to this, the brewery also took the necessary steps to meet the discharge standards for surface water and in 2012 invested in an extra water purification installation from Pantarein, to purify its wastewater. And today the brewery sets another milestone.

Pantarein developed an extra installation specifically designed for the brewery, which purifies the wastewater even more. The new wastewater installation makes use of a membrane filter, which filters both organic waste and the major part of the salt in the wastewater, resulting in purified wastewater of drinking water quality. 70% of the wastewater will now be reused and this purified water will be used at first instance only to rinse the brewing installations. Alain De Laet, CEO of the brewery, explains: "The purified water is perfectly suitable for brewing beer, but because the consumer is not yet ready for this, we will not be applying this yet. For our brewery it is above all yet another step closer to our ultimate goal of becoming the greenest brewer of the country."

Thanks to the reuse of the waste water, the water consumption will be reduced even further: in 2008 the brewery still needed 8.6 liter of water to produce 1 liter of beer, by 2015 – thanks to the many sustainable measures taken – this volume had already been reduced to 5.2 liter and with the inauguration of the new water purification installation the water consumption can be further reduced to only 3 liter per liter produced beer.

The costs of the new water purification amounted to 250,000 Euro, on top of the earlier investments of 1 million Euro in water purification.

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First brewer to reuse purified waste water in production process