Spoetzl Brewery Treats Wastewater and Taps into Green Energy with ADI-BVF® Reactor

Location: Shiner, Texas, USA • Sector: Breweries

The Client:
Spoetzl Brewery, also known as the Shiner Brewing Association, is an independent brewery with a passion for handcrafting fine beers. Founded in 1909, Spoetzel has been recognized by many prestigious beer competitions such as the Australian International Beer Awards, the Great American Beer Festival, the European Beer Star, and the World Beer Cup.

The Client’s Needs:
Spoetzl Brewery’s white brick Alamo-style plant in Shiner, Texas, USA, produces many year-round and seasonal brews—including Spoetzl’s flagship beer, Shiner Bock. The brewery needed a reliable treatment solution that would effectively handle brewery wastewater so that it complied with pretreatment effluent regulations. Spoetzl was also interested in generating green energy from biogas naturally produced from the anaerobic treatment process.

The Solution:
ADI Systems designed and built a 1.1 million gallon (4200 m3) proprietary low-rate anaerobic ADI-BVF® reactor to treat Spoetzl Brewery's wastewater. The BVF® reactor was the right wastewater pretreatment option for Spoetzl Brewery due to the reactor’s ability to digest dissolved organics and organic suspended solids.

The BVF® low-rate upflow sludge bed reactor has a low loading rate and large inventory of biological solids, which allows the reactor to accept and reliably treat high concentrations of suspended solids. The treatment train consists of an equalization tank and the low-rate anaerobic BVF® reactor, as well as biogas treatment, utilization, and flare. This enables the brewery to convert its wastewater into biogas. Biogas generated in the BVF® reactor is composed of more than 50 percent methane and is scrubbed to remove hydrogen sulfide.

The Results:
The BVF® reactor offers stable and robust wastewater treatment. This allows Spoetzl Brewery to comply with pretreatment effluent regulations; the treatment system has been producing excellent quality effluent, achieving over 90 percent chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total suspended solids (TSS) removal.

The waste-to-energy component of the anaerobic reactor helps Spoetzl Brewery offset natural gas by recovering biogas from the wastewater treatment process. Biogas is now used as a fuel source in the brewery’s dual-fuel boiler.