They plan to make fuel from discarded beer yeast using the Efuel 100 MicroFueler. The first-ever home ethanol systems will be housed at the brewery in Chico, California.
“The plan is to have a machine here on site that would distill the ethanol that’s remaining in the yeast slurry,” said Cheri Chastain, Sierra Nevada Sustainability Coordinator.
“We could make it available for employees. If we have a lot of it we could end up selling it. We could use it for our shop vehicles and company vehicles,” said Chastain.
Currently, production waste is sold as dairy feed to local farmlands. In fact, Sierra Nevada sells 1.6 million gallons of beer yeast waste annually. But not once this system is in place. Testing will start in Q2 of this year with a goal of full-production by q3.
The beer yeast contains between five and eight-percent alcohol content, but the MicroFueler is expected to raise the level to 15-percent.
“Creating ethanol from discarded organic waste is an excellent example of how the MicroFueler can help eliminate our reliance on the oil industry infrastructure. This is especially true when considering Americans reportedly discard 50% of all agricultural farmed products,” said Tom Quinn, E-Fuel founder and CEO. “Using a waste product to fuel your car is friendlier to the environment and lighter on your wallet, easily beating prices at the gas pump.”
Of course, Sierra Nevada has a history of being a bit eco-friendly: they are home to one of the largest private solar installations in the US.
“We are excited to partner with E-Fuel to develop an efficient way to recover waste ethanol from our spent yeast,” said Ken Grossman, Founder and President, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. “This has the potential to be a great thing for the environment and further our commitment to be becoming more energy independent.”
And yes, I know that “wazzup” is a Bud thing. But who drinks that stuff?