CHANDLER, AZ — A Valley brewery is trying to cut down on its carbon dioxide emissions by 50% by using a new system to recycle carbon dioxide.
SanTan Brewing in Chandler produces about 50,000 barrels of beer a year. Half of that will now be made using a new system that recycles carbon dioxide.
"Carbon dioxide is created during fermentation by yeast. Yeast creates two things--alcohol and carbon dioxide," said founder Anthony Canecchia.
Typically, carbon dioxide is released from the tanks into the atmosphere. They have fans so it doesn't concentrate.
"It's just wasted," said Canecchia.
Canecchia bought a $100,000 machine from a startup in Austin called Earthly Labs. The system recaptures that CO2.
"So it's pure, natural carbonation. Not a chemically produced CO2. We capture that, we turn it into a liquid which is purified, and we use that liquid to carbonate our beer. So it's the ultimate in recycling," he said.
They've been using it for about a month.
"To see that we can recycle a material that would otherwise destroy the planet, no, why when we can capture it, recycle and use it to make people happy?" said Canecchia.
They've also started using nitrogen instead of CO2 to flush tanks, tubes and kegs before the beer goes in.
"We've eliminated over 500 metric tons of carbon dioxide that would have normally gone to the atmosphere," he said.
Eventually, Canecchia wants to expand and have all tanks use the system. He hopes other breweries invest in similar technology.
"I'm very proud--that our (craft beer) industry has been progressive about our impact on the environment, what we're doing," said Canecchia.
He said the new technology helps the environment and the quality of the beer.