(142c) Wastewater to Beer: An IPA for the EPA

Authors: 
Jaeger, V., University of Louisville
Watters, J., University of Louisville
Ebrahimi, M., Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District
With the increased demand on water resources in arid regions and several notable droughts across the United States over the last decade, the efficient reuse of municipal wastewater has become increasingly important. Because beer making requires large volumes of water, several environmentally-conscious breweries worldwide have explored the possibility of using recycled wastewater as a feedstock. However, customers are often hesitant to consume recycled water products. To overcome the stigma associated with wastewater reuse, the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) has partnered with the University of Louisville to develop a water purification unit to supply local brewers who will produce small batch, special edition beers. As part of this partnership, seniors in the chemical engineering design course have designed and tested benchtop water purification units and performed calculations to scale their designs to meet MSD’s needs. Students have explored topics in filtration, adsorption, flocculation, sterilization, and organic chemistry. The students’ designs and recommendations have been incorporated into a final production unit that is being constructed at MSD’s facilities. Five local breweries have agreed to participate, and their special edition beers will be served at a water treatment conference this summer. A class outline, student designs, water quality assays, and the results of a blind taste test will be presented.