Improving water efficiency in the food and beverage industry
The food and beverage industry is one of the most water- and energy-intensive industries in the world in addition to producing large volumes of waste. Therefore, freshwater supplies are in high demand. Despite significant progress in improving water use efficiency, the food and beverage sector needs to do more to minimise the use of freshwater during the processing of raw materials. However, current solutions for wastewater treatment in industries under a water–waste–energy nexus remain limited.
The aim of the EU-funded AccelWater project is to optimize freshwater water consumption in the food and beverage industry under a water-waste-energy nexus by introducing beyond state-of-the-art water reclaiming, reusing and Artificial Intelligence enabled monitoring. Controlling technologies will permit the use of reclaimed water in the manufacturing processes of food and beverages, allowing waste and energy reclamation, optimization and management. Consequently, this will result in environmental and socioeconomic sustainability.
The program involves companies operating in the industrial area of Patras, where Athenian Brewery operates its largest production unit, as well as the research bodies AGENSO and National Technical University of Athens. Through the program, special filters will be placed in the company’s wastewater management system that will hold even micro-solid substances that could not be contained despite the whole process currently taking place in industries. Thus, the water extracted from this process will now be completely clean and is planned to be used in the irrigation of vegetables and trees in the area.
Athenian Brewery will act as supplier of waste and wastewater and will support AccelWater partners with its expertise, facilities and qualified personnel in the development and implementation of sustainable strategies to reduce water and energy consumption through an integrated approach.
For several years, Athenian Brewery is active in issues concerning society, with emphasis in environmental protection, securing a safe working environment, modernization of the production process and information of consumers concerning responsible alcohol consumption. The company seeks to constantly improve its energy consumption figures for both economic reasons and social responsibility ones.