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Landfill power

Interesting.

Anheuser-Busch, the top U.S. beer seller, said today it will begin using landfill gas to help power its massive Houston brewery in a move designed to lower its soaring energy costs and keep beer prices from climbing higher.

The St. Louis-based brewer will use the landfill gas to help run boilers that today are fueled by natural gas.

When the landfill gas begins flowing into the plant later this year, about 70 percent of the brewery’s energy needs will be met by renewable fuels, Anheuser-Busch officials said today during a Houston news conference announcing the initiative.

“It’s going to help us keep beer affordable,” said Doug Muhleman, group vice president of brewing operations and technology at Anheuser-Busch.

The beer maker will purchase the gas from Framingham, Mass-based energy firm Ameresco, which has a partnership with Houston landfill operator Allied Waste Services.

The Houston brewery, the company’s second-largest behind its flagship plant in St. Louis, will receive the gas via a six-mile pipeline into the plant from Allied’s McCarty Road landfill in east Houston. Still under construction, the pipeline will be completed later this year, the companies said.

Other landfill operators, including Houston’s Waste Management, have launched similar efforts to harvest and sell methane gas created by decomposing organic material in trash dumps. In addition to providing alternative energy, the practice reduces emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas.

Well, it’s good to know that our predeliction for landfills has a positive side to it. Kudos to Anheuser-Busch and to the landfill operators for taking advantage of this opportunity.

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One Comment

  1. Kent from Waco says:

    This is not anything new.

    Here in Waco there is a large Mars/MasterFoods candy factory (They make M&Ms, Skittles, Snickers, etc). They power their factory almost entirely from methane that is tapped and piped in from a local landfill. Here’s a Waco Trib article about it:

    http://www.wacotrib.com/green/content/news/stories/2008/05/14/05142008wacmethane.html