The Houston brewery’s boilers were originally designed to combust gaseous fuels in standard burners without emission controls. Boiler # 3 was designed and constructed in 1966 while boilers # 4, 5, and 6 were installed in the early 1980s. Anheuser-Busch, Inc. has reduced its dependency on natural gas by 810,688 MBTUs per year, prevented emissions of approximately 50 tons per year of NOx based on 2007 fuel usage and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50,000 tons per year.
In 1998 boilers # 4 and 5 were enhanced to combust renewable biogas from the brewery’s on-site anaerobic wastewater treatment system or “Bio-Energy Recovery System” (BERS). The anaerobic reactors in the BERS process produce renewable biogas that is burned in boilers # 4 and 5, replacing between 13 and 20% of the fossil fuel usage at the brewery.
In 2006, boilers # 5 and 6, and in 2007 boilers # 3 and 4 were voluntarily upgraded to low-NOx burner technology combined with flue gas recirculation to reduce NOx emissions in a severe ozone non-attainment region. On an annual basis, the low NOx burners prevent the emissions of approximately 50 tons per year of NOx based on 2007 fuel usage.
By the end of 2008, the Houston brewery was equipped with boilers utilizing low NOx burner technology, flue gas recirculation, and one source of renewable fuel, (Bio-Energy Recovery gas), that provided over 16% of the brewery fuel needs. Boilers # 3, 4, 5 and 6 were optimized to use renewable landfill gas in 2008 and began using it as a fuel by May 2009. The use of the landfill gas provided an additional 60 - 65% of the brewery fuel needs. The use of these two renewable fuels reduced total dependency on natural gas by 76%.
Details of Reductions
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These projects significantly reduced NOx and greenhouse gas emissions and caused no increase in the emissions of other criteria pollutants. The combination of all of these technologies, culminating with the addition of landfill gas in May 2009, provides a cost-effective model of clean combustion technology for all industrial boiler owners as well as greatly reducing the use of natural gas, a natural resource. This project also improves our green footprint in this community.
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