Dutch beer company Koninklijke Grolsch N.V (Grolsch) is investing in the energy transition by using biomethane to supply energy for its beer production process.

The company will work with Netherlands-based bioenergy company HoSt to harness the potential of biogas by off-taking the biogas from Grolsch’s wastewater treatment. 

HoSt will then install a biogas upgrading system that will produce over one million nm3 (normal cubic-metres) of biomethane from biogas delivered by Grolsch. 

The upgrading process of biogas involves the use of membranes which separates the methane from the carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases before the methane content of the biogas is brought to a specific level. 

Grolsch’s drive for sustainability has also been accelerated with input from waste management company Twence, which will deliver the brewer with sustainable heat through a new underground pipeline. 

The additional heat supply means that not all of the company’s biogas can be used directly for its own heat demand anymore, necessitating the upgrading of biogas to biomethane. 

Biomethane, a sustainable gas with the same properties as natural gas, is produced and it is then delivered to the existing gas network alongside THT (tetrahydrothiophene), which gives the biomethane a distinctive gas smell. 

Jelle Klein Teeselink (Managing Director HoSt), Susan Ladrak (Sustainability Manager Grolsch), Ben Olde Keizer (Area Sales Manager HoSt), Danïel Platvoet (Utility Manager Grolsch) in the Grolsch brewery.

Jelle Klein Teeselink (Managing Director HoSt), Susan Ladrak (Sustainability Manager Grolsch), Ben Olde Keizer (Area Sales Manager HoSt), Danïel Platvoet (Utility Manager Grolsch) in the Grolsch brewery.

Source: Grolsch

Susan Ladrak, Sustainability Manager, Grolsch, spoke about the use of biogas during the production process, “With the arrival of the heat pipeline, it is necessary to give the biogas another use, in which it is still optimally utilised: biomethane is a sustainable, proven efficient application.” 

“We are very proud of this step as part of our energy transition, in combination with the project of our sustainable heat purchase and 100% green electricity choice.” 

She added that the brewery aims to become carbon neutral by 2025. 

More than half of the biomethane systems in the Netherlands are built by HoSt, according to Jelle Klein Teeselink, Managing Director, HoSt Group. 

He continued, “This sustainable gas variant plays a key role in the energy transition and through our technologies we are able to provide answers to both the energy and waste issue.” 

“Biomethane is highly suitable for the existing gas grid and for taking sustainability steps in existing buildings and in industry.” 

Demand for biogas and biomethane upgrading systems is set to increase following the Dutch Government’s plan to introduce mandatory blending targets for gas suppliers to add renewable gas to their supply.