Spain: Biogas production from draught beer spoiled during lockdown

The Spanish brewery Damm is removing the beer barrels from its horeca customers, opened before the confinement, and dumping them in anaerobic digestion tanks. Several of its plants were already processing spoiled beers to produce biogas.


Damm, one of the top 3 brewers in Spain, estimates that 3.5 million litters of beer will recovered from those establishments which, after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and confinement was imposed by the Spanish Government, were left with thousands of barrels of beer open. Now this beer will have a new use in “a bet on the circular economy”, the company states.

By transforming this volume of beer into biogas, the brewery will generate green energy equivalent to the monthly consumption of 2,500 homes, avoiding the emission of 250,000 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Dual purpose initiative

On the one hand, the company see this as a sign of support for the horeca sector, as each barrel removed is replaced by a new one. On the other hand, they present it as a way of making use of a waste product “transforming it into 100% green energy”.

The beer that Damm is removing from the establishments is deposited in tanks containing specific microorganisms that digest it, producing a gas of biological origin. This biogas, once washed and purified, is used as a fuel in a cogeneration installation, which produces electricity.

BioVic Consulting

The Valencia-based company BioVic has designed and built the Damm biogas plants. BioVic is also the author of the Biogas Plant Agrogiethoorn, which processes different types of sludge, manure, fats from the agrifood industry and byproducts from the biofuel production.