Australian brewery fight climate change by feeding carbon to algae

An Australian craft brewery has found a novel way to fight climate change by capturing the carbon dioxide produced by fermenting hops and feeding it to micro-algae.

Young Henrys brewery is working with scientists from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) to see if micro-algae used in their fermentation process can also reduce methane emissions from cows

The Sydney-based brewery has set up two “bioreactors” filled with trillions of the tiny organisms. Inside the two 400-litre (105.6-gallon) bioreactors, the algae absorb the carbon, then reproduce and transform it into oxygen. Young Henrys brewery say each bioreactor produces as much oxygen as two hectares of bushland.

The carbon emitted by fermenting hops to make a six-pack of beer can take a tree two days to absorb, according to research.

Young Henrys started using algae in their brewing vats in 2019, becoming the first brewery in the world to pioneer the use of algae to capture the CO2 produced during the fermentation process and reduce their emissions. The CO2 captured by the algae is then used to feed other algae housed by the brewery, and so creating a circular energy process.

The Young Henrys team, the scientists from University of Technology, Sydney have also joined industry group Meat & Livestock Australia to investigate whether the algae could be used to offset the methane emissions of Australian livestock.

Image Credit: REUTERS/Cordelia Hsu

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living

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