Pontum AB and Hop Notch Brewing in a climate co-lab 

Last week Pontum installed the pilot CO2-recovery system at Hop Notch Brewing. It is the first of its kind plant in Sweden to recover fermentation gas in microbreweries.

Carbon dioxide recycling has long been a hot topic amongst brewers, but commercially possible only for larger breweries, as the cost already for small CO2 recovery systems has started at about 1 million SEK. Pontum’s solution is aimed specifically at microbreweries. It is an efficient and simple solution that takes up little space and will hopefully quickly become popular, both for its value to the breweries’ finances and for our common environmental goals.

When beer is fermented, carbon dioxide is produced naturally, but even so, the carbonation in far too many Swedish beers does not come from the beer’s own carbon dioxide. The gas from beer fermentation is released into the atmosphere and contributes to the greenhouse effect. Later, carbon dioxide is bought from gas suppliers and, in addition to costing money, it requires planning, logistics and environmentally burdensome transport.

So not very cost-effective for breweries to waste their own gas in this way, and then buy new. And, even if that hasn’t been the case yet, you never know when a supplier might stop delivering in the quantity or at the price you want. It has been a problem in, for example, both Europe and the USA, where more and more breweries are now investigating the possibilities of recovering the gas directly from the beer. The problem they run into is that the facilities are far too expensive and take up too much space.