Michigan Brewery


  • Recovered 95% of the wastewater as UF permeate
  • Reduce total solids/COD in effluent for sewer discharge
  • Ultrafiltration (UF)
  • Two-Step Reverse Osmosis™ (TSRO)

Case Study: Brewery, Ultrafiltration, TSRO, digestate

A Michigan based craft brewery produces about 200,000 GPD of raw wastewater from their process stream, which is then processed by anerobic digester (AD) units. The effluent from the current process stream has very high solids and organic load rendering huge cost for discharge. We have tested our unique UF, designed to treat wastewater without the addition of polymers or processing aids, significantly reducing the operation cost.

Company Issue / Challenge

The company is currently providing huge surcharge for releasing the process stream directly in the municipal sewer system.

Hauling the effluent to a centralized treatment facility is cost-prohibitive.

What We Delivered


Site Assessment

Worked with the brewery to understand its unique challenges and brainstorm how best we could assist.

Pilot Testing

We collected samples of raw wastewater and digested effluent and tested through our UF and TSRO systems to create clean water that can be reused or discharged directly to waterbodies.

Impact & Benefits

Our filtration system is designed to recover more than 90% of the liquid as clean water for direct discharge.


Clean Water Reclamation

The reclaimed water can be directly discharged into bodies of water.

Analysis of Ultrafiltration Process Streams

PARAMETERUnitUF FeedUF PermeateUF ConcentratePercent Removed by UF
Total solids %)% 0.39 0.17 1.23 56%
Total suspended solids mg/L 1,260 13 NA 99%
Total Chemical oxygen demand (tCOD) mg/L 2,434 267 16,470 89%
Soluble Chemical oxygen demand (sCOD) mg/L 596 249 350 58%
Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) mg/L 500 100 2,456 80%
Ammoniacal Nitrogen mg/L138.273.237%
Organic nitrogen %mg/L1238.8104093%
Total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) mg/L13617111088%
Phosphorus (total) mg/L4126.613135%
Potassium (total) mg/L9784.215613%
Sulfur (total) mg/L14.95.296.965%
Calcium (total) mg/L75.469.91127%
Magnesium (total) mg/L26.324.938.55%
Sodium (total) mg/L4884724783%
Iron (total) mg/L5.620.550.191%
Manganese (total) mg/L0.3340.0930.68772%
Zinc (total) mg/L0.18<.011.26100%
Copper (total) mg/L0.32< 0.011.83100%
Conductivity mS/cm2.812.743.01
pH S.U.S.U.

n/a not applicable, n.d. not detected, NA; not analyzed

These data reveal that the UF reduced some of the total solids (mainly by removal of the suspended solids), organics (COD), along with high amounts of calcium present in the stillage. The UF permeate may be further purified by our TSRO technology.

Analysis of Ultrafiltration Process Streams

PARAMETERUnitTSRO FeedTSRO PermeateTSRO ConcentratePercent Removed by TSRO
Total solids %)% 0.39 0.03 0.74 93%
Total suspended solids mg/L 1,260 NA NA
Total Chemical oxygen demand (tCOD) 2,434 - 3,740 100%
Soluble Chemical oxygen demand (sCOD) mg/L 596 - 560 100%
Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) mg/L 500 <4.5 1,091 100%
Ammoniacal Nitrogen mg/L13< 5.022.7100%
Organic nitrogen %mg/L123< 0.01226100%
Total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) mg/L136< 5249100%
Phosphorus (total) mg/L41< 0.0199.2100%
Potassium (total) mg/L97< 0.01168100%
Sulfur (total) mg/L14.90.647.996%
Calcium (total) mg/L75.40.4921099%
Magnesium (total) mg/L26.30.1177.6100%
Sodium (total) mg/L488107160078%
Iron (total) mg/L5.62<0.058.16100%
Manganese (total) mg/L0.334<.0050.722100%
Zinc (total) mg/L0.18<.010.34100%
Copper (total) mg/L0.32< 0.010.67100%
Conductivity mS/cm2.810.5887.6
pH S.U.S.U.

n/a not applicable, n.d. not detected, NA; not analyzed

These data indicate that the TSRO produced very clean water. Ammonia concentration was below detection limit and TKN was <20 mg/L which is ideal for discharge. We removed 99% of the total solids in the UF permeate and only trace amounts of organic matter remained. Note that the high concentration of sodium in the TSRO concentrate is an artifact of batch concentration that leads to elevated total solids concentration. It would not be expected in the commercial, continuous system.

Site Pictures

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Liquid Pictures

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