Cambrian Innovation Awarded Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced grants to help bring agricultural business ideas from the drawing board to the marketplace. Funding is made through NIFA’s Small Business Innovation Research Program.
“For small agricultural businesses, the federal government is a key, initial investor to help them get great ideas into the marketplace,” said NIFA Director, Sonny Ramaswamy. “The feasibility and scalability of these business concepts are evaluated through our peer review process, and businesses get to keep their intellectual property rights as they commercialize their ventures.”
And so, as Stone’s efforts prove, the battle for normalization is still being fought. Luckily, plenty of brewers are willing to take up the cause. Last month, a pair of California breweries—Seismic Brewing and Barrel Brothers Brewing—teamed up with Boston’s Cambrian Innovation, a wastewater treatment services company, to try and convince drinkers of recycled water’s potability by using one of the oldest tricks in the book: a side-by-side taste test. The two breweries created otherwise identical beers, but one was made with tap water and the other was made with water recycled from the brewery. “While we don’t have exact numbers, the vast majority of people who tasted the beers preferred the recycled water brew over the city water brew,” Patrick Delves, Seismic’s Director of Sustainability and Logistics, tells me. “Many people could not tell any difference between the two beers. This point perfectly illustrates why we decided to do this collaboration brew in the first place: We are trying to show folks that recycled water is not only clean and safe to drink, but delicious as well.”
Breweries across the U.S. spend a lot of time thinking about water resources, which may come as no surprise, considering that the industry average water use ratio is 7:1. Water concerns ranging from the availability and quality of clean water to the costs and environmental regulations associated with discharging process water are top of mind for breweries of all sizes. They must proactively manage their resources from startup to reduce costs and ensure sustainable growth, while remaining good stewards of their communities and the environment.
Recognizing this, Seismic Brewing Company, based in Santa Rosa, California, has a mission: to brew uniquely flavorful craft beer, while rewriting the books on sustainable brewing. Brainchild of Christopher Jackson, Patrick Delves and Andy Hooper, the brewery invested in resources to mitigate their environmental impact from day one.
But of all the experimental beers using reclaimed water, a new pair of beers from Seismic Brewing, Barrel Brothers Brewing and Cambrian Innovation is probably the most interesting yet. The two brews share identical recipes, however, one was brewed with normal city tap water while the other was brewed with reclaimed water. And this week, people will have the chance to try the two beverages side-by-side.
The two beers, named “Water is the Essence of Wetness” and “Wetness is the Essence of Beer,” are a collaboration between two California breweries—Santa Rosa’s Seismic and Sonoma County’s Barrel Brothers—and Boston’s Cambrian Innovation, which provided the wastewater recovery technology behind the project. Seismic has already been using one of Cambrian’s treatment systems to reuse their own water for things like cleaning, but this is the first time they’ve brewed with it. The two brews will be poured at the CCBA California Craft Beer Summit starting today through to September 9.
MassVentures today announced the 2017 START (SBIR Targeted Technologies) program winners. Each START winner will receive a grant to help grow employment opportunities, promote manufacturing and commercialization, and stimulate innovation across the Commonwealth. The winning companies span the state and the technology sector, from robotics to clean energy to defense. Full list, including locations and descriptions of the winning companies, is below.
Distributed solutions for process water treatment, renewable energy generation and water reuse increase critical supply chain security for industrial businesses that often face high energy and process water discharge costs, as well as capped supply for production. However, onsite solutions often are perceived as cost-prohibitive, particularly for growing businesses in rapidly changing industries such as the craft beer industry.
Cambrian Innovation developed the Water-Energy Purchase Agreement (WEPA) to make accessible onsite, distributed solutions for process water treatment and water reuse.
With funding from the National Science Foundation, Boston-based Cambrian Innovation has developed the EcoVolt Reactor, a modular anaerobic wastewater treatment system. The reactor uses an electromethanogenic process in which microbes convert organic matter into biogas with a high methane fraction. The methane can be used to generate clean electricity and heat.
Inside Cambrian’s water-as-a-service financing model (17:00)
GreenBiz senior writer Heather Clancy spoke to Matt Silver, founder and CEO of Cambrian, about the company’s innovative financing model called a water-energy purchase agreement (WEPA). Cambrian will install and operate wastewater treatment systems on a customer’s behalf over the lifetime of the contract.
Producing a single gallon of wine, from grapes to bottling (not including vineyard demands), typically requires six gallons of water, depending upon winery-specific procedures. And since they’re located in the most populated and highest water-consuming state in the nation, Californian winemakers have felt mounting environmental and economic pressures to reduce consumption and reuse wastewater.