Yilkins technologies contribute to the Heineken Circle Project to achieve net-zero emissions.

Recently Heineken announced the launch of a pilot project to maximize circularity and contribute to decarbonizing its breweries, a world-first pilot in France. In partnership with Duynie, Idex, and Yilkins the Heineken group introduced its Circle Project, a project for the valorization of spent beer grain, a byproduct of the brewing process.
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This initiative aims to reduce the carbon footprint of its production sites. The first project will be implemented in Mons-en-Barœul, at Heineken’s historic brewery in France, which has already pioneered numerous initiatives to reduce its environmental impact.

The transformation process focuses on spent beer grain, the byproduct of brewing, which until now has been trucked away for agricultural use, amounting to 55 to 60,000 tons annually. At European level, it involves around 3.5 million tons of spent grain. Heineken plans to transform this spent grain into ‘green gold’. On the one hand, the brewery will extract concentrated proteins (more than 70%), for sale in the animal feed market and possibly for human consumption in the future. On the other hand, the fibrous residue will be dried to become a biomass fuel for a new steam boiler, producing the necessary steam for the brewery, and replacing fossil natural gas.

“Thanks to the support of our various partners, I am proud that we have once again put innovation and circularity at the service of reducing our impact on the environment. With the advent of the Circle Project, which contributes to Heineken’s overall ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions, we will continue to reduce our energy consumption and invest in local and renewable energy sources.”

Heineken France

The first demonstration plant of the Circle Project is being implemented and will be fully operational by the end of 2025. Substantial investments have been made to build the necessary infrastructure for transforming this strategic production site which, through this project, aims to reduce its CO₂ emissions related to the use of fossil fuels (primarily natural gas) by 50%, according to initial estimates. The valorization of the spent grain should save about 20,000 tons of equivalent CO₂ on the site by 2025 – the equivalent of 2,174 round-the-world flights.

This pioneering project in France aims to be replicated in six other Heineken Group breweries in Europe by 2027. In the long term, the Heineken Group intends to extend its Circle Project initiative to as many breweries as possible, in Europe and worldwide.

The Yilkins scope of supply is the drying module for the spent fibres. This module is based on the Yilkins proprietary and energy-efficient platform technology, improving energy efficiency by 50% versus conventional drying equipment. As such, Yilkins technology contributes both to achieving Heineken’s net zero targets and provides a lower Total Cost of Ownership and improved business case.

Want to know more about this project? Then read the official press release from Heineken.

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