2 Crows Brewing Sustainability with Algae

 Seagriculture EU 2024
2 Crows Brewing

Dalhousie University chemical engineering students have been using algae to store some of the carbon dioxide produced during the brewing process.

Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing Co. has been on a mission to decrease its carbon footprint since opening its doors in 2017. As part of that commitment, the beer maker now sources 95% of its ingredients locally. “But once we use those ingredients, we are just creating more CO₂ and that kind of negates the positives of buying local,” says Jeremy Taylor, brewer, and owner of the company.

“During the fermentation process, the majority of breweries just let the CO₂ that’s produced as a by-product of fermentation up into the atmosphere, and it’s kind of a waste,” he says.

Taylor is now taking his sustainability efforts one step further with a unique Dalhousie University Engineering Capstone project that involves using microalgae as a means of carbon-capture. He’s partnered with four chemical engineering students from Dalhousie’s Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science to help with the process.

All senior-year undergraduate engineering students take part in a Capstone project, which provides an opportunity to collaborate with industry on real-world challenges. “As a small company, we don’t have the resources to hire an engineering firm to play around with something that hasn’t really been done before,” says Taylor.

An eye-opening experience

Craig Everett, one of the chemical engineering students participating on the project, says it’s been an “eye-opening experience” that has shifted his perspective on how companies can easily innovate to enhance their sustainability endeavors.

The process entails taking the CO₂ produced by the brewery, bubbling it through a medium and allowing microalgae to absorb some of the carbon. “What we’re looking to do is use a biologically friendly way to capture that carbon and store it, and eventually we’ll use that carbon for some sort of product,” says Everett.

For now, he says, the main goal is to reduce the CO₂ that 2 Crows Brewery is pumping into the atmosphere.

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Seagriculture USA 2024
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