Effective Disinfection In Breweries

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

In beverage production, cleanliness and hygiene take top priority. This applies equally to all processes in breweries. This is the only way to manufacture quality beer with a good biological shelf life. By Mr. Thomas Eifel, International Key Account Manager Business Unit Water Treatment, ProMinent GmbH

Rising consumer expectations and growing competition are forcing breweries to find economical production solutions for their high-quality products. However, the filling process is interrupted by the necessary cleaning processes.

If cleaning intervals can be extended and cleaning time reduced, the number of filled bottles can be greatly increased. At the same time the product must be free of germs and have an adequate shelf life. Moreover, the disinfectant must exhibit a high material compatibility and be safe to handle.

Technologies which can be used for water treatment in breweries.

Various technologies can be used for water treatment in breweries. The following article shows how disinfection and cleaning processes can be optimised by using most common methods like chlorine dioxide and onsite produced hypochloric acid solution.

Both disinfectants are generated on site and are used in very low concentrations for the effective disinfection of packaging, bottle caps and bottles on the rinser, and filler surfaces. Other areas of use include the bottle washing machine (cold water zone) and CIP. For these applications, a chlorine-free chlorine dioxide solution or a high efficient disinfectant, called dulcolyt, is fed to the applications.

Safe And Efficient Chlorine Dioxide Disinfection

Comparison table of ProMinent disinfection processes.

Process Electrolysis Chlorine Dioxide Ozone UV Light
Area of application CIP, rinsers, product water CIP, rinsers, product water, bottle washer Rinsers, product water Product water
Operating resources required for disinfection Water, electricity, common salt HCl, NaClO2 Dry ambient air, electricity Electricity
Depends on pH value Very high None Low None
Depot effect in the water Residual for many hours Residual for several days Residual for minutes Not residual
By-Products THMs, chloramines, chlorophenols, other AOX Chlorite Bromate None
Benefits Environmentally friendly, healthy, cost-effective disinfection, optimum corrosion protection, low chlorate contents Extremely high disinfecting power, maximum operational reliability, purity of ClO2 products, removal of biofilm Low maintenance and operating costs, no harmful by-products Significantly reduced lifecycle costs, greater operator friendliness, no harmful by-products

In drinking water treatment, chlorination has been largely replaced by chlorine dioxide (CIO2) for water disinfection. Chlorine dioxide always provides a full disinfectant effect because it does not react with ammonia or ammonium.

By contrast, the chlorination of water can produce chlorophenols and other strongly smelling compounds. This is not the case with chlorine dioxide. There is also no formation of trihalomethanes (THM) or other chlorinated hydrocarbons.

One key advantage of CIO2 compared with chlorination is that its effectiveness is not dependent on the pH of the water. In addition, even low concentrations of CIO2 remove biofilms from pipes and tanks. Removing biofilms, breeding grounds for disease-causing microorganisms, reliably prevents permanent contamination and attack by microorganisms. The high half-life of chlorine dioxide produces a sustained-release effect lasting several days in the treated water.

In breweries, chlorine dioxide has been established for many years as an effective disinfectant and is ideal for use in breweries. A chlorine-free chlorine dioxide solution is generated from a sodium chlorite solution and hydrochloric acid. Systems can produce up to 2,000 g CIO2 per hour, depending on the type.

One of the most important advantages of CIO2 compared with other disinfectants is that local country-specific drinking water regulations permit very low quantities, so it is not necessary to completely rinse out the disinfectant. For example, the German water regulation permits quantities of 0.2 ppm.

Reliable Disinfection Using Salt, Water And Electricity

The electrolysis system DULCO®Lyse produces
low-chloride and low-chlorate disinfectant of a
constant quality.

Electrolysis is an economically sensible and technically perfected alternative to the metering of sodium hypochlorite or other disinfectants. A further development of proven electrolysis technologies created a fully reliable system for disinfection with a controllable and always same chemical-physical process.

The process produces on-site a clearly defined constant product: Dulcolyt, using membrane cell electrolysis consisting of a saturated sodium chloride solution and potable water. Dulcolyt is a neutral, highly effective and extremely low-chloride and low-chlorate disinfection solution with a constant proportion FAC (Free Available Chlorine) of 400 ppm.

It has proven in numerous areas of applications a very reliable bactericidal, virucidal and fungicidal effectiveness at lowest chlorate and lowest chloride content below the levels that cause corrosion. The extremely low chloride content is significantly below the level of comparable processes. The surfaces of pipes, machine parts and equipment are not attacked by the minimal chloride concentration; corrosion is reliably avoided.

Considerable cost savings can be made due to the low consumption of energy and salt and the fact that no preservatives are used in beverage manufacturing processes.

Appropriate Solutions Ensure An Economical, Environmentally Friendly Beer Production

Chlorine Dioxide Plant Bello Zon® for safe generation of
CIO2 being drinking water conform. Less use of chemicals
ensure a moderately disinfection with low impact on environment.

The correct integration of the technology into machine concepts ensures microbiologically hygienic bottling. Modern complete systems are characterised by an extremely low waste water load, high savings in energy due to abandoning of hot water as well as a significant reduction in the use of chemicals. Due to no or less use of chemicals, a moderately disinfection can be realised with low impact on environment, man and machine.

By using chlorine dioxide generated on site as well as electrochemically generated Dulcolyt, the application concentration can be considerably reduced. In particular, CIP (Cleaning In Place) consumes more energy, time and chemicals than other areas of production.

Due to this, especially in CIP applications both technologies offer several advantages: on-site generation of the disinfectant, being drinking water conform and low corrosion risk. Operating costs can be minimised, and due to low-germ filling, the quality and shelf-life of products can be improved.

The use of lower concentrations of a disinfectant which complies with drinking water regulations also saves water. Due to lower downtime and shorter cleaning periods, these increase the daily filling quotes.