Innovation That Matters

Waste beer to power convention cars

Mobility & Transport

When the Democratic National Convention descends upon Denver later this summer, a fleet of vehicles provided by General Motors for the event won’t be using just any ordinary fuel. Instead, the flex-fuel cars will run on clean-burning ethanol derived from waste beer produced at Molson Coors‘ Golden, Colo., brewery. Whereas most ethanol is based on corn, Coors produces about 3 million gallons of the stuff each year from beer that gets lost during packaging or is deemed below quality standards, for one reason or another. Coors says it is the nation’s first major brewer to convert its waste beer into ethanol, having begun the practice back in 1996 using a facility owned by Merrick & Co. Turning the waste beer into ethanol eliminates about 70 tons of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from Coors’ emissions annually, it says. At the convention, the GM fleet—which includes vehicles with biofuel capabilities and hybrid technology—will run on a mixture of fuel combined with ethanol from the Coors facility. The cars will provide transportation for numerous delegates, staff, members of the media and other special convention guests. Of course, in addition to the ethanol sponsorship, Molson Coors will also provide real, drinkable beer for select convention events—perhaps just as important as powering its cars… 😉 Spotted by: Flemming Birch



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