Our Pneutech Nitrogen Generator is the newest piece of equipment we’ve installed, and here’s why it is awesome.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) gas has traditionally been used by brewers to purge tanks and blanket beer with this inert gas while it is packaged to prevent oxidation. I’ve tried using compressed Nitrogen (N2) in cylinders, but because N2 is slightly less compressible than CO2 the functional cost of N2 has been higher than CO2 because you need a bit more of it to do the same work.
Previously we have exclusively used compressed CO2 gas supplied by a third party in gas cylinders. For the past 18 months this has had to be imported from Singapore due to the two CO2 sources in New Zealand having been closed down in one case and broken in the other. This imported CO2 caused local costs to rise by more than 600% over a 12-month period (it has dropped a little since it peaked), but the implications of using a compressed gas product which was shipped by sea freight from 8,500km away caused me to feel very unsound from an environmental impact stance. The carbon footprint of the CO2 we were regularly consuming was enormous (roughly a third more than the actual CO2 being brought in). And it is a byproduct of the oil & gas industry.
Our shiny blue Pneutech Nitrogen Generator takes the ambient N2 from the air in the brewery and through a process of adsorption produces 99.99% pure N2 gas which has a carbon footprint that is less than 5% of the purchased CO2 gas. We still require some CO2 gas to adjust the carbonation levels of our beer, sodas, and other carbonated beverages that we produce for both ourselves and contract customers, but I am sure that everyone would agree that a 95% reduction in the carbon footprint of brewery gas usage is a good thing. (I used a free calculator to work out the footprint of sea-freight importing vs the electricity needed to run the generator).
By purchasing our products you are making a choice to support reduced emissions and greener production methods.