Beverage-waste-based ethanol to fuel DNC

By Jerry W. Kram | June 02, 2008
Web exclusive posted June 6, 2008 at 11:13 a.m. CST

The votes are in, and the winner at the 2008 Democratic National Convention will be … ethanol. Molson Coors Brewing Co. and its U.S. subsidiary Coors Brewing Co. will be the official E85 ethanol producer for the convention in Denver in August. Molson Coors is donating all the clean-burning ethanol fuel for the fleet of General Motors flex-fuel vehicles to be used for the convention transportation needs. Coors' ethanol is made from waste beer generated at their Golden, Colo., brewery.

"From fueling a national conversation about sustainability to fueling convention vehicles, we're working toward a green convention on every front," said Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. "This flex-fuel initiative highlights Colorado's historic status as an energy and beer capital as well as its reputation for environmental and economic innovation. We are grateful for Molson Coors' donation of cleaner-burning fuel to ensure we host the greenest national political convention to date."

Coors was the first major brewer in the United States to convert its waste beer into ethanol. In 1996 the company began recycling waste beer lost during packaging or deemed below quality standards and converting it to ethanol. The ethanol facility, which is operated by Coors, is owned by Merrick & Co. The ethanol facility produces about three MMgy. Using waste beer to produce ethanol lowers the emissions of eliminate volatile organic compounds from the Coors brewery by about 70 tons per year.

"By turning waste into fuel, Molson Coors illustrates the innovative spirit that is making Colorado and our New Energy Economy a leader in creating sustainable energy sources," Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter said. "The upcoming convention will be the perfect opportunity to showcase Colorado's accomplishments in developing advanced renewable fuels. I applaud Molson Coors and Coors (Brewing Co.) for helping us do so."

E85 produced with ethanol from the Coors facility will power a fleet of General Motors vehicles that have biofuel capabilities and hybrid technology. The vehicles will be used to transport numerous delegates, staff, members of the media and other special convention guests.

"Minimizing our impact on the environment is the right thing to do and it's good for our business," said Molson Coors CEO Leo Kiely. "Bill Coors used to say that waste was a resource out of place - that thinking still drives us today to recycle, reuse and reduce our consumption of energy and materials when and where we can. We are pleased that our waste beer can fuel the convention fleet and help support an environmentally conscious convention."