In St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, work is being undertaken to make the Cruzan Rum Distillery less polluting and more energy efficient.
The state-of-the-art Cruzan Rum wastewater treatment plant will offer environmental benefits throughout the production process. Each day, the Cruzan Rum system will prevent the release of 150,000 pounds of chemical oxygen demand into the ocean. By filtering and reusing water from the fermentation process, it will cut freshwater consumption by almost 40 percent per proof gallon of rum produced. A new fermentation and distillation process will use advanced scrubber technology to recover ethanol, lowering emissions of volatile organic compounds by more than 90 percent. Mechanical vapor recompression will evaporate excess water, recycle that vapor, compress it and reuse the water, increasing energy efficiency.
“The U.S. Virgin Islands’ economic and environmental plans are one and the same,” said Governor deJongh. “Our partnership with Fortune Brands strengthens our rum industry to achieve both fiscal and sustainability goals. We are protecting our natural environment and cultivating our business environment for the good of the U.S. Virgin Islanders.”
“This state-of-the-art treatment plant will enhance protection of St. Croix’s precious natural resources by reducing freshwater usage, reducing landfill waste, reducing air emissions, creating products for beneficial re-use, and eliminating visible wastewater discharge into the ocean – once and for all,” said Gary Nelthropp, president and chief executive officer of Cruzan Rum.
[Photo: Kara Reuter]