Mexican tequila distillery installs biomass boiler

By Erin Voegele | May 19, 2016

In early May, a tequila manufacturer in Mexico announced the installation of a biomass boiler at its distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, has drastically reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) at the facility.

The system, installed at the Tequila Cazadores facility, took 18 months to plan and 10 months to execute. According to information released by the company, the boiler has now been in operation for more than a year. It produces steam that powers the agave sugar extraction process, cooking and distillation of the brand’s tequila.

Approximately 60 percent of the biofuel used in the boiler comes from spent agave fibers. This amounts to about 11,000 tons per year. The other 40 percent is made up of 8,000 tons of clean waste wood, biomass briquettes, sawdust, coconut shell, and tree cuttings.

Prior to the installation of the biomass boiler, the facility utilized two boiler systems that consumed a combined 2,000 tons of heavy fuel oil annually. Tequila Casadores, part of the Bacardi portfolio of spirit brands, estimates the new boiler has reduced GHG emissions by 80 percent. Noise pollution has also been reduced by an estimated 20 percent. Ashes created by the boiler are used for composting, creating a nutrient-rich soil supplement.

"Global climate changes have the potential to affect Bacardi and the production of our brands. Understanding these realities, we are continuing our focus to minimize environmental impacts companywide," says Eduardo Vallado, vice president of supply chain and manufacturing for Bacardi in the Americas. "Our Good Spirited initiative is part of our legacy, vital to our growth and sustainability, and this biomass boiler changeover in Mexico, one of many to come, represents our steadfast commitment to our customers and consumers to make the best quality spirits in the most responsible ways."