Image credit: GreenHouse International & Mickou (Creative Commons)
No sooner do we hear that the Scots have developed a biofuel from whisky distillery byproducts, that the tequila industry announces it wants in on the waste-to-energy act too. This is not without good reason—the growth of the tequila industry has caused huge environmental hangovers in agave growing regions. But a new company is hoping to tackle the incredible waste coming from distilleries, taking on everything from composting to renewable energy production and beyond.
This won't be the first time agave has been touted as an energy solution. Mexico has already been exploring agave-based ethanol—an idea that even got one Australian farmer interested in growing agave. But what makes GreenHouse Soluciones—a newly launched subsidiary of energy and green building company GreenHouse International—so exciting, on paper at least, is the integrated nature of the solutions it is proposing for the tequila industry:
"In a press conference held today with leaders of the tequila industry, the University of Guadalajara and [Mexican] local, state and federal officials, GreenHouse officials announced that they had formed a subsidiary, GreenHouse Soluciones, S.A. de C.V. (GHS). GHS has developed a suite of integrated solutions which will utilize the capacities of the agave plant for use in everything from composting, renewable energy production and recapturing clean water, to the development of commercial products such as fiberboard."
The company has also just completed a land purchase to construct a 30,000 ton a year composting facility to process agave fiber—a crucial service given that producing one liter of tequila can apparently result in as much as 5kg of agave fiber waste!
More on Tequila & Sustainability
Spirited Biofuel: Getting Tanked on Tequila
Agave as an Ethanol Feedstock
Trouble in Margaritaville: Farmers Growing Corn Instead