Here is an example of the preliminary testing of the spent wash on two different types of mint.  Both are doing well and growing fast!

Our goal is to recycle and reuse all of our byproducts: distillery spent wash, CO2, all organic solid waste, and waste heat.  The result will be: Reclaimed water, vegetable produce, O2, organic fertilizer and compost. 2

We began clearing the space for the recycling facility next to the distillery last Fall.

UPDATE 2.13.2017

Here we are digging the hole for the basement of the facility.

Here the excavation is nearly roughed in.

Basement of facility

We have begun the first phase in our spent wash recycling process.  We will be treating it through several processes and testing it out as a nutrient supplement for several different crops!

The photo above is our spent wash aeration tank.  here the spent wash is pH adjusted and aerated to allow decomposition microbes to work and break down the compounds to useful forms for plants to use.






The photo to the right is the beginning of the rainwater collection that we will use to dilute the spent wash before application as a fertilizer to crops and plants.  The gutters drain into this drum where the water is pumped to filters to remove debris from the roof and gutters.

Here to the left  and below you can see the collection barrel and the filters. The filters are plumbed in parallel to prevent premature plugging by allowing more surface area to filter the water passing through

To the left we have the ozone treatment tank.  This process sanitizes the water safely so it can be used in the distillery or for the dilution of the spent wash.


the tank below, is just for additional rainwater storage for dilution of spent wash or transfer to the ozone treatment.

UPDATE 12.12.2016

We have begun the first phase in our spent wash recycling process.  We will be treating it through several processes and testing it out as a nutrient supplement for several different crops!

We have learned a great deal over the last year.  By reducing the media in the beds through placing the plants in pots increased water flow and improved plant health.  This in turn improved the water quality.  Allowing the Duckweed and Fairy moss to cover the water surface reduced algae growth.  Adding a small amount of nitrogen improved plant growth and the removal of other compounds.  Providing wind breaks and roofs reduced the amount of rainwater flooding and overfilling system.


Bottom left two pictures are of the Vanilla Orchids doing well.  The plants respond well to LED lighting.  Once they are placed in the greenhouse, LEDs will be used to supplement lighting in the greenhouse.

Update 4.4.2021

I have started a non-profit organization called OCATEC - Oregon Coast Artisan & Trade Education Collective.


The mission of OCATEC is to provide instruction in the Arts and Trades to the community on the coast while researching and developing new, sustainable technologies.


With climate change and the threats to the environment and mankind compounding and accelerating helping people become more self sufficient and capable of solving problems is more critical than ever.

We have recently started experimenting with the use of the seeds from the Moringa Oleifera in the flocculation of colloidal particles in the distillery spent wash.  Initial tests show promising results in the precipitation of solids and color reduction in the spent wash.  The precipitate will be composted and used in soil amendments.


"Moringa seed cake, obtained as a byproduct of pressing seeds to obtain oil, is used to filter water using flocculation to produce potable water for animal or human consumption. Moringa seeds contain dimeric cationic proteins which absorb and neutralize colloidal charges in turbid water, causing the colloidal particles to clump together, making the suspended particles easier to remove as sludge by either settling or filtration. Moringa seed cake removes most impurities from water. This use is of particular interest for being nontoxic and sustainable compared to other materials in moringa-growing regions where drinking water is affected by pollutants."


The Moringa plant is entirely edible and considered a super food.  Growing this plant with the nutrients from the spent wash would allow us to produce the seeds needed for the water purification and produce nutritious biomass.

Moringa Oleifera experiments

Update 7.27.2018

This is a miniature spent wash recycling system we assembled this year to show the feasibility of the concept. Here we have evidence that the plants will survive and thrive on the nutrients provided solely by the spent wash. Thus, removing the compounds from the spent wash and working toward purifying the water for reuse.


Our Story


Sustainability is what actually got me into the distilling industry.  I was working on different projects surrounding aquaculture, agriculture, aquaponics, biomass energy, steam, pellet stove technology, which lead to water distillation, ethanol fuel distillation, and ultimately to our current endeavour, the distillery.  The goal has always been to run a "green" business.  Since we began operation of the distillery, I have been researching and experimenting with various ways to recycle the spent wash produced during the distillation process.

Historically, DSW (distillery spent wash) particularly from mollasses, has been difficult to recycle.  It has a high BOD and COD, as well as a high pigment retention due to the dark color of the carmelized sugars in mollasses.  Something important to remember is everything in the spent wash is non-toxic since it is just the remains of the sugarcane after processing and dead yeast cells.  The BOD and COD can be alleviated through  time spent in an aerobic reactor (basically an aerated septic tank,) but the color is not significantly altered, making it a hazard to the ecosystem inhibiting photosynthesis.


The Plan

 The current plan is to process the waste water through an aerobic reactor, remove the solids and compost them, then run the water through a series of mechanical and biological filters, then reuse the water in fermentation. 

Obviously, building this system requires a significant amount of capital that we are currently seeking assistance with from investors and others interested in helping out.  So progress is slowly moving toward this realization.

The other elements to our plan are:

Building a greenhouse where the tanks and filters are under the floor, allowing us to harness the heat of the spent wash to do two things: keep the biological activity active during the cold months and heat the greenhouse economically.

Duct the CO2 from the fermentation process to the greenhouse, where the plants use the CO2 through photosynthesis to create carbohydrates for growth, essentially reducing and hopefully eliminating my CO2 emissions.

Through this system we would close the loop on our water use eliminating our wastewater production, reduce or eliminate our CO2 emissions, harness the waste heat for year round greenhouse operations, and compost all the solid waste to be used as a soil amendment.  Ultimately turning all the waste byproducts into assets.

This plan is what we want to introduce to other related industries to help make a cleaner environment and better use of our natural resources.


Update 11.18.2017

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