What if you weren't able to drink a bubbly glass of beer at the end of a long day? This is what Robert Zubrin, president of the Mars Society, has feared for some time. On March 16, he announced in conjunction with NASA that he has created technology to make bubbly microbrews endlessly possible through the resources on Mars. Now, the world is drinking in Zubrin's creation, which is titled the CO2 Craft Brewery Recovery System.
Martian air is 96 percent carbon dioxide. Zubrin's system is based on the concept of using the CO2 to carbonate beer and other purposes throughout the planet, such as purging tanks. Here on Earth, most craft breweries do not harvest and recycle the CO2 created during the fermentation process for future batches of beer. In conjunction with Colorado-based Pioneer Energy, Zubrin hopes to provide endless amounts of CO2 to breweries for years to come, regardless of their lack of CO2 recycling.
The CO2 Craft Brewery Recovery System is based on technologies designed to harvest, liquefy and store gas on the red planet. If the system were to be used, the goal would be to capture tons of CO2 per month that could eventually be used by brewers. This would save them an ample amount of money that would otherwise be spent on future shipments of carbon dioxide. CO2 can cost an average of $300 per ton, although it may be higher depending on the distance between a brewer and its source.
The CO2 Craft Brewery Recovery System has a capacity of five tons, and it can capture up to 60,000 barrels of carbon dioxide per year.
"Within the United States, there are several thousand breweries that would be targets for this, and probably 20,000 worldwide," Zubrin stated.
As of June 2015, Zubrin and Pioneer Energy have received at least a dozen requests for the CO2 Craft Brewery Recovery System, which went into production late last year. Zubrin would ideally like the systems to be fully automated up in space, making them less dependent on human space missions coming from Earth.
If Zubrin's creation becomes mainstream, it would cut costs for breweries that manufacture between 3,000 and 300,000 barrels per year.