The Associated Press February 13, 2011, 1:08PM ET

MIT grad's invention turns brewery waste to fuel

A Vermont brewery is giving new meaning to the idea of green beer.

Magic Hat Brewing Co., of South Burlington, is the first site to use a device that turns spent grain from the brewing process into natural gas that is then used to fuel brewing operations.

The 42-foot tall anaerobic methane digester, installed last summer, extracts energy from the spent hops, barley and yeast left over from the brewing process. It also processes the plant's wastewater, saving the brewer two ways: waste disposal and natural gas purchasing.

It's the brainchild of Eric Fitch, CEO of PurposeEnergy, Inc., of Waltham, Mass., a renewable energy company.

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