Waste Not, Want Not - Cost Effective Solutions to Pollution

A view of Absolut Distillers Incorporated's catchment lagoon and plant. Photo credit: Absolut Distillers Inc.
A view of Absolut Distillers Incorporated's catchment lagoon and plant. Photo credit: Absolut Distillers Inc.

A Philippine distiller has demonstrated how to turn wastewater into clean energy and fertilizer, highlighting the cost effectiveness of green solutions to pollution.


In 1998, Absolut Distillers Incorporated (ADI), an alcohol distillery based in Batangas in the Philippines, received a cease-and-desist order from local government authorities to halt discharges of harmful wastewater into nearby rivers.

In response the company took a number of innovative measures to clean up its operations, including putting in place equipment to convert wastewater slops into biogas (methane) for use as an energy source at the plant.

This case study is based on separate case studies that appeared on ADB's Wastewater Innovations website and From Toilets to Rivers Volume 1.

Project snapshot

  • 1998: Expansion of ADI's wastewater catchment lagoons
  • 2000: Construction of artificial wetland
  • 2001: Setup of sequential batch reactor system
  • 2008: Setup of ADI's biogas digester through funding from Mitsubishi Corporation under the Clean Development Mechanism
  • PhP 2 to 3 million : For the lagoon expansion and setup of the artificial wetland and the batch reactor system
  • US$ 2 million: For the biogas project
  • Financing
    • Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan

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Meet the expert

  • Gerardo Tan Tee    
    Chief Operating Officer, Absolut Distillers Incorporated

    Gerardo Tan Tee has been with Absolut Distillers, Incorporated since 1990. He oversaw several of the company's pioneering green initiatives, including the distillery's innovative wastewater management system, which has received accolades. He is a mechanical engineering graduate from Adamson University and holds an Executive MBA from International Academy of Management and Economics.

   Philippines, Energy, Environment, Water
   Last updated: October 2016



The views expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Asian Development Bank, its management, its Board of Directors, or its members.

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