US researches develop new process to turn brewery wastewater into energy storage cells
Researchers from University of Colorado in Boulder have developed an innovative bio-manufacturing process which turns brewery wastewater into carbon-based materials which are used in making energy storage cells.
The new process uses a biological organism, which is cultivated in brewery wastewater to produce materials required for energy storage cells. The research is funded by the Office of Naval Research.
The engineers expect the pairing of breweries and batteries could help set up a win-win opportunity for the concerned.
While the process reduces wastewater treatment costs for beer makers, the manufacturers could benefit from cost-effective means of creating renewable, naturally-derived fuel cell technologies.
CU Boulder Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering graduate student Tyler Huggins said: “Breweries use about seven barrels of water for every barrel of beer produced.
“And they can’t just dump it into the sewer because it requires extra filtration.”
Researchers said that they used the unsurpassed efficiency of biological systems to produce structures and unique chemistries by cultivating a fast-growing fungus, Neurospora crassa, in the sugar-rich wastewater produced by breweries.
The feedstock cultivation in wastewater allowed the researchers to better dictate the fungus’s chemical and physical processes from the start.