Table of contents:
- Obtain preliminary products for plastic production from beer residues
- Substances could prevent sugar from being absorbed into the blood
- Small and medium-sized companies should benefit
Video: How Brewing Residues Could Be Used Sustainably
2023 Author: Hannah Pearcy | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 11:39
In 2015, every German drank around 106 liters of beer on average. There is a lot of residue when brewing the barley juice, around 400,000 tonnes a year across Europe. Only a part of it is recycled as animal feed. The “Bioval” project now wants to investigate how the unused waste can be used, for example as a raw material for the chemical industry or as a source for pharmacological agents.
Obtain preliminary products for plastic production from beer residues
"There is still a lot of valuable ingredients in these residues, also known as spent grains in specialist circles," says Prof. Dr. Elke Richling, who is researching food chemistry and toxicology at the TU Kaiserslautern. Together with her Kaiserslautern colleague Prof. Dr. Werner Thiel and Prof. Dr. Roland Ulber wants to investigate how this waste can be used sustainably and in a resource-saving manner in the future.
Professor Thiel is concerned with the fats that are contained in the spent grains and that ultimately come from the barley germs. "They contain, for example, many unsaturated fatty acids that yeasts don't need during fermentation," says Thiel, who holds the Chair of Inorganic Chemistry. The team led by the chemist initially wants to identify these substances more precisely. In a next step, it wants to use it to prepare products for industry. “For example, it can be used to obtain glycerin, which can be used in a variety of ways in the chemical industry. Pre-products for plastics production can be obtained from the unsaturated fatty acids,”explains Thiel. "We will develop the necessary catalysts for these questions."
Substances could prevent sugar from being absorbed into the blood
Professor Ulber from the Department of Bioprocess Engineering, for example, wants to investigate which substances are produced when the residues are fermented further. “We use various microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria for this,” says the professor, who is also involved in Brau AG at the TU Kaiserslautern. "Professor Richling will then take a closer look at the resulting substances."
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First, the professor of food chemistry and toxicology will toxicologically examine all substances or extracts that her colleagues extract from the residues. "We have to reassure ourselves that the substances pose no health risk," she says. The researcher will also look more closely at how the substances influence human sugar metabolism. "There is some evidence that various substances from the spent grain prevent sugar from being absorbed into the blood," Richling continues. "We'll check that out and see what impact they have."
Small and medium-sized companies should benefit
Professor Claus Jacob from the Saarland University and scientists from Luxembourg, Lorraine and Liège are also involved in the research project. The project is coordinated from Liège. According to the project, it should be important that it can deliver economic benefits for small and medium-sized companies in the region, such as small breweries in Belgium. Local breweries from the region should also benefit from this. The Karlsberg brewery from Homburg and the two Palatinate breweries Bischoff and Park & Bellheimer expressed their interest in the project.
The TU Kaiserslautern, the Saar University, the universities in Lorraine, Luxembourg and Liège and the Belgian company Celabor are involved in the project. The project starts in April and has a total budget of over three million euros, and the European Structural Fund for Regional Development is funding it with around 1.84 million euros. (kj)
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