Friday Beer Link



Greg Rehmke passes along this story with the comment, "Finally! A product that mixes biotech, alternative energy, waste reduction, clean water, and…beer."

Scientists and Australian beer maker Foster's are teaming up to generate clean energy from brewery waste water—by using sugar-consuming bacteria….

The complex technology harnesses the chemical energy that the bacteria releases from the organic material, converting it into electrical energy.

The 660-gallon fuel cell will be 250 times bigger than a prototype that has been operating at the university laboratory for three months, [Professor Jurg] Keller said.

"Brewery waste water is a particularly good source because it is very biodegradable…and is highly concentrated, which does help in improving the performance of the cell," Keller said.

Before you stiff the power company and outfit your house with beer batteries, note that Keller also says this isn't "going to make an enormous amount of power." Not just because it's a small, subsidized pilot project that might or might not turn into something larger, but because "it's primarily a waste water treatment that has the added benefit of creating electricity." Which would make a fine slogan for Foster's, if it ever wants to retire "Australian for Beer."