College kids all around the world have a special place in their hearts for beer. Now, a research team at the University of Queensland in Australia has given them one more reason to love their lager.
At UQ's Advanced Wastewater Management Centre, director Jurg Keller and postdoctoral research fellow Korneel Rabaey teamed with their mates at a nearby Foster's brewery to turn beer wastewater into electricity. The end result: a microbial fuel cell that continuously feeds on the organic matter in the wastewater and converts it into power. The process also cleans the water and emits only non-polluting carbon dioxide.
The project received a $140,000 Sustainable Energy Innovation Fund award from the Queensland government, a $1.3 million Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, and onsite and financial support from Foster's. The money will enable to team to hone the technology and make it available to manufacturers and wastewater agencies worldwide.