A simple, low-cost method converts the spent grains from beer brewing into renewable fuel and high-value carbon materials. Here’s a reason to feel less guilty about the beer you’ll be drinking over the holidays. Researchers at Queens University Belfast have found a low-cost technique to convert the leftovers from beer brewing into renewable fuel and high-value carbon materials. In a study in the Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology , they show that using just two cheap chemicals and heat, they can convert dried grain into two forms of carbon, which have many high-value applications. One, activated carbon, is a highly porous material used in water filters. The other, carbon nanotubes, could find use in things like tough composites, batteries, drug delivery, and computers. The carbon could also be converted into liquid fuels. Using just 1kg of the grain, the team could produce activated carbon with a surface area that could cover around 100 soccer fields, according to the press release . Waste from brewing already finds some uses . Leftover yeast goes to making the iconic Australian spread Vegemite. Spent grain, most commonly barley, can be used as animal feed. Still, much of the used and unused barley […]

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