Cornell researchers have come up with a method for turning "beer broth" into a biofuel. The beer broth it is a substance chemically identical to beer, in fact just like beer it is obtained with the fermentation of mild with the only detail that the result is not so good to drink and does not arouse any interest in the food industry. So from beer broth you can get a biofuel cheap.
Using a mix of microbes and that trigger a series of chemical and biological reactions, Cornell engineers have designed a process that converts "beer broth" into a carboxylic acid, the goat, it is the precursor of a biofuel quite versatile. This process, with the right applications, could seamlessly integrate into large-scale production routes.
L'ethanol it's a biofuel already widely used, its production is expensive as ethanol is soluble in water and requires a high amount of energy for distillation. In the USA, ethanol is produced in large fermentation reactors. It is produced in two phases, in the first phase, thanks to the action of enzymes, the corn starch is converted into sugar. In the second reaction, thanks to yeasts, the transformation of sugar into ethanol takes place. This then will have to undergo various purification processes.
Beer broth is chemically identical to bar beer. There beer drinking has undergone several filtrations and the yeasts have been removed, while the beer broth is, among other things, a more raw product that is not filtered at all. The biofuel derived from beer broth, to begin with, it is not soluble in water like ethanol, so there is no need for large amounts of energy for distillation. It is not soluble in water because it is hydrophobic and this feature allows for greater ease in the purification and separation process from water.
Using del beer broth donated by a nearby ethanol plant, the research team managed to obtain the fuel called caproico. The hardest part was making the biofuel a compound with stable pH and temperature. The next milestone will be to make this production more accessible on a large scale.
Photo | news.cornell.edu