You might be quite surprised or maybe a little heated about it, but did you know that even toilet water can be used to brew beer? And have you ever wondered what happens to the leftover brewing water? How can we find a way to recycle and reuse water by utilizing technology?
Reuse of Brewing Water
For every barrel of beer produced, breweries typically discharge around 7 barrels of wastewater. However, this wastewater cannot be simply dumped into the sewer. It needs to undergo purification, which comes at a high cost. Fortunately, researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have discovered a new method that allows for the reuse of brewing wastewater. The process involves using the wastewater from brewing to cultivate fungi, which can then be used to create “green” battery plates.
In experimental tests, scientists introduced spores of Neurospora fungi into regular beer wastewater. The liquid was then heated and agitated for two days, allowing the fungus to thrive in the sugar-rich environment.
The fungus was filtered and then heated to a charred state at 800°C (1472°F). This carbon-rich substance proved to be highly effective in producing naturally-derived lithium-ion battery electrodes. Meanwhile, the remaining water was also filtered.
The researchers stated that if this research is scaled up to a commercial level, it could not only provide battery manufacturers with freshly cultivated fungi, but also aid in treating wastewater generated from beer brewing.
The traditional brewing industry consumes a significant amount of water, and despite some breweries’ efforts to conserve water (some have achieved a ratio of three gallons of water to produce one gallon of beer), the fact remains that high water consumption is still prevalent.
The Beer Brewed with Recycled Toilet Water – Reuse Brew
The beer, known as Reuse Brew, was brewed in collaboration with a water technology company called Xylem in Berlin, Germany. The goal was to raise public awareness and interest in recycled wastewater, also known as reclaimed water.
Reuse Brew is a malt brown beer with a well-balanced combination of hops and carbonation. It is brewed in the style of a traditional German beer, Altbier. Although it is currently an experimental product, the underlying technology behind it could have significant implications for the future of beer production and consumption.
“Reuse Brew,” made from recycled water, undergoes special treatment using advanced technologies to ensure both safety and beer quality.
“By reusing beer in Berlin, we aim to demonstrate that the technological possibilities for transforming wastewater into potable water are nearly limitless,” says Ulf Miehe of Kompetenzzentrum Wasser in Berlin.