According to foreign media reports, according to Queen's University of Belfast, EU breweries process about 3.4 million tonnes (3,084,000 metric tons) of spent barley grain each year. However, this situation may change for a long time, because scientists at the university have invented a way to convert these wastes into useful charcoal.
Under Dr. Ahmed Osman's leadership, the researchers devised a process that begins with the drying of the grains-then the chemical and heat treatment stages. In the latter two stages, the researchers washed with phosphoric acid and potassium hydroxide-it is worth mentioning that both chemicals are low cost.
After the above process, the researchers got activated carbon, which can be used for home heating fuel, barbecue briquettes or water filters. In laboratory tests, 1 kg of grain was enough to produce enough carbon to cover "100 football fields."
The technology can also be used to make carbon nanotubes, which can be used to make better batteries, transistors, and even artificial muscles.
Researchers hope that this technology will not only help reduce the amount of waste grain, but also promote local economic development in the area where the brewery is located.
"Usually, liquid charcoal is shipped from the Middle East to the United Kingdom, and solid biochar is shipped from the United States and elsewhere to the United Kingdom in the form of wooden pellets. With this new technology, we can leverage more local production resources, By reducing emissions related to agriculture, we are also creating a high-value product. "
The research paper has now been published in the Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology.