Spent Grain Reuse and Dealcoholizing Process

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UA Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
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Breweries and distilleries produce large quantities of byproduct waste streams, mostly made of spent grain from the mashing process. Typically, these spent grains are donated to a local farmer to serve as feed for livestock. The team repurposed the wasted spent grains into various practical products and composed a life cycle analysis on each product.

Nonalcoholic beer is a product that is not seen at local Tucson breweries. Dealcoholized beer is a valuable product, but the process to produce it is energy-intensive. The team designed a vacuum distillation process to extract the ethanol from beer and lower the alcohol content below 0.5% alcohol by volume, the threshold for nonalcoholic beer. Solar heating was used to improve economics and reduce the environmental impact. The project was simulated on ASPEN software to optimize the process, removing the alcohol efficiently.

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