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Environmentally 'green' beer: Munich brewing engineers research energy savings
Date:9/8/2009

e minerals and have excellent heat storage properties. One gram of zeolite has an internal surface of about 500 square meters. The pores absorb water to full saturation. When zeolite is heated, the spheres dry up the storage system is charged. Once water is added again, the zeolite spheres release heat of up to 250 degrees centigrade. The brewing engineers at the TUM want to take advantage of this thermo-chemical principle to add on the missing 20 degrees to the 90 degrees centigrade from the CHP station of the brewery.

To this end, they intend to use an empty time slot in the production process. "At night a medium-sized brewery needs little energy," says project leader Dr. Winfried Russ. "In this time we can feed unused heat from the CHP station into the zeolite storage system." During the day, when high temperatures are required to boil the wort, additional heat can be fed into the overall system almost instantaneously with the "heat boosting" press of a button. This places resource-efficient, low-energy beer within drinkable reach.

The newly combined production chain works perfectly already in computer simulations, and practical tests are just getting under way. Researchers from the TU Muenchen, in collaboration with colleagues from the RWTH Aachen, have now, for the first time, set up a test station at Weihenstephan that uses the new equipment combination to simulate brewery processes. Winfried Russ is eager to see the results: "We already know that it will work. What we don't know is just how much energy can be saved." The researchers are counting on at least ten percent.

In a second step, the TUM engineers intend to model the energy balance of an entire brewery. The cleaning system, the brewing facilities, the fermenting room and storage cellar, as well as the bottling facilities will all be heated at only 90 degrees centigrade instead of using steam of up to 160 degrees. The researchers are counting on this, taken together with th
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Contact: Patrick Regan
regan@zv.tum.de
49-892-892-2743
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Source:Eurekalert  

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