University of Bayreuth, Press Release No. 069/2021, 02 June 2021
Woche der Umwelt 2021 – Manufacturing & Remanufacturing guests of German Federal President
On 10 and 11 June 2021, the Federal President has invited select guests to Bellevue Palace for “Woche der Umwelt” (Environment Week). Under the motto of “This is how the future will work out”, experts and interested parties will discuss processes of environmental, climate, and resource protection. Among the exhibitors is the Manufacturing & Remanufacturing research group of the University of Bayreuth. It will present itself online with its project “Adsorptive CO2 recovery from process gases in application in small and medium-sized breweries” at Woche der Umwelt 2021.
“Adsorptive CO2 recovery from process gases in small and medium-sized breweries” is the name of the project with which Processing & Reprocessing Technology at the University of Bayreuth will present itself online. The project “Capturing and Storage of Carbon Dioxide (CaSCaDe)” is intended to enable small and medium-sized breweries to drastically reduce both emissions and the purchase of carbon dioxide by recovering CO2 from their brewing processes.
Beer and other carbonated drinks only become sparkling and refreshing because of their CO2 content. When beer is brewed, this carbon dioxide is produced during alcoholic fermentation.
Carbon dioxide is, however, needed in large quantities during the brewing and bottling processes, and is therefore bought in, for example, to pre-tension and empty storage tanks and to flush pipes. Small and medium-sized breweries hence consume about 48,000 t of CO2 per year in Germany alone – extrapolated, it becomes clear how important it is to prevent its emission.
Unused emitted carbon dioxide, on the one hand, and purchased “fresh” CO2 on the other, show the potential of a circular economy approach that recovers this greenhouse gas. Large breweries have been doing this for a long time, but for small and medium-sized breweries – in Germany there are almost 260, and in Europe almost 1,750 breweries of this size – it is not yet viable. Consequently, the University of Bayreuth has decided to tackle this problem.
The solution is called CO2 recovery from process gases
CO2 recovery technology using adsorptive media should also open up economically viable recovery of CO2 from process gases to small and medium-sized breweries. With support from the German Brewing Industry Science Fund and the German Federal Foundation for the Environment, the Processing & Reprocessing Technology research group of the University of Bayreuth is further improving the process, in cooperation with Neumarkter Lammsbräu and the brewing equipment manufacturer Kaspar Schulz from Bamberg. The goal is to cover the entire CO2 requirements of breweries as far as possible, and to recover 100% of the fermentation carbon dioxide for the carbonation of non-alcoholic beverages in the future.
Plant technology available to date uses conventional gas scrubber systems with energy-intensive drying and liquefaction steps that process the carbon dioxide. They are simply too expensive for small and medium-sized breweries. “That’s why we looked for alternatives”, says Dr.-Ing. Bernd Rosemann, Academic Director at Processing & Reprocessing Technology. The “adsorptive recovery of operating gases from rinsing and pressurisation processes” tested at Lammsbräu shows that “our process recovers CO2 sustainably and regeneratively”, says Rosemann.
Thanks to basic research and the testbed realized in the Lammsbräu pilot plant, it was proven in principle that, using process gas from purging and pre-stressing processes, the separation, concentration, storage, and recovery of CO2 in the cyclic process we have developed is technically feasible. Capturing CO2 is feasible even with low gas flow volumes. All in all, the recycling of CO2 into beverage production is ecologically advantageous, a logical step in terms of production technology, and economically advantageous. In fact, it is so innovative in its application in small and medium-sized breweries, that it serves as a model for the entire industry.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s forum…
for environmental, nature conservation and climate issues will take place in hybrid form. The Federal President will open Woche der Umwelt in the palace park, where there will be a main stage with several discussion rounds that can be followed via streaming. In addition, more than 200 experts will exchange views in various expert forums, which will take place as webinars and will also be streamed. The project exhibitors, such as Processing & Reprocessing Technology at the University of Bayreuth, will also present themselves online on the “Woche der Umwelt” website in 2021: https://woche-der-umwelt.de
Following events in 2002, 2004, 2007, 2012 and 2016, the Woche der Umwelt is taking place for the sixth time at the invitation of the Federal President and the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU). The Processing & Reprocessing Technology research group of the University of Bayreuth has been invited by the Federal President to participate as a selected exhibitor in 2021, for the third time after appearances in 2002 and 2016.