Monday, August 07, 2006

Fwd: Why drinking beer is good for the planet

I enjoy being on the mailing lists of folks who are on many mailing lists, benevolent to bizarre...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Gershon Caudill
Date: Aug 6, 2006 10:47 AM
Subject: Why drinking beer is good for the planet

Why drinking beer is good for the planet
05 August 2006
From New Scientist Print Edition.
Helen Thomson

NOW there is another reason to enjoy that glass of cool beer on a hot summer
evening. Beer bran, a by-product of brewing beer from barley, can be used to
clean polluted waters.

Researchers at Kobe Pharmaceutical University in Japan have demonstrated
that the bran adsorbs hazardous organic compounds including benzene and
trichloroethylene (TCE) from chemical and industrial wastewater. The US
National Academy of Sciences reported last week that there is growing
evidence that TCE, used in adhesives and paint, can cause cancer. The
Environmental Protection Agency is carrying out a new risk assessment of the

Companies commonly use filters made from activated carbon to remove
pollutants from water. The dry, porous material has a large surface area,
allowing it to trap large quantities of impurities. However, it is expensive
and energy-consuming to produce, as it is made by heating coal to around 900
°C, says Atsuko Adachi, the project's lead researcher.

Since beer bran is readily available as a by-product of brewing, it is up to
100 times cheaper, she says. The way in which the material adsorbs compounds
is still unclear, but the researchers believe it is based on intracellular
particles called spherosomes, widely found in plants.

In tests, Atsuko found beer bran adsorbed organic compounds at an efficiency
of 76.2 per cent for benzene, and 92.5 per cent for trichloroethylene. The
effect was observed over a wide range of pH levels, meaning it could be used
to treat many sources of industrial waste water.

Printed on Sun Aug 06 16:42:56 BST 2006

This article reminded me to start visiting the New Scientist more often: Go here to read writings by Rabbi Gershon Caudill the EcoRebbe:


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