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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 13:57 GMT 14:57 UK
Foster's hops on green bandwagon
Pint of lager
The battery should produce enough electricity to power a home
Australian brewer Foster's has teamed up with scientists to create the world's first "beer battery".

The technology - using bacteria which consume sugar to generate power from brewery waste water - was unveiled at the University of Queensland.

The university was awarded a state grant of 140,000 Australian dollars ($115,000; 58,000) to help fund the microbial fuel cell project.

The battery will be installed at Foster's brewery near Brisbane.

As bacteria consume water-soluble waste from the plant such as starch, alcohol and sugar, the battery will produce clean water and electricity.

"Brewery waste water is a particularly good source because it is very biodegradable... and is highly concentrated, which does help in improving the performance of the cell," said the university's waste water expert, Professor Jorg Keller.

According to estimates, the brewery battery should produce two kilowatts of power - enough to power a household.

"It's not going to make an enormous amount of power - it's primarily a waste water treatment that has the added benefit of creating electricity," Prof Keller added.

A patent is pending for the technology, which could be used across a number of food, beverage and manufacturing industries.




SEE ALSO
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29 Aug 06 |  Business
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14 Feb 06 |  Business

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