Researchers in the United States have been working on a bio-manufacturing process, which utilises a biological organism found within brewery wastewater, to produce the carbon-based materials needed to create energy storage cells.

This could create the perfect opportunity to reduce the high cost of wastewater treatment for beer makers, whilst leaving battery manufacturers with a cost effective solution to produce renewable, naturally-derived fuel cell technology.

The Process

The process of transforming biomass materials into carbon-based battery electrodes is commonly used in a number of energy industry sectors. However, there is a short supply of naturally occurring biomass and it is limited by its impact throughout extraction and intrinsic chemical makeup, making it costly and hard to optimise.

Researchers have developed a way to use the unsurpassed efficiency of biological systems to create enhanced chemistries and structures by cultivating Neurospora crassa, a fungus that grows rapidly in wastewater that is rich in sugar, such as that created by breweries.

As a result of cultivating the fungus in wastewater, the researchers were able to dictate the physical and chemical process of the fungus from the onset. Therefore, they were able to create the very efficient, naturally-derived, lithium-ion battery electrodes of today, whilst treating wastewater along the way.

Making the Process Large Scale

Large Scale Wastewater TreatmentResearchers see potential in making the process large scale, as they have the access to all the equipment and elements they need to develop this process further.

This could provide manufacturers the opportunity to secure access to a profitable, incubating medium for state-of-the-art battery technology components and breweries could lower their municipal wastewater costs drastically.

Belmar Technologies design, build, install, commission and service complete industrial wastewater treatment systems for a wide range of sectors. For more information or to discuss our services further, please feel free to get in touch either by email to or by calling +44 (0) 1327 586 008.