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Hydrothermal Carbonization of Brewery’s Spent Grains for the Production of Solid Biofuels

Division of Bioprocess and Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Chemistry, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Norwida 4/6, 50-373 Wrocław, Poland
Department of Boilers, Combustion and Energy Systems, Faculty of Mechanical and Power Engineering, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, 50-370 Wrocław, Poland
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Beverages 2019, 5(1), 12;
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 21 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in the Beverage Sector)
PDF [918 KB, uploaded 1 February 2019]


To make a beer there are four essential ingredients needed: water, malt, hops, and yeast. After brewing process, the main wastes are spent grains. These are often used as additions to fodders in animal husbandry. This study presents preliminary results of an investigation aiming to determine the feasibility of an alternative use of spent grains as a potential source of solid fuel. This source of energy could make breweries partly sustainable in terms of their energy supply. Such an approach may be feasible especially in large scale industrial breweries. This preliminary study presents encouraging results, showing improvements in terms of the fuel properties of the spent grain after its valorization through hydrothermal carbonization. Moreover, qualitative GC-MS analysis also indicates potential feasibility of the liquid byproduct of the hydrothermal carbonization of spent grain for biogas production. Results of proximate, ultimate, and DTG analyses show that hydrothermal carbonization of spent grain could improve its fuel properties and make it an especially suitable feedstock for fast pyrolysis and gasification. Improvement of HHV is also an improvement in terms of combustion. View Full-Text
Keywords: spent grains; beer; malt; hydrothermal carbonization; bioenergy spent grains; beer; malt; hydrothermal carbonization; bioenergy

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Jackowski, M.; Semba, D.; Trusek, A.; Wnukowski, M.; Niedzwiecki, L.; Baranowski, M.; Krochmalny, K.; Pawlak-Kruczek, H. Hydrothermal Carbonization of Brewery’s Spent Grains for the Production of Solid Biofuels. Beverages 2019, 5, 12.

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