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back to article Oz boffins unleash the power of beer

Australian boffins from the University of Queensland have teamed up with beer outfit Foster's to power up a "battery" by brewing waste, Associated Press reports. The scientists yesterday unveiled the experimental microbial fuel cell at Foster's Yatala brewery near Brisbane. The "complex technology" involved feeds alcohol, …

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Anonymous Coward

Futurama For Real

Looks like the writers of Futurama had it spot on. Bender (like most of us) was powered by Beer.

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Further untapped potential

Imagine how much power could be generated if turbines were fitted to all urinals.

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Bronze badge

Just one question

Fosters and brewing waste eh? How can they tell the difference?

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Silver badge

not hugely efficient

660 gallons, times 8 pints in a gallon, times 0.568 litres in a pint, is just shy of 3000 litres. That's the equivalent of a cube, 1.442m. (about the width of a double bed) on a side. Or a large fitted wardrobe 2.4m. high by 0.5m. deep by 2.5m. wide. Or a sphere 1.79m. in diameter.

However you look at it, that's an awful lot of space to be taking up for just two kilowatts (enough to power a hundred 20-watt light bulbs, twenty notebook PCs or one kettle)!

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The big question ...

... is how much someone has to drink each day to keep a unit fuelled that will run his/her home ?

Someone else has done the size calcs, but 2kW as a sustained output is more than most homes use - provided you can store the energy (eg in batteries) for when you need the larger peaks. Eaither that or you sell the excess to the grid, and buy in your peaks (at 10 times the price/unit !).

So a couple of wardrobes size (by the time you add some batteries etc) will completely supply a small house, just how much fresh brewing liquor does it need each day to keep going ? And will that be sufficient justification for 'just one more pint' ;-)

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