Australian beer maker Fosters has announced that it has teamed up with researchers at the University of Queensland to rollout a fuel cell powered by beer. The microbial fuel cell will convert beer waste into clean water and electricity generating 2 kw of power or enough energy to light up one household. The 660-gallon fuel cell is 250 times larger than the prototype at the university and Fosters hopes to rollout additional microbial fuel cells to other breweries and wineries it owns in the near future.
But, Fosters is not the first beer maker to use its waste products to produce alternative energy. In 2005, Coors Brewing Company in Golden and Aurora, Colorado started producing 1.5 million gallons of ethanol a year from its beer waste. The company once cried over spilled beer, but no more as it now sells high-grade ethanol for automobiles to the Valero Energy Corporation, which uses the beer ethanol in its Shamrock service stations.
This brings us to our next topic of clearing up a nasty Internet hoax concerning hydrogen beer. According to this urban legend, a certain Japanese beer maker was replacing carbonated beer with beer that was charged with hydrogen bubbles instead. The hydrogen beer was seen to be more environmentally conscious, plus it gave the beer drinkers the added benefit of talking in a higher pitched voice that one may expect when sucking on a helium balloon.
This myth that started circulating as early as 1994 has since been debunked, however. There is also another beer rumor floating around which may or may not be a myth. According to this rumor, partying students worldwide this summer will be saluting these new aforementioned brewery inventions by lighting their beer farts on fire in unison in a sort of “We Are the World” campaign to promote beer drinking everywhere.
Myth or social movement? You make the call.