Utilising Brewer’s Spent Grain as a Source of Cellulose Nanofibres Following Separation of Protein-based Biomass

Pawan Kumar Mishra, Tomas Gregor, Rupert Wimmer


A multistage process was employed to obtain value-added products from brewer’s spent grain (BSG). This paper is focused on the production and characterisation of cellulose nano-fibres (CNF) as one of the products obtained during the complete process. In the first stage, protein-rich liquor was separated via the alkaline (NaOH) treatment of dried BSG and stored for further utilisation. In the second stage, bleaching treatments were conducted to separate cellulose, which was later converted to CNF by high-pressure homogenisation. The lignocellulosic product from each step was analysed for its chemical composition by means of alkaline hydrolysis combined with the HPEAC method. The thermal properties were measured using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The morphology was studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). X-ray diffraction (XRD) was done to observe changes in crystallinity. The nano-cellulose produced can be regarded as a value-added material from the bio-refinery of BSG along with numerous already-reported products.


Nanocellulose; Cellulose nano-fibres; Brewer‘s spent grain; Bio-refinery

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