Principal investigator: Xiaoxu Ji

University: Gannon University

Industry partner: Lavery Brewing Company

Gannon University will partner with Lavery Brewing Company to research a method for repurposing Beer Spent Grain (BSG), a byproduct of beer production, while also designing a parallel workflow to produce BSG fibers simultaneously with the beer brewing process. The number of breweries in the Erie, Pennsylvania region offers an opportunity to source and recycle BSG into plant-based fiber for reinforced polymers. Lavery Brewery will partner with Gannon University’s Manufacturing & Technology Center to create a process for repurposing BSG.

We will examine how both the brewing process and the BSG reinforced material fabrication process can be combined into a single production line via integrating lean manufacturing and ergonomic concepts. This important work supports Pennsylvania’s bioeconomy by connecting companies through bio-based technology and products based on the latest advanced technologies. The expected outcomes will offer industry stakeholders insights to design workflows, methods, and workstations that reduce or remove hazards to workers while allowing the parallel production of multiple products. Through this collaboration, Gannon University students will be exposed to innovative techniques related to natural materials and will learn valuable skills that will make them more competitive in the job market.