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Alginite A Novel Filter Aid in Precoat and Cake Filtration
S. Hippmann, H. M. Elinger and M. Bertau

Presently, diatomite is the dominant filter aid in the food and beverage industry due to its high porosity and satisfactory filtration resistance. However, its use is also regarded critically because?of carcinogenic dust, possible trace emissions of heavy metals such as arsenic and, as an outcome of intensified environmental regulations, a future increase of disposal costs of the filtration waste. Therefore, improving cake filtration through the application of new filter aids and techniques substituting or reducing diatomite is a dynamic field of research.
The present work was carried out using a new material as filter aid for beer filtration based on the natural rock alginite. Alginite is an immature oil shale from G?rce, Hungary. It consists of fossil organic and inorganic matter. To ensure compliance with the quality requirements and for the purpose of improving filtration properties of alginite, the material has to be thermally activated and washed. The obtained material A1000 is free from organic matter, shows only minor ion leaching and no swellability. In a laboratory filter system, beer was filtered with A1000 and diatomite as reference. The A1000 as filter aid leads to short filter service life because of a higher cake resistance due to β-glucan retention. Cake resistance was successfully reduced by adding commercial filter aids, such as diatomite and perlite, respectively. The smallest cake resistance was observed upon mixing A1000 and perlite. A bright and stable beer was obtained using both A1000 and A1000 mixtures, what brings industrial filtrations with long filter service life within reach. Even more important, A1000 removes polyphenols during filtration, which is beneficial for an enhanced beer stability.
From the disposal point of view, the agricultural use of filter cakes appears promising, because both alginite and perlite are well-proven soil conditioners. Hence, alginite use has the prospective of realising filtration processes in food and beverage industry with enhanced economy.

Descriptors: beer filtration, filter aid, cake filtration, β-glucan, polyphenol

BrewingScience - Monatsschrift fr Brauwissenschaft, 69 (May/June 2016), pp. 26-32