Krones targets alternative filtering aid
The search for alternatives to diatomite for pre-coating filtration has long been a significant concern for the brewing industry. German company Krones has taken this concern on board together with a development partner. A specialty viscose fibre could emerge as an alternative filtering aid. Krones is addressing this issue.
Pre-coating filtration with diatomite has acquired a poor image. The reason is the frequent occurrence of intensive dust emissions, which have proved to be harmful to the users’ health. Disposal of the used aid causes continual costs, and is becoming ever more problematic. Krones has accordingly launched a research project focused on developing a filtering aid that does not cause any entrainment of iron or other substances into the beer, does not produce any dust in use, and can be disposed of at no net costs or even profitably. One of the crucial factors here is its usability for all existing pre-coating filter systems, without any need for technical modifications. With an alternative aid, the disadvantages of diatomite’s handling and disposal problems could be eliminated.
Krones is working with Kelheim Fibres, the world’s leading producer of specialty viscose fibres. Under this joint project, two application categories for the viscose fibres are being researched: clarification of the beer and its physical stabilisation. The aim is to provide an alternative filtering aid, one that can be flexibly matched in use to the filterability of the beer concerned. Initial test results are already pointing to good usability of the viscose fibres as a filtering aid. Launched in the summer of 2013, the project for developing the functional viscose fibres is scheduled to run for three years.