Don't Worry, Bee Happy: Using Sugar Waste as a Feedstock for Fuel Ethanol and Apiculture

Research Team:

Brett Taubman, Chemistry
James Wilkes, Computer Science
Stephan Sommer, Fermentation Sciences
Nicholas Shaw, Chemistry

Project Summary:

This cluster will investigate the feasibility of a novel solution to reduce the wastewater effluent stream of Hospitality Mints, a local food processing business operating since 1976.  Currently, all of the process, production, and cooling waste water from Hospitaltiy Mints is directed to the same effluent stream.  As a result, the water contains the dissolved and suspended candy ingredients as well as machine oils and cleaning and sanitation compounds.  For this project, investigators from Chemistry, Computer Science, and Fermentation Sceinces will work with Hospitality Mints and a local non-profit, R2IDGE, to determine the suitability of Hospitality Mints' wastewater effluent stream for use as a feedstock for both fuel ethanol production and for commercial bee operations.  Hospitality Mints could in turn, harvest excess honey to be used for production purposes.  Not only would these solutions reduce their input to the wastewater treatment facility, and the overall environmental impact of the effluent stream, they would also provide an economic, local and sustainable means of closing this waste loop.  By reducing impacts to the local environment, decreasing the energy required to treat and/or remove a waste stream, and doing so in an economically advantageous manner for a local business, this project corresponds to the missions of all three of the RIEEE core reserach areas.

QEP Global Learning


Dr. Nicole Bennett
Interim Director, Research Institute for Environment, Energy and Economics
401 Academy Street
234 IG Greer Hall
Appalachian State University
ASU Box 32131
Boone, NC 28608

ph: (828) 262-2764
fax: (828) 262-6553