Business Update: July 2022 | AIChE

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Business Update: July 2022

Ashland is making beer clear


Delaware-based chemical company, Ashland, has released a new version of its polyvinyl polypyrrolidone (PVPP) beer stabilizer.

Beer haze 101. Before you can make beer, you need to make wort. We make wort by steeping cracked grains, like barley, in hot water. The result is a liquid containing mostly sugars (for later fermentation) and various other compounds, like proteins and polyphenols. Some of those polyphenols will bind to the proteins and create relatively large insoluble molecules that scatter light — which is what makes beer hazy. PVPP removes the haze in beer by binding to polyphenols so that those proteins never get the chance to bind.

So, what’s PVPP? PVPP is a crosslinked version of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP). PVP is made by the polymerization of n-vinylpyrrolidone (NVP). NVP is derived from γ-Butyrolactone (GBL). GBL is made by dehydrogenating 1,4-butanediol (BDO). That last one should sound familiar — it’s a petrochemical derived from butane that’s most well-known for its use in the production of Spandex...

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