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Beer in corrugated card board packaging
Photo: Spendrups

Reflows - Circular products from protein-rich brewery waste streams

In the project Reflows - Circular biobased products from protein-rich brewery waste streams, we use the under-utilized residual stream spent yeast from breweries to produce adhesives adapted for wood and paper applications.

For initial applications, the raw material is used for gluing particle board and corrugated cardboard, but in a longer perspective it could be used for other types of glued wood products and packaging, and also for e.g. binders for 3D-printing and animal feed.

Aim of the project

The aim of the project is to achieve a circular, sustainable and resource effective use of brewery residual streams to meet the need for biobased raw materials and products, nationally and further on internationally.

Why this is important

Reducing the use of fossil based raw materials is an important parameter to minimize the negative impact on the environment. To achieve a significant effect it is of great importance to develop new biobased alternatives to fossil based raw materials and products, which have effective and sustainable production processes.

This project prioritizes the creation of a proactive network covering the whole value circle to produce glued wood and paper products with adhesive from spent yeast, as well as to establish and evaluate extraction processes for the spent yeast. In the long run, both parts are prerequisites for showing functionality and effectiveness in the process so that other industries will have the courage and ability to connect, and to contribute to increased resource efficiency, circularity and utilization of biobased raw material.

Expected effects and results

By valorization of an under-utilized residual stream and by making an alternative biobased raw material available, the project will contribute to the transition to a biobased economy. The project expects to lead to new technical solutions, such as production of a yeast-based adhesive, and in a longer perspective to some extent replace fossil based raw materials in the production of e.g., particle board. Another expectation is that the project will lead to a change in producer behavior, which by using the correct communication, can result in changed consumer behavior.

Plan for implementation

In order to identify the components in the spent yeast we will, amongst other activities, quantify and characterize the residual stream. Then the protein rich yeast will be separated from the other components to develop and optimize a yeast-based adhesive for particle board and packaging using corrugated cardboard. The product is then valorized for its respective application by testing and evaluating demonstration runs based on performance. A financial, environmental, and social sustainability analysis will also pe performed in order to clarify the impact of the product.


Project name




RISE role in project


Project start


1,5 years

Total budget



Spendrups Bryggeri AB, Ragn-Sells Recycling AB, Akzo Nobel Adhesives AB, Byggelit Sverige AB, DS Smith Packaging Sweden AB



Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
12. Responsible consumption and production
Marielle Henriksson

Contact person

Marielle Henriksson

Projektledare, PhD

+46 10 516 62 58

Read more about Marielle

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