Nothing can bring a party down like a warm, flat beer; fortunately, Ireland's best scientists are on track to preserve your beer's bubbles and the shelf life of your beer — and your party.
Scientists have built a new material, thanks to nanoscience, that will help extend the shelf life of a beer in a plastic bottle. The biggest problem with plastic bottles is that the beer inside goes bad fast, as oxygen and carbon dioxide can easily infiltrate the plastic and sour the beer. The scientists' solution: nano-sheets of boron nitride, "each with a thickness of about 50,000 times thinner than one human hair," Silican Republic reports. This teeny-tiny sheet has a big job to do: once the nano-sheets are mixed with plastic, the nano-sheets will make the plastic "impervious," so that oxygen can't enter and carbon dioxide can't escape. That means your beer will keep its flavor longer.
This technological breakthrough isn't just a big deal to the scientists at CRANN, the nanoscience institute at Trinity College Dublin, but also to a major beer player: SABMiller. Silicon Republic reports that SABMiller will invest in the project over two years. The beer producer will no doubt be very happy with the results.