Is less better? It is in the case of LiberTech, the 2021 Y-Prize-winning team recognized for its efforts to tap into the growing market for low-alcohol and nonalcoholic beverages. Shangting (Lucy) Sun W21, Hechun (Iris) Cai W21, Sharon Ying Man Chan C21, and Zhouzheyuan (Fred) Lu C21 pitched their technique for de-alcoholizing beer and wine — using nanostructured membranes developed by Penn Engineering professor Chinedum Osuji — at the competition’s finale this spring.

Their method has the potential to preserve the quality and flavor of alcoholic beverages while allowing for a more efficient and cost-effective filtration process than other techniques. Having received $10,000 from the competition, the team earmarked their Y-Prize winnings toward validating, prototyping, and piloting their technology.

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