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Title: An analysis of the use of brewery spent grain : a case study of the UK brewing industry
Author: Ben-Hamed, Usama
ISNI:       0000 0004 2723 5264
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2012
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Breweries generate extensive by-products particularly spent grain, slurry and yeast. Much of the brewery spent grain (BSG) from large breweries is processed on a large scale for animal feed because of its high protein and fibre content. Bulk processing is economic and provides a useful income to the large brewery. Grain from small, local breweries is delivered intermittently in smaller volumes. Such use is much less economic and may incur losses if not carefully assessed for transport costs. The main aim of this research is to provide an analysis of using food by- products in agriculture with specific focus on spent grains from beverage production. This aim is investigated using a survey addressed to UK breweries. This survey produced a range of data regarding spent grain production, collection methods, vehicles size, average load, time of loading and unloading, etc. The data allowed the breweries to be grouped into three sizes, small, medium and large according to the scale of production of BSG. In order to achieve the research objectives, three models were applied; namely spent grain costing model (SGCM), Linear regression and Co-product Optimizer Decision Evaluator model (Cattle CODE). In addition, initial experiments were conducted to investigate alternative uses for wet brewery spent grain (WBSG) particularly soil fertilization. The SGCM model revealed that the majority of vehicles used to transport WBSG from three different sizes of brewery (small, medium and large) to farms were between 1 to 6 tonne loading capacity and the average distance from these breweries to farms was 5 miles. Data analyses were conducted by three vehicles classes and they were categorized in terms of loading capacity 1 tonne, 3 tonnes and up to 6 tonnes. This analysis was conducted to determine the average cost of transporting WBSG from breweries to farms. The results indicated that the average transport cost per tonne of WBSG for vehicle with the sizes of 1 tonne, 3 tonne and 6 tonnes were £ 10.11, £5.20 and £3.27 respectively. Linear regression based on SGCM model results was used to investigate the relationship between the distance between the three sizes of brewery and farms, and the average transport cost per tonne loaded of WBSG using three sizes of vehicle (vehicle 1, vehicle 2 and vehicle 3). The results indicated that the estimated average transport cost per tonne loaded of WBSG rises by £1.99, £1.31 and £0.45 per one mile increase in the distance for the three sizes of vehicle respectively. The Cattle CODE model results indicated that with WBSG available at £0 per tonne the collection system had a small but clear impact on the value of the grains with WBSG from medium and large breweries giving higher returns than WBSG from smaller breweries. At a maximal substitution rate to cattle feed of 50% this difference is around £28 per head of cattle. With the profitability of cattle being so low this difference may make a considerable impact on the viability of small scale cattle production. Primary experiments were conducted to investigate alternative uses for wet brewers spent grains WBSG as agents to improve soil fertilization. These experiments were conducted to assess alternative agricultural uses of spent grains and were focused on assessing the effect of grains on plant growth using cabbage, lettuce, radish and leek. The experimental results showed that in most cases the WBSG produces a clear effect on growth at the 40% addition level. This is most evident for cabbage wet weight and dry weight which increased by up to 70% compared to control plants. A similar pattern is suggested for leek wet and dry weight but is clearly not so for radish where the 10% WBSG level has most effect. These differences may allow specific recommendations of use to be developed to allow optimal application of WBSG.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available