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Technoeconomic analysis of brewing waste (trub) valorisation technologies

School of Engineering

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Dr D Gerogiorgis , Dr L Sarkisov No more applications being accepted Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

A comparative technoeconomic evaluation of available treatment technologies for a high-value beer brewing by-product (trub) will analyse the potential of optimal waste management and valorisation towards Advanced Manufacturing for a Circular Economy. This is a collaborative PhD project in partnership with Molson Coors UK.

Modern beer brewing emphasises high product quality and wide flavour diversification [1]; solid and liquid waste management is a key metric in environmental and social responsibility. The production of solid and liquid waste occurs at several beer brewing process stages (mashing, boiling, fermenting, filtering); waste processing technologies depend on the volume, composition, physical chemistry, value and demand of the respective streams [2].

Trub is the brewing term used for the material, along with hop debris, left in the whirlpool or hopback after the wort has been boiled, transferred and cooled. Brewers generally prefer that the bulk of the trub be left in the whirlpool rather than stay in contact with the fermenting wort. Although it contains yeast nutrients, its presence can impart off-flavors in the finished beer. Because trub comprises heavy fats, amino-acids and coagulated proteins [3], a key question is if it can be processed separately, in contrast to the non-composition-specific treatment currently followed [4]. This low-volume but high-biomolecular composition by-product stream can potentially yield high-added value (possibly nutrient and/or biotechnological) products.

- What is a typical physicochemical composition of the trub stream produced by the partner?
- What are the published and demonstrated trub processing technologies that can be used?
- How can a trub processing subsystem be integrated into the industrial partner’s plant?
- What is the impact and magnitude expected by such a venture, if explored by simulations?
- What does a thorough technoeconomic analysis indicate about such a project’s viability?

SKILLS REQUIRED (please read the Eligibility requirements)
Applicants must be of outstanding academic merit: a first class or upper second class honours undergraduate degree (or International equivalent) is the minimum qualification requirement. Candidates should have a BSc/MSc/MEng degree in (preferably Chemical, Biochemical, Environmental or Mechanical) Engineering, ideally with prior research achievements in one or more of the following areas: mathematical modelling, process simulation and/or optimisation, biochemical engineering. Prior experience in process modelling environments, MATLAB, statistics, economic analysis and programming is strongly preferred. Excellent oral and written communication skills are essential.


Funding Notes

- RCUK eligibility rules apply (
a. Full Funding: UK/EU citizens or settled overseas students only, who have worked and/or studied in the UK for at least three years before the programme starts (applies to British citizens).
b. Fees-only: UK/EU citizens not complying with the 3-year UK residency criteria. The award includes fees and research cost, not stipend. Students must find match funding to cover living costs for 3 years minimum.
c. Non-Eligible: Overseas students currently on Visa or requiring a Visa to come to the UK.


[1] Bamforth, C.W., Beer: Tap Into the Art and Science of Brewing, Oxford University Press (2003).
[2] Kerby, C., Vriesekoop, F., An overview of the utilisation of brewery by-products as generated by British craft breweries, Beverages 3(24): 1-12 (2007).
[3] Jurado, J., and Sorensen, H., Towards zero waste in beer production: New trends for brewery solutions, Proceedings of the 32nd Asia-Pacific Sec. Convention, Institute for Brewing & Distilling (2012).
[4] Mathias, T.R.d.S., de Mello, P.P.M., Servulo, E.F.C., Solid wastes in brewing process: a review, Journal of Brewing and Distilling 5(1): 1-9 (2014).
[5] NERC, The Business of the Environment: Our Strategic Direction, available online (2018).
[6] Jakubowski, M. et al., An assessment of the potential of shadow sizing analysis and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) to characterise hot trub morphology, Journal of Food Engineering 173: 34-41 (2016)
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