GreenShift Industrial Design Corporation (GIDC), a wholly-owned GreenShift portfolio company, has developed a process to reduce the wastewater sludge that is a byproduct of animal slaughter and processing to allow it to be converted cost-effectively into biodiesel.
About 100 million pigs, 35 million cattle, 1.6 billion turkeys, and 8 billion chickens are slaughtered and processed each year in the United States, involving farms, slaughterhouses, and by-product disposal companies.
The USDA requires facilities that process these meats to use large volumes of clean water to continuously rinse the meats as they are cut and packaged. The derivative large volumes of water contain extremely high levels of protein and fat.
These nutrients are removed from the wastewater using conventional processing methods, resulting in cleaned wastewater and a concentrated sludge, which is called Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) sludge. The poultry industry alone annually generates in excess of 2.5 billion pounds of DAF sludge—more than 63,000 tanker loads.
The conventional practice among the more than 500 livestock and poultry processing facilities in the industry is to transport and dispose DAF sludge through land application.
GIDC developed a proprietary DAF sludge processing technology that reduces the volume of DAF sludge by 80% while recovering the majority of the animal fats contained in the sludge.
Just applying the GIDC technology to the annual 2.5 billion pounds of poultry DAF sludge could yield 50 million gallons—10,000 tanker loads—of fat that can then be processed into biodiesel.
The technology also thus reduces the volume of sludge needed to be disposed of, and opens up a new revenue stream for the processing facilities.
GIDC intends to install its DAF processing systems at qualified processing facilities for no up front cost in return for fixed annuities equal to a discount to their current gross disposal costs and GIDC’s agreement to purchase the refined fats extracted from the DAF sludge.
GIDC will then sell these fats to Mean Green BioFuels Corporation, another GreenShift portfolio company, for conversion into biodiesel. GIDC estimates that the benefit for an average sized meat processing facility is about $400,000 per year.