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GreenShift Technology Converts Animalwaste Sludge into Biodiesel

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.



Hmm, industrial animals into industrial fuel. Why doesn't this sound appetizing to me? I guess I'm assuming the animals have had a miserable life (prior to be being killed) in a "zero-grazing" facility. I prefer bio-diesel from waste veggie oil - no animal was injured or inhumanely treated in the making of this movie, sorry, bio-fuel.


Yeah, my future biodiesel pickup should be a vegetarian!


There are millions of fast food shop in USA. If any company starts to take those oil and convert them into biodiesel, the benefit to the society will be tremendous.


Sounds like waste shit, etc. to me.


Sounds like a win-win to me. Reduced solid waste, reduced oil imports, net decrease in GHG emissions. What's not to like?

Jesse Jenkins

Researchers at the Univ. of Arkansas just published something on this as well. News article here.

Personally, while this is the utilization of waste from an existing industry, I have strong objections to the factory farming practices of the meat industry and don't want to see the fact that their waste can be used for fuel as an argument for more factory farming. The practices produce vast quantities of pollution (air and water), keep their animals in incredible inhumane conditions and are an inefficient utilization of our resources.


Well, the fact is, if it is the same thing, people will go for whichever cheaper.

An Engineer

With all due respect, factory farms are probably here to stay. This process does not change that. I doubt that adding this process would turn an unprofitable operation into a profitable one.

It does, however, allow factory farms to reduce pollution, by producing renewable fuel. And by replacing fossil fuel there are many environmental, economic and security benefits.


The industrial farming issue seems rather to miss the point. If all animal production in our country were to become organic, free-range, etc tommorow, the slaughter, butchering and rendering of animals will remain an industrial process. Most neighborhood associations are not about to allow a new abbatoir in their back yards, even if it is "boutique"-sized.


I can't see this being a winning proposition. Each successive tropic level in the food chain is about an order of magnitude less efficient than the one below it. Animals raised for food require feed. Feed is oil, more or less, and the process is extremely inefficient in terns of land and water use, while contributing unduly to global warming, habitat alteration, and air and water pollution.

It would be better to produce human food and oil from suitable crops: ethanol from switchgrass, biodiesel from oily plants requiring minimal fossil fuel input, etc.

Although there is a requirement for B12 (on the order of micrograms per day), there is no requirement for flesh in the human diet. Those who still insist on eating animals would do better with snails and insects, which surely have a much higher EROEI than factory farmed animals, but not so high as plant foods.


Until large amounts of meat are grown in sheets using cloned animal tissue, a process being used now, we will be using slaughter factories to process the vast majority of our meat supply. Even though I only eat fish, I can't change the fact that millions of Americans consume huge amounts of meat. Any process that can be used to create a viable product from waste material is a step in the right direction.


This sounds like a great idea.

It would also be efficient for lipo-suction clinics to recycle lipids into fuel, as well as the funeral industry.

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