According to the European Fats Processors and Renderers Association (EFPRA), 328 million pigs, goats, beef and dairy cattle and 6 billion poultry are slaughtered in the EU each year. The portion of slaughtered animals not intended for human consumption must be treated to make it safe. EU rendering plants process some 12 million tonnes per year of low-risk animal by-products. The process involves the application of heat to extract moisture and separate out fats. Temperature control is vital to ensure that specific microorganisms are killed.
The by-products obtained are fats and protein meals that can be used in various applications. However, wet rendering also gives a high-protein-content wastewater that must be treated before discharge. In addition, dead stock, manure, polluted residues and other animal by products are collected. These organic materials, which are highly perishable and contain pathogenic microorganisms are also treated in rendering facilities but their by-products can only be used as solid or liquid fuels. Consequently, there is a need for improved techniques for the recovery and treatment of animal by-product waste.
LIFE byProtVal seeks to recover valuable gelatine and/or collagen from waste produced during the rendering process. The two materials are present in high-protein-content processing water and in greaves. The recovered materials will be tested for their suitability for use in different industrial sectors.
Specific project aims are to:
This project is in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy, as it contributes ?towards a resource-efficient and circular economy for a sustainable growth in Europe?. In particular, it contributes to the goals of the proposed Regulation on organic fertilisers and the first deliverable of the Circular Economy Package, as waste-based organic fertilisers can replace more environmentally harmful inorganic ones. The project also helps in the implementation of the Waste Framework Directive, the Renewable Energy Directive and the Water Framework Directive.