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Biorefining technology transforms food waste into nutrient products

October 09, 2012
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ALBERTA, Canada — A new biorefining technology for processing organic waste has been granted a patent by the United States Patent Office.

This new thermal hydrolysis and fractionation process, invented by Dr. Erick Schmidt, of Ponoka, Alberta, transforms food waste and animal by-products including meat and bones from carcasses into safe nutrient products for organic fertilizer and biogas production.

RELATED: California Energy Commission awards $6 million to expand biorefinery

The technology incorporates centrifugal separation of the hydrolyzed output, creating valuable fractions of fatty acids, amino acids and digestible minerals, and expands the commercial scope of an earlier patent granted in 1999.

In addition to this new US patent (# 8,278,081), sister patents for this process have recently been issued by Japan, Australia and South Africa, with additional patents pending in the European Community, Asia and South America.

The technology, named the "BioRefinex process", has been adopted by the 178 member countries of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) for the destruction of all infectious microbiological pathogens and TSE agents causing prion diseases such as BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) in cattle and CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) in elk and deer. The process, which utilizes high pressure and high temperature steam reactors and integrated centrifuges, provides an alternative to incineration and landfilling of disease risk materials such as carcasses, and creates economic value from the nutrient output materials.

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