The Fats and Proteins Research Foundation (FPRF) has approved over US$250,000 for seven new research projects at the Clemson University Animal Co-Products Research and Education Center (ACREC), a collaboration between Clemson University and the Foundation. The projects funded are multi-disciplinary and include researchers from the departments of chemistry, environmental engineering and earth science, chemical engineering, and bioengineering.
“These investments help ensure an efficient profitable rendering industry in the future," said Dr. David Meeker, FPRF vice president of Scientific Services. "Renderers play an important role in the sustainability of agriculture and pet food but continue to search for improvements.”
The newly funded projects are mainly focused on increasing environmental sustainability and increasing product quality. The FPRF research committee is comprised of members from rendering companies of all sizes and from around the United States. These committee members determine the value of projects to the rendering industry and make recommendations to the board for funding.
“Research is critically important to the rendering industry," said Duane Anderson, FPRF chairman. "Committee members spend hours assessing and critiquing research projects before making recommendations for funding. We are very grateful to the researchers and committee members for their dedication and hard work.”
More than US$3 million of research has been funded through ACREC since its inception in 2005.
The new research grants include:
- Treatment of rendering wastewater in microbial fuel cells with nitrogen recovery and peroxide production
- Rendering co-products as electron donors for subsurface remediation: a new market for rendered co-products
- Modified natural materials for rendering applications
- Renderable flocculants for wastewater treatment
- Reactive conversion of oils extracted from DAF sludge
- Biotransformation of meat and bone meal into high-value astaxanthin for animal feed
- Graduate student internship — Evaluation of commercialization and technology transfer potential of ACREC technologies