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Our Partnership to Help Reduce Process Waste

February 12, 2014

If you’ve been following our blog, you’ve learned (or been reminded) of all of the ways in which the volume of food waste is addressed in the beef and poultry industry. The rendering industry has stepped in to address the needs of those producing our meat, but there are many other types of food waste.

In addition to our customers in the meat rendering industry, we do business with other types of food waste recyclers. One of our customers, Custom Blenders, offers removal and recycling services to commercial bakeries and other confectionary food manufacturers. Like the meat industry, these services help many food manufacturers reach recycling goals and reduce waste output. The bakery waste collected is recycled into high-energy animal feed ingredients that prove quite popular among feed producers.Custom Blenders

Recycling food waste is beneficial for many reasons, not the least of which is a respect for our environment. By reducing the amount of material that is put into landfills from bakery waste, and by supplying an economical advantage to both bakeries and the end users of the animal feed, Custom Blenders is in a great position in the industry, and it’s no wonder they’ve seen great success and growth. The flexible capabilities of their removal and transportation services combined with the support of our custom dryers make us a great team for responsible bakery waste treatment and repurposing.

We’re proud to partner with companies like Custom Blenders to take advantage of technology to help reduce process waste from other industries and make a useful product out of material that would otherwise end up doing more harm than good.

“The dedication to our needs by the Uzelac Industries team should be the model for all customer vendor relations. There remain many byproducts in need of more friendly recycling solutions. Uzelac Industries has been helpful in assisting us with solutions to those problems. We look forward to working with Uzelac on future projects as our growth will require.” said Adam Cowan, Special Projects and Business Development from Custom Blenders.

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Rendering Part 3: Beef and Pork

December 13, 2013

If you’ve ever watched an expert butcher at work, it’s really an amazing thing.  To conclude our series on the rendering industry, we’d like to take a look at what this video doesn’t address: where the parts of the pig (and other red meats – namely cow) that don’t get eaten go.

As we saw with poultry, there are many parts of the animals that don’t get used for traditional consumption, but can be sustainably recycled back into various other things including feed supplements, fertilizer, and other byproducts.  As with poultry, there are several notable byproducts from beef and pork rendering, with perhaps the most recognizable product being soap – this comes from rendering excess or unused fat, which you can even do at home.

The other big areas for beef and pork rendering are blood and bone meal.  These are nitrogen-rich resources used in organic fertilizer, and for feed supplements.  In the past, these processes were done “wet”, by essentially cooking the excess parts in huge vats of water and separating oils and fats in that way.  These processes gave way to dehydrating and drying the materials, as drying proved to be a much more efficient process, and produced less waste-water.

At Uzelac Industries, we provide dryers to several processors in the rendering industry, in poultry, beef, and pork.   We create totally unique custom solutions for our customers to fit the needs and specifications of their specific processes.  It is with pride that we contribute to what is considered to be one of the oldest forms of recycling.

Want to weigh in?  Tweet @UzelacInd – we’d love to hear from you.

Rendering Part 2: The Poultry Processing Industry

November 6, 2013

In our last blog we gave a brief overview of the broad reach of the rendering industry.  Today, we’re taking a look at a particular piece: poultry.

Even within the poultry industry, there are multiple processes in which rendering steps in and puts to good use the things that are unused or overlooked.  For instance, the parts of the birds that are not edible – mainly feathers and bones – are obviously not used for meat, but renderers can process and dry them, turning them into what’s called feather meal and bone meal respectively, which are used as organic feed supplements and fertilizers.   Similarly, eggshells, which would otherwise be discarded by food manufacturers and processors, are often instead ground into a powder, and used as a calcium supplement in feed.

Another process waste stream that rendering takes advantage of comes from dissolved air flotation, or DAF, a technique to clarify and separate wastewater.  DAF is often thought to be only related to chemical and petrochemical processes, but many food processing plants generate wastewater as well.  For poultry and other meat processors, the wastewater can clarified by the DAF process, and the resulting fats, oils, and other DAF material can be skimmed off the top, processed and then dried.

The advantages of these “recycled” materials are many and great – the meal is organic, and so it complies with many standards for feed and fertilizer that specify the need for organically sourced ingredients.  Additionally, the use of products that otherwise would be considered waste can create alternate sources of revenue for the processors, incentivizing their use, while at the same time being environmentally friendly by using byproducts that would otherwise end up in landfills.  The benefits for and to the poultry industry make rendering a must for many – next time we’ll take a look at how the process affects our four-legged forms of meat – beef and pork.

Rendering: An Introduction

September 10, 2013
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The rendering industry is a vast force in the U.S. economy, though it goes relatively unmentioned in general public discourse or media, unless approached indirectly in relation to another industry, perhaps most notably meat processing.  While meat processing certainly is a significant portion of the overall rendering sphere, the umbrella of rendering extends into several different parts of the food industry, and its processes actually allow many pieces of the food industry to operate more efficiently and in a way that’s easier on the environment.

One of our dryers in a rendering applicationThe National Renderers Association recently put out this great informational video about the rendering industry, which provides a great background and overview of the various impacts and applications of rendering that exist in the U.S.  For instance, it might be surprising to learn that rendering is responsible for collecting, processing, and converting some 60 billion pounds of animal by-products from meat, poultry, and fish processing operations into useful products and additives such as animal and pet feed supplements, soaps, detergents, lubricants, and more.  Renderers come in at multiple stages of the farming and food industries to take unused or discarded animal by-products to recycle them into these useful ways; from feathermeal and eggshells, to scraps from grocery stores and butchers, to excess and used cooking oil and grease from restaurants, renderers are the premier and original recyclers in the food and farming industries, accounting for responsible reuse of 60 billion pounds of what otherwise would end up in landfills, or worse.

Uzelac Industries is proud to service and support this vital industry with the best capital equipment for custom drying applications available.  In upcoming blogs, we’ll explore some more particulars of the different intersections of this industry that we serve more specifically.  Tweet @UzelacInd to get in touch, or check our website for more information, and be sure to check back here at our blog as we continue to explore some of the finer details of the different rendering processes, and our role in making it all happen.

Wood Pellet Popularity in New Energy

July 15, 2013

With 2020 edging closer by the day, the pressure is on European Union (EU) member states to meet the Renewable Energy Directive’s main mission to ensure that 20% of energy used is coming from renewable sources by 2020.  While this goal may seem difficult to reach, the EU is actually at an advantage thanks to one major source of energy already being used – wood pellets.

Wood pellets are a form of biomass used for energy. Discarded wood-based material is dried and processed into an easy-to-work-with pellet form. These pellets can be burned in specialized stoves, fireplace inserts, and central heating systems, making them an accessible solution for homeowners and business-owners alike.

The only issue here is that the colossal amount of wood pellets needed to sustain these countries far exceeds the amount produced in the EU. Therefore, the majority come from other regions, including the U.S. and Canada.  Even in the U.S., however, wood pellets are a hot commodity. About 80% of the pellets produced here are kept for domestic use. In contrast, Canada exports about 90% of their product, mostly to Europe.

Because wood pellets have such low moisture and ash content, they are more efficient than other wood-based fuels, with very little resulting waste. And because they are made from wood residue and waste, rather than actual logging, they are sustainable. Even the burning process is carbon-neutral.

For these reasons and more, wood pellets are a viable source of alternative energy, helping to achieve sustainability goals in many applications.

What the EPA Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology Means for the Energy Industry

June 17, 2013
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Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized standards within the Clean Air Act to protect people and the environment from toxins released from boilers and incinerators. The new standards aimed to reduce air pollution from mercury, hydrogen chloride, particulate matter, and more. The main targets are pollutants that cause smog, acid rain, and measurable health problems. This is achieved by capping emissions from burning fuel such as coal, oil, natural gas, and biomass.

Under these standards, boilers are broken down into two main categories, major source boilers and area source boilers. Major source boilers are those that produce large quantities of polluted emissions, such as major industrial facilities. Area Source Boilers are those that cover a smaller, more targeted scope, including public buildings and universities.

Area source boilers have fewer restrictions than major source boilers. For biomass area sources, the only pollutant that must be limited is particulate matter.

A feature in Biomass Magazine provides specific details for new area source boilers: “Biomass boilers with a heat input between 10 MMBtu/hr and 30 MMBtu/hr are required to keep filterable particulate emissions below 0.07 lb/MMBtu, while boilers rated 30 MMBtu/hr and greater are limited to 0.03 lb/MMBtu.”  For existing biomass area source boilers, however, there are no new limitations. They simply have to undergo regular maintenance and tune-ups.

For major source boilers, the regulations are stricter. These boilers must limit either filterable particulate matter or total selected metals, though the choice is theirs to make. In addition, they must limit carbon monoxide emissions.

Another hurdle for biomass boilers is the limitation of mercury. If mercury is in the fuel source, it will be expelled as waste in one of three ways, and each of those ways must be dealt with separately. Particulate mercury can be filtered out, while divalent mercury must be absorbed by activated carbon. To control mercury in its elemental form it must first be ionized, then absorbed by activated carbon before finally being captured by a particulate control device.

Boiler MACT is estimated to impact about 200,000 boilers around the country. For this reason, it’s imperative to stay in-the-know and ensure that all facilities are meeting necessary standards.

Turning Waste into Power: Welcome to the 21st Century Bioeconomy

February 11, 2013

While coal, oil, and gas will continue to play a critical role in our daily lives in the 21st century, it’s increasingly apparent that the key to providing the levels of energy needed to sustain the planet is by adopting renewable energy. Plans abound in countries and companies across the world to adopt better (and ultimately cheaper) means of procuring energy than simply by drilling more oil wells. The numbers speak for themselves. In Europe alone, it’s been estimated that a full 9% of the population is involved in the “bioeconomy” to some capacity. Translated into profit margins, that’s a whopping €2 trillion annual turnover. That’s just Europe alone.

One of the foremost energy sectors that the new bioeconomy is looking to lies right beneath our feet. We aren’t, of course, referring to shale oil or natural gas fields. No, we’re talking about something as commonplace as unrefined urban wastewater.  The collective “sludge” that passes through the sewer systems of cities worldwide can be adopted – very effectively so – into a powerful and renewable source of energy. Think not only of the metropolitan regions of America and Canada. Think as well about the enormous “megapolis” cities that are mushrooming right now in China, India, Pakistan, and Indonesia. For example: three decades ago, the Chinese city of Shenzhen was a sleepy fishing village built in the shadow of British-controlled Hong Kong. Today, it is one of the most dynamic cities on the planet, with an estimated population of over 10 million, a hub city in a region where one third of the world’s goods get manufactured. If China wants to sustain that level of growth, renewable energy strategies like wastewater recycling are simply inevitable.

Dewatered sludge can be used as a cheap, carbon-neutral substitute for oil, gas, and coal. And with Duske Drying Systems, huge levels of sludge can be dried clean of their liquid content at a rapid rate. We don’t see the equipment we make as being “optional” in the same way as choosing a laptop computer or a new mobile phone. We see the equipment we design and manufacture at Uzelac/Duske as essential to the future infrastructure of urban society: that’s just putting it bluntly like any good Wisconsinite should. So let us know how we can help build the future for you. That’s what we’re good at around here.

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