The Fats & Proteins Research Foundation (FPRF) has approved more than $250,000 for seven new research projects at the Clemson University Animal Co-Products Research & Education Center (ACREC), a collaboration between Clemson University and the foundation. The projects funded are multidisciplinary and include researchers from the departments of chemistry, environmental engineering and Earth science, chemical engineering and eioengineering.
“These investments help ensure an efficient profitable rendering industry in the future. Renderers play an important role in the sustainability of agriculture and pet food but continue to search for improvements,” said Dr. David Meeker, FPRF vice president of scientific services.
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 country. 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. 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,” Duane Anderson, FPRF chairman, said.
More than $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;
• Bio-transformation of meat and bone meal into high-value astaxanthin for animal feed;
• Graduate student internship on evaluation of commercialization and technology transfer potential of ACREC technologies.
Grant applications are considered in March and September each year.
ACREC is the national center focused on developing to improvements in rendering. Its goals are to enhance current uses of rendered animal products, improve the ways used to make these products and develop novel applications.
FPRF funds research to expand uses of rendered products and improve rendering operations. Supported by voluntary contributions from rendering companies and their industry partners, FPRF has funded more than 600 projects at 30 major academic institutions since its formation in 1962.