IPP&T Magazine Online

Transforming animal by-products, food waste into fertilizer and green energy

May 29, 2018   Don Horne

A new thermal hydrolysis and fractionation process is transforming animal by-products and food waste, including inedible meat and bones, into safe nutrient products for organic fertilizer and biogas production.

An innovative Canadian technology has successfully completed commercial scale processing of livestock carcass by-products into fertilizers at the Lethbridge Biogas biorefining plant in Ponoka, Alta.

This process has been certified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for the processing of Specified Risk Materials (SRM’s), and was adopted by the 178 member countries of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

It is approved 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 is unique in the world, utilizes high pressure and high temperature steam reactors, and provides an environmentally superior alternative to traditional rendering, incineration and landfilling of disease risk materials such as carcasses, while creating economic value from the hydrolyzed nutrient output materials.

The technology, named the BIOTHYDRO process, was invented by Dr Erick Schmidt and was developed and privately funded by Biosphere Technologies lnc, involving scientists and engineers in Alberta and Edinburgh, Scotland over a 20 year period.

It is designed to create two valuable streams: one, fractions of amino acids, fatty acids and digestible minerals into organic fertilizers, and two, feedstocks for anaerobic digestors producing methane biogas.

These applications will provide the emerging organic agriculture, gardening and medical marijuana sectors with needed alternatives to synthetic chemical fertilizers, and will serve the new regulated industrial demands for renewable natural gas and sustainable green energy.

Technology rights have been licensed to the Lethbridge Biogas facility; the BioRefinex Lacombe biorefinery project, currently in the development phase; and Novigro Sciences, a new joint venture with Wetaskiwin Co-operative for the production of pelleted and liquid organic fertilizer.

Negotiations have also commenced with agricultural groups in Europe, the U.S. and China.

The commercialization of this Biosphere technology in Alberta brings both health and environmental benefits to society, and creates economic benefits to Canadian livestock producers, who now pay a costly penalty for disposal of SRM’s.

(Biosphere Technologies Inc.)

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