The rendering industry in Ireland is in a process of change and thus has been the centre of much heated debate between renderers, the meat industry, Irish livestock farmers and the Department of Agriculture and Food. The industry takes approximately 450,000 tonnes of animal by products such as soft offal and bones from abattoirs, boning plants and domestic butchers. The renders then process the material by breaking the material down under high temperatures and pressures which drives off much of the water and produces a safer, more stable material.

There are approximately 26 rendering factories in the country processing the raw material into two basic products: Meat & Bone meal, a protein based product, and Tallow, a fat based product. At present Ireland produces approximately 150,000 tonnes of meat and bone meal per annum.

Since the realisation that the feeding of meat and bone meal to ruminants was one of the primary causes of BSE, this feeding to ruminants like cattle, sheep and goats has been banned. In turn this has created a massive waste problem. At present renders must ship the meat and bone meal to Europe, most notably Germany, for incineration at considerable expense and as of May 2003 exchequer involvement has ended.

Renders are not in a position foot the bill for the transportation and incineration of the meat and bone meal. John Smith of the Irish Meat Industry has declared that ‘the industry is not in a position to absorb these extra costs and it will not be possible to recoup them from the final consumer of the meat’.

The finger is then pointed towards farmers vehemently opposed to adding another expense to the cost of production. A cheaper and more cost effective method is needed. If the cost of dealing with this waste is reduced it would take the burden of the rendering costs off the meat, farming and consumer sectors. Incineration plants have had a difficult time getting planning permission due to protest from locals.

There is also an option as described in the Fertilan project which follows which may provide the answer to the problem. However the issue may be solved it is of primary concern to everyone that we find a more cost effective means of dealing with our waste, the present situation is not an option.

Fertilano Process patent allplies for Greemplan Ltd. is a company engaged in nutrient management, natural product advancement, G.P.S. and soil sample traceability related to Irish agriculture and environmental controls.
Greenplan Limited has engaged the interest of international process engineers and fertiliser manufacturers to support the proposed Fertilan project. It is anticipated that it will require a capital investment of E4m to E7m to produce 40,000 to 80,000 tonnes per annum of a prilled fertiliser product.

The basis of the Project has been discussed with interested Government parties, including Mr. Tom Parlon and Assistant Secretaries of the Department of Agriculture.

Greenplan Limited has secured the availability of the annual output of 40,000 tonnes of peat fly ash from the leading peat generating station in Ireland for use in this agri-fertiliser focused project. The quantity of fly ash will increase to over 55,000 tonnes per annum when, as is ultimately likely, Edenderry Power Station gets final Planning Permission for co-fuelling with peat up to 60,000 tonnes per annum of S.M.B.M.Ó (Safe Meat and Bone Meal).
Both Greenplan Limited and Edenderry Power Station agree that they are only interested in the uptake of the annual production of S.M.B.M.Ó - Irish Meat and Bone Meal from carcasses deemed fit for human consumption those which have passed the prion Test for B.S.E.
Since the BSE crisis Ireland has heavily subsidised the production, storage and export of Irish S.M.B.M.Ó. Recently, the Department of Agriculture has suspended subventions of E160 per tonne to export M.B.M. for incineration to UK or Germany. Whereas the product could have a value of E30 per tonne as an energy resource in Ireland, under Greenplan Limited’s proposal could have a value of E60 per tonne approximately as a base material for fertiliser. In eliminating this cost of exporting a potential resource the Fertilanó Project would immediately save the Irish tax payer E6m per annum. If one is to take the minimum value of the M.B.M. product at E30 per tonne the current disposal is costing Ireland plc over E10m per annum.


At present the Department of Agriculture spends around E20m per annum on Prion testing of animal carcasses. This testing determines whether the carcass can be approved for human consumption. In spite of this spending Greenplan Limited argues that the Dept. fails to highlight the fact that the M.B.M. end product is safe. Therefore, Greenplan Limited employ the term S.M.B.M.Ó for the Safe M.B.M. which has passed the Prion test thus creating a more accurate label for the material.
While there is a very strong Department of Agriculture lobby for incineration of the Irish Meat and Bone Meal there is no effort to raise awareness that over 85% of all M.B.M is as harmless as a good Irish steak. As a result fear plays an unnecessarily large role in the decision making process regarding the mode of disposal of S.M.B.M.Ó. Furthermore there is no point in citing anti-M.B.M. disposal regulations which originated prior to the Prion test which is now accepted as the standard of safety.
The Greenplan proposal offers maximum safety; minimum cost and maximum benefit from what is essentially a perfectly safe waste product which can be safely recycled when chemically reprocessed as a major ingredient in the manufacture of fertiliser using the environmentally acceptable Fertilanó (Patent applied for) process to upgrade a negatively valued resource. Indeed, the likelihood of any danger as a result of the Fertilan process is the same as the prospect of one person winning the Lotto five weeks in a row.

Peat flyash as a source of Calcium Oxide (CaO) is preferred - being another national waste product it costs nothing.

The Fertilanó Process is based on a chemical interaction of CaO (a core major active ingredient of fly ash) with organic meat related elements such as S.M.B.M.Ó. The Process involves the enclosed mixing of the components in an inter-action chamber during which the fly ash and the S.M.B.M.Ó are exothermically reactive, while retaining most of the fertiliser’s qualities. After curing and cooling Fertilanó the result is a useful fertiliser which can be prilled (turned into pellets). The end product contains minor amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (NPK) and numerous other trace elements within a base material matrix with a high calcium (Ca) buffer capacity the final product is ideal for agriculture.

Greenplan Limited wish to set up the Fertilanó Project close to the source of the ash or the S.M.B.M. as possible. The factory would have no offensive atmospheric emissions or liquid run-off will employ 10-20 persons, generating a wage packet of E1m per annum. The proposal would also utilise a significant amount of waste materials: a minimum of 40,000 tonnes of fly ash and at least 40,000 tonnes of S.M.B.M.Ó In the long term the Fertilanó Project could produce up to 100,000 tonnes per annum of safe middle-grade, high pH buffered, safe Irish agriculture fertiliser.

In total the Fertilanó Project proposes to provide an Irish solution to an Irish problem. In doing so it will save Ireland plc: -

1) E2m - E3m per annum in import substitution.

2) E6m - E12m per annum disposal costs of M.B.M.

3) Avoid incineration of Meat and Bone Meal which the general public do not want.

Greenplan Limited expects the Department of Agriculture to encourage the development of this Project and support its establishment as a matter of urgency

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