International approval for Biorefinex

A new Canadian biorefining technology has been adopted by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) as a recommended technology for the destruction of all transmissible spongiform encephalopathy and microbiological disease agents.

  • Aug. 10, 2010 6:00 a.m.

A new Canadian biorefining technology has been adopted by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) as a recommended technology for the destruction of all transmissible spongiform encephalopathy and microbiological disease agents.

The 175 member countries of the OIE formally approved the technology at their recent 78th General Session in Paris for incorporation into the 2010 Terrestrial Animal Health Code.

The thermal hydrolysis Biorefinex technology was developed and patented by Biosphere Technologies Inc. and tested in Ponoka. Live animal testing and validation of the thermal hydrolysis process was undertaken by the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh.

The thermal hydrolysis “Biorefinex” process uses high temperature saturated steam and pressure to denature the infectious proteins and other micro-organic disease agents, resulting in safe, valuable organic nutrients. This two-hour process refines the raw materials into fatty acids, amino acids, minerals and other digestible elements. The technology provides an environmentally beneficial alternative for carcass and organic waste disposal compared to incineration, landfills or processing with alkaline chemicals that create serious disposal challenges.

“The OIE endorsement is significant in that it validates many years of work,” said Dr. Erick Schmidt, president of Biosphere Technologies Inc. “Our technology has the ability to completely transform disease risk organic waste materials into valuable natural fertilizers and feeds vital for sustainability of the soils and the protection of animal and human health.”

The Biorefinex technology is now certified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for treatment of the inedible SRMs now segregated at meat packing plants in accordance with national BSE regulations. An estimated 300,000 tonnes per year are buried in landfills, with potential health and environments risks.

To reduce these risks, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has implemented an industrial incentive program for innovative technologies to convert this material into safe, economically valuable products.

Biosphere Technologies will now implement Canadian and global commercialization projects that will produce safe nutrient feedstocks derived from carcass, meat and bone materials, and organic fertilizers and renewable green energy biogas.

A $35-million international demonstration biorefinery at Lacombe is in the planning stage, and installations of the Biorefinex process at additional licensed facilities across the country are currently being negotiated.

“We are very pleased with the recognition we have received from the OIE and we are looking forward to becoming world leaders in the refining of animal carcass materials and food waste,” said Schmidt.

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