Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Biodiesel from bovine fat

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Biodiesel from bovine fat
Biodiesel can be produced from the solid waste from meat processing facilities with a similar performance to other biodiesels.
In Use – This biodiesel manufacturing process is owned by Desmet Ballestra and is already in use within meat processing plants in Brazil.


Product Categories
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Relevant Materials
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Relevant Packaging Formats
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Supply Chain Phase
Processing, Production


Biodiesel produced from bovine fat contributes to the reduction of solid waste from meat processing plants and it has a similar performance of other biodiesels. In addition, it reduces the dependency to the biodiesel sector on soybean and vegetable oils, whilst providing a valuable by-product for the meat processing industry. It is also important to note that the production costs of the biodiesel from Bovine fat is 30% lower than biodiesel from vegetable oils, although on average the yield is 5% lower.
The raw material for producing the biodiesel comes from meat processing plants. The process consists of liquefying the bovine fat at a temperature of just 60 Degrees Celsuis. At this stage methanol and some chemicals are added. Methanol is employed instead of ethanol since the combination of ethanol and fat results in saponification (soap formation).
The processed fat gives two key by-products: the biodiesel that is equal to the biodiesel from soybean or sunflower and the blond glycerin that is sold and water mixed with methanol that can be recovered for reuse. The biodisel from fat is not suitable for exportation due to fat precipitation below 5 Degrees Celsius, while biodiesel from soybean is more temperature resistant, with precipitation at 0 Degrees Celsius.

Potential Benefits

The potential environmental benefits of using bovine fat waste from meat processing facilities for biofuel production are:
  • Turning a waste stream into a useful by-product.
  • Production of clean energy.
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The production of biodiesel from bovine fat can reduce the great dependence of the sector to the soybean production.

Intellectual Property

The process is patented and is the intellectual property of Desmet Ballestra.

Consultant View

This technology has two benefits - it produces biodiesel with lower costs and similar performance of other biodiesels, whilst turning waste from the meat processing plant into a potentially valuable by-product.
It is already a proven technology, being used by several companies in Brazil where biodiesel has a significantly larger share of the fuel market. As biofuels become more prominent globally, this technology could become more common in Europe too.

Contacts and Further Information

Company details:
Desmet Ballestra Oleo S.p.A.
Via dei Castelli Romani, 2L
I-00040 Rome - Italy

Technology contact:
Mr. Francesco Soragna, Biodiesel Product Manager
Tel: +39 06 91 06 762

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