University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Viobin U.S.A., a division of McShares, Inc., is located in Monticello,
IL and employs approximately 30 people. Viobin is one of only two producers
in the United States of defatted wheat germ and wheat germ oil that is
used for both animal and human consumption. Viobin is supplied with raw
wheat germ from locations across the United States as well as Canada and
delivers the final product to countries including Switzerland, Japan,
Australia, Canada, India, and Mexico.
Viobin sought an intern to reduce the amount of solid waste sent to landfill
due to the generation of spent filter aid, bleaching clay, fatty acid
distillates, and used packaging (poly super sacks and Kraft paper bags).
Filter aid consists of diatomaceous earth mixed with wheat germ oil generated
from a filter press used to remove particulates from the wheat germ oil.
Bleaching clay is mostly comprised of bentonite (colorizing agent for
wheat germ oil) and free fatty acids are removed from the wheat germ oil
when passed through a molecular still.
- Spent Filter Aid. Alternative filtering systems
were researched and found to be infeasible in attempt to eliminate the
generation of spent filter aid. It was determined that a professor of
animal sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign would
use the spent filter aid for a livestock feed additive. The use of spent
filter aid for animal feeding will divert 10 cubic yards of waste from
the landfill and save approximately $5,000 per year.
- Bleaching Clay. Bleaching clay is used in the process
of refining the wheat germ oil to get a desired level of purity. Bleaching
clay could be used as a livestock feed additive resulting in a savings
of around $2000 - $4000 could be realized if the by-product is used
as a livestock feed additive.
- Packaging Waste Reduction. Research indicated that
the poly super sacks and Kraft paper bags could not be reused due to
potential contamination concerns for human food service. However, Viobin
would be able to recycle the Kraft paper bags and cardboard through
a local recycling agent if the material is baled. After purchasing a
baler and baling the material, it is estimated that a landfill reduction
of 60% would result in a $6000 annual savings. Additionally, there were
600 55-gallon steel drums stored in an old warehouse that were being
considered for reconditioning at a cost of $2000. A drum supplier was
contacted and agreed to take the drums to be recycled free of charge.