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P2 - Internship Program - 2004 Projects

Viobin USA

Monticello, Illinois

James Reese
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.

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