Located in AURI’s office in Waseca, the coproduct utilization laboratory is a unique facility equipped to test, analyze and develop new products utilizing agricultural leftovers. This includes crop residue, ag-processing coproducts, biomass and many other raw materials that are of relatively low value in their initial state.
The coproduct lab can provide assistance in the formulation of solid biofuels, soil amendments, erosion control products, animal health products, new livestock feed opportunities and much more. This lab is a key resource for Minnesota businesses seeking to add additional revenue streams by adding value to ag residue products. It is also a highly sought-after resource for the development of renewable energy opportunities.
USA Solutions, Waite Park, MN
AURI assisted this company in identifying a toll manufacturer located in Minnesota to produce a compostable swine mat utilized in farrowing and nursery swine facilities. In addition, AURI scientists also helped determine compostability characteristics, structural strength, and flame resistance. This biobased mat utilizes agricultural coproducts and is compostable when the lifespan is exhausted to aid in breaking any possible disease cycles as well as displacing petroleum-based mats.
Suntava/HF, Afton, MN
AURI’s Coproduct Pilot Lab continues to provide material processing assistance to aid with Suntava’s continued process and product improvement developing natural based ‘superfoods’.
Alternative Energy Solution/Pork & Plants Greenhouse, Altura, MN
AURI’s Coproduct Pilot Lab assisted with developing an agricultural-based pellet fuel, produced from mixed perennial grasses and crop residues to displace the use of propane to heat greenhouses. AURI assisted with biomass characterization for energy characteristics along with equipment requirements to produce the pellet fuel.
Minnesota Valley Alfalfa Producers, Priam, MN
AURI assisted MnVAP in the development of new agricultural coproduct-based fibers and proteins to serve as an alfalfa pellet supplement when alfalfa prices were high, resulting in expanded commodity utilization and marketing opportunities for this Minnesota cooperative. Feed trials indicated similar to improved performance over conventional alfalfa pellets.
AURI and University of Minnesota Project Collaborations – AURI and the U of M-Southern Research and Outreach Center, Waseca, MN
AURI and the University of Minnesota collaborated on a variety of coproduct research projects ranging from utilizing wet distillers’ grains in swine feeding systems and diets with very favorable outcomes. Secondly, AURI collaborated on evaluating various forms of agricultural coproduct based ash from various combustion systems to evaluate the nutrient availability for crop production. Lastly, AURI collaborated with the U of M to evaluate the potential to feed glycerol, a coproduct from biodiesel production, as a corn replacement in beef diets when corn values were greater.