Spent Filter Cake Recycling

Spent Filter Cake Recycling

A lot of industries use DE for their needs. These industries are major spent filter cake generators.

Key industries:

  • Beverage and Food
  • Chemical
  • Swim Pool
  • Corn Wet Milling
  • Corn Syrup
  • Sugar
  • Mineral Oil
  • Edible Oil
  • Biodiesel
  • Other

Breweries make up around 20% of the total volume.

Brewery Spent Cake Recycling/Disposal Routs

Brewery Spent Cake Recycling-Desposal Routs Diagram

As you can see the major ways of disposal are landfill and land  application.

 Let’s make a pyramid of most preferable ways of waste elimination

The Waste Hierarchy Peramid

Sustainable Alternatives – Anaerobic Digestion/Biogas

Anaerobic Digestion/Biogas Plant picture

These alternatives require essential investments. That’s why the two most popular and “implementable” options for brewing are:

  • Composting
  • Land Application

Sustainable Alternatives – CompostHaul waste to site pictureHaul waste to a site


Shred debris and mix DE pictureShrededdebris and mix DE

10% blend of DE in windrows picture10% blend of DE in windrows



  • Environmental regulations
  • Cost of landfilling
  • Disposal logistics
  • Recycling operations wary of new waste streams


  • Local, sustainable disposal process
  • Permitted sites
  • Competitive composting gate fees
  • Auditable recycling rout


  • Cost reduction on the landfill gate fee
  • Processed, accredited compost available from a site
  • Fully auditable and compliant recycling rout achieved
  • The compost has a higher nitrate content and lower ammonia levels

Land Application


  • Recycle spent cake rather than send to landfill
  • Low cost of landfill
  • Requirement to prove the agricultural benefit of spent cake
  • Establish independent crop grow trials
  • Identify and develop a working relationship with an agricultural company


  • Local, sustainable and beneficial
  • Cost-effective
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Auditable recycling route
  • Develop a product with value


  • Lowered cost of disposal with plan to eventually remove costs
  • Produced a fertilizer with a marketable value
  • Fully auditable and compliant recycling rout achived
  • Identified optimum application rate for spent cake to achieve best results
  • Quantified Maximum Economic return for recycling spent cake

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