Consorzio Latterie Virgilio is an Italian consortium that is associated with 70 dairies and more than 2,000 farmers. Working with the members of the consortium, the company primarily focuses on the production of dairy products, including butter, fresh cream and aged cheeses. However, with increasing uses for animal fat, the company recognised the opportunity to expand its product range. Sourcing fat from its slaughter plant, the company sought to produce two key animal fat by-products – an animal fat spread (an Italian delicacy) and biodiesel. The processing of these animal fat by-products required a new processing line to be built, and therefore Virgilio approached a well known engineering house to provide a processing solution. The proposed system required the meat fat to be minced before it is steam heated into a liquid form at just under 100°C. As the meat fat contains skins and cartilages that are difficult to break down, the liquid product is then fed to a filtration system to remove any oversize contamination. The engineering house selected the Self-Cleaning Russell Eco Filter® for this stage of the process. Russell Finex says that the design of the Self-Cleaning Russell Eco Filter® ensures that material passes through the filter screen whilst the screen is automatically cleaned using a rotating wiper inside the element. “The Eco Filter wiper system works on a continuous basis, cleaning the filter element surface at all times, providing a consistent throughput rate and differential pressure” states Andrea Bozzellini, Area Responsible. The units were customised to meet the exact requirements of the application. As the filter was required to remove oversize above 100 micron which is then returned to the pulverizer for rework, the oversize outlet was reduced in size from 2 inches to 1 inch and attached to a pump. The pump constantly feeds the oversize back into the main line. Due to the nature of the product being processed, the pipework needed to be cleaned on a regular basis. Therefore, a second Russell Eco Filter® was supplied, acting as a Clean-in-Place system circulating water with cleaning solution around the pipework.