Bones and Bone Products

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Infobox on Bones and Bone Products
Example of Bones and Bone Products
Origin -
Stowage factor (in m3/t) -
Angle of repose -
Humidity / moisture -
Oil content -
Ventilation -
Risk factors See text

Bones and Bone Products


Bones are shipped in bulk or in plastic bags. Bone products are usually shipped in bags.

If too fresh or if damp may heat during the voyage. Should be kept in a dry, well ventilated space. Subject to loss in weight due to drying out, also, if not perfectly dry may give off an objectionable odour detrimental to other cargoes. Bones are prone to sweating. All forms of bones constitute a fire hazard, the most dangerous being raw bone because of its higher fat content. All except calcined bone and bone charcoal are liable to mould growth when damp. Damaged bone products are generally useful for fertilizer purposes depending on condition and the nitrogen and phosphorous content.

Bone Ash
A white or creamy powder obtained by calcining bones in air. Usually shipped in bags. Used as a fertilizer, also in the manufacture of polishing compounds and bone china. Is liable to heat when not properly prepared. Excess moisture will cause caking and deterioration. A dark-coloured ash may be the result of improper calcination. Chemical action tends to cause serious deterioration in bags. Contact with sea water may render the product useless.

Bone Black (Bone Charcoal)
Black pigment made by calcining bones without air. Shipped in bags. Used as a bleaching agent in sugar refining, a filtering and absorptive medium and a paint and varnish pigment. Provided the product is kept dry will not cause trouble. Under dry conditions no change or deterioration would be expected owing to the low moisture and fat content.

Bone Grist
An animal feed shipped in bags. Moisture may give rise to deterioration. Loss of weight may arise due to seepage and rotting of bags. An alternative use for bone grist in a deteriorated condition is a fertilizer.

Bone Meal
A powder produced by drying and grinding bones, normally shipped in bags. Used as a fertilizer and animal feed. When intended as animal feed should be sterile and contain no more than 2% ammonia. Bone meal is not normally subject to loss in weight. Shortage is, however, sometimes caused by defective bags, permitting powder to pass through. As bone meal tends to rot bags, especially if wetted, shortage may result and the meal become infected with bacteria, in which state it would be unfit as cattle feed. The meal may be re-sterilised by heat.

If the bone meal is produced by crushing bones which have been insufficiently seasoned, or bones which are greasy, there is a danger of moisture developing and the cargo will become odorous and may cause damage to any delicate cargo stowed nearby. Must be stored and stowed in a dry place. Heat does not affect the quality or value of bone meal, but it may lose some weight depending on the degree of heat. Contact with water, whether fresh or salt, may cause the bone meal to ferment and to burst the bags. In case of such contact, sound goods must be separated from the wet, well dried and repacked in sound bags. Bone meal will turn blackish after prolonged contact with water. Meal damaged by contact with water does not lose much in value. It is sometimes advisable with such goods to approach companies dealing in fertilizer mixtures rather than the usual dealers.

Bone Sinews
Shipped in bags. Should be free from adhering flesh when shipped. The commodity is liable to infestation by insects.

Crushed Bones
Shipped in bags. Used in the manufacture of edible glucose and gelatine or glue. Outturns may show a loss in weight or an excess, partly dependent upon the extent to which bones have been dried before shipment. May increase in weight by absorption of moisture or water, especially if shipped on deck. When shipped from tropical ports may have an excessive moisture content resulting in the development of heat and subsequent mould formation, with greater risk of rotting bags.

In the event of crushed bones, intended for use in the manufacture of glucose or gelatine, becoming contaminated to such an extent that they become unsuitable for this purpose it may be possible to dispose of them for glue making or other purposes. Where lower grade bones for use in glue manufacture become contaminated with foreign matter it may be possible to agree a smaller depreciation after screening.