Meatpacking and poultry operations produce an enormous amount of co-products including offal, fat, blood, feathers etc. that are collected and processed by the rendering industry into value-added materials such as various protein meals and rendered fat products. Rendered fats (mainly composed of triglycerides from the adipose tissue of animals or used cooking oil from the restaurant industry) are sold for a variety of applications including animal feed formulations. Nonetheless, in the current context of energy scarcity, their use as feedstocks for the generation of renewable fuels including biodiesel and renewable diesel represents a growing market. The diverse composition of the source material can impose significant challenges in terms of compliance, requiring the control (and reduction) of the concentration of elements such as phosphorus, sulfur, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and other undesirable metals that can otherwise interfere with critical aspects of the refining process or contaminate the renewable fuel products. To address this critical need, we describe the application of poly(ethylenimine)-modified cellulose nanocrystals as a low-cost material for the removal of unwanted metal/inorganic cations from rendered fat. A total of 28 real samples including poultry, white pork grease, and beef tallow were analyzed. Test results showed that the approach can effectively decrease the concentration of the target elements by 95 ± 2%, suggesting that this treatment protocol could dramatically improve the application of rendered fat products for renewable fuel refining.