The EPA reports the annual production of collected grease trap waste and uncollected grease entering sewage treatment plants ranges from 800 to 17,000 pounds/year per restaurant. Accumulation of brown grease is a primary cause of municipal Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO’s) that lead to property damage, health hazards and contaminants entering local water ways. There is a clean solution to this messy problem.
Many raw materials containing lipids have been described as showing high potential for use in the production of biodiesel. These include low-grade animal fats and WCOs, but also other lipid wastes such as trap greases. All these waste lipids are usually classified into four different categories: animal fats, yellow grease, brown grease and trap grease.
- Animal fats waste is obtained from a variety of foods such as beef tallow, lard from pork, chicken fat and fish oil. The fats and oils accrued from these substances are responsible for one-third of the fats and oils produced in the U.S.
- Yellow grease is considered to be a mixture of recycled cooking oil and vegetable oil that is mainly recovered from restaurants and other businesses that deep fry or process foods. Usually, these wastes show free fatty acid (FFA) levels between 1% – 15%.
- Recovered similarly to where yellow grease is found, brown grease is mainly the result of cooking oil and low-quality animal fat waste. Brown grease typically has over 20% FFA content unlike yellow grease, which is capped at 15%.
- Trap grease is a kind of waste collected in grease traps from food processing plants, waste-water treatment plants, restaurants and other commissaries. It is usually included within the brown grease classification owed to its high acidity, usually displaying FFA contents ranging from 40%–100%.
Through the grease-separating process, FOG from the grease trap waste stream can be removed, reducing waste disposal expenses, all while creating a new revenue stream and running a greener, more eco-friendly operation.
Replaces Fuel Oil No. 6
FOG-sourced biofuel can be a direct substitute for one of the most polluting fuels burned on the planet, bunker fuel No. 6, otherwise known as Bunker C. This is used to fuel industrial boilers and large ships, such as cruise liners and freighters. The shipping industry burns an extensive amount of bunker fuel, releasing a harmful amount of sulfur. In fact, 16 ships can cause more sulfur-related pollution than all the cars in the world combined.
Sulfur emissions are the main cause of acid rain, which cause deforestation and impair aquatic life by introducing high acidity levels into waterways. Sulfur dioxide is harmful to humans when abundantly present in the air, affecting lung function and aggravating those with asthma. By adopting advanced biofuels, ships, trains, and industrial boilers can use cleaner-burning fuel, emitting fewer pollutants into the air.
Reduces Emissions and Pollution
Our continued reliance on fossil fuels to heat and power our homes, cars, and workplaces pollutes the air and water, and advances effects of climate change. Compared to fossil fuels, advanced biofuels are renewable and low in carbon concentration. When biofuels are burned, a significantly lower amount of carbon emissions is released into the atmosphere with fewer toxic chemicals, not to mention the cheaper cost of biofuels compared to gasoline and diesel.
In addition to being carbon negative, FOG-sourced biofuels emit less greenhouse gas when burned. Since this biofuel is non crop-based, there is also a reduced chance of greenhouse gas emission during production too. This is because some crops, depending on their method of production, may be exposed to nitrogen fertilizers or other chemical processes, which after biofuel production, can ultimately emit greenhouse gases.
Creating advanced biofuel from FOG waste instead of using food sources also supports agrobiodiversity. FOG-sourced biofuels can be used alongside crop-based biofuels to alleviate the strain on the environment by replacing fossil fuels. The process of reusing waste instead of growing crops to create fuel will not negatively impact the food economy and prevent intensive farming of crops and land use changes.
A Solution for the Future
Greasezilla™ concurrently addresses the FOG waste problem and biofuel production. By sitting upstream of wastewater treatment plants and pretreating FOG, Greasezilla enables the removal of FOG from the grease trap waste stream and running a greener, more eco-friendly operation. The grease separating process harvests brown grease and produces a rich advanced biofuel. The energy self-sufficient system only uses 5% of the biofuel produced, leaving end users with 95% leftover for sales.
The Greasezilla™ process helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions because it is self-sustaining from the advanced biofuel it creates, which burns cleaner. The advanced second-generation biofuel created by heat, pressure and chemistry, may also be used as an alternative to feedstock for biodiesel providers. This biodiesel can be used for heating homes, generating electricity and for adding lubricity to diesel fuels, which can help car engines to function smoothly while reducing emissions.
FOG waste is a residual resource that we should be leveraging. The biofuels created from FOG can light up homes, fuel cars, ships and planes all the while reducing harmful emissions, and help limit damage done to our natural water resources. With the help of Greasezilla™, the future of our environment has never looked cleaner.