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USING TREATMENT PLANT DIGESTERS TO PROCESS FATS, OILS AND GREASE by ProQuest

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State and federal environmental agencies are pushing to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows, often caused by grease and fats moving through the sewer collection system. Increasingly, however, wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are now recognizing that fats, oils and greases (FOG) can actually provide benefits to their operations. Plants with anaerobic digester systems are evaluating the addition of FOG, which has been proven to increase methane production and can help offset energy costs of WWTP operations. The keys to utilizing this waste material are a well-designed receiving facility and adequate mixing in the digester. The FOG has a much higher percent of volatile solids and volatile solids reduction, and thus a higher methane production capability. Plant operators may be resistant because FOG is a messy, smelly substance -- primarily if it is not handled properly. However, FOG is such a valuable feedstock for renewable energy and programs are being implemented that are economically viable and beneficial.

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