Turning NASTY grease into fuel

The San Francisco Public Utility Commission is licensing technology from a Philadelphia firm that takes the nasty sewer grease and grease from restaurant grease traps and turns it into diesel fuel.

http://www.empoweredmunicipality.com/philly-co-partners-with-san-francisco-puc-to-produce-biofuel

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Profile Photo subroto mukerji

There are many variations of bio-diesel (sewer grease, chicken scraps, coffee grounds, waste restaurant oil) etc. that can be turned into petroleum variants. The surprising thing is that it is taking so long.

It maybe because the price of petroleum is fairly constant and new technologies have a fairly high start up price that maybe slowing adoption. I suppose as diesel prices rise this may spur municipalities to look at alternatives more readily.

Profile Photo Rob Sayre

Certainly the price of oil is the # 1 factor. The most recent financial meltdown has really spurred a lot of activity, that and federal dollars! This is a pilot project, which has a technology transfer component as part of the grant. They have to write a full blown business plan and share it as part of their federal grant. This will come our about a year from now.

Profile Photo subroto mukerji

Federal dollars are certainly helpful but the technology and techniques of esterification (turning bio products into bio-diesel) already exists. It is unusual that it should take this long to make it practical. But as long as it makes a difference, I am pleased to hear it.