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Extramural Research

An Integrated Approach to Understanding and Reducing Fat, Oil, and Grease (FOG) Deposit Formation for Sustainable Sewer Collection Systems

EPA Grant Number: R834264
Title: An Integrated Approach to Understanding and Reducing Fat, Oil, and Grease (FOG) Deposit Formation for Sustainable Sewer Collection Systems
Investigators: Ducoste, Joel
Institution: North Carolina State University
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Project Period: August 16, 2009 through August 15, 2012 (Extended to August 15, 2014)
Project Amount: $569,568
RFA: Innovative and Integrative Approaches for Advancing Public Health Protection Through Water Infrastructure Sustainability (2008)
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development



The proposed project seeks to understand and reduce the formation of FOG deposits that lead to environmentally detrimental SSOs in sewer collection systems by achieving the following objectives: a) perform detailed bench scale tests that attempt to recreate FOG deposits and determine parameters that significantly influence their formation rate, b) perform bench scale tests to explore treatment options that improve FOG deposit chemical precursor removal with grease interceptors, c) perform pilot scale experiments on a continuous flow sewer collection system that characterizes spatial variations in FOG deposit formation, and d) develop a model to predict FOG deposit formation in sewer collection systems.


The proposed project approach involves several tasks to achieve these objectives. Tasks associated with objective (a) include: initiating saponification reactions with different concentrations of oils and fats over a range of temperatures, pH, calcium concentrations, and mixing intensities and assess the physical and chemical characteristics of the metal soap formed. The data will then be used to develop a FOG deposit kinetics model. Tasks associated with objective (b) will consist of performing jar tests on restaurant waste streams using metal coagulants and polymers at different concentrations over a range of pH. Finally, tasks associated with Objectives (c) and (d) will measure the amount of FOG deposits formed at different locations in a pilot sewer collection system. The data from pilot tests will then be used to validate a model that predicts FOG deposit formation in sewer collection systems.

Expected Results:

The results of the proposed study are expected to provide new tools to assist utilities in meeting CWA requirements and provide better management of sewer collection systems. The sewer collection system model along with better knowledge of what influences and reduces the FOG deposit formation rate will help utilities and design engineers assess the impact of new residential and commercial development on existing and future sewer infrastructure and the potential for FOG related SSOs.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 21 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 4 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Wastewater, treatment, separation, engineering, modeling, pollution prevention, sewer collection system, SSO, FOG, chemical transport,

Progress and Final Reports:
2010 Progress Report
2012 Progress Report
2013 Progress Report

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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