Research Grants/Fellowships/SBIR

Community Based Biodiesel Production from Trap Grease: The Evaluation of Technical and Economic Feasibilities

EPA Grant Number: SU836038
Title: Community Based Biodiesel Production from Trap Grease: The Evaluation of Technical and Economic Feasibilities
Investigators: Lu, Mingming , Chai, Ming , Tu, Qingshi , Wang, Jingjing
Current Investigators: Lu, Mingming , Gregory, Jarod , Schutte, Mark , Tu, Qingshi , Wang, Jingjing , Wang, Wendy , Williams, Brittany
Institution: University of Cincinnati
EPA Project Officer: Lank, Gregory
Project Period: August 15, 2011 through August 14, 2012
Project Amount: $15,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2011) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Energy , P3 Awards , Sustainability



The project objective is to work with the Cincinnati Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) in the development of both value added and environmentally friendly use of trap grease as biodiesel. Trap grease (also called brown grease) is considered a burden to the grease trap owners and the end receptors due to the cost of disposal. It is an environmental nuisance to the public and usually ends up in landfill. Trap grease in MSD comes from the skimmers of the primary settling tanks as well as restaurant or residential grease traps obtained through professional pumpers.


In this proposal, the inventory of trap grease will be setup through a detailed data survey, effective and cost wise processes of pretreatment and transesterification will be explored, the associated economic analysis will be performed and the team will work with Bluegrass BioDiesel to investigate more value added uses of glycerin. The project team has experience in making biodiesel from waste cooking oil, the pretreatment of waste stock containing high free fatty acids, and a track record of education (course development), outreach to K-12 teachers and community engagements (Earth Day and the South Ohio Society of Women Engineers’ Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day ).

Expected Results:

It is expected that the average production capacity, the representative trap grease compositions, biodiesel yield, and the cost will be obtained. A pilot scale trap grease to biodiesel system will be designed to enable the team to move to Phase II of this effort.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 2 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:


Progress and Final Reports:
Final Report