Sewage Trap Grease Conversion With an Acoustic-Driven Reactor

EPA Contract Number: EPD05035
Title: Sewage Trap Grease Conversion With an Acoustic-Driven Reactor
Investigators: Yang, Fangxiao
Small Business: Resodyn Corporation
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: March 1, 2005 through August 31, 2005
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2005) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , SBIR - Pollution Prevention


There are more than 11 billion pounds of trap grease available annually, with the potential to create more than 1 billion gallons of biodiesel that can be utilized to power the Nation’s public works and public transit systems. Removing this trap grease from our Nation’s wastewater treatment facilities and infrastructure will reduce maintenance on existing sanitary sewer collection mains and the loads on local landfills.

The overall objective of this Phase I research project is to demonstrate the technical feasibility of noncatalytic biodiesel and lubricant production using trap grease as the starting material in an Acoustic Grease Conversion Reactor (AGCR). The study initially will be focused on fatty acid methyl ester biodiesel production and, at a later stage, will expand to lubricant and solvent production. An experimental AGCR with a capacity of up to 20 liters will be designed, constructed, and operated at Resodyn Corporation’s facilities to achieve this objective. In addition, laboratory-scale experiments will be conducted to optimize the reaction conditions such as temperature, pressure, methanol- or other alcohol-to-grease ratio, and resident time.

The AGCR, a “fit for all” reactor, will be demonstrated to be an enabling, cost-competitive production technology for the synthesis of biodiesel and lubricants from trap grease and other types of waste grease in one step. It will convert both free fatty acid and triglycerides from trap grease into these value-added products. Moreover, the proposed process will eliminate the use of solvents and catalysts as well as the generation of waste byproducts.

Provided basic feasibility is demonstrated, the strategy is to extend research to lubricants, special solvent and polyester monomer production, and to develop, design, and fabricate a pilot-scale AGCR during a Phase II research project.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, sewage trap grease, Acoustic Grease Conversion Reactor, AGCR, biodiesel, wastewater, lubricant, fatty acid methyl ester, triglycerides, solvents, EPA, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Water, TREATMENT/CONTROL, Sustainable Industry/Business, Wastewater, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Technology, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, Water Pollution Control, wastewater treatment, industrial wastewater, lubricant production, alternative technology, municipal wastewater, biotechnology, acoustic grease conversion reactor, biodiesel, trap grease, aqueous waste stream

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final