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$50,000 Grant Awarded to Research FOG to Fuel Technology

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded a $50,000 subgrant for an engineering firm to explore the feasibility of converting fats, oils and greases (FOG) skimmed from the surfaces of sewage treatment plants into biodiesel fuel.

H20’C Engineering, which is based in Columbia, Mo., will partner with BlackGold Biofuels of Philadelphia to assess the practicality of turning sewage-derived FOG generated in the Kansas City and St. Louis metropolitan areas into biodiesel fuel. They also will compile a document that interested parties may use to help speed up the implementation of wastewater biofuels technology.

Biodiesel, a clean-burning alternative fuel produced from renewable resources, can be blended with petroleum for use in existing diesel engines. A life-cycle study that was jointly sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture concluded biodiesel reduces net carbon dioxide emissions by 78 percent compared to petroleum diesel.

Soybean oil is the most prominent feedstock for biodiesel fuel, but such renewable resources as vegetable oils and animal fats also are commonly used.

“We're excited to work on turning a true waste product into an advanced, renewable fuel,” Tom O'Connor, owner of H2O’C Engineering, said in a statement announcing the subgrant. “Hopefully, this will benefit many communities in the near future.”

The subgrant is part of the Energize Missouri Renewable Energy Study, and it was supported by both the National Biodiesel Board and the Missouri Water and Wastewater Conference.



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