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1,000 Tons of Fuel, Discarded Like Yesterday's Trash

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GREASE IS THE WORD
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What do you do with a four-foot wall of fat trapped in the sewer? If London was Philadelphia, It would be diesel fuel by now. AOL's Hugh Collins reports that "Sewer workers have cleared out 1,000 tons of compressed fat and trash from beneath London's Leicester Square."

"We're used to getting our hands dirty, but nothing on this scale," said Danny Brackley, a sewer flusher with Thames Water. "We couldn't even access the sewer as it was blocked by a 4-foot wall of solid fat."

Collins writes that "The fat is the product of Londoners' "sewer abuse" -- using the water system as general garbage disposal. Particularly troublesome is Londoners' habit of pouring used cooking oil down the sink. Once in the sewer, the oil cools, congeals and then traps other garbage.

Sewer abuse is at the root of half of the British capital's 55,000 sewer blockages a year, Thames Water said. The company spends about $18.3 million a year cleaning out blockages."

But, BlackGold Biofuels, of Philadelphia, has discovered a way to convert trapped sewer grease--exactly the problem London is facing--into usable biodiesel.

From Blackgold's website:

"The company’s flagship product is the FOG-to-Fuel® system, a patented system converting sewer Fats, Oils, and Greases that normally clog the sewer into ASTM biodiesel. The FOG-to-Fuel® system contributes to reductions in sewer overflows, utility cost-savings, reduced carbon footprint, and increased energy security and independence, all while creating a profit center for the client."

“Sewer grease is so rancid, and so decomposed, a cost-effective technology to turn it into fuel never existed until now. Anything that smells really, really bad that nobody else wants -- that's our sweet spot,” Emily Landsburg, CEO of BlackGold Biofuels, told Minyanville.

Now that BP (BP) has turned the Gulf of Mexico into a sewer, it may be time to start turning sewers into the next Gulf of Mexico.
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