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Brown and Black Grease Suitability for Incorporation into Feeds and Suitability for Biofuels

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Waste grease lipids used in animal feeds have been the cause of food recalls in Europe, where such materials were incorporated into animal feedstuffs. This resulted in unwanted residues in human food. The composition of such lipid sources has been lacking. Seventeen composite trap grease and isolated brown grease samples were analyzed. Analytes included nutrients, metals, and volatile organic compounds. Analytes were selected for relevance to wastewater treatment and resource reuse potential. Moisture averaged 89.4% and the pH was 3.8. The 5-day biological oxygen demand was 32,531 mg/liter, solids were 7.5%, and fats, oil, and grease were 48,970 mg/liter. Non–polychlorinated biphenyl volatile organic compounds were surveyed. In the 17 grease samples, 14 contained an average of 102.5 μg/liter chloroform; 11 samples contained acetone, averaging 369 μg/liter; 9 samples contained 2-butanone, with an average of 484 μg/liter; and 8 contained an average of 710 μg/liter methylene chloride and toluene at 311 μg/liter. The mean concentration of copper in 17 composite samples ranged from 15 to 239 mg/liter, iron averaged 314 mg/liter, lead means ranged from 2.5 to 24 mg/liter, and magnesium averaged 975 mg/liter. It is hypothesized that food preparation facility cleaning and chlorinated cleaning–disinfection agents combined with the organics in the low-pH environment of the traps produce potentially carcinogenic compounds. It is recommended that these waste grease materials be used as a feedstock for biofuel.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Cook Campus/New Jersey Agricultural Station, 76 Lipman Drive, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, USA., Email:

Publication date: April 1, 2012

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