FOG can affect the operation of sewers and wastewater treatment works. If collected and treated appropriately, FOG could be digested with sludge biosolids, serving as a valuable resource to produce additional biogas. Although this is practised abroad, uptake in the UK has been limited by uncertainty around capture, pre-processing and treatment requirements.
There is a need to identify best practice equipment and configurations and to quantify the operational and economic impact.
The digestion of FOG has the potential to release up to four times the volume of biogas per kilogramme compared to sludge alone. This output represents a significant source of fuel that would otherwise be lost through disposal to landfill. Best practice capture and treatment of FOG will reduce disposal and maintenance costs and reduce blockages.
WRc will develop a standard operating protocol for FOG management and value recovery. An analysis of existing and emerging best practice will be supplemented with laboratory and/or pilot trials to address the technical challenges of FOG capture systems, process flow alternatives and impacts on digestate outputs.
Robust pre-processing and process options will be identified to utilise existing assets and avoid impact on existing solids handling and treatment procedures. The investment requirements and likely returns will be identified to facilitate developing a business case.
A comprehensive analysis of existing practice and emerging technology options, supported by appropriate practical trials will serve as a firm technical basis for decision making. A clear overview of the generic business case will allow participants to develop their own case for investment.