BlackGold Biofuels opens Charlotte recycling facility
Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013
CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- They say one man's trash is another man's treasure. This Earth Day, it certainly rings true for a newly open recycling facility converting wastewater into fuel.
BlackGold Biofuels of Charlotte has opened an innovative recycling facility for restaurant kitchens' wastewater, cleaning up the water and recovering a biofuel. While it's common to recycle deep fryer oil, recycling oils from kitchen wastewater has proven much more elusive. The facility is the first of its kind in the area.
BlackGold Biofuels of Charlotte receives grease trap waste from wastewater haulers that is generated in commercial and institutional kitchens during dishwashing and food preparation. BlackGold Biofuels removes food particles and then extracts and purifies the recovered plant- and animal-based oils. The recovered oil is used for biofuels, offsetting fossil fuels while increasing energy independence.
"We have a 60 year tradition of offering the most sustainable options for our clients, and this facility is the latest example of how Valley Proteins goes beyond the status quo to deliver on that promise," explained James Katsias, Assistant Director at Valley Proteins, one of the largest grease trap waste haulers in the country.
By cleaning the wastewater, BlackGold Biofuels reduces the burden on the region's wastewater treatment plants. The US EPA names blockages from grease as a top culprit in sewer overflows nationwide. It is estimated that grease is responsible for 50-60% of Charlotte area sewer overflows. Currently, grease trap waste is often landfilled or spread on fields. The material can be sent to anaerobic digestion to produce biogas for energy use, but 70% of the grease's energy is lost and few facilities have infrastructure to convert it into energy. Lacking compelling alternatives, much of this waste ends up in the sewer. BlackGold Biofuels' state-of-the-art facility transforms this nuisance waste into a valuable resource, to the benefit of the community.
"Proper grease trap maintenance is critical to the efficient functioning of the wastewater treatment system," explained Jackie Jarrell, Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities' Superintendent of the Environmental Management Division. "Creating high-use beneficial reuses helps divert this waste out of our sewers and into compliant pathways, creating a financial and environmental win for the region."
The facility developer, BlackGold Biofuels, is based in Philadelphia and is building recycling facilities throughout the Southeast and mid-Atlantic. Additional facilities are under development in Winston-Salem and Raleigh.
"We are proud to provide local businesses with the lowest cost, most reliable and environmentally friendly solution for recycling this waste," explained Emily Landsburg, CEO of BlackGold Biofuels. "We selected the region because we thought it would be a good place to do business, and the work of agencies like NC Department of Environment and Resources, Charlotte Mecklenburg Utility District, NC Department of Commerce, Charlotte Chamber, and the NC Biofuels Center confirmed that."
SOURCE BlackGold Biofuels