Using enzymes to eliminate grease

Who here is using enzymes to eliminate grease? Through the years, the science of making food has inspired a multitude of people. It’s a given that food brings people together, that’s why food has given so much positivity to the lives of so many. There is no better example of this concept of food than here in the United States. The diversity in culture managed to bring different flavors into one country. In this way, Soul food, newly popular fares, multi-national delicacies and local regional fares, are all available in almost all regions. In this way, cultural boundaries are weakened and falter. To this very day, food influences the lives of so many people with it’s ability to unite people and peoples.

With the flourishing of the food business comes a very sad realization that the by-products of food production are destroying the environment and the health of millions. The growing nemesis is called FOG (fats, oils, grease). Food preparation in the kitchen causes a buildup of tons of FOG overflows into the wastewater. But even though the FOG could spill into the wastewater at a spcific amount, every state still felt the need to completely eradicate the FOG problem. To begin the mission, the grease or pretreatment ordinance was created.

The ordinance was created by each state to make sure that the level of grease remains at a minimum, even if there is an acceptable amount of FOG that could spill into the wastewater. The pretreatment ordinance aims to protect the wastewater treatment facility and the sewer lines that lead to it. When a FOG overflow occurs, the FOG travels through the pipes with the help of the untreated effluent. When the FOG cools down and solidifies, it clogs the pipes and completely shuts down the flow of the effluent. Wastewater backup then takes place. Health and environmental issues arise because of what FOG has brought to the table.

Every food business owner is mandated to have a properly designed, built, and installed grease trap within the business establishment. The grease trap should have a permit so that it could be inspected by the Department of City Sewer. The owner of the food establishment or facility should also make sure that the grease trap is maintained on a regular basis.

Some establishments agree to start using enzymes to eliminate grease. Enzymes are known as catalysts that hasten the metabolic or digestive process in living organisms. The same enzymes are formulated and placed in additives to mimic the catalyzing action of enzymes in the bacteria naturally found in grease traps. But these food establishment owners don’t necessarily know that enzymes are like chemicals that only emulsify the FOG and the solid waste materials. This would make the FOG seem melted away but upon close scrutiny, the FOG is just made to mix with the wastewater. The FOG then gets into the pipes and blocks them, resulting to a wastewater backup. Using enzymes to eliminate grease will not benefit the grease trap, the company, and the wastewater treatment facility.

Instead of enzymes, bacteria should be used in eliminating grease. These microorganisms are much better allies because they are living organisms that eat away the FOG and solid wastes, converting them into less detrimental forms. It’s either bioremediation or bioaugmentation. Bioremediation uses non-pathogenic bacteria that would naturally be found in such an environment, while buoaugmentation uses a selected strain of bacteria. There are several forms of bacteria that can be used—powdered bacteria, liquid bacteria, bacteria blocks, bacteria pumps, and grease trap tablets. The grease trap tablet is the newest means to clean up the grease trap. It contains aerobic bacteria, active oxygen, buffers, and nutrients that will support a faster metabolic process, however the process of compressing bacteria to a pellet kills off a significant percentage.

With regular use of bacteria, the grease trap will be rid of FOG and solid wastes. The grease trap and the wastewater treatment facility will then be more efficient.