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Oil and Grease Traps - Feasible Long Term Solutions?

Dear Friends,

Disposing of organic (Kitchen) waste eg. Fat, Oil and Grease from the Grease Trap is the major problem with Hotels and corporate Buildings. Grease Traps and STP's are mandatory by Pollution control board.

Fat, Oil and Grease (FOG) is Long Chain Fatty Acid which is difficult to degrade and condition in Grease Traps is adverse for natural bacteria to survive. That is why it is regularly scraped from the Grease traps.

Presently it is manual scraped which is unhygienic and disposing off at some distance places is also not environment -  friendly because it is non - biodegradable. Again Oil from the Traps flows in to STP's and it imbalances the bacterial activity of the STP that leads to STP's problems.

Discussion/Participation on this will be informative for every body and are people interested to know about bio solution for this critical issue? Do write in with your valuable suggestions 

Thanking You,

Hiren Pancholi



1. Dear Member, We all know that

Dear Member,
We all know that Fat, Oil and Grease impose the most difficult task for an ETP system.
Let us for once consider this problem in a different angle.
We use labour intensive methods to swipe- clean all utensils, and kitchen ware and others.
In the next step use powders like soap-nut powder or shikkakakai powder, besan, and wood ash to cleanse the kitchen ware by wiping it clean with swab- cloth/ paper/ linen all these are to be bio- degradable type.
Lastly, once the metal ware, has come fairly clean but only with smears of all cleaning material, it is washed with again bio- cleaners and very hot water/ steam Etc, 
In all these procedures what we are doing is to create all material to be bio- degradable and remove all matter prior washing with water.
The water used for cleaning will be as usually done, as all facilities would like to maintain the kitchen ware as hygienic/ sanitized as possible.
This effluent will be easy to handle, and can be remedied using waste water treatment using root- zone methodology,
All the swipe-soak cloth- paper material can be taken for bio- composting to be turned into compost/ manure with other nutrient rich bio- wastes...coming from kitchen, galleys, farm- yard, garden and others. Using of bio- culture and micro organisms would also help.
Some Non- veg wastes, even though difficult can also be bio- composted using co- composting with cow- dung Etc.
These practices has been generally done on smaller scale in farms adjoining Yoga classes/ discourse/ Nature trails/ Forest- camps Etc.     
The challenge lies in making this more practical and do able practices to be perfected and systematised....
Members are requested to carry out all these practices in small scale and put them to practice...
The good point in these practices is..
All wastes be it be waste- water, or solid wastes are turned into bio- resources...
All these will help keep nature clean - naturally..and definitely sustained and being fail- safe can not fail...
Pl get into the habit of rejuvenating the Environment in the most sustainable manner..
With well wishes,

Er. Ajit Seshadri
The Vigyan Vijay Foundation,
New Delhi

2. Biofuel

Dear Hiren,

Have you considered converting the waste oil into biofuel? The equipment for processing the oil into biofuel can be contained on site and the resulting fuel could be used to power company vehicles.

Best Regards,


3. Absolutely the best solution for converstion

Hiren Sir.

This could be the best inhouse converstion solution. Hope that companies adopt the process.

Thank you,

4. Grease trap

To ensure efficiency of grease trap it should be well-maintained, it's very important in all commercial kitchen to prevent any environmental problem.

5. Oil and Grease Traps - Feasible Long Term Solutions?

Dear Friends,

Thanks for participating in the Grease Trap discussion. Thanks to Er. Ajit Seshadri, Tarun Nanda and Grease Trap, for putting their valuable comments.

I was expecting more comments on the issue. We keep meeting people from star hotels to corporate clients, people are not aware of Bio-solutions for kitchen waste and its effect in to STP. Pollution norms are getting stricter and environment concerns are getting serious because of lot of unmindful waste being added to the environment without proper treatment.

We need to adapt to latest Bio-Technology available to properly degrade these hazardous waste and contribute individually in saving environment. Awareness is required to be spread and individual serious contribution will lead to mass movement which will ultimately reduce environment pollution, which is the need of hour. 

I hope  we can have more participation on this issue.

With Regards,

Hiren Pancholi


6. The right grease trap solves the problem at hand

Dear all,

Please consider using a grease trap that can separate FOG (Fat, oil and grease) at the source of the trap.
This then allows sludge/FOG  to be separated at source thus complying with the norms of the pollution control board and also does not posing any threat to the STP.
Please visit Grease Guardian for more information on how to use the correct Grease traps that can clean out FOG at source

Thank you.
Jatin Khanna

7. Oil and Grease Traps - Feasible Long Term Solutions

Mr.Jatin Khanna has given out very clear map for systematic separation of OFG coming out of the kitchen. Now a days lots of oily food preparation is carried out in all the kitchens and OFG from the kitchen is one of the biggest headaches to handle. OFG is considered to be non biodegradable and pollution boards are getting stricter for their disposal. OFG is called 'Long Chain Fatty Acid' which is difficult to degrade and as outflow from grease trap reaches STP it will disturb the bacterial balance and there by disturbs the normal function of STP's. This gives out the foul smell and higher BOD/COD along with high amount of bottom solids.

The long term solution out of these problem is the Bio-Culture for these individual systems, Grease Trap and STP, for the degradation of OFG and for STPs.

Thanking You,

With Regards,
Hiren Pancholi

8. Thank you for imparting indepth technical information


Thank you for imparting indepth technical information. Hopefully this could be an eye opener for all.


9. Grease trap treatment using bioculture

Dear Mr. Pancholi,

Yes grease traps are considered very troublesome. Due to the presence of fatty and organic acids the pH drops, making the conditions acidic and difficult for any bacteria to survive. The scum layer formed on the top also prevents any air from mixing on surface making conditions below it anaerobic. This causes mal-odor in addition to persistant acidic conditions.

We use bacterial slow release tablets that degrade oil and grease. I would like to differ and state that oil and grease, hydrocarbon and surfactants are considered biodegradable by selected bacteria. The tablets are used for the first time after cleaning of the grease trap, this allows a concentration of microbes in the system before it gets bad. These microbes are facultative in nature and are at very higher concentration than indigenous and are selected organisms which are not present in indigenous. Skimming may be done but gradually you'll see the frequency reduces. The skimmed material may be put in the sludge drying bed of STP/ETP.

The usage of these microbial products keeps grease traps free of odor, reduced scum and thus lesser load on STP/ETP.

Please contact at 9910170604 for further information/clarification.

10. Grease traps & solution - what is a grease trap

What is grease trap

A grease trap, sometimes called a grease interceptor, is a piece of restaurant equipment which is required in many regions to keep the sewers functional. The grease trap acts as a filter to remove fats and oils from water before it enters the municipal waste system. Since fats and oils can clog a sewer system, the use of a grease trap ensures that the sewer system runs smoothly. In a commercial kitchen, a grease trap treats all of the water coming out of the kitchen.

A properly equipped commercial kitchen usually has multiple sinks, an industrial dishwasher, and large sinks for pre-treatment of dishes and other cooking tasks. The floors typically are sloped with central drains, allowing workers to clean the whole kitchen, requiring a very large grease trap to ensure that water will drain smoothly.

A grease trap is usually a civil work outside the kitchen, below the ground or package grease traps which looks like a large box or barrel spliced into the water drainage line. When the water enters the grease trap, it cools down, allowing the lighter oil to precipitate out to the top. A series of baffles in the grease trap collect oil and chunks of material while the water sinks to the bottom. An exit pipe at the base of the grease trap allows the treated water to flow out, while the grease remains floating on top.

In order to function properly, a grease trap and its lines must be regularly cleaned and maintained. Staff can empty the grease trap by hand, or a company may be hired to pump out the grease trap. Some grease traps use automatic systems to skim out the grease and dump it into a container, but these grease traps still need to be periodically broken down and cleaned. All of the baffles of a grease trap should be scrubbed, and the drainage lines should be scoured to remove accumulated grease.

Efficiency will be lost if a grease trap is not cleaned regularly. Ultimately, the grease trap can clog, leading to backups of water into the kitchen. A cleaning rotation and log for the grease trap is usually kept, to ensure that it is kept operating in peak condition. Health inspectors may periodically check the grease trap as well, to assure themselves that it is working properly, and that all of the water in the establishment is being treated before draining into the sewer.

Hiren Pancholi

11. Some more points on grease traps

Hiren Sir,

Greetings. Your article was interesting. Thank you for posting the same.

Just to add some more points to your article.

All grease traps are not plastic tanks with baffles. Yes, most of the PE traps are just empty "Sintex" look alike tanks. They have baffles at inlet and outlet for static separation thus also known as 'gravity separators'.

There are some very highly efficient grease separators/ traps too that are just not empty tanks, these are mechanical separators made of stainless steel, with an efficiency of 98% and a good quality discharge of water. A good replacement to concrete walled traps and plastic tanks.

In these traps, the kitchen waste is removed at source in stage 1 and in stage too the FOG is removed. On the contrary to what you mentioned in your article about "the water entering from the kitchen into the grease trap that cools it down" the grease guardian grease traps actually heat the content in the tank to do the separation process.

As you also mentioned in your article that efficiency of the grease trap will go down if not maintained and cleaned periodically. Thats true for most of the things used by man. Your car will not perform efficiently if you dont get it serviced periodically. So will your kitchen appliances.

From experience till date I have observed that even the 3 tank conventional concrete static traps are also clogging a lot in many hotels in India. Some of the plastic tank static separators used over period of years bulge and loose shape and efficiency too.

Thank you.

BR Jatin - 9769690059

12. Benefits of using grease traps

Benefits of using grease traps

  • Grease guardian grease traps can be installed at source or centrally
  • Automatically removes all trapped grease
  • 97% - 98% efficient
  • EN 18251 (performance certified), Rohs and CE certified
  • Remote monitoring as option
  • Grease can be collected and recycled to create bio-fuels
  • Does not require pumping or dosing
  • Easy to install and maintain
  • Controls set by touch screen HMI interface

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