Discipline: Chemistry and Chemical Sciences
Subcategory: Environmental Engineering
Belina Nseliema - Shaw University
The growing population in urban environments has created a greater market for more restaurants. This change in the urban landscape leads to an increase in the discharge and potential accumulation of fat, oil and grease (FOG) in the sewer system. A unique chemical reaction that occurs inside sewer lines is saponification, which is the process that produces solid deposits from FOG. Recent studies has suggested that unsaturated fatty acids alone do not contribute to the saponification reaction that creates these harden FOG deposits. However, the work performed in the literature were conducted under certain experimental conditions. Therefore, the current research study seeks to understand whether there are environmental conditions that would allow unsaturated long chain fatty acids to participate in the saponification reaction and form FOG deposits in sewers. A series of experiments were performed using oleic acid as the main source of unsaturated fat. Tests were performed with oleic acid alone and with safflower oil at constant neutral pH and pH of 10. These tests were performed at room temperature in 300 mL of deionized water with continuous mixing for a length of ten to fourteen days. Preliminary results suggest that unsaturated fatty acids do participate in the saponification reaction to produce FOG deposits.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Water Resources Research Institute
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Joel Ducoste, email@example.com
Role: I conducted the experiments and came up with the plan for the experiment.