Warm fats, oils and grease poured down residential or commercial sinks or toilets do not just disappear. Instead, the substances cool, harden, then stick to inner sewage pipes. After years of this type of abuse, FOG (fats, oils and grease) will clog up and damage an expansive number of sewage pipes. Perhaps surprisingly to some people, FOG includes everyday materials found in meats, food scraps, sauces, salad dressings as well as dairy products.

Pollution caused by FOG

Pollution caused by FOG

The United States EPA shows that 65% of all sewer spills are FOG-related, the majority of which was sewer backups in residential areas. Some of the damaging effects of this type of dumping can also result in:

  • Overflowing of raw sewage into your home or business, causing ground floor flooding – an expensive and unpleasant clean-up
  • Harmful and possible contact with disease-causing organisms
  • Raw sewage overflow into parks, waterways like rivers and the lake and yards
  • Expenses related to cleanup and maintenance costs to repair damaged sewer pipes

Aside from being expensive, toxic and unpleasant, chemicals and pollution in waterways have acute human health consequences:

“Chemical pollutants enter water sources as runoff from agricultural fields (pesticides) or as drain water (from kitchens and bathrooms) from human homes and businesses. These pollutants also seep into groundwater reservoirs from landfills and underground sewage containers. After these chemicals enter groundwater sources, they contaminate freshwater drinking supplies and are difficult to clean up.”

FOG Buildup

FOG Buildup

Unfortunately, many services to date use environmentally detrimental materials, like lye (sodium hydroxide) to combat the problems caused by FOG. But there are newer, better methods that can mitigate the destruction to pipes without using standard caustic cleaners, Protein Matrix Industrial Grease Remediation (IGR) being one.

Protein Matrix IGR (Industrial Grease Remediation) is the next generation non-toxic pollution removal method which is actually 120% more effective than sodium hydroxide. Tufts University’s research on lye versus Protein Matrix IGR actually showed that Protein Matrix converted fat into a byproduct that remained in liquid form for over 15 months at room temperature. Unlike lye-based commercial processes, which require long reaction times at elevated temperatures, Protein Matrix IGR converts FOG to a flowable liquid byproduct at ambient temperatures. This makes Protein Matrix an environmentally-safe and “green” solution – a mixture of ingredients extracted from plant materials. It is water-based, biodegradable, non-toxic, nonvolatile, and nonflammable — making it a more earth-conscious and efficient option.

Protein Matrix Before & After

Protein Matrix Before & After

The revolutionary science behind IGR is its ability to transform FOG into a byproduct that is digestible and easier to breakdown. The proteins found in Protein Matrix IGR disrupts the corruptive molecules by minimizing the formation of solid blocks of fat, producing a dispersible, natural product. This natural product prevents the FOG to re-adhere to itself, creating a benign fluid downstream flow. The active ingredients in the Protein Matrix IGR has an enhanced FOG to fluid conversion process that works quicker than traditional, toxic measures.  By using Protein Matrix IGR to breakup FOG particles before reaching wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), microorganisms are not adversely affected by the sewage treatment process. Protein Matrix IGR can also be used in a wide variety of non-sewage applications like commercial kitchen baking racks as an all-purpose degreaser so its applications are vast.

While using greener products like Protein Matrix IGR cannot solve the many devastating environmental issues gripping the world today, the methods in which FOG-related issues are traditionally handled need to be re-examined. Educating people to completely stop pouring fat, oils and grease down their drains, sinks and toilets would be preferred. Until then, moving towards a greener, more earth-conscious alternative is crucial to sustaining our health as well as the health of our environment.

Photos courtesy of Protein Matrix