Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version

Spring 5-9-2021


Wastewater sludge is an overlooked source of fat, oil, and grease (FOG) that could be converted into biodiesel. The United States produces about 8 million tons of sludge per year. The disposal cost for this amount of sludge is about 2 billion dollars. The widespread availability and low cost of sludge compared to other biodiesel raw materials make it an economical choice for a renewable fuel. Using sludge as a raw material can produce 25 to 30 mg per gram of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME); the main component of biodiesel. Sludge biodiesel has the potential of transforming a portion of the waste that is normally landfilled, incinerated or anaerobically digested into a high energy liquid fuel.