Probe and Sensors Development for Level Measurement of Fats, Oils and Grease in Grease Boxes

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André Filipe Sousa
Arsénio Reis
Vitor Manuel Filipe
João Barroso
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The wide spread of food outlets has become an environmental and sanitation infrastructure problem, due to Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG). A grease box is used at the industrials facilities to collect the FOG, in a specific time window, while its quality is good for recycling (e.g., biodiesel) and it is economically valuable. After this period, it will be disposed at a cost. For the proper management of the grease boxes, it is necessary to know the quantity of FOG inside the boxes, which is a major problem, as the boxes are sealed and permanently filled with water. The lack of homogeneity of the FOG renders it not detectable by current probes for level detection in liquids. In this article, the design, development and testing of a set of probes for FOG level measurement, based on the principles used in sensors for the detection of liquids inside containers, is described. The most suitable probe, based on the capacitance principle, together with the necessary hardware and software modules for data acquisition and transmission, was developed and tested. After the development phase, the probe was integrated on a metropolitan system for FOG collection and grease box management in partnership with a grease box management company.