BlackGold Biofuels

BlackGold Biofuels specializes in resource recovery from wastewater streams, harvesting renewable energy and other bioproducts from wastewater. BlackGold builds, owns, and operates facilities that recycle organic fats, oils, and greases (FOG) from commercial wastewater into ASTM on-road biodiesel. The company’s patented “FOG-to-Fuel®” process was developed specifically to handle low-grade, variable wastes such as grease trap waste.

Company details

1528 Walnut Street, Floor 21 , Philadelphia , Pennsylvania PA 19102 USA

Locations Served

Business Type:
Service provider
Industry Type:
Energy - Renewable Energy
Market Focus:
Nationally (across the country)
Year Founded:
2004

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BlackGold was founded in 2004 as a subsidiary of The Energy Cooperative, a Philadelphia-based member-owned energy company. In 2005, BlackGold opened the first R&D facility in the country exclusively dedicated to deriving biodiesel from sewer greases. Here BlackGold developed its landmark FOG-to-Fuel® technology and established the proof of concept prototype. The company established a formal collaboration with the US Department of Agriculture, working intensively with their industry-renowned team of PhD biodiesel research scientists. In 2006 BlackGold successfully road-tested its fuel in more than 50 vehicles, over 20,000 miles.
These vehicles represented a cross-section of the diesel market and duty cycles, from multi-ton school buses to light passenger cars. Participants included Great Valley School District, the City of Philadelphia, AAA MidAtlantic, Temple University Facilities Department, and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as many citizens from the region. BlackGold spun out from The Energy Cooperative in 2007. The first commercial FOG-to-Fuel® system came online in 2010 at the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

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Imagine H20: 2011 Water-Energy Nexus Innovation Prize IMPACT: 2011 Venture Summit Mid-Atlantic Top 100 Private Companies
BusinessWeek.com: America’s 25 Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs Water Environment Federation: Chair, Biofuels Task Force
AlwaysOn: Top 50 East Coast Cleantech Companies SJF Ventures Cleantech Fellow 2010 NY Venture Summit: 2010 Top Innovator
National Biodiesel Board: Chair, Sustainability Task Force Good Company Ventures Fellow 2009 State of Pennsylvania: Governor’s Renewable Energy Leadership Award.

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BlackGold is a triple bottom-line company, meaning that in addition to the traditional profit bottom-line, we measure success according to our environmental and civic bottom-lines. This extends beyond our corporate operations and into our products – we strive to develop and offer products and services that enable our customers and partners to profit financially from environmentally and socially responsible practices. We believe that for us and for our clients, financial success is tied to operations that maximize civic and environmental returns. Triple-bottom-line benefits of the FOG-to- Fuel® system include:

  • Improved water quality: Diverting grease to fuel production creates incentive to keep grease out of sewers. Less grease in sewers means fewer overflows, preventing the release of pollutants and pathogens into local watersheds.
  • Superior carbon footprint and air quality: Landfilled or land-applied sewer grease releases powerful greenhouse gases as it decomposes. Directing the grease instead to biodiesel production reduces greenhouse gases by 84% compared to petroleum diesel. Further, using biodiesel in place of petro-diesel significantly reduces dangerous air pollutants.
  • Economic development, green jobs, and decreased taxpayer burden: Revenue streams and cost-savings for utilities decrease taxpayers burden and increase the utility’s ability to serve its constituents. Keeping energy dollars in the community spurs economic development.
  • Greater energy independence and resource efficiency: Addressing waste remediation locally eliminates the financial and environmental costs of transporting waste long distances. Additionally, local fuel production reduces reliance on foreign oil.

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BlackGold Biofuels specializes in resource recovery from wastewater streams, harvesting renewable energy and other bioproducts from wastewater. BlackGold builds, owns, and operates facilities that recycle organic fats, oils, and greases (FOG) from commercial wastewater into ASTM on-road biodiesel. The company’s patented “FOG-to-Fuel®” process was developed specifically to handle low-grade, variable wastes such as grease trap waste. The ability to recycle these nuisance wastewaters reduces disposal costs for waste haulers and enables commercial kitchens and food processors to easily and cost- effectively improve sustainability by  recycling. Moreover, diverting FOG from the sewers and into beneficial reuse contributes to increased lifespan and performance
of existing restaurant, sewer, and wastewater treatment plant infrastructure.