General Question

Nullo's avatar

Would window/door screen material work to filter particles out of grease?

Asked by Nullo (21968points) July 31st, 2012

Had a bit of a mishap at work when I put part of a grease filtration unit into the cleaning tank (which is full of hot, caustic chemicals, used for melting food bits off of the spits) and found out that the filter mesh was not wire though it looked like it but rather some species of plastic.

I have been tasked with finding a temporary replacement while the richest company on Earth reels from the cost of replacing a $1,200 cart that should have been replaced fourteen months ago. I was thinking of window-screening material, but I’m worried that it won’t be tight enough. The filter would be stopping visible particles of what I imagine are fat globs congealing around lumps of bundled proteins.

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8 Answers

augustlan's avatar

I’d think cheesecloth is the way to go. Unless maybe you could line up several layers of screening, with the holes slightly offset.

ccrow's avatar

It might work well enough, but I have no idea if it would be considered food-grade, if that’s a consideration.(I’m assuming the grease is filtered to be reused?)

Jenniehowell's avatar

I would think that a window screen would work to filter food related bits out of grease – as @ccrow mentioned it may not be food grade.

You also have to be careful these days because often times these days window screens you find are made of plastics and/or nylon type material which I assume may also melt at high temperatures. Even the newer window screens that are metal are so thin and cheap compared to the old school window screens I’ve seen there’s a chance they’d melt too depending on the temperatures and how constant that temperature is.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yes, sort of. Think of the cooking guards you can place over your frying pan. They stop the splatter. Vapor does make it through however.
Is the material hot? If not, then a fine cloth might work.
If the grease is hot and electrically grounded you might try isolating the screen with an insulator. Hook the minus side of the battery to ground and attach the plus side to the screen. The fine particles will be attracted to and coalesce on the screen. The higher the voltage, the wider the gaps in the screen can be. I’d start with only 6 or 12 volts and see if it makes a difference. Weigh it with a lab balance to get good, objective data.

Buttonstc's avatar

I don’t know if this info would be helpful to you or not. This is not my area of knowledge. But several years ago I did quite a bit of research on the subject.

There is a sizable community of people who run their diesel engines on WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil).

Obviously the first thing they must do to make it usable as an alternative fuel is to filter it and there are numerous options they’ve developed to do this. Perhaps this may give you some ideas to possible use.

I’m also including a link to one site which also sells some filtering setups as well as general info on filtering the WVO.

www.dudadiesel.com/filtering.php
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www.dudadiesel.com/filters.php

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I have not personally ordered from them but found them in with my folder of links on the whole subject.

I don’t know that the ones they sell would work for your purposes either, but it might spark a few ideas of your own.

Hope this helps. Even if not, I figured it can’t hurt :)

thorninmud's avatar

The non-metallic window screen materials are various fibers that are then coated in vinyl, and vinyl is definitely not food save (and also not oil resistant).

Depending on how big a piece you need, you might want to consider going to Home Desperate and getting the 5 gallon paint strainer bags they sell in the paint department. It’s a much finer mesh than window screen, but still lets house paint through. The 5 gallon size could yield 2 pieces at least 1 sq ft each if you cut them up. They’re made of nylon, which would be food safe, and they’re very tough. I used them all the time for straining chocolate, and they just don’t wear out.

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Nullo's avatar

So far I’m ad-libbing with a couple of scouring pads. When I get some time together, I’ll see about the paint strainer bag.

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