Synthetic fossil fuels?!

Discussion in 'Financial Futures' started by Rearden Metal, Apr 22, 2003.

  1. Probably the most exciting science article I've ever read:

    Anything into Oil
    Technological savvy could turn 600 million tons of turkey guts and other waste into 4 billion barrels of light Texas crude each year
    By Brad Lemley
    Photography by Tony Law

    Gory refuse, from a Butterball Turkey plant in Carthage, Missouri, will no longer go to waste. Each day 200 tons of turkey offal will be carted to the first industrial-scale thermal depolymerization plant, recently completed in an adjacent lot, and be transformed into various useful products, including 600 barrels of light oil.

    In an industrial park in Philadelphia sits a new machine that can change almost anything into oil.
    "This is a solution to three of the biggest problems facing mankind," says Brian Appel, chairman and CEO of Changing World Technologies, the company that built this pilot plant and has just completed its first industrial-size installation in Missouri. "This process can deal with the world's waste. It can supplement our dwindling supplies of oil. And it can slow down global warming."
    Pardon me, says a reporter, shivering in the frigid dawn, but that sounds too good to be true.
    "Everybody says that," says Appel. He is a tall, affable entrepreneur who has assembled a team of scientists, former government leaders, and deep-pocketed investors to develop and sell what he calls the thermal depolymerization process, or TDP. The process is designed to handle almost any waste product imaginable, including turkey offal, tires, plastic bottles, harbor-dredged muck, old computers, municipal garbage, cornstalks, paper-pulp effluent, infectious medical waste, oil-refinery residues, even biological weapons such as anthrax spores. According to Appel, waste goes in one end and comes out the other as three products, all valuable and environmentally benign: high-quality oil, clean-burning gas, and purified minerals that can be used as fuels, fertilizers, or specialty chemicals for manufacturing.

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