11/29/2004

Daily Kos :: Comments What to Do About Energy - Turning INDUSTRIAL WASTE into Oil

Turning INDUSTRIAL WASTE into Oil

On the Renewable Energy front I am really excited about this technology:
Anything Into Oil: From Turkey to Crude Oil

Discover has just published an update on one of their most popular 2003 articles titled 'Anything Into Oil'. The process described transforming turkey guts, old tires, used plastic bottles, and municipal sewage into fuel oil

The process struck some as the answer to energy shortages, not to mention the solution to some of America's worst waste problems.

Too good to be true ?
The process is called TCP or Thermal Conversion Process and it's inventor has 17 patents registered for it.

It is already generating Diesel Oil The oil produced in tests easily meets the specifications for diesel fuel.. Pilot plant worked, now to production The latest target date for opening their full scale plant is now this fall [2004].The plant is 200-ton-per-day industrial plant in Carthage, Missouri.

Big corporations, Scientists, Investors are backing it: Conagra, James Woolsey, former CIA director, MIT professors...

by lawnorder

* [new] Yep, it works. (none / 0)

Although I'm still a bit cynical (some people complained about a noxious smell early on, and no public tours have been given), it apparently does function well enough.

BTW, I've heard 200 barrels per day, not 200 tons. Not sure which is accurate.

It's not junk science- it was featured in 'Discover' magazine. I am a little scared of its backers, but Conagra may actually have a good reason to build it- all that agriwaste and geneered products may finally have a decent purpose.

One potential positive feature is its ability to sequester leftover carbon as piles of sooty graphite, which could actually drag carbon back out of the atmosphere. The petroleum products are very pure, much better controlled in their purity than crude oil. You even get nice diesel fuel.

I do see some potential problems; it relies on very high pressure steam, which can cause metal fatigue if not done correctly. It relies on some mechanical components and centrifuges to rip apart solid materials and spin out processed solids (it can't digest solids without 'teeth'). Also, there cannot be any but traces of platinum metal introduced into the system (for the same reason you have platinum in catalytic converters- it causes a breakdown in the coalecence process, boosting the form of simple oxides). Also, you're not really weaning the country off of oil.

But it's better than getting the 'black lady' from Saudi Arabia, I can tell you that. Sort of like giving up heroin or cocaine for high-grade hash.

by Black Brant on Sun Nov 28th, 2004 at 23:40:49 CDT

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