9/15/2005

Innovative Turkey-To-Oil Plant Eats Money, Spits Out Fowl Odor - Kansas City Star 12apr2005

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The eyes of the world have been on this Missouri town for several years to see if a New York businessman can really turn turkey leftovers into oil.

The answer: A resounding yes. In fact, a revolutionary plant is turning 270 tons of poultry waste into 300 barrels of crude oil every day.

That would be cause for wild celebration in many circles if not for two not-so-minor problems.

First, the plant is losing buckets of money, and second, some residents of the town that once welcomed it now pretty much hate it.

It turns out that process of cooking turkey guts, feathers, feces and other waste gives off a horrible stench.

Residents have responded with hundreds of complaints to company, city, state and federal officials.

CARTHAGE, Mo. -- The eyes of the world have been on this Missouri town for several years to see if a New York businessman can really turn turkey leftovers into oil.

The answer: A resounding yes. In fact, a revolutionary plant is turning 270 tons of poultry waste into 300 barrels of crude oil every day.

That would be cause for wild celebration in many circles if not for two not-so-minor problems.

First, the plant is losing buckets of money, and second, some residents of the town that once welcomed it now pretty much hate it.

It turns out that process of cooking turkey guts, feathers, feces and other waste gives off a horrible stench...

"My obstacles are enormous," said Brian Appel, the man behind the plant.

The turkey oil is much more expensive to produce than projected -- the cost of a barrel is double what it sells for.

Appel told The Kansas City Star recently that he doubts the process can be financially successful in the United States for several years. His company, Changing World Technology, has put on hold plans to build more plants in Colorado, Alabama and Nevada.

Instead, he is considering a deal to build a plant in Ireland, where costs would be considerably less, and where a recent news article predicted a plant should be operating by next year. Appel also is negotiating with officials in Italy and Germany

Appel and his colleagues had assumed turkey waste would cost nothing because they expected the federal government to put a ban on feeding animal waste to animals. They estimated that processing plants would pay them $24 a ton to take away the offal.

But that didn't happen, and Appel now is paying $52 a ton for animal waste, he said.

Appel also had high hopes that he would get a $1-a-gallon biofuel tax credit for production costs, or about $42 per barrel. Congress did pass the tax credit, but the definition of biofuel excluded Appel's technology.

In Ireland, Appel said, the losses would be reversed because processing plants would pay him to take the waste and the government has a tax credit.

Changing World Technologies: Innovative Turkey-To-Oil Plant Eats Money, Spits Out Fowl Odor KAREN DILLON / Kansas City Star 12apr2005

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