Perhaps there is a free lunch

Submitted by acohill on Wed, 07/26/2006 - 09:23

A three year old Philadelphia project to turn waste into gas, oil, and minerals has been so successful that the EPA and private investors are putting money behind expansion of the effort. One of the new sites will be in Missouri, near a turkey processing plant. The energy recycling plant will turn 200 tons of turkey guts into 10 tons of gas and 600 barrels of oil. The gas is used to power the plant, which is 85% efficient.

This looks like a free lunch because you get three for one; you reduce the amount of waste going into landfills, you get local production of energy products, and you reduce reliance on foreign oil.

The system uses exactly the same processes the earth uses to turn organic matter into oil, but while that takes millions of years for the earth to do it, using heat and pressure in the right amounts lets the energy plant accomplish the same thing in a few hours. The system is owned by Changing World Technologies, and while this has been tried before, the company developed a new approach that makes it much more efficient in terms of the amount of energy required for the conversion process.

This is just one more examply why the notion of running out oil--as a crisis--is looking at things from the wrong end of the telescope--it is an opportunity. How about your region? Do you have companies with significant waste streams of organic matter? Why not compete directly with the Middle East and become an oil and gas producer? It will reduce the strain on your landfill, create jobs, generate taxes, and diversify your local economy.

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