Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Thermal Depolymerization Process turns a Butterball Turkey and Garbage into light Crude

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.
TDP stands for Thermal Depolymerization Process and is a process unlike other solid-to-liquid-fuel processes such as cornstarch converted into ethanol. TDP is a process that will accept almost any carbon-based material as a source of fuel. Think Soylent Green with a twist instead of turning humans into food with this technology you turn them into fuel for the internal combustion man falling into one engine: 175-pound end of the process will be converted into 38 pounds of oil, 7 pounds of gas, and 7 pounds of minerals, as well as 123 pounds of sterilized water at the exhaust end. While no one plans to put people into a thermal depolymerization machine, an intimate human creation could become a prime feedstock to make octane. Even human sewage like "Feces/Doo-doo"(the Gloved one) into a glorious oil per engineer Terryams, a project consultant. The test sitewas a 7 ton plant in the city of Philadelphia in a joint project with ConAgra butterball and Changing World Technology built a 200 ton plant in Carthage, Missouri. Apparently it is truly amazing technology and it produces really lovely light oil.

From Discover: July 2004 issue, "Out of 100 Btus in a given unit of feedstock, only 15 Btus are used to power the [TCP] process, with the remainder residing in oil, gas and chemicals. Most important, the oil produced in these tests easily meets the specifications for diesel fuel."

Twenty tons of slaughterhouse turkey parts, freshly dumped by a truck, await processing into oil, gas, and minerals at the thermal conversion process plant in Carthage, Missouri. When the plant reaches full capacity in the fall, it will process 10 dump trucks of leftovers, one tanker truck of blood, and one tanker truck of discarded restaurant grease every 24 hours.

From Changing World Technologies

Agriculture represents over 50% of the estimated 12 billion tons of solid waste produced each year in the U.S. The food processing industry in the U.S. alone generates billions of pounds of organically rich wastes each year. These wastes are associated with the processing of both animal and plant products. If all agricultural waste were made available for use in the TCP, an extraordinarily large amount of oil could be generated that almost meets the 4 billion barrels of oil that are imported to the U.S. each year.

Energy Potential of Agricultural Market U.S.
All Agricultural Waste
billion tons 10% solids
million tons per year
× 2,000
total lbs.
÷ 7.7
lbs. in gallon
÷ 42
gallons in barrel
total barrel of oil/equivalent

"The longest carbon chains are C-18 or so," says Appel, admiring the liquid. That's a very light oil. It is essentially the same as a mix of half fuel oil, half gasoline."
  • Private investors, who have chipped in $40 million to develop the process, aren't the only ones who are impressed. The federal government has granted more than $12 million to push the work along. "We will be able to make oil for $8 to $12 a barrel," says Paul Baskis, the inventor of the process. "We are going to be able to switch to a carbohydrate economy."
    Making oil and gas from hydrocarbon-based waste is a trick that Earth mastered long ago. Most crude oil comes from one-celled plants and animals that die, settle to ocean floors, decompose, and are mashed by sliding tectonic plates, a process geologists call subduction. Under pressure and heat, the dead creatures' long chains of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon-bearing molecules, known as polymers, decompose into short-chain petroleum hydrocarbons. However, Earth takes its own sweet time doing this-generally thousands or millions of years-because subterranean heat and pressure changes are chaotic. Thermal depolymerization machines turbocharge the process by precisely raising heat and pressure to levels that break the feedstock's long molecular bonds.
    Many scientists have tried to convert organic solids to liquid fuel using waste products before, but their efforts have been notoriously inefficient. "The problem with most of these methods was that they tried to do the transformation in one step-superheat the material to drive off the water and simultaneously break down the molecules," says Appel. That leads to profligate energy use and makes it possible for hazardous substances to pollute the finished product. Very wet Waste -- and much of the world's waste is wet -- is particularly difficult to process efficiently because driving off the water requires so much energy. Usually, the Btu content in the resulting oil or gas barely exceeds the amount needed to make the stuff.
From: Discover volume 24, no.5, May 1, 2003 by BRAD LEMLEY

The thermal depolymerization process can convert a wide range of waste materials into oil and other useful by-products, In proportions That vary according to the specific type of feedstock run through the works:


Clear (polyethylene terephthalate) and translucent (high-density polyethylene)
MUNICIPAL LIQUID WASTE: 75% sewage sludge, 25% grease-trap refuse
HEAVY OIL: Refinery residues, heavy crudes, and tar sands
TIRES: all kinds, including standard rubber and steel-belted radials
MEDICAL. WASTE: Transfusion bags, needles and razor blades, and wet human waste
PLASTIC BOTTLES: 70 pounds oil, 16 pounds gas, 6 pounds carbon solids, 8 pounds water
MUNICIPAL LIQUID WASTE: 26 pounds oil, 9 pounds gas, 8 pounds carbon and mineral solids, 57 pounds water.
HEAVY OIL: 74 pounds oil, 17 pounds gas, 9 pounds carbon solids.
TIRES: 44 pounds oil, 10 pounds gas, 12 pounds carbon and metal solids, 4 pounds water
MEDICAL WASTE: 65 pounds oil, 10 pounds gas, 5 pounds carbon and metal solids, 20 pounds water.
Key: A=Grinder, B=First Reactor, C=Flash Vessel, D=Second Reactor, E=Distillation Tanks, F=Storage Tanks

A Boon to Oil and Coal Companies
One might expect fossil-fuel companies to fight thermal depolymerization. If the process can make out of waste, why would anyone bother to get it out of the ground? But switching to an energy economy based entirely on reformed waste will be a long process, requiring the construction of thousands of thermal depolymerization plants. In the meantime, thermal depolymerization can make the petroleum industry itself cleaner and more profitable, says John Riordan, president and CEO of
the Gas Technology Institute, an industry research organization. Experiments at the Philadelphia thermal depolymerization plant have converted heavy crude oil, shale, and tar sands into light oils, gases, and graphite-type carbon. "When you refine petroleum, you end up with a heavy solid-waste product that's a big problem," Riordan says. "This technology will convert these waste materials into natural gas, oil, and carbon. It will fit right into the existing infrastructure."
Appel says a modified version of thermal depolymerization could be used to inject steam into underground tar-sand deposits and then refine them into light oils at the surface, making this abundant, difficult-to-access resource far more available. But the coal industry may become thermal depolymerization's biggest fossil-fuel beneficiary. "We can clean up coal dramatically," says Appel. So far, experiments show the process can extract sulfur, mercury, naphtha, and olefins—all salable commodities—from coal, making it bum hotter and cleaner. Pretreating with thermal depolymerization also makes coal more friable, so less energy is needed to crush it before combustion in electricity-generating plants. B.L.

The first refinery utilizing TCP to produce and sell oil commercially commenced operation in Carthage, Mo., in May under a joint venture between CWT and ConAgra Foods.
Because TCP utilizes above-ground waste streams to produce a new energy source, it also has the potential to arrest global warming by reducing the use of fossil fuels, and to create a means of energy independence by reducing U.S. reliance on imported oil.
TCP succeeds in breaking down long chains of organic polymers into their smallest units and reforming them into new combinations to produce clean solid, liquid and gaseous alternative fuels and specialty chemicals. The process emulates the earth's natural geothermal activity, whereby organic material is converted into fossil fuel under conditions of extreme heat and pressure over millions of years. It mimics the earth's system by using pipes and controlling temperature and pressure to reduce the bio-remediation process from millions of years to mere hours.
The process entails five steps:
(1) Pulping and slurrying the organic feed with water.
(2) Heating the slurry under pressure to the desired temperature.
(3) Flashing the slurry to a lower pressure to separate the mixture.
(4) Heating the slurry again (coking) to drive off water and produce
light hydrocarbons.
(5) Separating the end products.
TCP is more than 80% energy efficient. In addition, it generates its own energy to power the system, and uses the steam naturally created by the process to heat incoming feedstock. In addition, TCP produces no emissions and no secondary hazardous waste streams.

From Renewable Environmental Solutions:
  • TCP is a patented bio-remediation process that converts organic wastes into fertilizer solids, liquid alternative fuels and specialty products.
  • TCP was developed by a team of scientists over a 15-year period, utilizing modern engineering to apply basic science principles that have been understood for over two centuries. As such, TCP was created from science, not for science.
  • TCP will help to reduce national dependence on foreign oil and supplement existing reserves, while helping to solve the global problems of waste disposal and environmental pollution.
  • TCP is a continuous flow-through process in a controlled environment using water, temperature, pressure and time, with no critical operating parameters.
  • TCP emulates the earth’s natural geothermal process, whereby organic material is converted into fossil fuel under conditions of extreme heat and pressure over millions of years.
  • TCP mimics the earth’s system using pipes and by controlling temperature and pressure to reduce the bio-remediation process from millions of years to mere hours.
  • TCP breaks down organic polymers (chains of small molecules) into their smallest units, and reforms them into new combinations to produce clean fuels.
Energy Efficiency
  • TCP is over 80% energy efficient.
  • TCP has very low Btu requirements, due to short residence times of the materials in process and to holding of water under pressure.
  • TCP uses steam naturally generated by feedstock, thereby recapturing the expended energy.
  • TCP generates its own energy.
Environmental Efficiency
  • TCP uses recycled water.
  • TCP produces no secondary hazardous waste stream.He adds that Renewable Energy Solutions has spent "a fair amount of money" on pre-engineering a second plant, which will probably be located near Longmont, Colorado, and process both turkey and cattle slaughterhouse waste.

A second TDP plant in Colorado will had diseased Cattle
  • One major development since the original Discover article is the discovery last December of a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, in Washington State. Since then, interest in using thermal conversion to control the disease has skyrocketed, say company officials. Although no testing has been done on the effect of the thermal conversion process on prions, the rogue proteins that are thought to cause BSE, Tester is confident that the high pressures and temperatures it uses would be more than sufficient to dismantle those pathogens. "Large molecules like that really don’t like that kind of environment," he says.

    Appel says the Colorado plant will be designed to digest whole, diseased cattle along with slaughterhouse waste. "Americans are finally realizing what the Europeans and others have figured out—there are high risks associated with intense farming practices" that involve feeding rendered animals back to animals. "We will divert proteins away from the food chain. You'll see less disease and less bioaccumulation of toxins when animals once again start eating grass and grain, the way they were meant to eat".


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