Using Turkey to Make Waste Fuel
Waste Fuel: Turkey from Thanksgiving to yout Tank
During Thanksgiving, Americans consume almost 45 million turkeys. After the holiday season is over, all the turkey parts go straight to the garbage trucks, adding to the pile of garbage in our landfills.
This may soon change however. According to a report published by the National Geographic, a factory in Missouri is now claiming that they can turn the innards and even the feathers of turkeys into clean-burning, usable fuel. This factory is run by a New York-based environmental technology firm called Changing World Technologies (CWT), and CWT is not stopping at turkey parts. The company is also looking into processing the wastes of farm animals into crude oil.
Of course there are a lot of individuals who doubt that usable fuel can be derived from turkey parts. However, CWT claims that once the people understand the system behind this idea, they will see that it is a promising source of energy.
Turkey feathers and guts become fuel through a process called thermo-depolymerization (TDP). During the TDP, extreme heat is applied to the waste materials. This causes them to break down into simpler particles. Later, pressure is added and as a result fuel oil, natural gas and certain minerals are formed.
More specifically, the turkey guts are first combined with water. This mixture is then grounded, producing a thick slurry or batter-like consistency. Heat of around 500 degrees Fahrenheit is applied. All the while, pressure is introduced at a level of 600 pounds per inch. Under such extreme conditions, it will take less than an hour for the wastes’ molecular structure to break down. When the material has been broken down into specific elements and compounds, the pressure is decreased. The resulting steam will be used by the system to supply energy for the rest of the facility’s functions.
After enough heat is supplied, the material will be distilled creating the by-products of crude oil, natural gas, and minerals. The process is so efficient that all these by-products are usable. The crude oil can be refined further to produce diesel and gasoline. The natural gas becomes the main energy source of the entire plant. Lastly, the minerals can be added to composts.
While the procedure may seem too forward, it is actually based on nature’s processes. In fact, TDP is modeled after the earth’s own system for creating coal and other fossil energy sources, extreme heat and pressure. The difference is that modern day TDP eliminates the need to wait centuries for the elements to be processed.
Overall, CWT proposes a system that can help America turn plain waste into waste fuel. If implemented successfully, this technology can help stop Americans reliance on other countries for oil. With such a renewable raw material, oil production may prove cheaper, which will naturally be a benefit for consumers.
However, the initial stages of establishing this technology may cost a lot more than expected. The first facility in Missouri has a cost of almost $20 million dollars. Currently, this plant only produces 50 barrels of oil per day. The good thing is that the initial plant is able to increase production and decrease operating costs. When all this is done, then it can convince other states to do the same.