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Author Topic: A quiet revolution in energy?
R. J. Dunnill
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posted 25 April 2003 04:46 PM      Profile for R. J. Dunnill   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I posted a different news story on this subject in a different area, but it didn't attract much attention, possibly because it's a low-traffic area.

The latest news story I could find on the subject is [URL=http://www.wtopradio.com/media/april/0423_appel.ram
]here[/URL] (Real Player required).

The following appears courtesy of the Associated Press.
==========================================
Posted on Wed, Apr. 16, 2003
Company demonstrates tires-to-oil conversion
BILL BERGSTROM
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - Making oil from tires and turkey parts is one of the first projects planned by an entrepreneur who demonstrated a waste-eating maze of pipes and tanks Tuesday at a Philadelphia industrial site.

"It's a mini-refinery, that's all it is," Brian S. Appel, chief executive officer of Changing World Technologies, said of the pilot plant at the Philadelphia Naval Business Center on the Delaware River.

In one end went tires, ground to quarter-inch bits by a giant industrial shredder. Out the other end came a caramel-colored liquid Appel said compares with a light crude oil.

The product can be refined into fuels like those made from crude oil, he said.

"This looks like gasoline and diesel, it acts like it, smells like it. It is it," Appel said.

The demonstration at the Philadelphia plant, built in 1999, was a prelude to starting up the first commercial use of the process, a $20 million facility at ConAgra's Butterball turkey processing plant at Carthage, Mo.

The Missouri plant, expected to start operating in May or June, is designed to process 200 tons a day of leftover turkey bones, feathers, fats, grease and oils into 600 barrels of light oil.

Potential customers, according to Appel, are fuel blenders that would use the oil for home heating or power-generating fuel, refineries that would buy and refine it as they now refine crude oil, and utilities that would use it to generate power.

Oil from waste isn't yet price competitive with crude oil, Appel acknowledged.

The Missouri plant's production cost will be $15 a barrel, compared with $13 a barrel for a small petroleum exploration and production company and $5 a barrel for a major company, he said.

The cost will fall as more plants are built, said Appel, 44, formerly president of Atlantis International, a trading company, and executive vice president of Ticket World USA, predecessor of Ticketmaster.

In the meantime, he said Changing World Technology is urging Congress to approve a clean-fuel subsidy to make its oil competitive with crude from small production companies.

The company received a $5 million Environmental Protection Agency grant for the Missouri plant.

CWT and the $27 billion ConAgra Foods conglomerate formed a partnership, Renewable Environmental Solutions, to commercialize the waste-to-oil process, and are sharing the rest of the $20 million cost.

ConAgra was interested in CWT not only because of the potential for disposing of its own food processing and agricultural wastes, "but as a business," said Julie DeYoung, a ConAgra spokeswoman.

"Having an actual operating facility is the thing that will convince people that this is not just a pilot project," said former CIA Director James Woolsey, an adviser to the CWT.

Woolsey said converting waste to oil could reduce the dependence on Middle Eastern oil by the United States, which has only 3 percent of the world's proven oil reserves but accounts for 25 percent of the world's consumption.

Appel cited environmental benefits.

"If we take the plastics and the tires and the fats and the bones and we turn that into fuels, that will mean much less fossil fuel will need to be dug up out of the ground," he said.

Eleven more projects are in the planning stages, Appel said, including one at a ConAgra turkey plant in Longmont, Colo., that has won a $2.5 million Department of Energy grant; one at a poultry plant in Enterprise, Ala., that has won a $3 million grant, and one at an onion dehydration plant in Fernley, Nev., that has won a $4 million grant.

Woolsey likened the process to an accelerated version of "the oldest of technologies, one that the earth uses when it puts vegetables and dinosaurs under pressure" to create petroleum.

Byproducts are water clean enough to discharge into a community treatment facility, and minerals, such as carbon black, which can be sold to make tires, fertilizer and other products, Appel said.

The process also produces a fuel made up mainly of methane, propane and butane, which is piped in the Philadelphia plant to two 75-kilowatt turbines that generate its electricity.

"You don't see flares. There's nothing vented to the atmosphere in this plant," Appel said.


From: Surrey, B.C. | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jacob Two-Two
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posted 25 April 2003 05:24 PM      Profile for Jacob Two-Two     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Cooool! And the best part is that you don't have to kill anyone for it. Although, for this reason alone, the military lobby will no doubt oppose the initiative. Invading oil-rich countries is how they make their money.
From: There is but one Gord and Moolah is his profit | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
R. J. Dunnill
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posted 25 April 2003 05:27 PM      Profile for R. J. Dunnill   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think that if anyone opposes it, it will be countries like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela that derive most or much of their income from oil sales (note that the Saudis lobbied against the Kyoto Accord).

RD


From: Surrey, B.C. | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jacob Two-Two
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posted 25 April 2003 05:35 PM      Profile for Jacob Two-Two     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was only half-serious. But an awful lot of people have their fortunes wrapped up in the current method of crude extraction and everything that comes with it. Don't expect this to fly too easily. A lot of good ideas get killed because they don't serve the right people.
From: There is but one Gord and Moolah is his profit | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
redshift
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posted 25 April 2003 05:57 PM      Profile for redshift     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
bio-mass fuel is probably one of the most important intermediate steps to an alternative energy economy. it also offers a means to derail global corporate monopolies, as many of these technologies are readily implemented at municipal and smaller levels.
in B.C.'s interior we have huge stands of dead standing timber due to pine beetle infestations combined with environmental stress. most will burn or rot , or be harvested for export to us mills. an alternative value-added use would be small community -run bio-mass producers, eventually refining hydrogen from the by-products. electricity and hydrogen are going to be major commodities.

From: cranbrook,bc | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 25 April 2003 06:38 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's been known for years you can make methane from the non-oxidative breakdown of wood chips. I don't know why this hasn't been pursued more vigorously.

Yes, I'm a chemist, but I don't have the kind of money or business smarts it takes to be the "spearhead" of a mass-scale effort at turning waste into fuel.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
redshift
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posted 25 April 2003 06:48 PM      Profile for redshift     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
some people who do have the cash. they need to be told more often and loudly.we can take the future back.
http://tinyurl.com/ac9x

From: cranbrook,bc | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
bakunin
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posted 25 April 2003 09:55 PM      Profile for bakunin     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
"This looks like gasoline and diesel, it acts like it, smells like it. It is it," Appel said

likewhise, when you burn it you release all sorts of nasty shit just like 'real' gasoline. another Great Invention™ that will perpetuate the ruling world order.


From: we may not convince you but we'll convince your children | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
redshift
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posted 25 April 2003 10:02 PM      Profile for redshift     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
first before anyone goes off on a neo-luddite tangent, hydrogen for green energy has to come from somewhere.
"The process also produces a fuel made up mainly of methane, propane and butane, which is piped in the Philadelphia plant to two 75-kilowatt turbines that generate its electricity."

Ballard fuel cells run on hydrogen , as do many others. Ballard bought methanex a couple of years back , because methane is an excellent source of hydrogen.
technology has gotten us into most of the mess we're in, but its going to take tech to get us out.


From: cranbrook,bc | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bubbles
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posted 26 April 2003 12:53 AM      Profile for Bubbles        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The trouble is that recycling those tires realy does nothing to reduce our output of polutants.
Sunlight still seems like the ultimate answere to our energy needs.

From: somewhere | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
R. J. Dunnill
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posted 27 April 2003 10:55 PM      Profile for R. J. Dunnill   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Recycling old tires [b]does/b] reduce our output of pollutants, because it replaces energy that would otherwise be provided via fossil fuels.

As for sunlight, that's what produces biomass, and that's what this process is designed to use as its primary input. In fact, one of the researchers who developed the process predicted it would bring about a change to a carbohydrate-based economy, from the hydrocarbon-based one of today.

RD


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prowsej
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posted 29 April 2003 06:24 PM      Profile for prowsej   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The Missouri plant, expected to start operating in May or June, is designed to process 200 tons a day of leftover turkey bones, feathers, fats, grease and oils into 600 barrels of light oil.
Proof that those pinko vegetarians are responsible for wars in the middle east - if only they'd support the domestic energy system!

From: Ottawa ON | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bubbles
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posted 29 April 2003 09:54 PM      Profile for Bubbles        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Recycling old tires [b]does/b] reduce our output of pollutants, because it replaces energy that would otherwise be provided via fossil fuels."


It all depends what burns with less polution, oil or rubber. What is more energy effiecient using the old tires or pumping more oil.

"As for sunlight, that's what produces biomass, and that's what this process is designed to use as its primary input. In fact, one of the researchers who developed the process predicted it would bring about a change to a carbohydrate-based economy, from the hydrocarbon-based one of today."

The trouble with carbohydrates is that most plants are not that good at converting sunlight into carbohydrates, something in the order of two percent for the average field, if my information is correct. Solar cell seem to be able to do somewhere around ten percent. And solar collectors can do a lot better yet. Could be used for airconditioning, and heating our homes and bathwater. Then you realy would be cutting into the oil consumption and thus the airpolution , not to mention greenhouse gasses.


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nonsuch
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posted 29 April 2003 10:39 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Still, it's a good idea to use all those old tires, rather than piling them up for uncontrollable and very stinky fires. (Hey, that's almost a poyem!) I think i'd rather see the tires ground up for paving. The experimental tire-enriched asphalt is very nice. And i'm not crazy about the turkey factor.
Go soybeans! Go, sunlight! Go wind!

From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 29 April 2003 11:13 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oregon had some problems initially with the use of tires for repaving jobs. Seems that their first experiments with it led to fairly brand-new highways getting grooves in them from truck tires pretty quick. I think since then they've changed the mix ratios and the asphalt should be nice and firmed up by now.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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