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Andy_Stephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 11:40 AM
Original message
Oil from Anything...And hardly anyone's writing about it.
Thermal Depolymerization

http://kantor.com/usatoday/thermal_depolymerization.sht...

Actually, it's about a new technology a new process that is going to make a Difference. One that's going to change things, and one you're going to be hearing a lot more about.

The process is called thermal depolymerization or TDP, and the company that's doing it is West Hempstead, N.Y.-based Changing World Technologies.

Don't be intimidated by the name. It's just a nine-syllable way of saying "using heat to break down complex material into simple material."

Specifically, TDP turns just about anything into oil and fertilizer. And when I say "anything," I mean that: animal waste, medical waste, human waste. Used diapers, used computers, used tires. Anything that's not radioactive can be tossed into the hopper.


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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. Kind of like Mr. Fusion?
Not sure this is 100% a positive development--seems like the damaging environmental effects of oil would be increased by such a technology.

Bryant
Check it out --> http://politicalcomment.blogspot.com
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Yeah, that's the main drawback.
You would help the environment by not having as much to leach into groundwater via landfills, but you're still contributing towards the petroleum-based economy and putting CO2, etc. into the air.

Still, if it could reduce dependence on foreign sources of oil, that alone would be good.
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Balance that with the elimination of landfills and toxic waste dumps,
however. This process eats everything except radioactive material. Tires, garbage, hog lot waste, medical waste, PCBs...you name it.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Actually, an economy based on this is carbon-neutral.
If we manufactured our oil in this way, the carbon would be taken from the environment (for example, harvesting CO2 from the air). So, all the CO2 we produced by burning the fuel would be recycled when we manufactured new oil.

The big issue is obtaining the energy source to actually do all this manufacturing. The only practical source is nuclear, but many Americans aren't yet ready to accept that yet.

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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
18. You're right.
I don't know what I was thinking. It's only when we start dipping into those carbon reserves in the ground that we have problems!
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
29. No, the energy source is the sun. Nuclear not needed.
Plants get their energy from the sun. TDP extracts that energy with an 85% efficiency, meaning that 15% is used up in the TDP process and is released as waste heat.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. Since that heat isn't produced by a radioactive process,
you could heat the facility with what's generated in-plant, or put that heat to another use, like power generation. You won't get out what you put in or more, but you will have a more efficient operation.

IIRC, TDP is scalable. I have visions of flatbed trucks fitted with a mini-TDP plant collecting trash and dispensing fuel or other products (as TDP doesn't only produce fuel) at the curb.

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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #29
36. I think you're not accounting for the required heat energy
The reaction itself requires a heat input. 85% of that energy ends up in the product. Which is excellent.

But the energy for the reaction does not come from the reactants, it must be supplied from an external source. That source will have to be something like wind, solar, or nuclear. If we can do it with wind or solar, that would be great, but I think there will be no way to avoid nuclear.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #36
46. Is that necessarily a bad thing?
There are designs for nuclear reactors that apparently are incapable of a "meltdown" by design. A small reactor could power a plant and the surrounding area, right?

I still like solar or wind power more, but those are limited by uncontrollable conditions in the first place. Perhaps we need to find an exotic energy source...
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #46
51. Personally, I'm in favor of nuclear power.
According to one of our resident experts, the pebble-bed reactors (which are the "meltdown-proof" reactors you are refering to), have the unappealing property that the spent fuel cannot be recycled. Most people are not aware that spent nuclear fuel is actually recyclable (I wasn't), but it makes a big difference in the practical lifetime of earth's nuclear fuel resources. The difference between decades, and centuries.

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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #51
54. well, okay, so could the recyclable spent rods you mentioned
be used as fuel in the thermal depolymerization process?

Because if so, we just found a new reason to convert to nuclear power.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #54
58. NO !!! TDP can't handle radioactives. NT
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #58
66. It doesn't have to handle any radiation.
The nuclear reactor produces heat, which is supplied to the TDP process via a heat-exchanger.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #66
70. Needless. TDP produces it's own fuel.
15% of the energy in the feedstock is used up in the process. It is cheaper to burn the gas produced by TDP than to have a reactor.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #70
94. yep, it's a perpetuum mobile
we're saved just in time - by a miracle.

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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #94
98. Not perpetuum mobile. Just a way of harvesting solar energy.
Have you read the article, or is it that your ideology requires that TDP fail?
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #58
74. Okay. I'd wondered. n/t
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #54
64. Spent fuel has to be processed.
I'm unqualified to explain any details, but I think the answer to your question is: we can use any style of nuclear reactor we choose, to supply the heat to drive the TDP process. Which one we use depends on what particular fuel we're using. Uranium, thorium, etc.

You can read more about recycling nuclear fuel from the guy who knows what he's talking about:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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LiberallyInclined Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #51
60. the spent nuclear fuel from a pebble-bed reactor is not as dangerous-
as the spent rods from an "ordinary" reactor.
the spent pebbles can be stored onsite, with no danger of contamination.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #51
113. Right. We recycle it in places like Iraq.
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Andy_Stephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #36
49. Actually you are wrong on this point....
if you put in 100 btu's worth of say turkey guts. 15% of the resultant oil/gas is used to continue the process.

No outside energy is required.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #49
52. You have just described a system that...
produces more energy than it uses.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #52
57. No, he didn't. You did not understand.
85% + 15% = 100% Fifteen percent of the energy is consumed in the process and lost a waste heat. Eight-five percent is recovered as usable to humans.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #57
67. Correct. The point I'm making is...
that the energy we're speaking of is supplied externally. It does not come from the reactants, or the reaction product.

You cannot run this process by using some of the fuel produced, which is what the previous post was claiming.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #67
71. Yes, you can. It produces OIL. Oil is used as a fuel. NT
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #71
81. Maybe we're talking past each other.

Defining some terms might help. The energy equation looks like this:

E1 = chemical energy of inputs (turkey guts, water, etc)
EO = chemical energy of oil
EB = energy of any by-products
EW = waste heat energy

E1 + H = EO + EB + EW

Now, as I understand it, E1 < (EO + EB + EW), so there has to be some input energy, H. "H" must come from an external source. Nuclear, solar, what-have-you.

Are you saying that E1 >= (EO + EB + EW)? That the turkey guts contains more energy than the oil it produces? I don't think that's the case, although I suppose it's possible.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #81
86. Have you even read the article?
Here is a link to the article in Discover magazine. Maybe you will understand their explaination. I can see the error you are making and have tried to explain it to you, but you don't seem to understand.


Begin with the sun. Plants store solar energy. The process extracts the solar energy that is contained in biomass.

They are using turkeys for now because it is convenient.

Please read the article if you have not done so.


http://www.changingworldtech.com./index.asp

http://forums.biodieselnow.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=829

The second link is to a site that has the article. The Discover site requires a subscription.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #86
117. Yes, last year. However, I re-read it.
Apparently, it's true that E1 = (EO + EB + EW). You really could drive the process using a portion of the product.

Even utilizing our entire waste stream, can we generate the equivalent of the 20 million barrels of oil that we use each day?
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #117
138. I am not qualified to answer that.
The article says that we can replace all the oil we import. There is lots of land that the gov't is paying for farmers NOT to grow anything. The natural growth of that land could be harvested.

As another poster said, we would probably still need to use other energy sources and to conserve too. TDP may not be the entire solution, but it would sure be a lot of it.

He is something another DUer posted about getting the US off of oil dependency:

http://www.spacedaily.com/news/energy-tech-04zzk.html

Sounds interesting, but not enough info to sink your teeth into.
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Poor Richard Lex Donating Member (256 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #81
116. no - E1 = (EO + EB + EW)
further, EO is 85% of E1, which is pretty efficient. Also I think that this process works with any organic/carbon molecule.
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suziedemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #81
133. TDP Produces OIL + Fuel-gas + solid Carbon + Minerals + Water!!
Some of the Fuel Gas is used to support the TDP process.

So if I break down some Turkey Guts - I'll get oil, fuel gas, solid carbon and minerals.

Some of the output fuel-gas will be used to supply the energy for the TDP of my next batch of Turkey Guts, For the Very First Batch - I'll need energy - but after that I'll use some of the fuel-gas from the previous batch to fuel the next process. Read about it. People seem to be dissing it without taking the time to understand it or read about it.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #133
139. I think lots of people don't want TDP to succeed.
There seems to be some folks that want Peak Oil, or some other catastrophe to destroy all industrial culture and force humanity back into a hunter-gatherer life. I guess they imagine that we would all sit around peacefully in lotus positions and be one with nature.
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suziedemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-05 06:21 AM
Response to Reply #139
144. I think you are right!
I thought the Democratic Party was the party of Hope and Change; but a lot of people here seem so pessimistic. I agree that the Bush admin is REALLY making a mess of things - but we can't just give up all hope.

I noticed your posts SilverHair and you had some great ones!
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-05 07:59 AM
Response to Reply #139
147. I know no such people
but if that's what they're thinking, boy, are they in for a rude shock.

If some catastrophe destroys all industrial societies, the social breakdown that follows will be terrible--fighting desperately for the necessities of life, etc. "Dog eat dog" doesn't begin to describe it.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-05 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #147
148. I said that because...
some people continue to come up with objections after each objection is shot down. And many of their objections require them to severly distort what TDP is and does. After a while one begins to wonder if they are really that dense, or if they hope society will collapse and are afraid that TDP will save societies day and ruin theirs.

You are right about what a hell that would be. They would be in for a life changing shock. They would become disabstractified in a real hurry, or die. That is a word I have stolen from this issue of Discover magazine. It was made up by and autistic woman to explain a problem with much of modern thinking. Basically and abstratified person is what has been called, "Living in an ivory tower.", not connected with the real world.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #49
53. So, there's *no* net 'loss' of energy? n/t
85% usable output, with the remaining 15% used to continue the process?

What's the catch? And let me say, as I currently understand TDP, this may well be true, or close to it.... but still.... if it sounds too good to be true, etc.

Is this really a potential 'rebirth' for all our consumer/industrial wastes? Or am I sniffing gas fumes over here?
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suziedemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #53
134. There ARE problems. 1) It stinks. 2) Animals guts aren't free in U.S.
The current plant in Carthage has a lot of complaints from the residents about the smell.

They thought because of mad-cow - the U.S. would make it illegal "recycle" dead cows into feed for cows, etc. That way - there would be no use for these left-overs from the slaughter houses - and they would be free inputs to TDP. Well - guess what - the U.S. government evidentially doesn't care about mad cow and that practice is still legal. This means the TDP people have to pay for the dead-animal parts and that drives up the cost of the oil. Also - each plant is a pretty expensive investment.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #134
140. Not terribly expensive to build the plants.
They are basically refineries. The one in Carthage cost $30M. Once others start to be build, the lesson learned from Carthage will be applied and costs of new plants should come down some.

Thanks for your help in explaining how the energy flow in TDP works.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #49
56. You're talking about producing more energy than goes in
That's not possible. Energy will be lost to the environment along the way, so what you get out will inevitably be less, not more. It will be pointless to try and recycle that energy back into the process because it won't make up for the lost energy.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #56
61. You are forgetting where the plants get their energy from.
Plants get their energy from the sun. You harvest the biomass and process it, losing 15% of the contained energy in the TDP process. But the ORIGINAL SOURCE of the energy is recent solar.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #61
82. Now I understand, but...
Even if thermal depolymerization is utilized, we simply only have a limited amount of arable land that could be converted to biomass production. The best answer is to use as many different sources of energy as possible in addition to reducing energy consumption. Reduction of energy consumption will prove as important if not more so. Current levels of consumption are not sustainable by our planet.
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Andy_Stephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #82
85. The thing about the system is
ANYTHING will work...old plaastic...foam...turkey guts...grass clippings...anything.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #85
90. Even so, it doesn't negate the common sense to reduce consumption
We cannot live like this at our grossly exhorbitant consumption rate.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #90
93. Agreed. NT
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #82
87. Yes, we need to be looking at multiple sources.
I have no problem with that.
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suziedemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #36
132. One of the outputs of TDP is fuel-gas - which they use as fuel for TDP
With some left over I think. I don't think it requires another energy source.
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Frederik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Combined with conservation measures
and alternative energy sources, it's interesting.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
28. No. TDP helps with global warming.
Fossil fuels put NEW carbon into the atmosphere, thereby raising the total amount of CO2. TDP recycles carbon that the plants have taken out of the air, so it does not put new CO2 in the air. No increase in CO2.
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BillyDoc Donating Member (115 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
127. Wrong!
Most of the candidate hydrocarbons for Thermal depolymerization were created by photosynthesis recently. Burning hydrocarbons produced with nearly CURRENT sunlight merely re-releases the CO2 etc. that was previously sequestered a few months or years ago. This is very different from releasing the sequestered materials from ANCIENT sunlight, i.e. burning fossil fuels. When you do the latter you are releasing the "effect" of that ancient sunlight in modern times . . . and greatly disturbing the current ecological balance!
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webDude Donating Member (830 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. maybe not as bad as...
If I remember from my readings:

1) it would be using, sometimes literally, "crap" that would be disposed of by less than pristine ways, it could use renewable items, such as humans(soylent green!), animals, and even such things as hemp, weeds, wood, such things that actually take CO2 out of the air, so it would be environmentally NEUTRAL. No, I am not advocating using humans, or even human parts, except feces.

2) This is potentially more important, it could be DE-CENTRALIZED, i.e., truly small businesses could do this. This, if properly done, could break done the control large corporations have upon consumers.

3) This form of oil tends to be much "cleaner" than petroleum based products. Think of it akin to running diesel engines on used cooking oil, although a bit dirtier.

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suziedemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
130. I thought the TDP oil was cleaner since solid carbon is a separate output.
TDP doesn't just create oil, the outputs besides water in the current plant are: 75% oil, 15% fuel-gas and 10% solid carbon and minerals by mass. The solid carbon and minerals are also valuable products - the minerals are used as fertilizer - the carbon can be used as toner, etc.. Some of the fuel-gas is used to run the system. I think this process is not given enough attention.

From: http://www.changingworldtech.com/information_center/faq...

Does this oil meet petroleum standards?
Yes. And since the oil is the same species found in petroleum-derived fuels, there are no solubility problems typical of bio-diesel or other alternative fuels. The TCP process transforms animal and vegetable fats into hydrocarbons that have 20 or fewer carbon atoms. This results in a more complete combustion, reducing particulate emissions, thereby mitigating air pollution potential.

Here is a good article: http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/18/18953/1.htm
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
2. Wow! That sounds like the perfect solution. Wonder how cheap
oil would become if we suddenly didn't need it? Are you feeling better?
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
14. Supposedly It's $85 a Barrel Now
$15 of which is the material. That should come down in the future, but we don't know when it will dip below the price of oil.

Good target for government subsidies -- much better than "gasohol".
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
30. Changing World Technology says they can produce TDP oil for $15/ barrel.
CWT is the company that owns the patents.
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
6. this technology has been discussed many times at DU
the most interesting thing to me is the involvement of James Woolsey, the creepiest of the creepy neocons.
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Andy_Stephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. Ah cocoa as usual
a ray of sunshie to brighten my day.
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. isn't Woolsey's involvement interesting to you?
PNAC signatory, and former CIA Director James Woolsey? And isn't it interesting he's serving as "military advisor?" Military advisor?

http://www.changingworldtech.com/who/corporateadvisors....

R. James Woolsey - Military Advisor

R. James Woolsey is a former director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and currently a Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton, an international management consulting firm, which he joined in 2002. Mr. Woolsey heads a team within Booz Allen's Global Strategic Security practice that helps companies protect themselves from potential threats and vulnerabilities. Before joining Booz Allen, Mr. Woolsey enjoyed a distinguished career in both public service and private legal practice. His career in government service has included high-level positions in two Republican and two Democratic administrations. In addition to serving as Director of Central Intelligence, he served as Ambassador to the Negotiation on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), Under Secretary of the Navy, General Counsel to the US Senate Committee on Armed Services, and Delegate at Large to the US-Soviet Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START). He has been a member of numerous defense and security related commissions including the Rumsfeld Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the US, and the National Commission on Terrorism. In the private sector he practiced law for 22 years as a Partner in the law firm of Shea & Gardner in Washington, D.C.

In September 2002, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta named Woolsey Chief Advisor to the newly created FDNY Terrorism Preparedness Taskforce. The Taskforce examines and evaluates the FDNY's terrorism preparedness capabilities. In 2003, Consulting Magazine named James Woolsey to its annual list of top 25 consultants in the United States. Mr. Woolsey received his B.A. degree from Stanford University, Phi Beta Kappa (With Great Distinction); an M.A. from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar; and an LL.B. from Yale Law School, where he was Managing Editor of the Yale Law Journal.
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Andy_Stephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Yes his involvement is eyebrow raising...to say the least
But lets not throw out the baby with the bath water here.

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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #22
34. I'd tend to agree.
This is an idea whose time has come. While the involvement of Certain Parties in this idea/process is indeed something that ought to be scrutinized, at this point, I think it may be one of the best solutions to the looming energy crisis we have.

Reducing or eliminating the net increase of CO2 et al in the atmosphere can be nothing but a good thing.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #19
91. Hitler's Germany invented several things that we use today.
Just because he had a connection with some things, does not automatically make them evil.
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #91
97. and you'll notice
that I never said anything like that.

One thing for sure, the involvement of an ex-CIA director, and a PNAC signatory, should be part of any discussion of Changing World Technologies.

Also the fact, posted below, that Dick Cheney's secret, energy-industry-controlled task force decided to bestow this company with $95 million of our tax dollars.

That fact should also be part of any discussion of this company, no question. Especially on DU.

"automatically evil"? Give me a fucking break.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #97
99. I am talking about the process itself.
Very little of my posts have been about the companies involved or about the politics.

Science is beyond politics. I don't care who is involved. The only relevant question is: "Does it actually work?"
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bunny planet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #6
118. It is interesting that he should be involved. Kind of makes me give more
credence to the technology, not less though. Woolsey drives a Prius, and has been vocal lately about conservation, alternative fuels, cutting back on our dependence on imported oil etc. He is a neo-con, most def, but that puts him in a unique position to know just how truly desparate the real situation with oil depletion and imminence of PO is in the world. He's a creep for sure, but he's a creep who knows the truth, which is more than the rest of us have been told.
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Discord Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
7. I'm still undecided on this.
I have read a couple conflicting reports on this. Nothing to date that clarifies it enough for me to make a opinion on.

I guess, not being a scientist and dubious about the motives behind differing opinions, its hard to really understand the real impacts overall.

Seems on the surface to be a good idea, but lacks the details I can understand about long-term impact.
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Options Remain Donating Member (475 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. lets empty our land fills into it.
nt
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Discord Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. sure. thats ONE of the pro's for it.
but I've read the list of possible Con's to it as well.

Need to learn the long term impact and the dangers with the refining process before I would indorse it. Suggest you do the same.
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Andy_Stephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. There is a great article in
Discover magazine.
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Discord Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. cool. thanks for the info.
:toast:
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #17
43. That article is very informative, BTW
I don't know what the possible drawbacks could be, as we'd be a) recycling at a mad rate and b) emptying the landfills and c) able to use almost anything dead or produced by us as materials for the process.

Big Agriculture should be on top of this as well, given that they could use carcasses and plant/animal waste as raw materials. It would be a most environmentally sound solution for any number of reasons.

Fuel, by the way, is not the only possible product. As I understand the TDP process (and I hesitate to say what I'm about to)... this is like spinning straw into black gold. I do mean that literally.
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bunny planet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #16
119. I read it Andy. It certainly seems encouraging, especially considering
that PO is probably here now. The article (written and published in 2003) mentions that there will be TDP plants up and running in 2005 and by then we may know more about their potential as a solution. Any word on whether or not those plants are up and running and actually working. Has anyone used any of the oil produced as yet to heat or power anything of consequence. Looks like I've got some googling to do.

Thanks for posting this though. It is nice to read about something potentially promising to solve our overwhelming energy problems.

How are you feeling btw?
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
11. Is that part of energy independence?
...Bush has no policy or plan for that.
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BigBearJohn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
13. OMG - a positive solution! We need more of this on DU. Thanks Andy!!!
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
20. It's already under attack
The TDP that was up and running on waste from a Butterball plant has run into increasing costs from Butterball because they've been offered more money to use the waste products as animal feed.

It seems to me that Big Oil is allied with Big Agriculture and out to stop this before it gets started.

I would sincerely love to see TDP set up near a full landfill in the northeast, preferably NYC, where their landfills are all full and they've had to ship their waste to the third world because of it.

Of course, that would make so much sense that Big Oil wouldn't be able to stop it.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #20
33. Big Agriculture is for TDP.
CWT is partnered with Con-Agra. Big agriculture sees huge profits if agrigultural waste can be turned into oil. Imagine the profits for agriculture if we could get all of our oil from this process. Big agriculture isn't stupid.

Right now, the TDP oil is still being tested. They are doing some tests on the long term effect of the oil on engines and on bearings, seals, and the like. They don't want to market it and then get sued if it messes up engines.
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slor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #20
35. How about using it near a sewage plant too...
instead of letting all that shit go into the water.
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satya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 05:01 AM
Response to Reply #35
111. Exactly! Philadelphia was supposed to try this, don't know if they have.
The City of Philadelphia currently turns a lot of its sewage sludge into landfill. (All together now: Eww.) But working with Changing World, the city is planning a TDP project to divert that sludge and whatever pathogens are living in it away from the land and into oil. Local power companies can then turn the oil into electricity. Win, win, win.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/andrewkantor/200...
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #20
38. From what I understood about Big Oil's initial reaction,
they were all over it like smell on shit because a TDP plant could be easily fitted into their current refineries. It was no big deal, technically, for them to do so.

If they're now taking this new direction, they've been bought.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #38
63. Big Oil will have to wait for the patents to expire.
Or form some sort of arrangement with Con-Agra. In the long term, this would mean more profits for big oil. No need to build billion dollar oil platforms.
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slaveplanet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #20
114. Yes, you are exactly right
We are in a virtual death match to get access to this technology before the evil ones stifle it's advancement and keep it from the unwashed masses. We are in a race to weasle out from under their grip, and they are in a race to get their electronic straight jacket in place so they can have their way with us forever. Much of this is behind the recent oil pricing...not Peak oil, which is just their favorite ruse du jour.
And it is the reason why Darpa has invested in companies like this http://www.hindu.com/seta/2005/02/03/stories/2005020300...

It is to keep it for themselves(suppression) , not deliver it to you, on a silver platter
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Squeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
21. I say
the same thing I say every time this topic comes up: how come there aren't any new citations about it? The latest article anybody posts about Changing World is dated 2003, when their turkey offal reactor was just about to go on line. How's it been working? When are they gonna build a plant in my neighborhood?

Regarding the energy requirements of the system, it actually fuels itself. The "natural gas" component-- light hydrocarbons-- turn out to be uneconomical to package as a product, so instead the process just lets them bubble out of solution, captures them and burns them to provide heat to power the reaction. Heat is in fact the best way to take care of the most common organic toxins, such as dioxins.

My big concern is, how do they safeguard against contamination by heavy metals?
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Discord Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. exactly. it has been very hard to find any accurate and
reliable data.
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Andy_Stephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Well everything that comes out at the end
is reusable. In the Discover Magazine article (which I am having a hell of a time finding) it states that there is no toxic wastes at the end and that the water the system produces goes straight into the municipal water systems.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #24
37. Links for the articles that you want:
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #24
44. Point: that water is pure, as I understand the process. n/t
Edited on Wed Apr-06-05 02:08 PM by kgfnally
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Strelnikov_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. Agree. I Hope It Pans Out. I Really Do. But . .
this appears to be a proprietary process, with the claims and performance data coming from the company, not exactly an independent voice.

If this was the product of a research University, that was now being tested for feasibility/scalability, I would have a lot more faith in the claims.

Back in the early 90's, when I was working in water treatment, I experienced numerous instances were a manufacturers claims for a process were not borne out in the real world. We even had a few instances where designs were being explored for EPA funded 'innovative technology' projects. When we would follow up on the status/performance of the pilot plant the EPA funded reports/research were based on, we discovered that the processes had failed and were being replaced.

That said, even if the system only breaks even from an energy standpoint (EROEI=1) it is still attractive as an energy carrier technology using recycled materials.

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Squeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. I couldn't agree more
You've hit it exactly. The literature I've seen on Changing World is press release type, not peer review type.

As a profit-making enterprise it's legitimate of them to treat their process as a trade secret, however unfortunate that may be as social policy. But this is exactly the sort of thing the National Institute of Science should be working with, and DOE should help. Energy isn't even the point; cleaning up our messes is essential. Every livestock breeder and meatpacker in the world needs this to succeed.
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mattclearing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #21
96. Perhaps it is being sat on until the current oil economy is milked dry.
Any Peak Oil armageddon proponents have any thoughts on this?
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #96
101. Take off the tinfoil hat.
If they waited as long as you are suggesting, they will have waited too late. It takes some time to build the plants. Even more time to create a whole new infastructure. They are working on it NOW.

The first commercial plant is operational in Carthage, MO. The product is being long term tested in engines to see if there are any adverse effects. A larger plant is in pre-engineering stage for somewhere in Colorado.

ConAgra is spending a lot of money to develop this.
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mattclearing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 07:22 AM
Response to Reply #101
112. Nothing tinfoil about milking current technology.
It's standard business practice in electronics.
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Squeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #96
103. Yeah, that works
Except for the little problem that you can't roll out a radically new technology in quantities sufficient to take care of the entire country by the end of the current quarter.

Not that I am a peak oil proponent, but I can't imagine what Smirky and his board of directors are waiting for: they're oil men, *and* they're heads of state of the last superpower in the world, and they have all the access to all the best intelligence in the world-- and they still seem to think that ANWR will bring down the price of gas. That's not even ideology, that's fantasy, on a scale measured in hecTolkeins or kilOwlseys.

Of course, their second most obvious trait is secretiveness, so it's possible they've got TDP plants under construction on military bases, or inside the tanks of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But if they were doing that, I'd like to be able to do my patriotic duty by separating the organics from the dead batteries in my own waste stream.

I'm reminded of a cartoon in the Boston alternative paper, a generation ago: guy in a suit, holding an apple core, saying "This isn't ecology any more, it's BUSINESS! Wanna see some of our samples?"
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suziedemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #21
136. Here's an article from Yesterday - two more from 1/2005 & 12/2004
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
27. From anything, but not for free.
How much energy does it cost to produce a barrel of oil by means of TDP? Where are we going to get that energy when oil is running out?
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LiberallyInclined Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. think nuke-u-lar.
nuclear energy could be used- and if it was a pebble-bed reactor, it would be entirely safe.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #31
40. how many new nuclear power plants would we need to produce
80 million barrels of oil
per day? (and ever increasing)

when can we have those build, and how quickly will it make us run out of uranium?
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LiberallyInclined Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #40
47. the technology will NEVER produce that much oil-
it's not intended to.
unless they can find a dirt-cheap way of breaking water down to get the hydrogen and oxygen out, there isn't going to be any one single solution to the energy problem. TDP can be one component, hemp oil could also be a part of the solution...and solar...and wind...etc.etc. etc.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #47
55. Hemp oil would be more expensive than TDP.
TDP uses the entire plant, not just a part of it.

The Discover article says that current agricultural waste would be enough to replace ALL of our oil imports. Add in biomass dedicated for TDP from the start, and you are there. No fossil oil needed.
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LiberallyInclined Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #55
62. is there a link to the discover article you refer to?
it sounds like it could be an interesting read.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #62
65. Yes. I posted it above, but here it is again:
http://www.changingworldtech.com./index.asp

http://forums.biodieselnow.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=829

The second link is to a site that has the article. The Discover site requires a subscription.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #27
41. The TDP energy comes from the sun.
Plants turn solar energy into biomass. NO, you don't need to do conventional farming for TDP designated crops. You can raise weeds very easily and use them just fine for TDP. 15% of the biomass energy is used up in the process.

So you don't need to put in any energy from fossil fuels or from nuclear.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #41
59. All energy comes from the sun.
But that doesn't mean we don't have a problem.

Turkeys eat corn, corn doesn't grow on energy directly from the sun alone; it needs fertilizer, made in part from carbon-hydrates (in this case specifically natural gas).

How are we going to grow the corn to feed the turkeys if were're running out of carbon-hydrates?

How many Turkeys do you need to produce a barrel of oil? (taking into account that we in fact eat most of the turkey).

energy > turkeys > energy
sounds nice, but i think we all realize it won't be at 100% efficiency.

Oil was virtually for free; an energy-rich liquid burried in the ground for us to recover. That ment energy almost for free, for as long as it lasted. Energy from TDP is far from free, unless you'd have it run on energy from renewable sources (solar, wind, water etc). If we can do that on a large scale, then that's the solution to the problem of running out of oil. Many processes that require energy can run on electricity directly. TDP may yet have a place there, for those cases where carbon-hydrates are a more convenient way to store energy.

But TDP cannot replace oil as a *source* of energy, since it needs a source of energy to operate.

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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #59
68. TDP uses more than just turkeys.
It uses ANY biomass. Sewage works in it too. You can shove grass clippings from you lawn into it.

You DON'T need fertilizer to raise weeds, and weeks work just fine int TDP. Nor do you need to cultivate, plow, plant, use pesticides, and all of that stuff for weeds. Just sit back and let nature grow them - then run a harvester over the land from time to time.

The things about farming that are done now are to raise food crops.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #68
76. We do need fertilizer to grow food - *at the scale that we do*
We do grow food at the scale that we do because we "need" that much of it. We do consume 80 million barrels of oil every day because we "need" that much (and needing ever more).

I know TDP can take any biomass, Cheney's favorite example of input is a human being.
But TDP is not an energy source, while natural oil and gas is. DTP needs energy to run, energy that we need to put into it, unlike what's the case with natural oil.

We need a source of energy, not just a source of (synthetic) oil, to replace the natural oil that we're running out of.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #76
84. The energy source is the sun.
You do know that plants get their energy from the sun, don't you?
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #84
92. You know plants need fertilizer don't you?
for us to be able to grow them on the scale that we do.

Plants need energy *and* building materials.
The ground on which we grow plants has long since been depleted of minerals, so we have to add those ourselves. Natural gas provides a main component for that.

Do you think western aggreculture doesn't use huge amounts artificial fertilizer? Or that the production volume doesn't depend on that?
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #92
95. Weeds don't.
Fertilizer is needed only to change the soil chemistry to something more favorable to the crop that you want to grow. Growing crops for human food is energy intensive and fertilizer intensive.

But weeds thrive on tender loving neglect. You don't need to fertilize weeds. You don't need to prepare the soil. You don't need to plant them. You don't need pesticides either. The insects that are on the plants will be part of the biomass.

Allow the land to lie fallow, and every so often run a harvester over it to clip whatever nature puts up. Nature will put out a variety of plants too, unlike human single species food crop farming. Keep the harvester set a couple of feet above the ground so that much of the plant is left for the soil and for new growth.

OK, and your next objection is?
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bunny planet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #92
125. You do know that organic farmers grow crops without fertilizer don't you.
Bio-intensive farming replenishes the minerals depleted from the soil. There's someone in my town who has a garden of Eden in her backyard, feeds a family of 6 and has for 25 years, she only uses grass clippings and leaves as mulch and fertilizer.
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #41
129. Yes but even weeds are pretty inefficient
at converting sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to fuel. How about using artificial photosynthesis
to eliminate some of the waste and inefficiencies?
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #129
142. Keep up the research. That may yield something too. NT
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Andy_Stephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #27
45. Well it was explained this way
you put in 100 BTU's of say turkey offal.

15% of the BTU's go to continuing the process...the rest 85% comes out as energy to use.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #45
72. perpetuum mobile
15% of input BTU to power the process: that means that 15% is useful output.
85% as energy to use: also useful output.

that's a total of 100% useful output.
100 units in, 100 units out; no loss. impossible.

It may well be that part of the output is used to power the plant, but that cannot be the only energy needed to power the process.

Natural oil (gas, coal) is a source of energy, in effect it is stored solar energy. Charged batteries for us to find and use, someone else (the sun) charged them for us - no worry to us.
TDP can create oil, but it costs energy so it is not an energy source by itself. Now we are charging the batteries, so now the energy needed to charge them *is* a worry to us.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #72
73. No, the 15% is LOST unrecoverable energy.
85% is recoverable and usable for humans. The 15% consumed in the process is eventually lost to the enviornment as heat.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #73
80. You can't both lose it and use it to power the process.
Energy used to power the process is not lost as heat; it is used to (in this case) rip molucules apart and but them together differently.

It's like the % of energy stored in the gas in the tank of your car that is used to actually make your car move - it is the rest of the energy that's lost as heat, noise and vibration. The lost energy plus the kenetic energy created by the engine add up to 100% of what's stored in the gas.

And reversly: energy that's lost as heat is not used to power any process. lost energy results from the fact that the entire process is not 100% efficient - no process is.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #80
83. All energy is ultimately lost.
The 15% figure is the total of lost to inefficiencies, and used to power the process.

Have you even read the article in Discover? I consider them to be a highly reliable scientific magazine. Also Scientific American has had an article on it.

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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #83
100. I see
Good that we have that cleared up. My bad i guess.
So, 15% of the input is used to power the machine, and some part of that 15% is (inevitably) lost, most of it probably as heat.

As i understand it, it's kind of like an oven, where in burning fuel, the 'exhaust product' is an energy-rich substance, not just ashes. It uses say, 10 units of input to create enough energy (much of it heat, i gather) to convert 85 units of input in useless form - useless from a petrochemical point of view - (turkeys, wheat, people) to 85 units of useful stuff (oil, pure carbon). Very little energy would be lost as heat. Still sounds pretty miraculous to me.

I still find it highly implausible that as you put it elsewhere "the machine creates its own energy".

Also it doesn't solve other issues such as the fact that the more energy-rich the input, the more energy we have presumably put into it in the first place, thus making it as energy-rich as it is. Doesn't just take sunlight, it also takes synthetic fertilizer (uses natural gas), feeding, harvesting, transportation, processing. All that uses a lot of energy, and supposedly the machine is going to provide for all of that. 80 million barrels a day and rising.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #100
102. Why would you fertilize weeds?
Fertilizer is only needed if you are trying to change the soil chemistry. All soils have plants that already evolved to do well in that soil type. Further, standard farming is only needed if you are growing a food crop.

From food crop you would be able to use the part of the plant that humans don't need for something else. In those cases you are already spending the farming to grow a food crop and the TCP is merely using waste.

If you are designating a field for TDP from the start, then you allow nature to grow what it will. That eliminates most of the steps of farming. You merely harvest biomass.

If I said, "Creates it's own energy" then that was bad grammar.
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-05 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #102
151. to get massive quantities of it,
which we'd presumably need if we want to produce 80 millions barrels per day of TDP oil.

"Creates it's own energy" is more then bad grammar: it's illogical.

Anyway, this post:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
confirms my suspicion that TDP needs much more energy then just what 15% of its input material could provide.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-05 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #151
152. Your objection was covered in the original article.
TDP, as chemistry, was discovered a long time ago. The problem then was the one that the poster stated. But the CWT method recovers and uses much of the lost energy to preheat the incoming slurry.

Still no need to fertilize weeds. You don't seem to understand the role that fertilizers play. There are many different types of fertilizers. They must be mated to the soil chemistry of the field and to the type of plant that you are trying to grow. The fertilizer changes the soil chemistry to the type that the plant grows best in. I use the word "weeds" to describe any plant that has already evolved to grow wild in a soil type without human aid. It is already suited to the soil and needs no fertilizer.

To get more weeds, it would be cheaper to simply run the harvester over a second fallow field, than to try to increase the weed yield of a particular field.

You seem to search for objections to TDP, and all of the ones you have come up with have been based on bad information. When I see that repeadedly, I suspect an agenda instead of genuine research.

Do you desire for TDP to be a failure?
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amandabeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
39. From what I've seen on DU and other sites,
the process at the turkey plant works well. However, when the plant was built, it was assumed that making animal feed from the use of inedible (for us) parts of the turkey would be prohibited as a method of getting rid of "mad cow." If that had been the case, then the turkey remains would be worth much less in the rendering process, which is where the animal feed is produced. Now that animal carcasses can still be used to make feed, the inputs to the TDP process are much more expensive.

However, the latest word is the CWT is talking with Europeans, where much more strict rules apply for using animal remains to make animal feed after the big "mad cow" or BSE scare in Britain, and the disposal of animal carcasses has become a real problem.

If people here get very upset about "mad cow," TDP for cattle and other ungulates that contract similar diseases, like sheep, goats and deer, would become much more profitable because the alternative disposable mechanism, rendering, would become much less profitable absent the ability to sell the resulting animal feed.

Frankly, since turkey and other poultry do not contract mad cow, I would have expected that their remains, perhaps along with those of hogs, would have high value in the rendering industry because the high-protein animal feed produced would not contain the prions causing "mad cow" and the horrible human variant. Thus it would be safe to feed to pets and cattle.

Nonetheless, I think that TDP has a future as a good method for recycling wastes. One thing that it can do is recycle all different kinds of plastics, as well as PVC and styrofoam, into usable oil. How much plastic we are now discarding every day and how much has accumulated in landfills. I know I've done my part with plastic wrap, yogurt containers and pantyhose over the years.



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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #39
50. that last is part of why Big Ag seems to be against it
per another poster on this thread. They know it can use other things as well, so they want it shut down, else they get pressured to use the carcasses that way rather than as feed, which they see as being more profitable.

It all goes round and round in a water drain spiral toward the black hole of the Almighty Dollar. Sick, huh?
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #50
69. Big Ag doesn't get much bigger than ConAgra
and ConAgra is on board with developing this technology.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #69
77. Contradicting something above.
Lots of misleading claims on the connections/opponents.... hmm.
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #77
79. I'm not following you
can you rephrase your point less cryptically?
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
42. Barking up the wrong tree (the answer to peak oil is in the Bible)...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7404743 /

Texas oilman seeks gusher from God in Israel
:crazy:Zion Oil & Gas founder using Bible to find oil :crazy:

Updated: 10:07 a.m. ET April 6, 2005

KIBBUTZ MAANIT, Israel - A Texas oilman is using his Bible as a guide to finding oil in the Holy Land.

John Brown, a born-again Christian and founder of Zion Oil & Gas of Dallas, can quote chapter and verse about his latest drilling venture in Israel, where his company has an oil and gas exploration license covering 96,000 acres.

Most blessed of sons be Asher. Let him be favored by his brothers and let him dip his foot in oil, Brown quotes from Mosess blessing to one of the 12 Tribes of Israel in Deuteronomy 33:24.

Standing next to a 177-foot derrick at Kibbutz Maanit in northern Israel, Brown said the passage indicated there is oil lying beneath the biblical territory of the Tribe of Asher, where the agricultural community is located.

Geological surveys and an attempt by an Israeli-based company to find oil at the same site 10 years ago, a venture he said was abandoned for lack of funds, led Brown to pick the spot where new drilling will begin this week.

Brown said he raised money for Project Joseph from fellow evangelical Christians in the United States.
</snip>

:rofl:
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #42
48. the really funny part is, if you account for the TDP process we're
discussing, well.... the olives, the trees, and the oils themselves could be converted into usable energy.

So, the guy's right, but he's still barking up the wrong tree.

Right forest, though. at least he figured that out....
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
75. Cheney's energy bill provided $95 million for this technology
who here thinks that Dick Cheney and his oil buddies, meeting in secret, would support a truly effective alternative energy source?

More likely, imo, is that this is just pork for Cheney's PNAC pal James Woolsey and for the very Republican ConAgra.

http://www.wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org/news/alerts/docs/2...

(the Energy Bill) could hinder America's efforts to get away from its nonrenewable fossil fuel energy dependence by:

Failing to include a renewable electricity standard that would require utilities to purchase increasing amounts of power from clean renewable sources such as wind and solar. The bill, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, ignores the views of 70 percent of Americans who support such a standard.

Erecting new barriers to transporting renewable electricity from rural areas to population centers.

Largely subsidizing an industry that doesn't need it. For example, a $95 million tax credit provision goes to a giant ConAgra and Changing World Technologies agribusiness plant that turns turkey carcasses and waste into energy for a nearby Butterball processing plant.

Giving token subsidies to truly non-conventional fuels projects by including traditional oil, coal and nuclear energy as "non-conventional fuels." This distorts the appearance of the bill, because lawmakers can argue the estimated $500 million in non-conventional fuels funding will go to alternative energy projects, when actually the bulk of this funding is little more than a giveaway to special interests.
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satya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 04:33 AM
Response to Reply #75
108. That's probably just payback to ConAgra, nothing for CWT. n/t
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
78. I've long fantasized about this...
Machines chewing up landfills and turning garbage into fuel. I use this possibility to make myself feel better about throwing away so much garbage, which I can't seem to stop doing...
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #78
89. I know what you mean.
I feel somewhat shamed by the energy that I put on the curb twice a week, but I currently have no way to do anything about it.
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ryan_cats Donating Member (745 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
88. Andy, I've been swamped and haven't had time to read
What's going on with your medical problem, any good news?
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jmatthan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-05 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
104. Thermal Depolymerisation is old technology

It was first employed when Polymethylmethacrylate (Perspex, Acrylic) could be recycled back to monomer.

The really useful technology developed and shelved by ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries, England) way back in 1972 was the continuous production of alcohol from any waste material which could then be used as fuel or starting material for all polymers (rubber, plastics, adhesives, synthetic fibres) without ever having to go to the oil stage!!

What is the purpose of ever going to polluting oil?

Jacob Matthan (retired Polymer Technologist)
http://jmpolitics.blogspot.com
Oulu, Finland
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satya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 04:21 AM
Response to Reply #104
105. Known as Kompogas? n/t
Edited on Thu Apr-07-05 04:23 AM by satya
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satya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 04:25 AM
Response to Original message
106. Fertilizer; Kompogas; Switzerland, Germany, Austria; kills mad cow prions
(in response to several posts above)

(Silverhair, I'll go back and read some of your older posts; I looked for posts about Kompogas before, but not TDP--sounds like you've been as interested in this as I have been)

Kills mad cow prions, according to Kantor's 1/22/2004 article in USAToday (Sorry, my old link is dead).

Kompogas got its start in Zurich, Switzerland in the late 1980s, when inventor Walter Schmid conducted some experiments on his balcony at home. His test fermenter convinced him it would be possible to turn organic wastes (a third of the household garbage stream) into fuel and compost. The first trial plant was set up in Rumlang in 1991, and from there the concept has spread to Germany (which plans to ban landfull disposal of untreated solid waste by 2005) and Austria.

“Kompogas is like an ox,” says Schmid. “It eats, which gives it the energy it needs to power the cart. Any surplus is used as fertilizer for the fields.”

Though it works in close collaboration with municipalities, Kompogas is a profit-making business. The certified organic compost, made from food waste collected from homes, restaurants and supermarkets (and even the local McDonald’s), is a commercial product now appearing on gardens all over Europe. The company also sells the electricity it produces. Participating cities and towns also produce a revenue stream, by paying Kompogas a fee to take bio-waste to the five plants in the greater Zurich area.

Kompogas, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide (CO2), can be burned in a gas motor to generate electricity, or (with the CO@ removed) used to power cars and trucks (including 1,200 in the Zurich area). It produces 80 percent less smog-forming chemicals than standard gasoline. Wastewater from the process goes into aquaculture projects and liquid fertilizer.

more
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satya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 04:26 AM
Response to Original message
107. I emailed Gov. Gregoire's office about this last month, in the hopes that
they would look into using this technology here.
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TorchTheWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 04:42 AM
Response to Original message
109. I remember reading about this
in Discover magazine a couple of years ago. I found a reprint of the original article here:

http://www.mindfully.org/Energy/2003/Anything-Into-Oil1...

Very informative with cool photos and explanations. Interesting reading.

Actually, I think one of my first posts here was about this subject.
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satya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 04:57 AM
Response to Original message
110. Found link; destroys mad cow prions and breaks down dioxins and PCBs
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/andrewkantor/200...

That's where TDP comes in. As Changing World's Appel puts it, "The prion has achieved mythical status of being indestructible." But it's not. TDP destroys prions.

So instead of burning and burying potentially infected cows, run them through a TDP system. No prions. Instead of "destroying" brain tissue (infected or not), run it through a TDP system. No chance of prions. According to Appel, TDP can effectively "divert these proteins away from the food chain so that issues brought by cannibalism can be ended." Nothing survives: "We destroy all pathological vectors." (Want to bet that the Department of Homeland Security is interested, too?)

But wait. There's more.

Dioxins and PCBs are two particularly nasty kinds of chemical. Right now, we don't really dispose of what we make; we burn or bury it, which means it ends up forgotten but not gone. More specifically, it ends up in the grass and water, and thus back in the food chain. Remember reading about how many PCBs were in farm-raised salmon? Or that the carcass of Keiko the killer whale — better known as Willy of Free Willy fame —has so many PCBs in it, it poses an environmental threat ? PCBs and dioxins are bad news.

But thermal depolymerization is good news. It breaks down industrial and medical wastes and poisons. So instead of burning that stuff and introducing nasties like PCBs and dioxins into the environment, you can run them through a TDP system where they get broken down into their components, which include — lest we forget — oil. As Appel says, "Let's divert this nasty material away from the food chain. It's that simple."



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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
115. In Theory, This Works.
Would need a huge supply of hydrogen though, since the preponderance of polymers are unsaturated organics. (PVC, Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Aramid, Orlon, Nylon, Neoprene, TEP, etc. etc. etc.)

The energy needed to decompose the polymers, without combusting, will be huge. This idea is well-founded in chemistry, but it sure would take a lot of energy. The net energy balance would be substantially negative. For one thing, the energy that went into making the polymers is already spent. Then, the recovery of those polymers would take energy. Then, the TDP process would be energy intensive.

It is a way to make relatively simple carbon chain compounds from waste products, which could then be fully refined into fuel, but it would be expensive, time consuming and energy intensive.
The Professor
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satya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #115
121. Been done for years in Europe, & it's profitable.The rest of the world can
just sit back and watch the U.S. become a third-world country because our so-called energy policy was written by the oil cartel.

http://www.icehouse.net/pjals/handful/0404/ar8.html
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #121
122. This Proposal Is More Chemically Involved
That's mostly boiler fuel in that reference, no? Electrical energy, natural gas for homes, things like that. The company i work for gets energy credits for contributing to this in France and Germany. So, i know a bit, but not a lot, about their program.

However, i think this proposal involves breakdown into slightly more complex hydrocarbons for use as ambient temperature liquid fuels, like of course, gasoline, diesel or kerosene. It's not the same chemistry as what's practiced in Europe today, i think.

And, profitability always needs to be balanced against the cost of the existing route. Sort of like shale oil. If oil gets to $150/barrel, the cost of getting oil out of shale will start looking pretty attractive.

Our problem isn't just the oil cartels and biz. It's the short term thinking we've allowed to become standard. Financial thinking in the short term is understandable. Economic thought in the short term is useless. We can only see the benefit of any technology compared to what the current alternative costs.

It's not the oil people. The enemy is us.
The Professor
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satya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #122
124. I'm sure you know more about it than I do; thanks. CWT's process is
patented, so I'm sure it must differ from the European technology. It seems very promising, though, and I hope we can at least get this on the table. Whatever happened to our good ol' can-do American spirit?

And I didn't mean to disparage the entire oil industry; I realize we consume far more than our share of ALL natural resources. My anger is directed toward the "robber barons" of the industry.

Thanks for your input!

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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-05 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #121
150. that's entirely different
it's basic natural organic waste decomposition; just leave the stuff to rot and capture the methane and compost that results.
It's not TDP.
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bunny planet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
120. I read the Discover article Andy. It certainly was encouraging considering
Edited on Thu Apr-07-05 12:01 PM by bunny planet
that PO is probably here now. The article (written and published in 2003) mentions that there will be TDP plants up and running in 2005 and by then we may know more about their potential as a solution. Any word on whether or not those plants are up and running and actually working. Has anyone used any of the oil produced as yet to heat or power anything of consequence. Looks like I've got some googling to do.

Thanks for posting this though. It is nice to read about something potentially promising to solve our overwhelming energy problems.

How are you feeling btw? :hi:


sorry this post is a dupe of one upthread.
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MsTryska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
123. Fabulous! another great
energy independence solution!


and from West Hempstead even - who knew? I went to school in that area and had many friends from around there.
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bunny planet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #123
126. Who'd a thunk it, innovation on Laaaawwwng Island.
I'm from that neck of the woods originally too. :hi:
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MsTryska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #126
128. oh yeah? whereabouts?
i went to Adelphi!
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bunny planet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-05 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #128
146. Valley Stream, which had no valleys or streams.
Edited on Fri Apr-08-05 07:52 AM by bunny planet
I didn't go to school out there though, left right after I graduated High School.
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 06:03 PM
Response to Original message
131. Matt Savinar says it has a negative EROEI.
Thermal depolymerization is an intriguing solution to our landfill problems, but since most of the feedstock (such as tires and turkey guts) requires high-grade oil to make in the first place, it is more "high-tech recycling" than it is a solution to a permanent oil shortage.

snip

First, there is the problem of the technology's net energy - or more accurately, lack thereof. According to the company itself, the process has an efficiency of 85%. This means 100 units of energy go in, 85 come out. That's a negative EROEI of .85. You can't hope to replace or even supplement traditional oil's positive EROEI of 30 (or more) with a process that carries a negative EROEI.

Then there is the problem of production costs. According to a recent article in Fortune Magazine, a barrel of oil produced via the thermal depolymerization process costs $80 to produce as of January 2005. To put that figure in perspective, consider the fact that oil pulled out of the ground in Saudi Arabia costs less than $2.50 per barrel, while oil pulled out of the ground in Iraq costs only $1.00 per barrel.

This means that with spot oil prices in the $50/barrel range, a barrel of oil produced via thermal depolymerization in January 2005 would have to sell for between $1,600-$4,000 per barrel to have a return on investment comparable to oil produced from Saudi Arabia or Iraq.

more...

http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/SecondPage.html

I'm sure it will work great at local levels, but it doesn't seem like this is the miracle to save the world economy from Peak Oil. I hope he's wrong.
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trekbiker Donating Member (724 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #131
135. thanks for the link... incredible.. and depressing..
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suziedemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #131
137. The point is to use inputs to TDP that would normally be waste.
Don't raise more turkey's for TDP. But - with existing turkey's - use the unusable parts that would be garbage from the slaughter house as inputs to TDP. Or, use sewage that is waste. Don't specifically create inputs for TDP - just use our current waste.

I think TDP - along with Solar advances, Wind, more efficient hybrid cars using super efficient new batteries, and a lot of other great things - we can help wean ourselves off conventional oil.
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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #131
141. There are errors in your post.
Read the article at: http://forums.biodieselnow.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=829

You said: "...since most of the feedstock (such as tires and turkey guts) requires high-grade oil to make in the first place..." BZZZZZT !!! WRONG !!! TDP can use any biomass. NOT just old tires, turkey guts, etc. It can use weeds that can be grown on tender loving neglect.

Current costs are indeed high, as there is only one commercial sized plant in operation and it is very much an experimental plant. Projections are for TDP to be able to produce oil at $15/bbl as the technology is matured and ordinary production plants are constructed.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-05 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
143. Kick
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-05 06:52 AM
Response to Original message
145. Biomass rules!
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Domitan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-05 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
149. Thanks for the tip
Now I can be a harbinger of hopeful news instead of doom and gloom. My mates heave sighs whenever I start to discuss politics and current affairs.
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