Everybody, now - join in on the chorus!
In Carthage, Missouri a long struggle to convert umm, greasy, grimy, yadda, yadda into oil may be paying off.
The smell is a mélange of midsummer corpse with fried-liver overtones and a distinct fecal note. It comes from the worst stuff in the world—turkey slaughterhouse waste. Rotting heads, gnarled feet, slimy intestines, and lungs swollen with putrid gases have been trucked here from a local Butterball packager and dumped into an 80-foot-long hopper with a sickening glorp. In about 20 minutes, the awful mess disappears into the workings of the thermal conversion process plant in Carthage, Missouri.
Paying off for Europe, that is.
No kidding. Once again the Europeans are leading the way with their energy policy. Even though the process has been painfully developed here, the EU is the best place to make a profit.
It looks even more promising to process automobile non-metallic waste. Of which there is mucho.
"The process is brilliant," says Candace Wheeler, a GM research scientist. "There are substances of concern in shredder residue such as PCBs, and traditional incineration of chlorinated plastics can make dioxins." But, she says, the preliminary test results indicate that the hydrolysis at the heart of the thermal conversion process breaks down the PCBs and converts the chlorine into hydrochloric acid. "No PCBs. No dioxins. No emissions," says Wheeler, noting that the principal output of the process was a "light oil" that could be used at an electric power generation plant. "It looks good from all perspectives," she says. "We think it has great potential."The biofuels biz could be hijacked by lower cost feedstocks a little faster than I originally anticipated.