Anything into Oil

Anything into Oil is an article in Discover magazine. I am going to be keeping a close eye on this technology. It sounds too good to be true!

The process is designed to handle almost any waste product imaginable, including turkey offal, tires, plastic bottles, harbor-dredged muck, old computers, municipal garbage, cornstalks, paper-pulp effluent, infectious medical waste, oil-refinery residues, even biological weapons such as anthrax spores. According to Appel, waste goes in one end and comes out the other as three products, all valuable and environmentally benign: high-quality oil, clean-burning gas, and purified minerals that can be used as fuels, fertilizers, or specialty chemicals for manufacturing.

If a 175-pound man fell into one end, he would come out the other end as 38 pounds of oil, 7 pounds of gas, and 7 pounds of minerals, as well as 123 pounds of sterilized water.

Just converting all the U.S. agricultural waste into oil and gas would yield the energy equivalent of 4 billion barrels of oil annually. (In 2001 the United States imported 4.2 billion barrels of oil.)

I am especially excited to see the possibility of doing something with unusable animal by-products other than recycling it into feed for other animals — that is an especially scary thing.

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