And out comes black gold. A plant in Carthage, Missouri turns turkey guts, and other kinds of filth, into oil:
The thermal conversion process can take material more plentiful and troublesome than strawÃ¢â?¬â??slaughterhouse waste, municipal sewage, old tires, mixed plastics, virtually all the wretched detritus of modern lifeÃ¢â?¬â??and make it something the world needs much more than gold: high-quality oil.
Brian Appel, the man behind it all, says “This is the first commercial biorefinery in the world that can make oil from a variety of waste streams.” As you might expect cost was a big issue. Appel underestimated costs and was overly optimistic about turning a profit. For most of the plant’s life he’s actually lost $40 per barrel. And there were other problems, like that horrendous stench:
But now, after more than $100 million in private funding and $17 million in government grants, several hurdles have tumbled. The Carthage plant has been optimized and is expected to turn a small profit. A tax credit has leveled the playing field with other renewable fuels like biodiesel and ethanol. Appel is confident that new ozone scrubbers and other equipment will abate the odors.