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04/18/2003 Archived Entry: "Thermal Depolymerization"
Posted by CKL @ 02:10 PM PST

This is so simple, it's great.

A Philadelphia company called Changing World Technologies is getting ready to start up its first industrial plant in Missouri. This plant, to be operated for ConAgra Foods, will convert just about any organic waste product (e.g., ConAgra's poultry parts) into fuel oil. How do they do it? They process the waste in a huge apparatus which generates heat and pressure high enough to break long molecular bonds-- i.e., reduce the existing polymers to short-chain petroleum hydrocarbons.

Basically, it's a big ol' honkin' pressure cooker. A pressure cooker! How cool is that?

Check out Discover magazine's Anything into Oil story or the CWT web site for more info.

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