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TCP - Turning Waste into Oil
October 26, 2005

For those of you concerned about energy independence, you should be apprised of a development here in the United States which has the potential to forever free us from foreign oil. The key word is “potential”.

An invention has already been patented, and currently there are two facilities operating which can take any material containing carbon (which is anything which has ever lived) and transmute it into a golden oil, free of sulfur and bitumens(better known as asphaltic tars), in two short hours. Any so called “waste”, garbage, slaughter house waste, tires, wood, all manner of paper products, virtually anything and everything you look at, even sewage, can be turned into oil which may immediately be utilized as diesel fuel. The process is 85% efficient, and everything produced is environmentally benign. It produces by-products of oil, methane, black carbon, fertilizer and several other oil derivatives, ultimately discharging potable water.

The Thermal Conversion Process (TCP) uses the same forces as the earth, heat and high pressure, but does in two hours what nature takes eons to do. Some of you may have heard of TCP, most I know have not. It is a relatively late arrival on the energy scene with the first pilot production facility coming on-line only in 2002, while many other government supported systems such as ethanol, solar, wind farms, and hydrogen have been around since the 1980’s.

The largest TCP pilot production facility is located in Carthage, Missouri near a Butterball turkey plant which processes 35,000 turkeys and produces about 200 tons of waste per day. That waste is currently being processed into approximately 500 barrels of oil per day along with lesser amounts of the byproducts mentioned above. I have visited the plant in Carthage, met with the people running it and I came away convinced that Americans need to know more about the potential of this technology.

A USDA report states that nearly 264.2 million birds were processed in 2004. Carthage processes 35,000 birds per day for a total of 9.1 million birds per year. If we use the Carthage ratio of birds to oil, the 264.2 million turkeys produce over 5 million barrels of oil per year. While this amount is small compared to the more than 4 billion barrels of oil we import, keep in mind that turkey waste in no way compares to waste produced by cattle, hogs, sheep, and chickens and the untold vegetable waste produced by corn, wheat, soy beans, sugar, cotton and whatever else is grown.

Critics of this system have claimed that the process cannot produce the oil for less than eighty dollars per barrel. The actual production costs are confidential, but assuming for the sake of argument that the critics are correct, I say, “So what?” Show me another system which can eliminate waste at the same time it is producing oil, oil which can be further processed into gasoline, plastics and other derivatives that create thousands of products we use each day. For example, most Americans are not aware that it takes 90 barrels of oil to manufacture a car and we buy nearly 16 million cars per year.

Furthermore, while some of the other alternative energy systems may be able to produce electricity, none of them can produce oil and none are self-sustaining. They all require governmental subsidies, either direct and/or indirect, to survive. The TCP system, as the late arrival on the energy scene, gets no such support. These incentives are required to induce industry to construct the TCP facilities. Once on stream, the profits produced will insure that no further support is needed, and the taxes on the tide of new corporate income will more than offset the initial cost of incentives. There will also be taxable income on the wages of the thousands of new jobs generated

The best hope for an inexpensive, inexhaustible supply of oil for the United States lies not in forever deeper and more expensive drilling far out at sea or in some artic refuge, but in converting the never ending supply of above ground waste generated by an ever expanding economy into a reliable, secure source confined within our own borders. Two watchwords for our energy/oil conundrum are “independence” and “security”. Given the full implementation of this development into our economy, we could, in ten short years radically reduce our dependence on foreign oil. All of the equipment necessary to construct a facility are off-the-shelf items currently employed by the oil industry and a facility may be constructed in a year or less depending on its size. Once fully implemented, the entire process, from collection of waste to production of oil would be confined within the borders of this country and security would be insured.

For those of you who are skeptics, welcome. However, before dismissing this concept out of hand, please examine several of the attached links. This editorial is but a brief introduction to the vast potential inherent in this phenomenal invention.

When you have convinced yourself that the Thermal Conversion Process is one legitimate solution to our energy crisis, write to your representatives and senators* demanding equal support for TCP as is extended to all the other fledgling energy systems, and ask at least three of your friends to do the same. A tsunami of demands will generate attention, publicity and results.

Jacob W. Hoechst
Orlando, Florida
jhoechst@bellsouth.net
WWII vet, USMC
Retired Unemployment Insurance Consultant, New York State; current TCP enthusiast

*You can use the contact your legislator capability from this web site to create addressed word documents just by using your zip code.

Read/Post Comments (20)













Comments (20)

ChrisW from CA
10/27/2005 1:15:32 PM

Thank you Jake for informing us on the potential of TCP technology. What we need to keep in mind is that just by having a viable TCP and bio-energy program in the US that this will have a stabilizing effect on world oil prices as well as diversifying our energy base to cushion events such as hurricanes.

Steve Romer from NJ
11/3/2005 2:31:35 AM

Can I post this at a couple of blog I write at?

ChrisW from CA
11/3/2005 11:12:18 AM

Absolutely

Ned DeWitt from CA
11/4/2005 11:29:01 AM

The use of TCP is indeed a very interesting possible source of energy. The best part is its use of "waste" as fuel. Recycling is a basic governing principle in every sustainable ecosystem. The more our industries move towards incorporating this dynamic the sooner we will reach a sustainable existence. Besides, $80/barrel for oil seems less and less unrealistic every year...

JR from OR
11/8/2005 5:49:24 PM

Beware of critics. They will point out that TCP has a net loss of energy.

Which is a straw man argument.

TCP is not about *making* energy. TCP is about *disposing* of waste. The waste is there, and we have to dispose of it *anyway*.

Might as well get something out of it, right?

So when someone tells you TCP has a net loss of energy, say they *should* be comparing TCP energy consumption to the energy consumption of regular disposal of the same waste.

Compared apples-to-apples TCP has a HUGE net energy gain - without even considering the environmental impact it makes good sense.

The added good impact on the environment is just a bonus as far as I am concerned. The selling points are waste disposal and "free" energy... Hit them in the pocket book...

Amie from OR
11/11/2005 12:24:21 AM

This is a great idea. I love what your commercial on AIR America says 'let's make the middle east strategically irrelavent'!

hekebolos from CA
11/14/2005 3:09:33 AM

The question here is whether it takes more oil to run the plant than you actually get out of it.

Obviously it's a great idea environmentally, and I'm certainly not a skeptic--I just have no idea what the actual numbers are.

Anyone have any idea how much energy it takes on average to turn turkey waste into a barrel of oil using TCP?

Jon from
11/14/2005 12:00:32 PM

And does anyone have any idea how much oil is used in producing the turkeys in the first place. Don't get me wrong - this is a great idea and I hope it works, but I'm not sure if it is, by itself, a path to energy independence (although it might be a small step in that direction). I just wonder how we're going to produce the turkeys required to make enough oil to produce the turkeys...

Jake Hoechst from FL
11/14/2005 1:52:56 PM

Answer to hekebolos from Jake H.

The answers to many of your questions may be found in the imbedded red links in the editorial. Concerning your question regarding how much oil is used to produce the oil produced the answer is, technically, none, other than what already esists in the feedstock. Following is an excerpt taken from Wikopedia article on the subject. “Working with turkey offal as the feedstock, the process proved to have yield efficiencies of approximately 85%; in other words, the energy required to process materials could be supplied by using 15% of the petroleum output. Alternatively, one could consider the energy efficiency of the process to be 560% (85 units of energy produced for 15 units of energy consumed). The company claims that 15 to 20% of feedstock energy is used to provide energy for the plant. The remaining energy is available in the converted product. Higher efficiencies may be possible with drier and more carbon-rich feedstocks, such as waste plastic.”

I suggest that if your interest is sufficiently aroused , you look up Changing World Technologies, Inc. and follow some of the leads presented there. Wikopedia also has a number of informational links and a useful number of article referrels at the end of the article.

Additionally I have an older more comprehensive editoriaol I would be pleased to forward if you are interested.

Now, to the pupose of the editorial. There are many letters written by individuals proposing various methods of solving the energy crisis. The problem is, they do little except exchange ideas about the best method to pursue. I have studied this method for the past 2 ½ years and have personally visited the plant and seen it produce what it says it can produce and I have arrived at the firm conviction that this process has the potential to more quickly and efficiently resolve the energy problem than any of the other systems put forward and supported by the government. Unfortunately, the government does not extend the same support for the TCP system as it oes the other systems. If after delving further into the TCP capabilities you are convinced of its potential, then “walk the walk instead of talking the talk”. Write to your congressman and senator and spread the word among your friends to do the same. Politicians respond to nothing quicker than a flood of support for an idea, at the possible cost of losing all those votes. Without that final action nothing we seek will get done.

Respectfully

Jake H.

J. W. Hoechst from FL
11/14/2005 2:28:25 PM



To Jon from Jake H.

Your sentence “I just wonder how we’re going to produce the turkeys required to make enough oil to produce the turkeys.” Is a nice little play on words, and shows that you read the article but apparently did not check any of the links included in the editorial. Producing oil from turkey offal is but a demonstration of what this system is capable of doing. The meatpacking industry produces hundreds of millions of tons of similar offal from cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens and lord knows what else. Please keep one thing in the fore front of your mind when contemplating this system: Everything you look at all day long contains carbon (including you and me) and may be transmuted into oil. Every year the sun shines on the earth and creates more carbon bearing vegetation which can also be turned into oil, so the supply becomes endless. Based on that, let your imagination wander a little around the world. Oil can be made anywhere in the world from this system, and the oil is cleaner than that pulled from the earth. So let’s don’t worry how much oil it takes to produce the turkeys from which we can extract oil. The solution to this problem lies in Washington, and if you want to be part of the solution, write to your congressman and senators and tell them to generate some support for the TCP system.

Respectfully

Jake H.

Nathan from MI
11/22/2005 1:01:09 PM

Re: the amount of energy consumed VS produced; 15% of the oil and methane produced is fed back to fuel the process. So you net 85% of the usable fuel.
This process was until recently called Thermal Depolymerizatin or TDP and you can find a lot of older info about it under that name, such as at wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_depolymerization

The cost per barrel that I heard last was $60, and $40 of that was to pay for the turkey guts. They have to compete with feed manufacturers for the remains. There was a law pending after the BSE scares that would have forbidden the use of entrails in feed products (as they did in the UK), this would have made the entrails essentiually free since there would have been no market. Now CWT is looking at moving operations to Europe.

Bill from IL
11/22/2005 5:52:43 PM

From a standpoint of helping to eliminate imported oil this makes a lot of sense, however it still doesn't deal with the environmental problems that come along with oil and gasoline. I could see this being used as a way to bridge to other energy sources for transportation (to fuel the gas part of your hybred car for instance) or to replace imported oil for use in things like plastics, but hydrogen, solar and wind will likely have a bigger role overall. Thanks for sharing the information.

J. W. Hoechst from FL
11/22/2005 11:14:39 PM

To Bill in IL
From
Jake H.
You may well be correct in your assessment that this system may be a bridge to the time when other systems take over. Your concern about the environment is shared by many, including Changing World Technologies (CWT). In that regard I refer you to their web site wherein you will find the following; “THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS
Global warming is accelerating, and the impact on our ecosystem will be devastating. The culprit is industrial-produced carbon dioxide continually collecting within the protective layer of greenhouse gases that surrounds the earth. The TCP recycles surface carbons (organic and man-made waste by-products) into fuels, fertilizers and raw materials, allowing underground carbon deposits to remain there. The result? Less carbon on the surface means less CO2 in the atmosphere. By controlling the global carbon cycle we can help control global warming.”
In any event, at this particular juncture in CWT’s infancy, it is paramount to generate some support for the system in Congress. Having striven for 2 ½ years to propagate some support, I have concluded that only when the public is made aware of this system and its potential will their be enough pressure on Congress to take supporting action.

hekebolos from CA
11/24/2005 5:56:37 AM

Jake,

Thanks for the answers. You bet I'll be all over this. But this administration will never do anything because the oil companies own them.

I'll write to my senators and congressman.

ChrisH from MA
12/5/2005 11:28:00 AM

This is infinitely interesting to me, especially the commentary. I would like to add that it seems that people have fixated on turkeys as a fuel to TCP, but keep in mind that the original article above says “garbage, slaughter house waste, tires, wood, all manner of paper products, virtually anything and everything you look at, even sewage, can be turned into oil which may immediately be utilized as diesel fuel.” The supply is limitless, and in some cases FREE. Also, the costs (in oil or $$) to produce those costs are sunk; they have already been spent or are already being spent, so they are irrelevant in a decision-making setting.

ChrisH from MA
12/5/2005 11:30:05 AM

Appologies; the above commentary should read: “Also, the costs (in oil or $$) to produce those fuels are sunk; they have already been spent or are already being spent, so they are irrelevant in a decision-making setting.”

Optimist from CA
12/12/2005 8:13:29 PM

Great article, Jake!

However, things have changed. TCP got a tax break in the new Energy Bill (one of the few good things in that bill), as "renewable diesel" (Sec. 1346). It's on page 1445 @ http://energy.senate.gov/public/_files/ConferenceReport0.pdf I believe it gets a $1/gal or $42/barrel subsidy.

I like TCP, but I doubt that the Carthage plant gets anything close to the claimed 85% efficiency. See the discussion @ http://forums.biodieselnow.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=829&whichpage;=35 the third posting.

Jake Hoechst from FL
12/29/2005 1:25:17 PM

To Optomist from CA
fom Jake H.

Thanks for the compliment.
Apropos the “claimed 85% efficiency”, I visited the plant for a day in March together with two representatives from Gov. Jeb Bush’s energy department, escorted by Mr. Brian Appel, Pres. % CEO of Changing World Technologies. We were accompanied by the plant superintendent, and walked thru’ the process from beginning to end. Whatever questions we asked were satisfactorily answered in detail. There is no question in my mind whatsoever that the efficiency level is as claimed and, for drier feedstocks such as plastics, could be even higher.

Apropos the negative comments concerning efficiency at “forums.biodieselnow.com” etc. they are posted by theorists who have never seen the process in action. They post seemingly overwhelming arguments with reams of charts and abstruse calculations in terms few of the laity can understand, but prove absolutely nothing. When carefully read they are replete with qualifying terms such as “may” or “possibly” but they still have never seen the system in action. Please keep in mind that the Patent Department has given a patent to the process which would not be extended if the process did not function as claimed.

Additionally, a group of representatives from Los Angeles has recently visited the Carthage facility and enthusiastically returned to LA to endeavor to create a facility there.
One would expect that among the representatives would be someone capable of determining the validity of the systems claims.

In any event I appreciate you comments and enjoy the opportunity to reciprocate. If you have further questions or challenges, please let me know.

Jake H.

Jake Hoechst from FL
12/29/2005 1:26:47 PM

To Optomist from CA
fom Jake H.

Thanks for the compliment.
Apropos the “claimed 85% efficiency”, I visited the plant for a day in March together with two representatives from Gov. Jeb Bush’s energy department, escorted by Mr. Brian Appel, Pres. % CEO of Changing World Technologies. We were accompanied by the plant superintendent, and walked thru’ the process from beginning to end. Whatever questions we asked were satisfactorily answered in detail. There is no question in my mind whatsoever that the efficiency level is as claimed and, for drier feedstocks such as plastics, could be even higher.

Apropos the negative comments concerning efficiency at “forums.biodieselnow.com” etc. they are posted by theorists who have never seen the process in action. They post seemingly overwhelming arguments with reams of charts and abstruse calculations in terms few of the laity can understand, but prove absolutely nothing. When carefully read they are replete with qualifying terms such as “may” or “possibly” but they still have never seen the system in action. Please keep in mind that the Patent Department has given a patent to the process which would not be extended if the process did not function as claimed.

Additionally, a group of representatives from Los Angeles has recently visited the Carthage facility and enthusiastically returned to LA to endeavor to create a facility there.
One would expect that among the representatives would be someone capable of determining the validity of the systems claims.

In any event I appreciate you comments and enjoy the opportunity to reciprocate. If you have further questions or challenges, please let me know.

Jake H.

Ron N. from FL
6/9/2006 2:49:14 PM

A year ago whilewatching the History on TV I noticed the allies were bombing the synthetic oil manufacturing plantsd in Germany. I wondered what this was and was surprised to read many articles about the process of gas from coal. I was also surprised to read this process was utilized in Missouri for the army.
I expect it was discontinued due to cheap gas back then but, now is the time to utilize any process, Ethanol, bio-oil and TCP which really sounds like a great idea.
My thoughts are that even though the product may cost as much as gas, the production of synthetic oils will create jobs in this country, create an economy for the people producint the product to be used and keep ALL the money form this in America.
I'm a retired AF Msgt and feel my service to this country would not be in vein id we are able to sever our country from foreign oil producing countries. My grand kids would benefit as well!

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