Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Monday, August 07, 2006

Brian Appel

"So, you have a bunch of rancid, foul smelling, utterly disgusting turkey guts that are of no use whatsoever to you? How much do you want for them? $40 a ton? Deal!"

All right, I haven't been very inspired lately, but The Evil Science Chick wrote an entry that, in all of my humble estimation, is the best blog post... ever. I know, you've seen better. That just means that I am a bit whacked. Get used to it.

So, with her inspiration, I am going to rant a little on my favorite subject. Everybody knows what it is by now; energy independence. Yeah, yeah, I've devoted what, ten entries to the subject already. If you're bored with it, stop reading.

... Ok, now that we've got rid of those schlubs, let's talk about my passion, dear reader. What? It's Yiddish.

Ok... According to the Energy Information Agency of the Department of Energy, America consumed 439 thousand barrels of distillate fuel oil in 2005. Distillate fuel oil is basically jet fuel, diesel fuel, heating oil, kerosene, and the like. Buses, planes, homes, earth movers, locomotives... essentially distillate fuel oil is for commercial and home use, although there is a sizable minority of diesel cars.

For years, decades really, distillate fuel oil and gasoline have been inextricably linked to one another. It's simple; you get a barrel of crude, and you refine it into so much gasoline, so much DFO, so much asphalt, and so on. However, DFO does not need to come from crude oil.

I've written about biodiesel, waste vegetable oil, and algae derived biodiesel before. However, there is another way to make DFO into a totally fungible medium. Wait... "fungible"? What the hell is that? I'll tell you.

"Fungible" is a word used to describe how easy it is to substitute one good for another good of equal or comparable value. As such, biodiesel and No. 2 petroleum diesel are not very fungible with one another because they have different chemical properties. No. 2 diesel doesn't gel up at around forty degrees fahrenheit, while biodiesel does.

Any ways, back to the process for making non-petroleum DFO that is totally fungible with other DFOs. Thermal depolymerization, a mouthful of a term that is not used by Brian Appel, CEO of Changing World Technologies, has a subsidiary called Renewable Environmental Solutions in Carthage, Missouri. What RES does, basically, is turn turkey guts into No. 4 fuel oil.

I cannot stress this enough. They don't make an alkyl ester equivalent of No. 4, they actually MAKE No. 4 from turkey guts. Moreover, it can be further refined into No. 2 diesel. A zero sulfur blend, no less.

Now, they only are producing about 6,000 barrels a month at Carthage. That's about 2,300 times less that what is needed to get rid of petroleum DFO altogether. However, any carbonaceous feedstock can be used to produce this oil. Raw sewage. Scrap wood. Old tires. Dead bodies. Any thing with long chain carbons in it.

Trust me, All of this complaining about high gas prices... things are changing.

Discordant thought "It's people! Diesel Fuel is People!"... Come on! google Charlton Heston...


Drunken Chud said...

i prefer fusion. fusion makes me happy. and hydrogen. but we've been over this. and a serious rethinking of the engine itself. and what we consider a vehicle. personally, i'm leaning towards particle transfer. fuckin beam my shit up.

Rev said...

Soylent cowpie is PEOPLE!!!!

Scooter said...

Hydrogen is crap. It has the lowest btu rating of any fuel. You know why? BECAUSE THERE IS NO CARBON IN IT!

Fusion might one day be economomical, but it is still decades from that. We have economical, proven, and ever more competitive carbon based alternatives to petroleum, right here, right now.

Say it with me, now... "It isn't that there's carbon in it, it's where the carbon COMES FROM".

Drunken Chud said...