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From Turkey Guts to Fuel Oil

michael posted about 11 years ago | from the every-part-except-the-gobble dept.

Science 411

Untimely Ripp'd writes "The latest issue of Discover Magazine reports that any day now a plant will go online in Carthage, Missouri that processes turkey guts into high grade oil, natural gas, some minerals, and water. Unfortunately, the Discover article isn't online yet, but here's a newspaper article. The system, developed by Changing World Technologies uses thermal depolymerization and apparently works on almost any and every kind of organic waste. They assert that applying it to 100% of the US' agricultural waste would produce about 4 billion barrels of oil per year -- about the amount we currently import. It sounds too good to be true, it sounds like one of those fly-by-night-in-the-face-of-the-second-law deals, but it isn't happening in somebody's basement -- it's happening in a multi-million dollar facility developed with Con-Agra."

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411 comments

April First... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640235)

...Post :)

FP for Emad and Katz (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | about 11 years ago | (#5640236)

They're shipping out to Iraq tomorrow. Apparently he just realized how many 14 year old boys would need a 'father figure'

Again? (-1, Redundant)

wildzeke (191754) | about 11 years ago | (#5640242)

Is this another April Fools joke?

Re:Again? (1)

Pii (1955) | about 11 years ago | (#5640285)

That's not important...

What is important is the fact that this story was supposed to be related to the IP "Evil-bit" RFC, and it's not.

Shame on you Slashdot... Shame on you for not having the guts to stick with the routine in the face of a complaining readership. If you don't think the joke is good enough to beat into the ground, then you shouldn't have begun it.

HAW HAW HAW (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640245)

YALAFDJ

(Yet another lame April Fools Day joke)

When you think about it... (5, Funny)

CommieLib (468883) | about 11 years ago | (#5640248)

This is really just fossil fuels for the extremely impatient.

Re:When you think about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640374)


Relations between the Turks and the US are already strained enough without us threating to turn em into oil

First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640251)

Does this mean that I'll have to recycle my turkey after thanksgiving?

Re:First Post! (1)

mechugena (311767) | about 11 years ago | (#5640275)

I already do. It eventually gets fed to the fish in the ocean

Re:First Post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640323)

Yeah the ironic thing is I make a joke about having to recycle my turkey. Which is also on topic if you consider the article. But I guess some moderator is having an aweful day...

in theory.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640253)

but in practice, that waste is already partly used for other purposes (fertilizer, compost, etc.).

This is wonderful (5, Insightful)

madfgurtbn (321041) | about 11 years ago | (#5640254)

Something like this could really help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I betcha the oil industry is going to try to discredit this breakthrough in energy technology.

Or outlaw it like hemp (2, Informative)

TheViffer (128272) | about 11 years ago | (#5640282)

Hemp for fuel [artistictreasure.com]

Re:Or outlaw it like hemp (5, Funny)

ip_vjl (410654) | about 11 years ago | (#5640354)

From the "Hemp for fuel" site:

When burned in a diesel engine, biodiesel replaces the exhaust odor of petroleum diesel with the pleasant smell of hemp, popcorn or french fries.


Wow. Back in college, I didn't realize so many of the guys in my dorm had biodiesel engines in their room.

Re:Or outlaw it like hemp (3, Funny)

The Zody (635829) | about 11 years ago | (#5640425)

i am now going to commend the pizza man on his care for the enviorment! i always wondered why he smelled so odd...

Re:This is wonderful (4, Funny)

mgs1000 (583340) | about 11 years ago | (#5640296)

I've heard the the oil industry has already issued a press release stating this was a hoax.

Re:This is wonderful (1)

Finni (23475) | about 11 years ago | (#5640373)

Actually, it can make (for example) coal much cleaner to burn, and more efficient as well due to the pre-processing. There was more in the article dealing with the other ways in which this would be an excellent adjunct to our existing fossil-fuel economy and most associated businesses, while ALSO reducing our need to pull this stuff up from the ground.

And I thought... (3, Funny)

Marley (305907) | about 11 years ago | (#5640256)

petro products stunk... I bet this smells much more foul... ;)

Re:And I thought... (1)

insanecarbonbasedlif (623558) | about 11 years ago | (#5640319)

It sounds too slick to be true... I can't waste my time here.

Re:And I thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640381)

"slick" from oil made from "waste". hehe. super funny. You're "waste"ing my time with your dumb puns....

Paranoid (5, Funny)

ElGuapoGolf (600734) | about 11 years ago | (#5640257)

I'm so paranoid, I can't tell if this is another April Fools or not!

Re:Paranoid (1)

cur3 (514524) | about 11 years ago | (#5640309)

i'm paranoid and i tell you this is another April Fools!

this 'petrol-moving-penis' fool is...

George Bush

Re:Paranoid (1)

ThatWeasel (113982) | about 11 years ago | (#5640325)

Why do you have to be paranoid to wonder that. I hate April 1st. Surfing from one site to another and trying to figure out who is being fool or being serious. Only 8 hours hours of this wackiness and I can stop being a fool.

Re:Paranoid (2, Informative)

Psiolent (160884) | about 11 years ago | (#5640332)

It's definitely real. I've read the article in Discover, complete with a full page picture of intestines, spleens, and various other turkey pieces. Not a good idea to flip to while you're eating dinner.

Re:Paranoid (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640376)

And Discover would never run an April [museumofhoaxes.com] fools [museumofhoaxes.com] article.

Re:Paranoid (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640399)

Discover magazine does April Fools jokes every year. Once, they even got cited by a creationist group for their story on pre-historic music.
So it's very, very possible that this is just for laughs.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640260)

Turkey joins the "Axis of Evil".

Why bother? (4, Funny)

dmuth (14143) | about 11 years ago | (#5640263)

Why bother with a plant for this? I can already turn chili into ah, "natural gas". :-)

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640299)

But have you been able to bottle it?

Re:Why bother? (4, Funny)

warpSpeed (67927) | about 11 years ago | (#5640348)

Why bother with a plant for this? I can already turn chili into ah, "natural gas"

Add some beer or whisky, and you get "natual gas" under high pressure...

*bada ching!* I'm here all week, and watch the open flames.

Rapacious need for oil (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640264)

First we take Iraq...next Turkey!

-AC

Not Apr fools joke? (4, Funny)

langedb (518453) | about 11 years ago | (#5640269)

The date on the article was Dec. 4, 2002, so I think this one is legit.

Re:Not Apr fools joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640287)

I'm with you on that, but why has it taken so long to get here?!

Why it took so long? (3, Funny)

NorthDude (560769) | about 11 years ago | (#5640345)

why has it taken so long to get here?!

We call this a tradition, this is in the Slashdot culture...
You are new here, aren't you?

This will drive up the price of Thanksgiving! (5, Funny)

Rayonic (462789) | about 11 years ago | (#5640270)

So does it mean we'll have to invade Kentucky next?

Re:This will drive up the price of Thanksgiving! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640383)

Since we get a very negligible amount of oil from Iraq, invasion would be Venezuela, Canada or Russia.

And Im sure 2 of those three would be an easier cakewalk than Iraq...

Re:This will drive up the price of Thanksgiving! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640389)

give me a break. I love how simple minded the world is regarding this Iraq thing.

Re:This will drive up the price of Thanksgiving! (0)

jhigh (657789) | about 11 years ago | (#5640421)

Think about, genius. If this was really about oil, we would just go in guns blazing and take the damn oil. We wouldn't have spent months trying to appease the UN, we wouldn't be being so cautious about killing innocents, and we sure wouldn't be making it abundantly clear that we DO NOT intend to occupy Iraq after the war. We would go in, blow Iraq to pieces, and claim their oil for ourselves. And there wouldn't be a damn thing anyone could do about. Try to think before you speak there, slick.

I though ... (1)

Lolaine (262966) | about 11 years ago | (#5640272)

that E 1.0 was the funniest... but this is by far more funny!

Now lets see if Bush stops war on Irak after reading /.

4/1/03 (1)

b0bd0bbs (592231) | about 11 years ago | (#5640273)

Uhm, Discovery has an april fool's joke like this every year.

Re:4/1/03 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640406)

The original article is dated Dec 4,2002 and this technique has been used to produce fuel from hemp-seeds and sawdust.

bathtub gin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640276)

in my day, we made everything out of turkey guys:
water, oil, hair gel, and gin.

nothing like a turkey martini to get the day started.

Strangely... (4, Funny)

Fnkmaster (89084) | about 11 years ago | (#5640281)

This does not look like an April Fool's joke. Thereby leaving everybody who expected the headline involving turning turkey guts into fuel oil to be a joke thoroughly stumped for clever things to say.


My guess is that the Slashdot eds thought it _was_ an April Fool's joke or they wouldn't have posted it today. If they repost it a second time within the next two hours though, we'll know it must be true.

April Fools (5, Funny)

Phoenix823 (448446) | about 11 years ago | (#5640283)

This is just a plan to let President Bush take care of all those PETA wackos. You see, by making oil from turkeys, he'll surely upset any self-righteous PETA member. They'll boycott the new oil and continue to use oil from the middle East, and consequently they'll be supporting terrorism. Thankfully, the Patriot Act will allow the government to lock up these proponents of terrorism for an indefinite amount of time at an undisclosed location.

Now finally, we may all eat meat without fearing harrassment.

Re:April Fools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640344)

And because they're not prisoners of war, they can torture the fuck out of them!


...unless they're white.

Re:April Fools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640386)

That would be the only American thing to do!

Re:April Fools (-1, Flamebait)

vandan (151516) | about 11 years ago | (#5640407)

You mean like the Taliban prisoners of war in Afghanistan who were piled into trucks and 'transported' across the country until eye-witnesses could see blood pouring from the trucks. And then those weren't crushed to death or suffocated or died of heat exhaustion or dehydration were taken out of the trucks and shot execution style.

The US doesn't play by internationally accepted rules of combat any more. Baby Bush and his gang of outlaws need to spend a few weeks in the International Court.

too good to be true? (1)

Lxy (80823) | about 11 years ago | (#5640291)

It sounds too good to be true, it sounds like one of those fly-by-night-in-the-face-of-the-second-law deals

If something is too good to be true, check the calendar.

Out of all the stories posted today, this is the only one that actually looks like news. Nice work, /. team!

Old article... (1)

TopShelf (92521) | about 11 years ago | (#5640294)

The newspaper article is from Dec. 4, 2002... why the posting today???

Re:Old article... (2, Informative)

Psiolent (160884) | about 11 years ago | (#5640356)

Because it just now made it into Discover. I assume that prompted the submitter to seek out another article somewhere discussing the same thing.

THIS IS NOT AN APRIL'S FOOLS DAY STORY (1)

Timmeh (555676) | about 11 years ago | (#5640297)

Yeah, just so you know, I read it in the latest Discover I got in the mail. I mean, the process could be, and they're taking Discover for a ride (haven't read the article yet), but I doubt it was posted in jest.

depolymerization? (1)

silicon_synapse (145470) | about 11 years ago | (#5640302)

The system, developed by Changing World Technologies uses thermal depolymerization

I may be mistaken, but I don't know of too many lifeforms with an abundance of polymers in their makeup.

Re:depolymerization? (2, Informative)

barakn (641218) | about 11 years ago | (#5640418)

Biological polymers--protein, complex carbs (glycogen, starches, cellulose, etc.), DNA, RNA. After you remove the water, most of it seems to be polymer.

Hang on... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640304)

What happens to the evil bits? Oh no... wait, it's IP packets, not turkeys that have evil bits right? Perhaps someone will remind me?

Re:Hang on... (1)

Angry White Guy (521337) | about 11 years ago | (#5640375)

Maybe we'll use them instead of carrier pigeons and use the newly implemented evil-bits in the process...

And then again, maybe not.

Not April Fool's (1)

Taral (16888) | about 11 years ago | (#5640308)

For those who are concerned that this is a joke, check the date on the article. It's not new.

Thats it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640311)

Since someone here is having fun with turning off and on the reply links, why not for the next hour you just disable the reply button?

Better yet, only allow the trolls at -1 to reply.

Whoa??? (1)

Rudy Rodarte (597418) | about 11 years ago | (#5640312)

I think they got me. Is this for real?

If so, it will change a lot of things. I mean, I have some turkey in the fridge right now. And it so happens, I need some gas for the truck. Oh, what to do...

Bush adds Turkey to Axis of Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640313)

Citing Turkey's refusal to allow U.S. troops on their soil, Bush has declared Turkey a part of the Axis of Evil. Also included on W's updated Axis of Evil list are Germany, France, Russia, China and any American citizens who disagree with his policies as supreme dictator of the known universe.

Just like the Matrix, but different (1)

kisrael (134664) | about 11 years ago | (#5640320)

Assuming this isn't just a Fool's gag (and given that the link was from a December article, I'm likely to give it the benefit of the doubt)...well, this seems like a more practical version of "the robots use the humans as batteries" in the Matrix...they don't use our 'bioelectricity', but they need us for oil! Greasy acne-ridden geeks especially.

Though, as with the hydrogen as fuel issue, you have to make sure that the process to turn turkey remains into fuel doesn't take too much energy itself...in which case, you've only won half your battles.

Heh...if this takes off I see a market for "VEGAN ENERGY"...animal-friendly fuel generation.

Bad day for a good story... (4, Informative)

ObligatoryUserName (126027) | about 11 years ago | (#5640324)

I wonder how many people will write this off as an April Fools joke. I've only skimmed The Discover article, but it is an extremely optimistic piece, and the writer seems chagrinned that he couldn't present a more skeptical case. If this technology was widely deployed it could almost eliminate foreign oil dependence.

The article also talked about no increases in carbon in the environment because oil isn't pulled up from underground, it's created from biological waste (carbon already in the environment). I believe there was a quote in there along the lines of "every living thing becomes a little carbon sink".

Warren Buffett is an investor (via ConAgra) and the field tests should be done by 2005.

Bad day to be a turkey... (1)

phorm (591458) | about 11 years ago | (#5640424)

If this technology was widely deployed it could almost eliminate foreign oil dependence.

The problem being though... where are you going to get enough Turkeys (or carbon source of choice) to make enough for a whole country? I mean... animal rights activists will be going nuts!

Personally... I want one that attaches to my car. Just stop off at the nearest farm, grab a few turkeys... toss in a garborator, and extract fuel. With all the feathers that fly out, maybe I could make a nice window shade or something?

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640330)

1) The US war effort has been renamed:

Operation
Iraqi
Liberation

2) M$oft has announced it is buying Mandrake and will use this a the foundation for their own release of linux to be named WindowsLX.

3) The French have surrendered to Iraq.

Slashdotted.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640334)

Here [google.com]'s the google chache.

this one is real (1)

evilWurst (96042) | about 11 years ago | (#5640346)

This is non-April-related. I read the Discover article yesterday. Neat stuff.

For the conspiracy theorists out there, this one is NOT likely to get squashed by some secretive oil cartel - the process already works, and the oil guys are actually interested in it too, because it can handle the byproducts of current refineries and turn *them* into oil too, thus making them more product and therefore more money.

The inventor's been given money by both the US government and private investors.

Not solving the real problem (0, Troll)

barcarolle (581253) | about 11 years ago | (#5640353)

Cutting down on oil imports won't eliminate the real evil, American oil and energy corporations and the evil cowards who run them.

george's friends will not like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5640358)

as it is not drilling holes
in an artic wildlife refuge.

Not a Joke. (5, Informative)

blunte (183182) | about 11 years ago | (#5640361)

A friend reported this story to me in detail 2 or 3 days ago in great detail.

There are two plants either in operation now, or just starting up. One is right next to a Butterball Turkey factory.

The process breaks organic materials down thru some process of super-hydration, 500 degree heat, some moderate amount of pressure, and then results in various oils and water (clean enough to go into normal treatment plants).

Also, oil companies reportedly support this because the novel approach is actually easier and cleaner for processing crude oils than existing refineries. So they stand to gain from this as well.

There's a lot of good info on this, so don't discount it just because /. posted it today.

I hope it's a huge success.

4 million barrels? (1)

krygny (473134) | about 11 years ago | (#5640365)

I think the US imports more than 4 million barrels per year. Last I heard, the US consumes about 20 million barrels per day.

PETTG Protest! (1)

Misch (158807) | about 11 years ago | (#5640385)

Of course, the members of PETTG (People for the Ethical Treatment of Turkey Gibblets) will be holding a protest in Washington DC this weekend.

Hey, it's Mr. Fusion! (1, Troll)

ClippyHater (638515) | about 11 years ago | (#5640391)

Ya just gotta love April Fools :) Billions of barrels a year, lol... I just hope the oil industry doesn't think this is real and people start to mysteriously disappear!

Economics of disposal/recycling (4, Insightful)

jonbrewer (11894) | about 11 years ago | (#5640401)

But [James Stoffer] added that while the plant may be a "tough go" economically, it's worth the investment because of what it promises for the environment.

If such companies [factoryfarm.org] actually paid fines for breaking environmental laws by polluting with livestock wastes, they would not find reprocessing a "tough go" economically. Unfortunately, the EPA doesn't have the balls to go after even the most blatant of violators, and thus the food-processors get away with murder.

When Con-Agra rolls out such zero-emissions factories everywhere (As William McDonough writes of in Cradle to Cradle [slashdot.org]) I will happily invest in their stock and buy their products.
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