Garbage into Oil

“Thermal depolymerization (TDP) is a depolymerization process using hydrous pyrolysis for the reduction of complex organic materials (usually waste products of various sorts, often biomass and plastic) into light crude oil,” writes Wikipedia. “It mimics the natural geological processes thought to be involved in the production of fossil fuels.”

Brad Lemley and Tony Law report for Discover Magazine: “The process is designed to handle almost any waste product imaginable, including turkey offal, tires, plastic bottles, harbor-dredged muck, old computers, municipal garbage, cornstalks, paper-pulp effluent, infectious medical waste, oil-refinery residues, even biological weapons such as anthrax spores. According to [Brian Appel, chairman and CEO of Changing World Technologies], waste goes in one end and comes out the other as three products, all valuable and environmentally benign: high-quality oil, clean-burning gas, and purified minerals that can be used as fuels, fertilizers, or specialty chemicals for manufacturing.”


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