Skip to comments.Research: Pig Manure Can Become Crude Oil
Posted on 04/13/2004 10:24:01 AM PDT by m1-lightning
URBANA, Ill. - A University of Illinois research team is working on turning pig manure into a form of crude oil that could be refined to heat homes or generate electricity.
Years of research and fine-tuning are ahead before the idea could be commercially viable, but results so far indicate there might be big benefits for farmers and consumers, lead researcher Yanhui Zhang said.
"This is making more sense in terms of alternative energy or renewable energy and strategically for reducing our dependency on foreign oil," said Zhang, an associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering. "Definitely, there is potential in the long term."
The thermochemical conversion process uses intense heat and pressure to break down the molecular structure of manure into oil. It's much like the natural process that turns organic matter into oil over centuries, but in the laboratory the process can take as little as a half-hour.
A similar process is being used at a plant in Carthage, Mo., where tons of turkey entrails, feathers, fat and grease from a nearby Butterball turkey plant are converted into a light crude oil, said Julie DeYoung, a spokeswoman for Omaha, Neb.-based Conagra Foods, which operates the plant in a joint venture with Changing World Technologies of Long Island, N.Y.
Converting manure is sure to catch the attention of swine producers. Safe containment of livestock waste is costly for farmers, especially at large confinement operations where thousands of tons of manure are produced each year. Also, odors produced by swine farms have made them a nuisance to neighbors.
"If this ultimately becomes one of the silver bullets to help the industry, I'm absolutely in favor of it," said Jim Kaitschuk, executive director of the Illinois Pork Producers Association.
Zhang and his research team have found that converting manure into crude oil is possible in small batches, but much more research is needed to develop a continuously operating reaction chamber that could handle large amounts of manure. That is key to making the process practicable and economically viable.
Zhang predicted that one day a reactor the size of a home furnace could process the manure generated by 2,000 hogs at a cost of about $10 per barrel.
Big oil refineries are unlikely to purchase crude oil made from converted manure, Zhang said, because they aren't set up to refine it. But the oil could be used to fuel smaller electric or heating plants, or to make plastics, ink or asphalt, he said.
"Crude oil is our first raw material," he said. "If we can make it value-added, suddenly the whole economic picture becomes brighter."
Zhang's site: Zhang's site: http://www.age.uiuc.edu/faculty/yhz/index.htm
(just like organic farming and all that other hippie crappola)
You can run Volvo's on hippie manure, too!!!
This is really exciting news. More data on it may be found here: Adobe .pdf file will download and open.
You're either being sarcastic or smoking crack.
Well you also use "intense heat" to crack and refine crude oil. You burn some oil to heat the rest is how you get it.
If they can produce it at $10 a barrel like the article says, that's a damn good deal.
And build them all in Massachusetts!
Yeah... Right!!! Wait'll your stuff hits that fan!!! Phewey!!!
Before you make a complete and total fool out of yourself, I would suggest a little research. Hydrocarbons found in fossil fuels are relatively short carbon strings, with a bunch of hydrogen attached. Turkey guts, methane gas, lumber, grass cuttings, feathers, tires and just about anything that once was living are just LONGER strings of hydrocarbons. Combinations of temperature and pressure will break down these long strings, into short strings - which is EXACTLY what a petrolium refinery does with crude. So, by simply changing the process a wee bit, we can produce Gasoline (yep, gasoline) from turkey offal, dead pigs, cows, grass clippings, seaweed ... whatever.
The process is NOT even remotely like the process of using french frie waste oil to power a VW.
Might I suggest you just review this article, originally taken from 'Discovery' magazine.
No I think windpower is the renewable alternate energy of the future, along with GE and Shell and many other large corporations and financial institutions. It is already at 40 gw installed power and has maintained a 25 percent growth rate for about 10 years. That is doubling every 3 years.
A: From crude oink.
So build them on your own property then, so the remains from cut-up birds can damage your home and the noise from windmills will give you the heebie-jeebies at night.
Never be downwind of a vehicle fueled by gas from Pig Manure!
The only limiting factors, are Greenpeace complaints that they shred birds, and the fact you can't build them within site of land owned by the Kennedys or other "Limousine Liberals".
Ok, you need something to burn to start the process. This will later be replaced with the product, but to get started you need a fuel source.
We start by removing the water. Traditionally, this was done in a very inefficent manner, such that the total efficiency of removing the water took more energy than the product produced. Now, we use water to our advantage. Start by sealing the container, and heating it to ~400 F, and about 350psi. This breaks down the carbon strings a bit. Now, remove the pressure and you will remove most of the water - which we reclaim for heating the next batch.
This hot mixture (now minus the water content) is heated to about 600 F, under about 400 psi (much lower pressure/temp ratio, as the water is gone). Let sit for about 2 hours. This really breaks down the hydrocarbon stings. By the way, this is EXACTLY how we make gasoline and ligher petrolium oils.
In short, we have done in a matter of hours what mother nature takes millions of years to do. Pressure and temperature transform a forest into coal, dinosaurs into oil. We just sped the process up a few billion-fold.
The only limiting factors, are Greenpeace complaints that they shred birds, and the fact you can't build them within sight of land owned by the Kennedys or other "Limousine Liberals". (DOH!)
On second thought, the devil isn't willfully ignorant. So, that analogy fails.
This is just another load the farmer hauled away...
You could tell by the smell it wasn't hay...
next it'll be scientific as fungschway...