Thermal depolymerization (TDP) is a process using hydrous pyrolysis for the reduction of complex organic materials (usually waste products of various sorts, often known as biomass and plastic) into light crude oil. Hydrous Pyrolysis refers to the thermal decomposition which takes place when organic compounds are heated to high temperatures in the presence of Water. Organic matter (or organic material) is Matter that has come from a once-living Organism; is capable of WASTE is a Peer-to-peer and Friend-to-friend protocol and software application developed by Justin Frankel at Nullsoft in 2003 that features Biomass refers to living and recently dead Biological material that can be used as fuel or for industrial production Plastic is the general common term for a wide range of synthetic or semisynthetic organic solid materials suitable for the manufacture of industrial products Petroleum ( L petroleum, from Greek πετρέλαιον, lit It mimics the natural geological processes thought to be involved in the production of fossil fuels. Geology (from Greek γη gê, "earth" and λόγος Logos, "speech" lit Fossil fuels or mineral fuels are fossil source Fuels that is Hydrocarbons found within the top layer of the Earth’s crust. Under pressure and heat, long chain polymers of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon decompose into short-chain petroleum hydrocarbons with a maximum length of around 18 carbons. A polymer is a large Molecule ( Macromolecule) composed of repeating Structural units typically connected by Covalent Chemical bonds Hydrogen (ˈhaɪdrədʒən is the Chemical element with Atomic number 1 Oxygen (from the Greek roots ὀξύς (oxys (acid literally "sharp" from the taste of acids and -γενής (-genēs (producer literally begetteris the Carbon (kɑɹbən is a Chemical element with the symbol C and its Atomic number is 6 Petroleum ( L petroleum, from Greek πετρέλαιον, lit In Organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an Organic compound consisting entirely of Hydrogen and Carbon.
Thermal depolymerisation is similar to other processes which use superheated water as a major step in their processing to produce fuels, such as direct Hydrothermal Liquefaction and hydrous pyrolysis. Superheated water is liquid Water under Pressure at temperatures between the usual Boiling point (100°C and the Critical temperature (374°C Hydrous Pyrolysis refers to the thermal decomposition which takes place when organic compounds are heated to high temperatures in the presence of Water. Thermochemical conversion (TCC) can mean conversion of biomass to oils using superheated water, although it more usually is applied to fuel production via pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is the Chemical decomposition of organic materials by heating in the absence of Oxygen or any other reagents except possibly Steam  The Thermal Conversion Process is another name for thermal depolymerisation. A company called Renewable Environmental Solutions (RES) was formed as a joint venture between ConAgra Foods and Changing World Technologies to operate the plant at Carthage, Missouri and the name of the process was changed. ConAgra Foods Inc ( is one of North America 's largest packaged foods companies Changing World Technologies (CWT a privately-held company was founded in August 1997 by Brian S Carthage is a city in Jasper County, Missouri, United States. 
EnerTech operates the "SlurryCarb" process, which uses similar technology to decarboxylate wet solid biowaste, which can then be physically dewatered and used as a solid fuel called E-Fuel. The plant at Rialto, California is said to be able to process 683 tons of waste per day. Rialto is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. 
The Hydro Thermal Upgrading (HTU) process was originally developed by Shell, and is now operated by Biofuel BV. Royal Dutch Shell plc, commonly known simply as Shell, is a multinational oil company of Dutch and British origins It uses superheated water to produce oil from a range of biomass and domestic waste.  A demonstration plant is due to start up in the Netherlands said to be capable of processing 64 tons of biomass (dry basis) per day into oil.  Thermal depolymerisation differs in that it contains a hydrous process followed by an anhydrous cracking / distillation process, although upgrading of the raw HTU product is also possible.
Thermal depolymerization is similar to the geological processes that produced the fossil fuels used today, except that the technological process occurs in a timeframe measured in hours. The hour (symbol h) is a unit of Time. It is not an SI unit but is accepted for use with the SI Until recently, the human-designed processes were not efficient enough to serve as a practical source of fuel—more energy was required than was produced. Human beings, humans or man (Origin 1590–1600 L homō man OL hemō the earthly one (see Humus In Physics and other Sciences energy (from the Greek grc ἐνέργεια - Energeia, "activity operation" from grc ἐνεργός
Many previous methods which create hydrocarbons through depolymerization used dry materials (or anhydrous pyrolysis), which requires expending a lot of energy to remove water. Pyrolysis is the Chemical decomposition of organic materials by heating in the absence of Oxygen or any other reagents except possibly Steam Water is a common Chemical substance that is essential for the survival of all known forms of Life. However, there has been work done on hydrous pyrolysis methods, in which the depolymerization takes place with the materials in water. Hydrous Pyrolysis refers to the thermal decomposition which takes place when organic compounds are heated to high temperatures in the presence of Water. In U. S. patent 2,177,557, issued in 1939, Bergstrom and Cederquist discuss a method for obtaining oil from wood in which the wood is heated under pressure in water with a significant amount of calcium hydroxide added to the mixture. Calcium hydroxide, traditionally called slaked lime, hydrated lime, or pickling lime, is a Chemical compound with the chemical formula In the early 1970s Herbert R. Appell and coworkers worked with hydrous pyrolysis methods, as exemplified by U. S. patent 3,733,255 (issued in 1973), which discusses the production of oil from sewer sludge and municipal refuse by heating the material in water, under pressure, and in the presence of carbon monoxide. SLUDGE (Scripting Language for Unhindered Development of a Gaming Environment is a open source adventure game engine developed by Hungry Software Carbon monoxide, with the chemical formula CO is a colorless odorless tasteless yet highly toxic Gas.
An approach that exceeded break-even was developed by Illinois microbiologist Paul Baskis in the 1980s and refined over the next 15 years (see U. In Economics, specifically Cost accounting, the break-even point (BEP is the point at which cost or expenses and revenue are equal there is no net loss or gain The State of Illinois ( roughly ill-i-NOY is a state of the United States of America, the 21st to be admitted to the Union. Microbiology (from Greek grc μῑκρος mīkros, "small" grc βίος bios, " Life " and grc -λογία Paul Baskis is an Illinois biochemist who in the 1980s found a way of synthetically producing oil from industrial and household Wastes without expending more energy than is S. patent 5,269,947, issued in 1993). The technology was finally developed for commercial use in 1996 by Changing World Technologies (CWT). Changing World Technologies (CWT a privately-held company was founded in August 1997 by Brian S Brian S. Appel (CEO of CWT) took the technology in 2001 and expanded and changed it into what is now referred to as TCP (Thermal Conversion Process), and has applied for several patents (see, for example, published patent application US 2004/0192980). Changing World Technologies (CWT a privately-held company was founded in August 1997 by Brian S A Thermal Depolymerization demonstration plant was completed in 1999 in Philadelphia by Thermal Depolymerization, LLC, and the first full-scale commercial plant was constructed in Carthage, Missouri, about 100 yards (100 m) from ConAgra Foods' massive Butterball turkey plant, where it is expected to process about 200 tons of turkey waste into 500 barrels (21,000 US gallons or 80 m³) of oil per day. Philadelphia (ˌfɪləˈdɛlfiə Carthage is a city in Jasper County, Missouri, United States. ConAgra Foods Inc ( is one of North America 's largest packaged foods companies Butterball Brand of turkey and other Poultry products produced by Butterball LLC a Joint venture of Smithfield Foods and Maxwell Units of mass There are three similar units of Mass called the ton: Long ton (simply ton in countries such as the United The domesticated turkey is a large Poultry Bird raised for food A gallon is a measure of Volume. It is in current use in the United States and still has limited use in many other English-speaking countries
In the method used by CWT, the water improves the heating process and contributes hydrogen to the reactions.
In the CWT process, the feedstock material is first ground into small chunks, and mixed with water if it is especially dry. It is then fed into a reaction chamber where it is heated to around 250 °C and subjected to 600 psi (4 MPa) for approximately 15 minutes, after which the pressure is rapidly released to boil off most of the water. The Celsius Temperature scale was previously known as the centigrade scale. The result is a mix of crude hydrocarbons and solid minerals, which are separated out. A mineral is a naturally occurring substance formed through geological processes that has a characteristic chemical composition a highly ordered atomic structure and specific The hydrocarbons are sent to a second-stage reactor where they are heated to 500 °C, further breaking down the longer chains, and the resulting mix of hydrocarbons is then distilled in a manner similar to conventional oil refining. An oil refinery is an industrial Process plant where Crude oil is processed and refined into more useful Petroleum products, such as Gasoline
Working with turkey offal as the feedstock, the process proved to have yield efficiencies of approximately 85%; in other words, the energy contained in the end products of the process is 85% of the energy contained in the inputs to the process (most notably the energy content of the feedstock, but also including electricity for pumps and natural gas for heating). Offal is the Entrails and Internal organs of a Butchered Animal. Alternatively, if one considers the energy content of the feedstock to be free (i. e. , waste material from some other process), one could consider the energy efficiency of the process to be 560% (85 units of energy made available 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. Plastic is the general common term for a wide range of synthetic or semisynthetic organic solid materials suitable for the manufacture of industrial products
By comparison, the current processes used to produce ethanol and biodiesel from agricultural sources have energy efficiencies in the 320% range when the energy used to produce the feedstocks is considered (in this case, usually sugar cane, corn, soybeans and the like). Liquid fuels are those combustible or energy-generating molecules that can be harnessed to create Mechanical energy, usually producing Kinetic energy; they also must Biodiesel refers to a non-petroleum-based Diesel fuel consisting of short chain Alkyl ( Methyl or ethyl) Esters made by Agriculture refers to the production of goods through the growing of plants and fungi and the raising of domesticated Animals The study of agriculture Sugarcane ( Saccharum) is a genus of 6 to 37 species (depending on taxonomic interpretation of tall perennial grasses (family Poaceae tribe Andropogoneae Maize (ˈmeɪz ( Zea mays L. ssp mays) known as corn in some countries is a cereal grain domesticated in Mesoamerica As these energy efficiencies include the energy cost to produce the feedstock, and the above thermal depolymerization process (TDP) energy efficiency does not, these values are not directly comparable.
The process breaks down almost all materials that are fed into it. TDP even efficiently breaks down many types of hazardous materials, such as poisons and difficult-to-destroy biological agents such as prions. In the context of Biology, poisons are substances that can cause damage, Illness, or Death to Organisms usually by A prion (ˈpriːɒn is thought to be an infectious agent that according to current scientific consensus is comprised entirely of a propagated, mis-folded
|Feedstock ||Output oil||Output gas||Output carbon solids||Output water|
The yield from one U. S. ton (907kg) of turkey waste is 600 pounds (272 kg) petroleum, 100 pounds (45 kg) butane/methane, and 60 pounds ( 27kg ) minerals. In addition, the water is recycled back into the system for reuse.
The Carthage, MO plant produces API 40+, a high value crude oil comparable to diesel fuel. It contains light and heavy naphthas, a kerosene, and a gas oil fraction, with essentially no heavy fuel oils, tars, asphaltenes or waxes present. Naphtha normally refers to a number of different flammable liquid mixtures of hydrocarbons i Kerosene, sometimes spelled kerosine in scientific and industrial usage is a Combustible Hydrocarbon liquid Fuel oil is a fraction obtained from Petroleum Distillation, either as a distillate or a residue
|Classification of TDP-40 Oil by PONA |
|PONA||wt%, D-5443 method|
The fixed carbon solids produced by the TDP process have multiple uses as a filter, a fuel source and a fertilizer. It can be used as activated carbon in wastewater treatment, as a fertilizer, or as a fuel similar to coal. Distinguish from Wastwater (a lake in the Lake District in northwest England
The process can break down organic poisons, due to breaking chemical bonds and destroying the molecular shape needed for the poison's activity. It is highly effective at killing pathogens, including prions. A prion (ˈpriːɒn is thought to be an infectious agent that according to current scientific consensus is comprised entirely of a propagated, mis-folded It can also safely remove heavy metals from the samples by converting them from their ionized or organometallic forms to their stable oxides which can be safely separated from the other products.
Plants photosynthesize organic matter from water and carbon dioxide - which has been released into the atmosphere in large quantities from the burning of fossil fuels since the start of industrialization. Photosynthesis is a Metabolic pathway that converts Light Energy into Chemical energy. Carbon dioxide ( Chemical formula:) is a Chemical compound composed of two Oxygen Atoms covalently bonded to a single An atmosphere (from Greek ατμός - atmos, " Vapor " + σφαίρα - sphaira, " Sphere " Fossil fuels or mineral fuels are fossil source Fuels that is Hydrocarbons found within the top layer of the Earth’s crust. is a process of social and economic change whereby a human group is transformed from a Pre-industrial society into an industrial one At least in theory, these spent fossil fuels can be fully recycled by thermal depolymerization, using plant organic matter as input material.
Despite the somewhat similar output materials, the technical process of thermal depolymerization is quite different from biomass-to-liquid biofuel production, as the former yields mineral oils that can be refined into petrol, while the latter produces synfuels which are of inferior quality for current internal combustion engines. Biomass to liquid ( BTL) or BMTL is a (multi step process to produce liquid Biofuels from Biomass: The process uses the whole plant to improve the Mineral oil or liquid Petroleum is a By-product in the Distillation of Petroleum to produce Gasoline and other petroleum Synthetic fuel or synfuel is any Liquid fuel obtained from Coal, Natural gas, or Biomass. The internal combustion engine is an engine in which the Combustion of Fuel and an Oxidizer (typically air occurs in a confined space called a
Whether thermal depolymerization of plantstuffs can alleviate the growing scarcity of crude oil is unproven however. A potential benefit is that as opposed to animal waste, the water content of plant matierals - which typically is very high, in excess of 80 or even 90% - can be reduced by drying with less risk of spoilage. As noted above, the possibility of using plant matter as input material has been proven. It was found though that when using fairly pure cellulose fibers the output consists of considerably more natural gas than mineral oils, compared to other input materials. Cellulose is an Organic compound with the formula, a Polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to over ten thousand β(1→4 Natural gas is a Gaseous Fossil fuel consisting primarily of Methane but including significant quantities of Ethane, Propane,
The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that in 2001 there were 229 million tons of municipal solid waste, or 4. WASTE is a Peer-to-peer and Friend-to-friend protocol and software application developed by Justin Frankel at Nullsoft in 2003 that features 4 pounds generated per day per person in the USA.  Industrial facilities in the USA create 7. 6 billion tons of industrial wastes each year, however 97% of that waste is water, which means only 228 million tons of potential feedstock remains. In failing to mention the latter, Changing World Technologies tend to overestimate the potential benefit that the country may reap from wide-scale implementation of the process. However, this still works out to be 457 million tons of daily waste that could be converted into fuels.
The process only breaks long molecular chains into shorter ones, so small molecules such as carbon dioxide or methane cannot be converted to oil through this process. Carbon dioxide ( Chemical formula:) is a Chemical compound composed of two Oxygen Atoms covalently bonded to a single Methane is a Chemical compound with the molecular formula. It is the simplest Alkane, and the principal component of Natural gas. However, the methane in the feedstock is recovered and burned to heat the water that is an essential part of the process. In addition, the gas can be burned in a gas turbine; connected to a generator, the electricity can also be sold to consumers and the heat from the engine is then used to heat the water. This also increases the efficiency of the process (already said to be over 85% of feedstock energy content).
Many agricultural and animal wastes could be processed, but many of these are already used as fertilizer, animal feed, and, in some cases, as feedstocks for paper mills or as boiler fuel. Fertilizers ( also spelt fertiliser are chemical compounds given to Plants to promote growth they are usually applied either through the soil for uptake by plant A paper mill is a Factory devoted to making Paper from wood pulp and other ingredients using a Fourdrinier Machine or similar apparatus A boiler is a closed vessel in which Water or other Fluid is heated
Reports in 2004 claimed that the facility was selling products at 10% below the price of equivalent oil, but its production costs were low enough that the plant produced a profit. At the time it was paying for turkey waste (see also below).
The plant then consumed 270 tons of turkey offal (the full output of the turkey processing plant) and 20 tons of egg production waste daily. According to a 2/1/2005 article by Fortune Magazine, the Carthage plant was producing about 400 barrels per day (64 m³/d) of crude oil. This oil is being refined as No. 2 (a standard grade oil which is used for diesel and residential heating oil) and No. 4 (a lower grade oil used in industrial heating).
In April 2005 the plant was reported to be running at a loss. Further 2005 reports summarized some economic setbacks which the Carthage plant encountered since its planning stages. It was thought that concern over mad cow disease would prevent the use of turkey waste and other animal products as cattle feed, and thus this waste would be free. As it turned out, turkey waste may still be used as feed in the United States, so that the facility must purchase that feed stock at a cost of $30 to $40 per ton, adding $15 to $20 per barrel to the cost of the oil. Final cost, as of January 2005, was $80/barrel ($1. 90/gal).
The above cost of production also excludes the operating cost of the thermal oxidizer and scrubber added in May 2005 in response to odor complaints (see below).
A biofuel tax credit of roughly $1 per US gallon (26 ¢/L) on production costs was not available because the oil produced did not meet the definition of "biodiesel" according to the relevant American tax legislation. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 specifically added thermal depolymerization to a $1 renewable diesel credit, which became effective at the end of 2005. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 ( is a statute that was passed by the United States Congress on July 29 2005 and signed into law by President George W
As reported on 04/02/2006 by Discover Magazine, the Carthage plant was producing 500 barrels per day (79 m³/d) of oil made from 270 tons of turkey guts and 20 tons of pig fat. A federal subsidy (the Energy Policy Act of 2005) allowed a profit of $4/barrel of output oil.
The company has explored expansion in California, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and is presently examining projects in Europe, where animal products cannot be used as cattle feed. TDP is also being considered as an alternative means for sewage treatment in the United States. 
The pilot plant in Carthage was temporarily shut down due to smell complaints. It was soon restarted when it was discovered that few of the odors were generated by the plant. Furthermore, the plant agreed to install an enhanced thermal oxidizer and to upgrade its air scrubber system under a court order. This article is about the pollution control device for other uses see Scrubber (disambiguation. Since the plant is located only four blocks from the tourist-attracting town center, this has strained relations with the mayor and citizens of Carthage.
According to a company spokeswoman, the plant has received complaints even on days when it is not operating. She also contended that the odors may not have been produced by their facility, which is located near several other agricultural processing plants.
In December 29, 2005, the plant was ordered by the state governor to shut down once again over allegations of foul odors as reported by MSNBC.
As of March 7, 2006, the plant has begun limited test runs to validate it has resolved the odor issue. .
As of August 24, 2006, the last lawsuit connected with the odor issue has been dismissed and the problem is acknowledged as fixed.  In late November, however, another complaint was filed over bad smells.  This complaint was closed on January 11th of 2007 with no fines assessed. 
A May 2003 article in Discover magazine stated, "Appel has lined up federal grant money to help build demonstration plants to process chicken offal and manure in Alabama and crop residuals and grease in Nevada. Also in the works are plants to process turkey waste and manure in Colorado and pork and cheese waste in Italy. He says the first generation of depolymerization centers will be up and running in 2005. By then it should be clear whether the technology is as miraculous as its backers claim. "
However, as of May 2008, the only operational plant listed at the company's website is the initial one in Carthage, Missouri.