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Re: [hreg] Radical New Technology?

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  • Roxanne Boyer
    Robert is quite right. After reading the articles and patents, I have to say this thermal depolymerization (TDP) technology is not new, it just has a new
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 2, 2003
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      Robert is quite right.  After reading the articles and patents, I have to say this "thermal depolymerization" (TDP) technology is not new, it just has a new application.  Changing World Tech is running a coker (commonly found in refineries) on animal waste.  I guess slaughter houses find some economic justification because there is a large cost to dispose of the waste if it can not be recylced back into animal feed.  It don't see that TDP could compete with other recycling technologies when it comes to plastics, tires and heavy organics (like coal). 
       
      I would be suspicious of investing in the company.  Many of the initial backers are from big investment companies.  I've seen many a situation in the last few years where these investers (most notibly Solomon Smith Barney) hype up a small technology company and take it public - there is a huge fan fare and to say about promising to change the world - the backing firm makes millions, and then the technology can't penetrate the market so the common investor is stuck is a loss as the stock price falls and the company goes bankrupt.  Investing in start-up tech companies is like a modern day "gold rush".
       
      -Chris
       ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2003 11:10 PM
      Subject: RE: [hreg] Radical New Technology?

      If you agree to burn it, then you’ve got an easy way to reclaim the energy of waste.  But this has generally been opposed by environmentalists.  Remember the Vulcan ship?  How about industrial waste kilns?  Some tires are burned in cement kilns.  But a lot still gets buried.  It seems to me that it would make more sense to burn the waste in a large scale plant, where economies of scale and good gas scrubbing and other purification steps can be taken, than to only partially break it down into an oil (and other waste products that would have to be dealt with), and then send that oil out to 1001 users and have them burn it under less controlled conditions for energy.  If a centralized waste burning facility can generate electricity, then the 1001 users can benefit from the recycled waste without the environmental impact of a distributed system.  Of course, anybody know how hard it is to get a permit for a waste burning plant?!  The bottom line is that we want clean air, and that conflicts with maximum utilization of today’s energy resources.  So we bypass coal and avoid burning waste, and burn natural gas (or biogas) instead.  Ideally, in my view, we’d reclaim waste energy through burning (when it doesn’t make sense to recycle the material itself).  Maybe if environmentalists would be willing to compromise, we could have a win-win deal.  How’s this for an idea?  Allow low cost permits of waste-burning power plant in return for offsets from wind power?  If we allowed more localized air pollution at recycling power plants, but offset it with wind power, maybe the economics for the whole system would look attractive and yet the total air quality reduction would be less than what we have with today’s systems.  Just an idea; haven’t done any calculations to see if it makes sense.  But if projections of limited fossil fuels prove true (and the “peak” date keeps getting pushed back as new reserves are discovered), then eventually the fossil fuels will become too expensive to burn for energy.  If we could built more waste burning plants, and I propose even more coal plants, and offset the pollution from these with wind TODAY, then we can rapidly build a large installed base of wind power in the country today, while also solving the immediate energy crisis.  Then, as fossil fuel costs rise, these plants will become uncompetitive with the by then large base of windpower, which will have achieved economies of scale in production that will make them the low cost producer.  Then all those polluting plants will shut down and all we’ll be left with is wind (or wind + solar, or whatever).  I’m proposing that if we’d all agree to some kind of “grand deal” we could accelerate the whole process of conversion, yet the political will to do it would be there since we’d also solve today’s problems, make coal miners/Western senators happy, etc.  What do you think?  Crazy concept?

       

      Robert

       

       

       


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      -----Original Message-----
      From: Roxanne Boyer [mailto:rox1@...]
      Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2003 9:38 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [hreg] Radical New Technology?

       

      Steve,

      I am familiar with similar technologies.  It looks to me like a gassification plant operated under such higher pressure that the thermodynamics favors some liquid product.  A well known process, however, the heat and pressure are severe.  The capital cost and energy cost to operate such equipment will be enormous.  Before sweeping the idea aside, I'll look into it more and give an update later.  It sounds interesting; thank you for sharing this with the group. 

       

      I think turning waste into fuel and energy is a great idea.  I am all for landfill biogas plants - other wise the gases generated are just released or flared.  Just like we must find a renewable energy source, we must find a sustainable trash solution.  I cringe everytime I pass a mountainous landfill that has grown to incredible proportions in a few years.  I would love to see our waste turned to energy.

       

      Sincerely,

      Chris

      ----- Original Message -----

      Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2003 7:51 PM

      Subject: [hreg] Radical New Technology?

       

      While not entirely "renewable" energy, I thought
      this group might be interested in some speculation
      about this company - "Changing World Technologies".

      http://www.changingworldtech.com/home.html

      Money Magazine recently had a large article about
      this company. I was unable to find a current URL on
      the Money website with this article (it was there a
      few days ago). Basically, this company claims to have
      a technology called "Thermo-Depolymerization
      Process, or TDP", which they use to treat all forms of
      carbon-based waste (from discarded computers,
      infectious medical waste, mixed plastics, sewage,
      slaughterhouse refuse, tires, etc.), producing high-quality
      oil. AND being able to do this at a very competitive
      price. Needless to say, this is a fantastic claim.

      Discover magazine has also done an article on this
      company recently. It is in the Vol. 24 No. 5 (May 2003)
      issue. This issue is available on the discover.com
      website.

      This company appears to be very legit, the current
      CEO of the company is Brian Appel - who helped
      found Ticketmaster.

      So does anybody think (or know for a fact) that this
      technology is feasible, and the claims being made
      are real?

      Steven Deterling
              
       



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