"This new technology is a win-win for Southwest Missouri. The poultry industry, which has brought hundreds of new jobs to the region, also has brought new challenges," Blunt said. Full production won't begin until next year, but initial tests have found success, Blunt added."The new process turns agricultural waste into a valuable commodity. That would be good news for the environment and agriculture [and] with the added benefits of job creation...a strengthened local economy."
The plant in Carthage is using a technology called thermal depolymerization, which applies pressure and heat to the waste. The byproduct of the process is water clean enough to discharge into a treatment plant and minerals that can be used to make fertilizer and other products. The Carthage plant reportedly is designed to produce 400 to 500 barrels of oil per day from 200 tons of waste from a variety of sources. Officials from the plant estimate the oil produced to have a cost of $15 per barrel, half of the current world market price for crude oil.
Blunt and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-6) toured the plant yesterday. Goodlatte, whose seat in the House represents the number one poultry district in the country said that he would like to see a plant like the one in Carthage operating in his district.
A privately held company named Changing World Technologies enters the picture. It is headed by a fellow named Brian S. Appel. Appel serves on the board of directors of Renewable Environmental Solutions, a limited liability partnership formed to commercialize CWT's thermo depolymerization process in the agricultural and food industries.
Franklin D. Kramer, an executive vice-pesident of CWT, has obvious ties to government, having been an assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. Appel's affiliations also include involvement with New Uses Council, a not for profit organization, and Energy Future Coalition.
ConAgra Foods of Carthage is in joint venture with RES and CWT in a project to remove its manufacturing waste products. According to an article in the Kansas City Starwritten by Michael Mansour, July 28, 2001, $4.98 million was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency for the ConAgra project. What funding ConAgtra provided is not a matter of immediate record, as is not the actual name on the EPA's check.
We are still trying to clarify from Dan Wadlington of Rep. Roy Blunt's office just who The Society for Environmental Research is. On December 10, Wadlington sent THE JOPLIN INDEPENDENT a press release entitled, "Blunt Secures $12.4 million Investment in Turning Agriculture Waste into Fuel."
Carthage, Missouri -- Southwest Missouri Congressman and Majority Whip Roy Blunt successfully secured a provision in H.R. 2673, The Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2004, that would provide $12.4 million to the Society for Energy and Environmental Research for the continued development of a technology that would help to eliminate agriculture waste and transform it into fuel oil. H.R. 2673 recently passed the House of Representatives with a bipartisan vote of 242 to 176.
Blunt's district has the first pilot plant in the world designed to use this new technology. It is in the final stages of testing and commissioning and operation of the plant may come as early as January 2004. When it is in full production the plant is expected to convert 200 tons of agriculture waste into 500 barrels of oil each day.
Blunt said, "This new technology is a win for the environment, the poultry industry, and for increasing America's energy independence." Blunt added, "This process turns agricultural waste into a valuable resource without harming the environment. I had to see it to believe it. I've seen it and it works!"
Blunt toured the new Carthage plant with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and saw first hand how the thermal depolymerization process works. The pilot project, operated by Renewable Environmental Solutions, could turn the estimated 60,000 tons of Southwest Missouri poultry waste and other agriculture waste into oil, organic fertilizer, water, and natural gas.
The United States produces 6 billion tons of poultry waste annually. This amount, in addition to the other forms of agriculture waste, creates a significant problem that needs to be addressed. The $12.4 million devoted to the Society for Energy and Environmental Research will allow companies like Renewable Environmental Solutions to complete projects, such as the plant in Carthage, and help to attack the problems that the agriculture sector is experiencing today. This money will also allow for the expansion of this important technology into other regions of the country that have similar agricultural waste problems.
Thermal depolymerization applies pressure and heat to agricultural waste. The byproducts of the process are water which is clean enough to discharge into a treatment plant and minerals that can be used to make carbon based fertilizer.
According to Appel, "The ability to have a positive impact on reducing environmental degradation while creating an independent, economically viable source of high quality energy is an extremely exciting and rewarding opportunity. We have very high expectations for our thermal process worldwide." For more information about his company, click here.