Thermochemical and biochemical conversion
April 23, 2004 11:52 AM   Subscribe

First it was turkey parts, then pig waste and now straw added to the camels back. Thermochemical and biochemical conversion make use of natural processes such as enzymes, heat and pressure to create oil from garbage so one day landfills may become the new domestic oil fields.
posted by stbalbach (5 comments total)
As someone mentioned in the earlier MeFi thread this technology is not new in concept it has been around since at least the 1970s however the engineering was never good enough to make it cost effective. These new breakthrough technologies from ChangeingWorldTech, Dr. Yanhui Zhang and IOGen are making it cost effective on a commercial scale for the first time to create oil and gas from otherwise waste products.
posted by stbalbach at 12:00 PM on April 23, 2004

I don't have the time just at this point to do a deep search, but I believe some companies do own rights to "mine" certain landfills, mineral extraction & whatnot. I know it has been a topic in speculative fiction for quite awhile and think it has moved into either reality or at least possible action in the near future. Makes sense I guess.
posted by edgeways at 12:46 PM on April 23, 2004

: the latest offering from the "Humans are actually smart enough to invent real solutions to current world problems" syndicate.

Now, if only we could turn human attention away from contemplation of violence and towards proven methods for solving pressing world problems.

Then, human intelligence and optimism might just prevail over the prevailing din of shrieking, weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
posted by troutfishing at 9:19 PM on April 23, 2004

stbalbach - thanks for the post.
posted by troutfishing at 9:20 PM on April 23, 2004

Last year, I was all excited over the idea of landfill processing. Chatted with an Ex-wasterwater treatement operator.

1) While the 'process' is continous, the vessels are themal cycled. Thermal cycling is ruff on hardware.

But more importantly:

2) A 'landfill' wastestream will have catalysts like Platinum. And Platinum should make the process blow up. Not to mention the variability of waste.

So don't get to excited that the thermal de-polimeriztion will be processing waste streams any time soon.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:45 PM on April 25, 2004

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