Happy turkey day from our home to yours!
And, to keep things geological related around here, I’ll share something funny. I was using google to determine what to do with the organ meats that are shipped with most Thanksgiving turkeys. I know that people use them for gravy or eat them fried or roasted straight up, but I never have and was wondering exactly how to use them.
Sooo…I typed “turkey offal” into the google search bar. This is the first thing that came up: Thermal Depolymerization.
What’s that? I’ll give you a hint.
Basically, the process involves chopping up the dry fuel (food scraps, paper, other organic wastes), mixing it with water, putting it into something that acts like a pressure cooker, and cooking it for a while. Then the whole mix is distilled, much like in traditional oil refining. Voila! Food oil!
Apparently, turkey offal is especially useful for this process because Americans don’t eat much of it, but we sure do love our turkey. And, according to this Discover Magazine article from 2003, the the offal-derived oil is chemically almost identical to a number two fuel oil used to heat homes. It was touted as a way to handle all of the municipal waste we create, as well as wean us off of foreign oil. From the article:
Converting all the U.S. agricultural waste into oil and gas would yield the energy equivalent of 4 billion barrels of oil annually.
Wow, that would be great.
Unfortunately, as this update in 2008 indicates, the process has been bumpy for the startup that launched the process, Changing World Technologies. I’m not sure where things are going, but their website is still up, which is usually a good sign.