How to recycle everything

A cool Discover article on thermal depolymerization, a process that can break down any kind of organic waste, from human and animal waste to vinyl siding, into oil, natural gas, minerals and water. Philadelphia is starting to test it on municipal waste, and a turkey plant in Missouri is about to bring online a plant to process 200 tons of turkey offal per day. They claim to be able to produce oil at $15/barrel, and expect the price to go down as the process improves.

It sounds so amazing, I don’t want to get my hopes up. Not only would this reduce or eliminate our dependence on foreign oil, but it could eventually end global warming by returning us to a closed carbon cycle: carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from burning this oil was taken from the atmosphere by plants (recently not 30 million years ago), that eventually became organic waste. The ultimate recycling.


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