From Turkey Guts to Oil

It's going to change the way we build citiesSo, what are our collective thoughts on this? I received an email via inCircle (the email distribution parameters look pretty promiscuous and I can guess this is a repeat for some of you) from a ’98 grad who works at the company in question (see the extended entry for the full text of the email).

$15 a barrel on the first deployment with the production cost dropping to $10 in three to five years? Sam, do you call BS?

From a business perspective, it seems like they have some momentum – government support, investor support, protection of their intellectual assets, and a well-stocked pipeline.

As a total aside, maybe I’ll cancel that lunch order for a turkey sandwich ….

Good afternoon, fellow Cardinal,

Howdy, my name is Shannon Jones (C/o ’98 – B.S. ChemE) and I wanted to share some information with the group assembled here about the work my company, Changing World Technologies (CWT), is doing. We’re a relatively small group of engineers, forward-thinkers, former government big-wigs, and investors, headquartered on Long Island, New York, who think that we have come up with “the
solution for energy independence”.

We’re currently featured in the May 2003 issue of Discover Magazine (full article at and are creating a buzz in the scientific and political community. From the tagline of this email, you can see how some people may be skeptical. Using our proprietary technology, thermal depolymerization (TDP), we can convert near about any carbon-rich waste stream (old tires, municipal sewage, plastics, dead turkey parts, agricultural
wastes, medical wastes, biological agents and pathogens like anthrax and mad cow disease, and simple things like paper) into valuable resources, namely, high-grade oil, fuel gas, minerals, fatty acids, and fine carbon particles like the kind you’d find in your HP printer.

Until now, the only thing waste processors could do with these streams was to incinerate them (oops, there goes the ozone layer!), landfill them (well, I don’t care about ground or tap water because I buy only bottled water anyway), or recycle the waste back into animal feed (here’s your ham sandwich, Miss Piggy).

Our first plant (a joint venture with ConAgra Foods for processing turkey feathers, bones, blood, fats, guts, etc.) will come online in Carthage, Missouri this spring with ten more plants ‘in the pipeline’ for the next few years. After it turns the turkey waste into oil – as well as diesel fuel, fatty acids for use in cosmetics, fertilizer and carbon black – the only thing left over will be clean water. The plant mimics how oil is produced naturally by heat and pressure over eons underneath the Earth’s surface. The difference is the Carthage plant (and the others to follow) will do the same thing in hours by moving a slurry of wastes and water through a series of tanks that use a variety of heat and pressure combinations to break the organics down.

Real sci-fi stuff here but very practical applications. Globally, but most importantly for here in the United States, an alternate source of energy is needed to curtail the destruction to the planet and the endangerment of lives that comes with our dependence on foreign oil. The added benefits of our vision is that the fuel is renewable because there will always be some type of waste stream to be processed, unlike oil wells to be drilled; we have the opportunity to rid the environment of large piles of waste in landfills; and we can slow down global warming by keeping whatever carbon material is left in the ground there instead of accumulating it in our atmosphere.

I could talk days and days about the great virtues of my company but I am extremely biased. Also by this email, I, in no shape or form, expect you all to bow down at my company’s feet and think we’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. I’m just a young, excited chemical engineer that loves his job. Please look around and find out about us on your own. My friends are absolutely sick of me talking about this thing anyway!

Now, CWT is well-funded so I’m not asking for any of you to send money ASAP, we are NOT publically-traded, nor are we hiring right now (the three main questions we get asked daily) but anything is possible in the future. If you’re interested, please review our website at, pick up the Discover article, or perform a few online searches for “thermal depolymerization” or “changing world technologies” and see what we’re about. Also if you have any questions or comments, send them through the email address on the company webpage because I am just an engineer and have no say-so on how to invest, how to get hired, or how to teach our patented technology to your fourth grade class. I really can’t answer any particular questions anyway due to confidentiality agreements but I’m excited and I know you all will be as well
once you see what we are capable of.

Shannon Jones
“Just another man trying to share the wealth through knowledge transfer”