The Offal Truth
Promising clean-energy company may have to leave U.S. to succeed
Certain folks take it as quasi-religious doctrine that strong green regulation is bad for economic growth. Tell it to Philadelphia’s Changing World Technologies, a burgeoning clean-energy company that may have to leave the U.S. precisely because of lax environmental laws. Every day, CWT turns 270 tons of turkey offal — the bones, meaty bits, and feathers that don’t get to the supermarket with your Butterball roaster — into 300 barrels of fuel oil. Using “thermal depolymerization,” CWT claims it can transform nearly any carbon-containing waste into a biodiesel-esque fuel, at a net energy gain, with minimal byproducts and no net addition to the atmospheric carbon cycle. But CWT may move to Europe to perfect its methods. In a country that’s signed the Kyoto Protocol, CWT could sell greenhouse-gas emissions credits for many times more than they’re worth in the U.S. Plus, while using animal residues in animal chow is still legal in the U.S., it’s been banned in many other countries, cutting costs for CWT’s chief raw material to nearly zero.
Get Grist in your inbox