Poultry in Motion
Poultry-to-oil plant in Missouri struggling to survive
Like many renewable-energy ventures, a high-profile processing plant in Carthage, Mo., built to turn turkey waste into usable crude oil has been struggling to survive. Touted as a solution to foreign-oil addiction (but not to global warming), the plant cooks down 270 tons of bird leftovers into 300 barrels of oil a day. Turns out the technology works just fine, but due to financial troubles and, despite promises of odor-free operations, a smell so bad that area residents liken it to “something out of a horror movie,” the plant’s future is uncertain. Plant operators made the false assumptions that the facility would qualify for a $1-a-gallon tax credit (nope) and that poultry producers would pay to have their waste taken away (nope — it’s the other way around). The harsh outcome is that the resulting oil sells for half of what it costs to make. Now the company, Changing World Technologies, is considering starting a plant in Ireland, where they say the economic conditions are more favorable and, presumably, residents won’t care about the smell.