Oil is too expensive? No problem. Professor Yuanhui Zhang, a biologist at the University of Illinois UrbanaChampaign, found alternative energy: pig manure. The microreactor he developed transforms waste into crude oil.
Under the action of heat and pressure, he found a way to break long strings carbonaceous slurry to obtain a liquid fuel, water and methane. The substance obtained is chemically similar to crude oil with a higher content of sulfur and nitrogen. Its heating value is approximately 85% of that of oil. It can be refined for fuel oil, inks and plastics. It may also be used to generate electricity.
No need to catalysis. No need to pre-dry the manure. But this simple process does not allow for the time to turn that two liters of manure at a time to get in fifteen minutes a quarter liter of fuel. Still, it is promising. According to Y. Zhang, a pork butcher can produce to 75 80 liters of crude oil over its life. A breeding pigs 10 000 4760 therefore would approximately barrels / year. A 36 € per barrel ($ 45), this
would be an income supplement to 12 18 € per pig (10% per head). The invention, which uses up to 70% of the dry matter of manure, while reducing the consumption of oxygen and odors, could solve the problem of the reprocessing of effluents generated by élevages.Elle especially has a role to play as alternative to oil.
The use of the reactor on half the farms would reduce American oil imports from 1,8 billion per year.
Which did not elicit any enthusiasm on the part of US oil.
The idea of turning organic matter into fuel is not new. Early research date back to 70 years. The experiment was tried with vegetable waste and abandoned because of the cost of the process and lower oil prices. At nearly € 40 barrel
interest seems evident again. The system could be adapted for poultry droppings, cow dung or even human feces.
Sources: France Agricole (15 / 04 / 05) and the Furrow