May 13, 2006


Pig Manure Converted to Crude Oil (Stefan Lovgren, July 2, 2004, National Geographic News)

Yuanhui Zhang, an agricultural engineering professor at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, has succeeded in turning small batches of hog waste into oil.

The process, called thermochemical conversion, uses heat and pressure to break down carbohydrate materials and turn waste into liquid. The project is still in its infancy.

For now, each half-gallon (two-liter) batch of manure converts to only about 9 ounces (0.26 liter) of oil.

But Zhang believes the conversion process could eventually solve the problem of pollution and odor at modern hog farms, where farmers pay big money to get rid of the waste. And, he says, pig oil could also offer an alternative to petroleum oil.

Nevermind the alternative energy source, if the Tancredos had their way Mr. Zhang wouldn't even be here.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 13, 2006 9:02 AM

I kind of doubt Mr. Zhang is an illegal immigrant, but you're so right about the convergence.

Can you imagine the Saudi reaction to an alternative fuel powered by pork?

Posted by: Melissa at May 13, 2006 9:22 AM

Or Iran, with an American army poised on their border loaded up with Israeli bullets, MRE's full of barbecued pork, and now, with pork-fueled vehicles ready to roll. It's like their worst nightmare (well, except for Bill O'Reilly...that guy just scares the bejeebers out of them).

Posted by: HT at May 13, 2006 9:35 AM

I just finished working at a cement plant in South Carolina. Along with their normal operations they had a kiln running that shredded and processed defective and used tires. They were averaging 5 gallons of kerosene from each tire. They used that fuel to power the plant and sell electricity back to the power grid. The tires came to them for free.

Posted by: Pete at May 13, 2006 9:58 AM

These are the kinds of modest solve-a-problem programs that will work just fine and are well worth pursuing.

Posted by: David Cohen at May 13, 2006 10:10 AM

Melissa, he's illegal the minute the wrong INS agent finds him.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 13, 2006 10:41 AM

But Robert, he'll be able to show that no American will do his job, so he's safe.

Posted by: erp at May 13, 2006 10:55 AM

Who run Bartertown?

Posted by: MF at May 13, 2006 11:00 AM

Mrs. Erp, why would that stop a bored INS agent?

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 13, 2006 11:18 AM

He'll be OK as soon as the Iowa congressional delegation gets on the horn.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at May 13, 2006 11:32 AM

Mr. Hawkins, it's hard to make a problem go away, once the paperwork has been started. The congressional delegation will not be able to do as much as you think they can....

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 13, 2006 11:37 AM

Ohh, this is interesting, mix pig products into the gasoline, how can muslims justify driving or breathing our air?

Posted by: Sandy p at May 13, 2006 1:10 PM

> Ohh, this is interesting, mix pig products into the gasoline, how can muslims justify driving or breathing our air?

I'm not an expert on jihadist theology, but I'm pretty sure they hold that any means can be justified by the end of conquering the infidel.

Posted by: Guy T. at May 13, 2006 1:48 PM

Robert, if his university attests that they can't find an American to his job, then he can stay. At least that's the way it was way back when.

My comment was a little twist on the usual, no American will do a job because it's beneath them. In this case, the job is so specialized (which I assume it is), no American can do it.

Posted by: erp at May 13, 2006 2:27 PM

Thanks for your time Mrs. Erp. I understood your little twist. I have known people like that(I live close to CEBAF). INF is having a bad day, it's 'that's not how we interpert that reg here' and out you go.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 13, 2006 3:16 PM

INS. sorry.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 13, 2006 3:17 PM

Another proof that immigrants are doing things that native born Americans don't do.

Posted by: ic at May 13, 2006 3:30 PM

Truly now they use everything but the "oink."

Posted by: Rick T. at May 13, 2006 3:33 PM

I hate to bring this up, but do cars so fueled have any problem with--you know--odors?

I seem to recall reading that using reclaimed cooking oil as fuel made one's car smell like french fries. Just asking.

Posted by: Lou Gots at May 13, 2006 4:31 PM

What car doesn't smell?

Posted by: oj at May 13, 2006 5:22 PM

"Renewable Environmental Solutions, LLC"(RES) was formed in 2000 as a joint venture between ConAgra Foods and CWT to develop the processing of agricultural waste and low-value streams throughout the world. RES, now wholly owned by CWT, has the United States’ first operational bio-refinery situated in Carthage, Missouri, producing an indigenous supply of Renewable Diesel from agricultural and livestock wastes." Changing World Technologies

Posted by: Genecis at May 13, 2006 6:14 PM