Crude Oil's Newest Source may be Pig Manure
The University of Illinois has developed a thermochemical conversion (TCC) process that may turn a smelly problem into an economic boon by converting pig manure into crude oil. At a conversion rate of 70 percent from solids to oils, it is projected that one pig can excrete enough manure to produce twenty-one gallons of crude oil during its prime production cycle!
"If 50 percent of swine farms adopted this technology, we could see a $1.5 billion reduction in crude oil imports every year," explained Zhang, "and swine producers could see a 10 percent increase in their income — about $10 to $15 per hog."
University of of Illinois agricultural and biological engineer Yuanhui Zhang says that their approach to TCC involves processing the manure directly -- without removing the water first -- avoiding the expense and smell of pre-drying.
The next step in the research is to launch a pilot plant to develop an oil/liquid separation facility on a commercial swine farm.
Other waste biofuel technologies: