Second Thoughts on Hydrogen

Depolymerization of society's waste into liquid fuels seen as making more sense than building hydrogen infrastructure...

Published: 10-Oct-2004

Our discussions of alternate fuels for automotive use continues, and it continues because so many excellent reader responses have been received.

Mr. John W. Dowdle III offers an intriguing insight to another possibility to help our nation -- and others -- decrease reliance on foreign oil. "You ended Saturday's column (9/1-1/04) with a question about fuel alternatives. It seems the answer to your question may be 'yes.' "

Here's the answer: "It's an old process called depolymerization that used to be so inefficient as to be almost worthless, but due to an innovation in heat recovery and water removal the process is now being scaled-up for fuel production. Basically this process breaks down and distills organic matter as diverse as old tires, turkey guts and sewage, rendering fuel oil, gasoline, naptha and the usual list of petroleum distillates."

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