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The ongoing, meandering quest, à la Lord of the Rings, to find the best alternative energy to supplant the world’s finite supply of fossil fuel really brings the whack jobs with a lot of startup capital out of the woodwork.

The new energy craze has a few companies trying to get in on the latest action of converting turkey parts into biodiesel, jet fuel, and gasoline. If this sounds like it’s too gross to be true, it isn’t, because in the hyper-competitive world of alternative fuel, nothing is tabled for being too disgusting (or illegal).

And what could be more fowl than turkey guts? A Carthage, Missouri, entrepreneurial group, Changing World Technologies (CWT), built a factory for the singular purpose of turning entrails into alternative fuel. In fact, next-door neighbor ConAgra, which raises and slaughters turkeys for food, supplies the factory with plenty of “turkey leftovers.” These non-edible parts – such as feathers, beaks, and bones – are the feedstock that’s broken down into crude biofuel by thermo-depolymerization, a process that creates light oil and natural gas out of almost any organic waste product. It’s how petroleum is created in the natural world but obviously at a much slower rate.

However, the verdict’s out on whether the conversion yields a truly clean, environmentally friendly fuel. It’s also quite spendy, costing about $80 a barrel to produce, but this cost appears more manageable when compared against crude oil’s current price of $92 per barrel. The U.S. government is attempting to superficially correct the energy market imbalance through a series of Energy Policy Act tax incentives for alternative-energy producers, which encourages the production of bird biodiesel by offering the CWT factory and others like it $1 per gallon rebates.

So who knows? Perhaps this turkey scheme is not just gobble, gobbledygook after all.

Earthgarage – Greener Car.  Fatter Wallet.