Scientists have found a way to speed up the process that turned dinosaurs into oil and are developing a method for converting turkey parts into a liquid that can be refined into gasoline. A 20-million dollar factory is expected to go online in Carthage, Missouri, next month using the technology. Gretta Irwin, executive director of the Iowa Turkey Federation, says she hopes Iowa producers can get on board too, and she says it could be a big plus to Iowa producers. Using heat and pressure, the Missouri factory hopes to process 200 tons of turkey parts to produce 600 barrels of oil every day. The turkey parts include mostly waste — bones, feathers, grease and innards. Irwin says it’s an exciting buzz in her industry.
She says the industry is always looking for new technology. Irwin says the byproducts are now mostly used for pet food. Irwin says this new method of turning waste turkey parts into a petroleum product could be another huge boom for Iowa farmers, following in the steps of ethanol, which uses corn to produce fuel and reduces our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. She says they’re working with legislators to create some tax credits to help develop the technology here. Iowa ranks ninth in the U.S. in turkey production and fifth in turkey processing. She says the state’s turkey farmers will raise about eight-million turkeys this year. Unlike some other areas of farming, Irwin says turkey farming is growing, with expansion in “family farms”.
She says Iowa has three main hubs for turkey farming, in and around the cities of Storm Lake, Ellsworth and West Liberty.