Changing World Technologies

Changing World Technologies

Changing World Technologies (CWT), a privately held company, was founded in August 1997 by Brian S. Appel, the current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CWT and its subsidiaries. CWT was started primarily to develop and commercialize the thermal depolymerization technology, now referred to by the company as "thermal conversion process", developed and patented by Paul Baskis. The process produces renewable diesel fuel from agricultural and livestock wastes.

Baskis has since left CWT, but the company has retained the rights to his patents, primarily 5,269,947 - Thermal Depolymerizing Reforming Process and Apparatus.[1]

In 1998, CWT started a subsidiary, Thermo-Depolymerization Process, LLC (TDP), which developed a demonstration and test plant for the thermal depolymerization technology. The plant opened in 1999 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 2008, CWT, based in West Hempstead, New York, received the Most Innovative Patent Award in the Environment & Energy category from the Long Island Technology Hall of Fame.[2] Appel accepted the award at the 2008 awards ceremony on March 6.

On March 4, 2009 after a failed IPO attempt in February, 2009, Changing world Technologies and its three subsidiaries filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The company effectively shut down its Carthage, Missouri, plant, after it bought ConAgra's share of the facility. The company is attempting to reorganize. [3][dead link]

Renewable Environmental Solutions, LLC

Another of CWT’s subsidiaries and affiliate companies is Renewable Environmental Solutions, LLC (RES), which was formed in 2000. It is a joint venture between ConAgra Foods and CWT to develop the processing of agricultural waste and low-value streams throughout the world.[4][5] RES, now wholly owned by CWT, has the "first commercial biorefinery in the world that can make oil from a variety of waste streams,[6] principally waste from the nearby ConAgra Butterball turkey processing plant in Carthage, Missouri. According to Biomass magazine, "CWT’s thermal conversion process is a commercially viable method of reforming organic waste that converts approximately 250 tons of turkey offal and fats per day into approximately 500 barrels of renewable diesel."[2] In addition to other problems, production costs turned out to be $80 a barrel, much higher than the anticipated $15. As of 2006, however, the Carthage plant was expected to generate a small profit.[6]

The plant in Carthage, Missouri opened in May 2004. Almost immediately local residents started to complain about a foul odor. In December of 2005, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt ordered the plant shut down. The company installed odor mitigation equipment and reopened the plant 3 months later. The plant was closed in March 2009 as the result of bankruptcy. In March 2011 the company indicated that it has gathered the financing to reopen the plant and that it plans to accept used fryer oil as feedstock[7].

In 2007 two residents filed a law suit against Renewable Environmental Solutions because they say they suffered due to odors from the operation. They also filed to expanded the suit to a class action. A judge denied class action status on March 9, 2011[8].


  1. ^ Baskis. Paul T.,Thermal Depolymerizing Reforming Process and Apparatus, U.S. Patent 5,269,947, issued 14 December 1993
  2. ^ a b "Changing World Technologies receives award". Biomass magazine ( May 2008. 
  3. ^ Mark Harrington (March 13, 2009). "West Hempstead diesel fuel company files for bankruptcy". Newsday (,0,993260.story. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  4. ^ "Biomass Program. Agricultural mixed waste biorefinery using Thermal Conversion Process (TCP)". U.S. Department of Energy. 2006-08. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  5. ^ "Chronology of a Proven Technology Using Thermal Processing". Renewable Environmental Solutions LLC. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  6. ^ a b Brad Lemley (April 4, 2006). "Anything Into Oil". Discover magazine ( Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  7. ^ "City, plant officials schedule walk-through at RES". Carthage Press. 2011-03-11. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  8. ^ "Class action arguments rejected in RES lawsuit". The Joplin Globe. 2011-03-09. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 

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