I first came across this type of technology in Discover magazine many years ago - "DISCOVER has chronicled (and kept a close tab on) Changing World Technologies' trials since it built its commercial demonstration plant in 2003. The Carthage, Missouri, facility was designed to be the world's first biomass-to-biocrude refinery, equipped to turn just about anything with a string of carbon atoms—from unrecyclable plastic and municipal garbage to animal-processing waste—into road-ready diesel."Change World said they were making money in 2008 and were in a quiet period because of the pending IPO. Then this news came out - "On March 4, 2009, Changing World Technologies, Inc., along with its affiliates, filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court."The numbers didn't add up - "In the end, CWT sold only 93,000 of the 391,000 gallons of fuel it produced and earned just 99 cents for each one [because of poor quality]. At the time, wholesale fuel oil distributors were raking in $2.50 to $3.30 per gallon. Even with the $1-per-gallon U.S. biofuels tax credit for every gallon sold, Changing World Technologies paid more for Butterball's turkey offal than it earned back in revenue. (Accounting for all its operating costs, the company lost $5,003,000 in the first quarter of 2008, though operating at a loss is not uncommon or necessarily a very bad sign for a technology startup.)"I know Darling is a different company and it is a recently recommended buy, and their expenses are going in the right direction, below shows how their percentage cost are dropping (extracted from quarterly reports) - Date Sales Cost of Sales Cost Percentage Jul-11 470,610 325,204 69.10%Jun-12 436,674 314,138 71.94%Jul-10 166,210 123,853 74.52%Jul-09 155,298 113,353 72.99%But it seems to me as waste becomes more of a resource the margins are going to be driven downward over time. I would love for someone to educated me why Darling's technology is so much better than Changing World.
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