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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume II, Issue 2, January 9, 2012 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "TerĂº")  

Teru's Trash Talk

This past week, we've seen some very nice advances for biodiesel, just before the monster National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in February. Clean or "virgin" vegetable oil prices are skyrocketing, driving forward technologic advances that can make more efficient use of the Good Stuff, and those other pathways that are far more tolerant of Goo and Grime. "Opportunity Feedstock": any time you find something you can use as a starting material that costs folks to throw away, it's usually worth it to put up with the bugs and grit.


There's a fine line between what is virgin feedstock, and what is not. When we hear of soy oil being converted to biodiesel, many cringe, worrying that will raise the cost of cattle food and even their veggie-burgers. But Soy Farmers make Waste too, and the cost of managing that part of food production that isn't "good enough" for the Big Market just raises the price of what is marketable. Studies are showing that production losses for field crops make up an enormous amount of the total Food Waste pie, and any time that can be turned into biodiesel (or biogas, or syngas), we're making economic progress.


Some of the biggest and most successful traditional biodiesel shops have decided it's time to open the Public Funding flood gates (Go Team, Go!). More advanced processing companies are gaining ground as well, using less toxic chemicals, less expensive and more diverse feedstock, and finding they are often capable of producing a much broader array of products and precursors. But then, any biodiesel producer worth its grease is going to be very closely tuned into those same advances. Just as the leading first stage ethanol plants are beginning to integrate advanced processes to make second generation cellulosic biofuels, you can bet the biodiesel folks are shopping for hydrothermal pretreatment and biocatalyst conversion systems. Still, there's something really special about kids turning their cafeteria grease into biofuel that makes their bus smell like French Fries.

Hey Rube!

Chime in on the International BioChar standards process, and then watch as their Guidance documents get finalized over the next few months. Biochar can be great stuff if it's made right; when it has been made from the wrong feedstock with sloppy processing, it ain't so pretty.


CalRecycle may be on the move again. Governor Brown's draft budget for the next fiscal year is calling for the department's return to the CalEPA. CalRecycle moved to the Resources Agency in 2010, remember? They haven't even had time to unpack.

The Week's News

CleanMetrics Study: Climate Change and Economics of US Food Waste  The Oregon think-tank CleanMetrics has released a pre-publication report detailing the many environmental and economic deficits of America's disposal of food-sourced organic waste. 01/08/2012


ZeaChem Starts Core Facility Operations at Oregon Biorefinery

Colorado-based multi-technologic biofuels and chemicals developer ZeaChem has announced completion of the core components of its Boardman, Oregon biorefinery on schedule and under budget. 01/08/2012


US Commerce Webinar on India's Infrastructure and Energy Opportunities  The US Department of Commerce, Commercial Service India has scheduled a webinar on India's Infrastructure for January 11, 2012 at 10:00 AM EST in preparation for a trade mission in March  2012. 01/07/2012


ZeroPoint Completes BioPower to Grid Trials at German Biomass Installation  New York based ZeroPoint Clean Tech, Inc completed successful combined heat and power (CHP) trials for its biomass fueled gasification installation at Schwarze Pumpe, Germany during the last two weeks of 2011. 01/07/2012


TES New Energy Introduces Small Scale Waste Heat to Power Modules  The Japanese start-up TES New Energy (Thermo Electric Systems and NewEnergy Company) has introduced multiple new lines of its novel heat-to-electricity module with a  thermoelectric generation technology platform based on research and development within the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology"s (AIST) Kansai Center in Ikeda, Osaka, Japan. 01/07/2012


Student-led ReGenerate is Clean Energy Challenge Semifinalist

The Clean Energy Trust (CET) has now announced selection of 16 semi-finalists in the 2012 Clean Energy Challenge launched last October for student-led companies from eight mid-western states. 01/07/2012


Rural African Biogas Project Converts Manure to Energy

AlertNet reports on an anaerobic digestion (AD) project in the Republic of Cameroon that is part of a program sponsored by the government and supported by the Cameroon branch of Heifer International. 01/05/2012


Renewable Energy Group Sets IPO Price

Iowa's Renewable Energy Group, Inc (REG) has amended its S-1 filing for an initial public offering (IPO), setting per share pricing between $13 and $15. REG will offer 6,857,140 shares of Common Stock, and some prior stockholders are joining with sale of an additional 342,860 shares. 01/05/2012


Springboard Biodiesel Launches Support for School Biodiesel Programs  California based Springboard Biodiesel has announced a teaming agreement with Washington state's Pinnacle Capital for innovative financing of biodiesel production programs for school campuses. 01/05/2012


Emery Energy Starts Up FlexFeed Gasifier and Syngas Test Facility

Utah-based Emery Energy Company has announced that it is ready to begin coal and biomass gasification operational testing in its recently commissioned 10 ton per day FlexFeedTM Gasifier Test Facility at the Western Research Institute (WRI) in Laramie, Wyoming. 01/04/2012


BASF Invests $30MM in Renmatix for Woody Biomass to Sugar

German chemical giant BASF and Pennsylvania-based Renmatix have jointly announced BASF's investment of $30 million in Renmatix' current $50 million financing round. 01/03/2012


BioTork Converts Papaya Waste to Biofuel for USDA Hamakua Project  Florida based BioTork, LLC has announced success in converting Hawaiian papaya culls to fatty acids for advanced biofuels using microorganisms, algae, and mushrooms. 01/03/2012


Foster Wheeler Receives LNTP on South Korean Waste to Energy Project  International engineering and construction firm Foster Wheeler AG (FW) has announced that a subsidiary of its Global Power Group has been given a Limited Notice to Proceed (LNTP) by GS Engineering and Construction on a South Korean waste to energy project. 01/03/2012


Carbon Sciences Turns Waste Gas and CO2 Emissions into CarbonCrude  California-based Carbon Sciences, Inc has announced new technology that turns waste oilfield natural gas and carbon dioxide emissions into more crude, converting a strong environmental and economic liability into assets without the need for expensive new infrastructure. 01/03/2012


Intelifuel Launches WVO Pricing Board and Alternative Energy Forum

Ecuador based biofuel company Intelifuel has just established two on-line aids for the Alternative Energy industry. 01/03/2012

The Week's Action Items

Due 02/10/2012: Comments to IBI Biochar Standards

The International Biochar Initiative (IBI) is seeking stakeholder comment on its proposed collaborative Guidelines for Specifications of Biochars by February 10, 2012. 01/08/2012


Due 02/21/2012: Nominations for Forest Planning Rule Advisory Committee The US Forest Service published a corrected Federal Register notice that officially extended the due date until February 21, 2012 for nominations to the newly-formed National Advisory Committee. 01/05/2012


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Teru Talk is an online publication of JDMT, Inc with the goal of opening the dialogue and providing current news and commentary on issues and successes associated with waste conversion to renewable energy, biofuels and other bio-based products for resource recovery.

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The Teru Talk Newsletter is published weekly or more or less frequently, primarily depending on what is going on in the world of waste conversion or ours.