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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 14, April 8, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Turning non-petroleum stuff into fuel addresses a lot of serious problems. It’s the sheer volume of fuel we constantly need that is so confounding. All the biofuel we can make is still just a trickle into the vortex our engines suck down every day. How can we possibly make enough biofuel to shift this process toward sanity? Where are the quantities of stuff that we can turn into fuel? Can we grow, harvest, process, and distribute enough biofuel to ever challenge the Petro Regime? Maybe; at least, we are now capable of making the goods in the first place.

Algae oil is pretty cool; the industry seems capable now of the techy advances needed to make decent to-specification quantities. Harnessing microbes, whether au naturel or products of re-engineering, can make 'em eat almost anything and spit out whatever fuel-like materials we need. Turning corn into engine-booze will remain a mainstay, whether there's validity to the cries against it or not, and you can bet we need a large bore pipe from here to Brazil just for what the West Coast will convert to road miles. But how do we improve on what we've learned so far about making biofuels? We can figure out where there is inefficiency in the process, and focus on making that part better. As is the case for all manufacturing, the most efficiency is gained when one utilizes 100% of the residuals generated by the main process.

If you are fermenting corn, make sure you get that field stubble, too. How about those Microbe Beasties: what are you gonna do with the bulk, once the squeezin's are separated? So your process dissolves the cellulose and your bugs eat all those odd wood sugars; find somebody who can also convert the lignin. You're great at turning french fry grease into biodiesel; now you need to take apart the glycerine. Poop to biogas? Look around to the crud your neighbors are still tossing in the dumpster; there's bound to be more you can feed those hungry anaerobes, and you can bet they'll appreciate the added nutrients that come along with food waste and grease. Fine tune each process by figuring out how to not waste anything.

Now take a step back. If indeed the efficiency comes with conversion of what was once called Waste, why not go to the Source? We now have the primary tools to take apart and remake just about any sort of material. We need to find the requisite mountains of feedstock needed to do more than send a ripple through the fuel pipelines and storage tanks. Where O' where do we already have the collection infrastructure set up to gather and manage that volume of potential feedstock? Uh … by the way, where does the crud you toss into that dumpster go, anyway?

Taking apart the trash a city generates is not a simple process, but neither is growing a million tons of algae or harvesting a hundred thousand acres of oil seed and ag residuals. But when we decide to take apart, sort, pre-treat, and convert all the various elements of our garbage, we are starting with something that is a strong negative, and turning it into a strong positive. We get a double bump economically, and we create a sustainable fuel production path out of the totally unsustainable practice of (Fear the Word) Disposal.

Hey Rube!

Almost every agency the world around is rethinking its purview to find ways to cut waste, reduce emissions, shrink the carbon footprint, conserve resources, and complete the loop of a Circular Economy. That doesn't mean they are coordinating their myriad actions.

The Week's News

Biofuels Center Funds Appalachian State University for MSW to Biofuels Study

The Biofuels Center of North Carolina has announced awards totaling $684,058 for six projects to accelerate the renewable fuels industry in western North Carolina. Awards were made through the 2012-2013 targeted biofuels development funding program, entitled Catalyzing Production in Western North Carolina. 04/06/2013

Anaergia Secures 20 year PPA for Biogas Energy from Victor Valley WWTP

Canada based Anaergia Services has announced that it has been awarded a 20 year contract for sale of power to be generated from upgraded biogas. 04/06/2013

ALL Power Labs Add Grid Inter-tie Systems to Power Pallet Gasifiers

Berkeley's thermal conversion specialist ALL Power Labs (APL) have rather quietly announced the addition of an integrated grid interconnection interface to their 20 kilowatt (kWe) wood gasification Power Pallet systems. 04/05/2013

Relivit Plans 2014 Opening for Nappie Waste Recycling Facility in Australia

The Australian investment firm Relivit Holdings Ltd is actively seeking funds to open its first absorbent hygiene waste recycling and materials recovery facility in Sydney. scheduled for 2014. 04/05/2013

GESI and InREFco Secure $50MM for Waste Railroad Ties to Energy Project

With its headquarters now in Vancouver and a base maintained in Houston Texas, Green Energy Solution Industries, Inc. (GESI) has announced success in securing $50 million in project development funding with its joint venture partner the International Renewable Energy Facilitation Company (InREFco). 04/04/2013

CEC's 2012 PIER Program Investment Report Includes Waste Conversion

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has announced the publication of The Public Interest Energy Research 2012 Annual Report - Commission Report (CEC-500-2013-013-CMF), which was prepared under Public Resources Code Section 25620.8. 04/03/2013

BIOX and Shell Canada Sign Biodiesel Supply Agreement

Based in Ontario, Canada, advanced biodiesel production company BIOX Corporation has announced a biodiesel supply agreement with Shell Canada Ltd. BIOX’s 67 million litres per year Hamilton biodiesel facility is located immediately adjacent to Shell Canada's refinery, allowing a pipeline to be inter-connected for delivery. 04/03/2013

BioNitrogen Secures Urea Off-Take Agreement for Planned Louisiana Plants

Florida's bio-sourced fertilizer company BioNitrogen has announced signing a second supply agreement with United Suppliers, Inc for the off-take of urea fertilizer from its planned plants in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. 04/03/2013

Desso Supplies Sustainable Cradle-to-Cradle Carpet for KLM Airlines

Based in the Netherlands, the sustainable carpet manufacturer Desso has announced that it will supply KLM Royal Dutch Airlines with a specially designed carpet in 22 of the airline company's Boeing 747 passenger jets. 04/02/2013

Synthesis Energy and GE Partner for 50 to 100 MWe Power Solution

Texas based Synthesis Energy Systems (SES) has announced signing a joint evaluation and marketing agreement with GE Packaged Power, Inc., a subsidiary of General Electric Company (GE). 04/02/2013

USDA, DuPont Set Sustainable Feedstock Standards for Cellulosic Ethanol

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a federal-private agreement with DuPont, setting standards for sustainable collection of agricultural residuals to be used as feedstock at DuPont's 30 million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol production facility in Nevada, Iowa that broke ground last year. 04/01/2013

Amyris Makes Progress in Strategic Partnerships with Total, Cosan, Biolding

California-based Amyris has provided an update regarding progress with three key partnerships, part of a collaborative business model the company has pursued for commercialization. 04/01/2013

The Week's Action Items

Due 04/08/2013: Comments to CEC on Concept for ARFVTP Center Solicitation

The California Energy Commission (CEC) conducted a workshop on April 3, 2013 to discuss potential AB 118 solicitations for the development of regional Centers for Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technologies (ARFVTP), offering a staff draft concept paper and a detailed slide presentation. 04/04/2013

Due 04/30/2013: Applications to USDA REAP for Renewable Energy Projects

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it is again seeking applications for funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that assist agricultural producers and small businesses. 04/06/2013

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Featured Events:
8th Annual
CBA Symposium

Sacramento, California
18-19, 2013
Recommended Reading:

"Waste-to-Energy, Second Edition: Technologies
and Project Implementation" by Marc J Rogoff and Francois Screve

Municipal Solid Waste to Energy Conversion Processes: Economic, Technical, and Renewable Comparisons by Gary C Young

"Municipal Solid Waste to Energy Conversion Processes: Economic, Technical, and Renewable Comparisons" by Gary C Young


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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.