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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 20, May 20, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

There's a global buzz about increasing the sustainability of our business practices. You can see this in our governments spending bucks to push the trend forward. But what do "sustainability incentives" have to do with waste conversion, and what is this "sustainable" thing of which we speak? A common definition of Sustainability says if you can keep up whatever it is that you are doing while reducing your impact on the environment, we'll still have resources a few generations in the future when the New Kids try to do the same thing. Shoot for leaving a livable world at least seven generations ahead.

If you do good with your Business, you can stay within the bounds Society has set up that are represented in your permits and certifications. You can afford to get a little sloppy sometimes, even have a terrible year and still not do so much damage that you fall outside of your permitted space. That's the "status quo" - continuing to do just enough to keep in business - and for many, that's plenty. Can you do better? Probably, but then you need to know how to "do better". That knowledge is usually difficult to come by and the tools are expensive to put into practice.

Let's say you grow and harvest tomatoes. You stay inside your county, state, and federal rules and guidelines, and you manage to sell enough marketable tomatoes to stay in Business. Now, increasing the "sustainability" of agriculture can cover a huge number of changes: less pesticides, more efficient water usage, and renewably fuelled fork-lifts. All good ideas, all cost money. Isn't there ANYTHING that you can do to improve the sustainability of growing tomatoes and actually Makes you money?

OK, so what happens to all those not-quite-marketable tomatoes? Off to the local dump? Plowed back into the field? Better, maybe, if you at least sell them to the neighboring dairy for cattle-feed, perhaps in exchange for manure for your tomatoes. Better still if you combine a good portion of those squished and rotting 'maters with your neighbor's cow-poop and milky wastewater in a big anaerobic digester (AD) unit. You can now make electricity for both of your operation's heat and power needs, clean up some of the biogas for the vehicles, and still end up with good mulch for amending the field. It's waste conversion! NOW you’ve got an integrated process that certainly is better for the Good Earth. But … you know how to grow tomatoes and your neighbor knows dairy cows; neither of you know which end of a Digester eats the cabbage. You just know this will cost a bundle even to figure it out, and a whole lot more to make it happen.

Here's where Society needs to step up with the Incentives to improve the Sustainability of our communal efforts. Maybe split the cost to hire bright people to design, build, and operate that AD tool integrated with your tomato growing and milk producing Business efforts. And guess what? These are Exactly the sort of grants we're seeing developed and awarded all over the planet. "Sustainability Incentives", by whatever name, are put in place to nudge Good Business toward Best Management Practices, and clean conversion of Waste is surging to the fore-front of ways to make that happen.

Hey Rube!

Look over all your own Business Practices; hunt down the stuff you pay to throw away. See who else is doing something similar in your community. Aim high but ask for help, because improving the sustainability of your own actions benefits your community, your state and your planet.

The Week's News

NOTE: A recent problem has developed with Internet Explorer 9's ability to follow a link directly to its location on a page, so look around. It will be there. If you are using other web browsers, there doesn't seem to be a problem. We are hoping this will clear up in future IE9 updates. Sometimes the magic works. 


Enerkem Secures $1.1MM Grant for Waste Conversion to Drop-In BioFuels

Montreal based Enerkem Inc. has announced new research collaboration with the Government of Canada to further develop conversion of waste to advanced fuels. 05/17/2013

Colorado Governor Signs HB 13-1001 Supporting Clean Technologies

The Colorado Cleantech Industry Association (CCIA) has announced that Governor John Hickenlooper signed House Bill 13–1001, the Advanced Industries Acceleration Act. 05/17/2013

Oregon BEST Funds Microbial Fuel Cell for Brewery Wastewater to Energy

The Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST) has announced a $150,000 commercialization grant for tests of a new microbial fuel cell to convert brewery wastewater to energy. 05/16/2013

Kroger Unveils Food Waste to Clean Energy AD System in Los Angeles

Massachusetts based FEED Resource Recovery Inc. has announced start of operations at its 55,000 ton per year anaerobic digestion (AD) system installation at The Kroger Company's Los Angeles, California grocery supply distribution center. 05/16/2013

BioFuelNet Canada Joins Airbus, Air Canada for Aviation Biofuels Solutions

BioFuelNet Canada has announced entering into a cooperative agreement with Air Canada and Airbus to identify the promising biofuels for aviation. 05/15/2013

DOE Launches H2USA Program to Deploy Advanced Hydrogen Infrastructure

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the launch of a new program encouraging public/private partnerships to develop and deploy an advanced hydrogen infrastructure. 05/15/2013

Canadian Government Partners for Algae to Biofuels using Industrial CO2

The Government of Canada has announced a joint 3 year project to use algae for sequestering and recycling industrial carbon emissions from oil sands development and in other industrial facilities. 05/15/2013

Spanish Research Institute Improves CO2 to Methanol Catalysis

The Spanish Institute for Chemical Research for Catalonia (ICIQ) has released a "technology available" notice via the international Innoget service (free registration required), entitled "Carbon dioxide recycling: high yielding process for the preparation of methanol and DME from carbon dioxide" (Tech Offer ID: O-1176). 05/14/2013

Resolute Forest Products Opens Green Power Island at Ontario Paper Mill

Canada based Resolute Forest Products (RFP) has announced the inauguration of a renewable energy complex at its Thunder Bay, Ontario pulp and paper mill. The power island includes a refurbished and upgraded wood waste boiler and a new 65-megawatt condensing turbine. 05/14/2013

JBEI Advances Use of Ionic Liquids for Enzyme-free Biomass Pretreatment

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has announced that researchers at its Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have developed a new technique for pre-treating low-value cellulosic biomass prior to full conversion for production of biofuels and bio-sourced chemicals using ionic liquids without reliance on enzymatic hydrolysis. 05/14/2013

US DOE Funds Eight Small Business Biomass-Focused Energy Technologies

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office has announced awards totaling over $16 million for innovative small businesses focused on energy technologies. 05/13/2013

Coahuila Landfill Gas to Energy is 1st Biogas Project Financed by NADBank

The North American Development Bank (NADBank) has announced that six new environmental infrastructure projects have been selected for financing and certification, totaling $44.57 million in grants and loans. 05/13/2013

WELTEC BIOPOWER Will Construct 1.8 MW Biomethane Plant in Finland

The Vechta, Germany based company WELTEC BIOPOWER GmbH has announced development of a modular anaerobic digestion facility with a nameplate capacity of 1.8 megawatts (MWe) of renewable electricity, but designed to produce refined biomethane for transport. 05/13/2013

The Week's Action Items

Due 06/03/2013: Response to IBI Survey on Global Biochar Projects

The International Biochar Initiative (IBI) is seeking detailed information regarding current trends in worldwide biochar deployment, and has posted a Biochar Projects Survey. 05/13/2013

Due 06/11/2013: Small Business Innovative Research Phase I Proposals to NSF

Due 06/13/2013: Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I Proposals to NSF

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has opened the application processes for Fiscal Year 2014's Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant programs. 05/15/2013

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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.