Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume IV, Issue 32, August 11, 2014 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Stepping up on this soap-box we fondly call Teru Talk: "Ahem".

I say, "Everything is Recyclable with the Right Tools!"

We've blown right past the idea that separating and recovering the papers, bottles, and cans is what constitutes "recycling". Old hat; yesterday's magic, but still a necessary part of the broader realm we now recognize as true recycling. Just because we personally do not have a clue how to recycle something doesn't mean it can't be recycled.

Sometimes it is really as simple as picking the cans and bottles out of the trash, setting them aside to be washed and made back into cans and bottles. For other wastes, processing can be as basic as applying the right amount of hot water and pressure. If you then add some enzyme Secret Sauce, anything woody comes apart and turns into sugar soup. Sweet!

In Ancient Times, we learned how to control yeasts to make beer and wine from letting them rip into grains and grapes, pulling out that magic Sugar to ferment. We now know that microbes can tear apart just about anything. Bright folks have figured out how to make that "foundation chemical" ethanol from letting those microscopic machines tear apart anything lying around from food scraps to paper pulp, animal poop to sewer goop.

Napoleon liked his brandy that was made by steaming the ethanol out of wine. We can distill off just about any vapor contained in stuff with careful application of heat, and if we heat stuff enough, even the solids turn to liquids, then to gas. Some of those vapors and gases are made of small molecules, some of really large and complex molecules. We can sift and sort those liquids and gases as they come off the stuff we are converting with that heat, separating everything into the things we want from what before was just a pile of waste.

OK, so some of the crud we toss out isn't that easy to break down into raw materials. In fact, some things almost defy the tear-down and convert-to-goods process. Almost - but then we have some very sophisticated methods to apply these days. We've learned how to rearrange the innards of those microbes so they now can eat really nasty waste and turn it into cool fuels and chemicals. We've also learned to harness lightening and turn things into raw energy-in-a-tube, called plasma, which vaporizes whatever is left and yep, then we can separate the vapors. Try that trick on circuit boards, and out comes plastic fumes and vaporized precious metals. With the right tools, those dead cell phones are the New Gold Mine.

Bright people the world over are busily figuring out how to turn what we still call Waste into raw materials to make the things we want and need. First, find out who is doing what, where and with what tools. Next, track their trials as they test, break, remake, and prove their tools can actually do what they say. So far, that's been our task at Teru Talk. Finally, someone outside of their company has to also agree the tools work as described, with External Validation. Then: ready, set, sell! But just remember: Everything is Recyclable with the Right Tools.

Hey Rube!

Microbes in landfills make Nasty Gas. Check out Velocys' plans to turn that landfill gas straight into liquid fuel, right at the landfill. Now, that's using the right tools for the Recycling job!

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This Week's Top Story

BIOGEN Starts Up Largest Food Waste to Electricity AD Plant in Wales

Biogen (UK) Ltd has announced that construction is complete at the largest food waste anaerobic digestion (AD) plant in Wales and the plant is now in operation. 08/06/2014

The Week's News

Briefing Scheduled on State of Organic Waste Management in California

Cleanworld has announced that it is hosting a press briefing on the State of Organic Waste in California on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 4:30pm on the west steps of the state capitol. 08/10/2014

USDA Approves Gilchrist Mill to Receive Biomass to Fuel Lumber Kilns

Vancouver based Interfor Corporation has announced that its Gilchrist Division in Oregon has been selected by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to accept biomass deliveries under the federal Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). 08/08/2014

ElectraTherm Commissions 10 Waste Heat to Power Machines in Slovakia

Nevada based ElectraTherm has announced commissioning 10 Green Machine 4400s in Levice, Slovakia in June 2014. 08/08/2014

NY Casino Would Combine LEED with Closed Loop Food Waste to Biogas

Director of Lago Resort & Casino, Thomas C. Wilmot, Sr., has unveiled ten environmentally friendly features planned for the Lago Resort & Casino in New York, including achieving LEED Silver Certification. 08/08/2014

VCS Approved as Offset Project Registry for California's Cap-and-Trade

The non-profit Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) organization has announced that it is now approved as an Offset Project Registry under the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) Cap-and-Trade program (AB 32), which includes the key Compliance Offset Program. 08/07/2014

University of Alberta BCN Launches 3 New Collaborative Biomass Projects

The University of Alberta (UA) Biorefining Conversions Network (BCN) has announced three new collaborative biomass projects, scheduled to run until March 15, 2015. 08/07/2014

NIB Finances Biomass District Heating Project in Norway

The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) has announced signing a 13-year-maturity loan totaling EUR 27 million with the Norwegian energy company Eidsiva Energi AS to finance a new biomass district heating plant at Kallerudlia in Gjøvik, Norway. 08/06/2014

US Releases Biogas Opportunities Roadmap to Reduce Methane Emissions

The United States (US) government has released the Biogas Opportunities Roadmap to support the "Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions," and outlines voluntary actions to support the expansion of the American biogas industry. 08/05/2014

UC Riverside Researchers Enhance Biofuel Yields from Biomass

The University of California, Riverside (UC Riverside) has announced that researchers at the Bourns College of Engineering have developed a versatile, relatively non-toxic, and efficient way to convert lignocellulosic biomass into biofuels and chemicals. 08/05/2014

Hawaii Presents $1.6MM to US Ag Center for Zero-Waste Biofuel Program

The governor of Hawaii has presented a $1.6 million check on behalf of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s (HDOA) Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC) to the Daniel K. Inouye US Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center’s (DKI-PBARC) zero-waste biofuel and high-protein feed program on Hawaii Island. 08/05/2014

Zilkha Biomass Plans New Black Wood Pellet Plant in Monticello, Arkansas

Texas based Zilkha Biomass Energy has announced that it is planning to build a $90 million facility in Monticello, Arkansas, to manufacture its Zilkha Black® Pellet, a wood pellet that can be easily integrated into coal-fired plants to create cleaner emissions. 08/04/2014

Harmonic Energy Seeks Partners for Expansion of Waste Tire Reprocessing

United Kingdom based Harmonic Energy has announced that it is now taking open calls for additional partners for feedstock procurement (scrap tire providers) and commodity off-take (end users) for its expansion plans. 08/04/2014

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Recommended Reading:

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Waste to energy conversion technology (Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy 2013)


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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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