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Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume IV, Issue 43, October 27, 2014 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "TerĂº")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Last week brought the ecstatic second annual celebration of "National Bioenergy Day" with Happenings all across our country. We hope you at least took time to burn a log or something, but seriously folks, this is a Big Deal.

"Bioenergy" means far more than a cozy fireplace, and goes miles past making steam heat for power generation. Turning biomass into the energy to drive cooling, heating, power generation, production of liquid, gaseous and solid fuels, and alternative non-petroleum sourced chemicals has arisen as the real deal for ensuring sustainability. We've long preached Everything is Recyclable, with the Right Tools - it's just that things composed to some form of organic material are generally easier and cleaner to convert from being a discard to becoming a resource. If you think about it, most of our trash is biodegradable, in one form or another. The sheer abundance of biomass as feedstock has sped development and commercialization of those Right Tools. Around the globe bright folks have been turning low value ag residuals into gas and liquid fuels, baking wood chips into bio-oil, digesting food waste to make biogas. It is therefore right and proper for the Nation, nay, the World to take a day for Bioenergy Hoopla.

Bioenergy regularly claims a pole position in global news and we've had a strong showing this past week. Plants are turning waste wood into mega tons of industrial wood pellets, what the World Bioenergy Association characterizes as a "well packaged bioenergy carrier". Along the Mediterranean, researchers have caught up with North American and Canadian development of no-air cookers for turning wood-to-bio-oil. China's all over this one, increasing collection and conversion of their appropriately-named "gutter oil" to biodiesel and aviation-grade biofuel. The US Department of Energy is boosting "Bioenergy Landscape Design", getting people to focus on the broader Ecosystem benefits and methodologies. Universities are linking up with international consortia to broaden their research for "cost-effective, efficient and environmentally sustainable production of advanced biofuels." It just gives me goose-bumps.

OK, so here's a few things to actually get excited about: We are learning how to turn something other than petroleum into base chemicals and fuels on a cost-competitive, industrial scale. As a global family, we are recognizing that it makes more sense to return resources back into the marketplace than to pay for their burial. We're seeing that one business can hand off its residues and discards to become another business' input. In these crushingly lean times, we all Get It that a localized Garbage-to-Goods means Waste-to-Wealth and that coordinated efforts for return of resources to the local economy results in new Jobs. Chief among all the kinds of waste that we are learning to recover: discarded biomass. So when you sweep up the confetti that sifted down from on high during your local National Bioenergy Day parade, find another use for those Wooden Nickels from Heaven.

Hey Rube!

Check out the Army's latest request in our Action Items: they are looking for Bioenergy for Combined Heat and Power on a large scale. And give a big parade-sized Whoop and Holler to the research students at ASU - the EPA gave 'em a leg up in their development of thermal conversion systems for development of community-scale bioenergy / biochar. Pass the wood chips, please.

This Week's Top Story

Boeing, COMAC Pilot Plant Will Transform 'Gutter Oil' into Aviation Biofuel

Boeing and Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) have opened a demonstration facility that will turn waste cooking oil, commonly referred to as "gutter oil" in China, into sustainable aviation biofuel. 10/22/2014

The Week's News

Air Products Builds New Hydrotreatment Processing Lab in Pennsylvania

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc (Air Products) is building a new hydrogen lab at their Allentown, Pennsylvania headquarters, including a hydrotreatment unit capable of performing high pressure and high temperature hydrogenation reactions. 10/23/2014

Basque Country University Develops Flash Pyrolysis Process Reactor

Researchers at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country have developed fundamental thermal conversion processes for producing raw materials and fuels using biomass and tires, constructing a pilot facility in the IK4-IKERLAN research center. 10/23/2014

ESA Lauds EFRA's 4th Report on 'Waste Management in England'

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has commented on the report released by the United Kingdom Government's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee on Waste Management in England. 10/23/2014

Indo-US Advanced Bioenergy Consortium for 2nd Gen Biofuels Launches

The government of India’s Department of Biotechnology, Indian corporate leaders, and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri have invested $2.5 million to launch the Indo-U.S. Advanced Bioenergy Consortium for Second Generation Biofuels (IUABC). 10/23/2014

NY Green Bank's First Initial Transactions Support Clean Energy Projects

New York (NY) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the first transactions of NY Green Bank to finance combined heat and power, distributed generation, renewable energy, and energy efficiency projects in New York. 10/22/2014

World Bioenergy Association Releases New Pellet Fuel Fact Sheet

The World Bioenergy Association (WBA) has announced the launch of the fact sheet: Pellets – a fast growing energy carrier. 10/22/2014

Britain's Network Rail Partners to Deliver District Heating from CHP

Britain's Network Rail is joining forces with Birmingham City Council, Cofely and sustainability consultants, Anthesis-SecondNature, to deliver a project which will see 1.5km district heating pipework installed across the station and in the city center so that excess heat produced by a new combined heat and power unit can be exported to the Birmingham District Energy Scheme. 10/22/2014

Crimson Selects BDI-BioEnergy for Bakersfield Biodiesel Plant Expansion

Austria company BDI-BioEnergy International AG has announced signing a contract with Colorado based Crimson Renewable Energy LP to supply engineering services and equipment for expansion and upgrades to Crimson's Bakersfield, California Biodiesel Production Plant. 10/20/2014

EPA Awards Funds for Community-Scale Gasification and Biochar Rural Hubs

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced an award of $15,000 to a student team from Arizona State University (ASU) for development of gasification and biochar retort technologies, a more sustainable approach to agricultural waste. 10/20/2014

ENER-G Partners with Cornes Biogas to Enter Japanese Biogas CHP Market

United Kingdom based ENER-G Combined Power has appointed Cornes Biogas as its Cogen Partner for Japan to implement its first contract at Shikaoi municipal biogas plant in Hokkaido. 10/20/2014

Viridor's Energy Recovery from Waste Facility in Exeter Is Officially Open

Viridor’s new Energy Recovery Facility in Exeter, England was officially opened last week with a series of celebrations. 10/20/2014

The Week's Action Items

Due 10/31/2014: Abstracts for 30th International Conference on Solid Waste

The Journal of Solid Waste Technology and Management has announced a Call for Papers for the organization's 30th International Conference, running from March 15 to 18. 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 10/23/2014

Due 11/21/2014: Concept Papers to DOE for Bioenergy Landscape Design

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) is seeking interdisciplinary projects that apply landscape design approaches to integrate cellulosic feedstock production into existing agricultural and forestry systems while maintaining or enhancing sustainability, including ecosystem services and food, feed, and fiber production. 10/23/2014

Due 01/07/2015: Proposals for US Army Combined Heat and Power Facility

The US Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Alabama, in coordination with the Office of Energy Initiatives (OEI), has released a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Redstone Arsenal Combined Heat and Power (CHP) project. 10/26/2014

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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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