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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume IV, Issue 6, February 10, 2014 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

"Climate Change" is this Millennium's global catch-phrase, and hard to deny, considering that the only constant in our existence is Change. The wildly varying concepts of what is or is not Climate Change have become part our planet's governance. Everybody's got their own ideas of what to do (or not do) about Climate Change, and that certainly includes every aspect of waste management, residuals conversion, and resource recovery. Let's break this down.

The Climate Change hullaballoo is focused on the crud we constantly spew into the atmosphere, and how that pollution acts to let sunlight in, but keep heat from escaping …much like the glass panels in a big Greenhouse. Some types of the stuff we (yes, we), our animals, and our equipment "emit" are far worse at warming than others. Gases like Methane (CH4) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) are the key "greenhouse gases" or GHGs; the other climate pollutants are measured as CO2 equivalents and the cost of releasing any of them is increasing daily.

Never to be outdone, California has led the way in crimping down on our way of life to cut GHGs wherever possible. Passage in 2006 of AB 32, California's "Global Warming Solutions Act" started a rolling assessment, broadly challenging agencies, industries, and the public to find ways to cut those impacts by improving the efficiency of our communal activities. 2014 seems to be the Year of Implementation, putting into practice many answers to AB 32's questions (see this week's news item below).

So, what has that got to do with Waste Management? We have been improving: consider what came out of those back-yard "burn barrels" every family used to use, and some still do. But when we bury waste in a landfill, it still breaks down and releases GHGs; with our best efforts, we can only capture and use about half of that landfill gas. It is great to recycle; but not so great to transport the stuff out-of-state and even out-of-country for reprocessing, spewing GHGs as we go. You get the idea?

With the right tools, we can now convert just about every bit of trash back into goods. Even the GHGs we abhor are now recognized as just one more displaced resource; smart folks have figured out how to turn even methane and carbon dioxide emissions into new fuel and commodities. We just need to rethink where we are to accomplish the magic, and build up our clean new waste conversion infrastructure near where those resources are first discarded. Recyclate remanufacturing facilities need to be developed right in close to our neighborhoods; we need a network of community-scale food waste digesters, including retrofitting existing sewage treatment plants. A handful of plastics-to-fuels plants would sure help, and when nothing else is available, concoct Refuse Derived Fuel to be carefully fed into regional state-of-the-art waste to energy plants: ANYTHING but management by avoidance and denial.

Now, if we could just figure out how to keep all those dratted forests from burning … and oh yeah, plug those pesky volcanoes … we just might get a handle on this Climate Change thing.

Hey Rube!

Keep your eyes open for local, state, national and international activities that promote local waste conversion. Lend your own voice in bringing the plants, the resources, and the jobs right back into your own community.

This Week's Top Story

Neste Oil Converted More Waste than Vegetable Oil to Biofuels in 2013

Finland based Neste Oil Corporation has announced that it used more waste and residues than vegetable oil to produce renewable fuel for the first time in 2013. Waste and residues accounted for 52% of the 2.3 million tons of renewable feedstocks used last year, while vegetable oil, mainly crude palm oil, accounted for the remaining 48%. 02/04/2014

The Week's News

CARB to Release Proposed 1st Update to AB 32 Climate Change Scoping Plan

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has announced that it will release the Proposed First Update to the Climate Change Scoping Plan (Proposed First Update) on Monday, February 10th at 5:00 pm (PST). 02/09/2014

CEC Awards $5MM to Crimson for Bakersfield Biodiesel Plant Expansion

Colorado based Crimson Renewable Energy LP (Crimson) has announced that the California Energy Commission (CEC) has awarded a $5 million grant to support expansion of the company's biorefinery in Bakersfield, California. 02/07/2014

Constellation Will Develop 27 MW Biogas Co-Gen Plant for Los Angeles WWTP

Constellation, a subsidiary of Chicago based Exelon Corporation, has announced that it has signed an agreement with the City of Los Angeles (L.A.) to design, build, and operate a 27-megawatt (MW) renewable energy power plant at the L.A. Bureau of Sanitation's Hyperion Treatment Plant. 02/07/2014

Commissioning Begins at Viridor's Runcorn Energy from Waste CHP Plant

United Kingdom (UK) based Viridor has announced that commissioning of the first phase of its energy from waste (EfW) facility in Runcorn near Manchester has begun after a two week delay. 02/06/2014

New Biodiesel Distillation Unit at Aemetis' India Plant is Now Operational

California based Aemetis, Inc has announced that its 50 million gallon per year capacity biodiesel and refined glycerin production facility in Kakinada, India has been upgraded to produce high-quality distilled biodiesel. 02/06/2014

NSERC Awards Grant to Explore New Applications for Lystek Technology

Ontario, Canada based Lystek International, Inc has announced that, together with the University of Waterloo, it has been awarded a research grant by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). 02/06/2014

UC Davis Researchers Make Biogasoline from Plant Waste

The University of California, Davis (UC Davis), has announced that researchers in its chemistry department have invented a new process to make gasoline-like fuels from cellulosic plant materials such as farm and forestry waste. 02/04/2014

Wales Centre of Excellence Secures £889,000 for Advanced AD Research

The Wales Centre of Excellence for Anaerobic Digestion (AD Centre) has announced that it has been awarded £889,000 by the Welsh Government’s A4B project to deliver a Knowledge Transfer Centre in Advanced Anaerobic Processes and Biogas Systems. 02/04/2014

Solazyme Announces Commercial Production of Algal Oils at Iowa Facilities

California based Solazyme, Inc has announced that commercial operations have commenced at both Archer Daniels Midland Company’s (ADM) Clinton, Iowa facility, and the downstream companion facility operated by American Natural Products  (ANP) in Galva, Iowa. 02/03/2014

BDI Completes Upgrades to Greek Biodiesel Plant for Multi-Feedstocks

Austria based BDI-BioEnergy International AG (BDI) has announced that the biodiesel plant remodeled by BDI in Volos, Greece has been officially opened at a ceremony attended by representatives of the local political and business communities. 02/03/2014

AVA Biochem's Swiss Plant Starts 1st Commercial Production of 5-HMF

AVA Biochem BSL AG (AVA Biochem) has announced that commercial-scale production of the high-purity renewable platform chemical, 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) has begun at AVA Biochem's Biochem-1 facility. 02/03/2014

The Week's Action Items

Due 02/14/2014: Comments to CalRecycle on $30MM Grant and Loan Program

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) is requesting comments to a proposed $30MM grant and loan program to increase California’s processing infrastructure for organics diversion from landfill disposal, increased recycled materials manufacturing, and overall greenhouse gas reductions. 02/07/2014

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Recommended Reading:

Waste to energy conversion technology
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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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.