Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume V, Issue 15, April 13, 2015 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Ah, sweet music: we are now regularly hearing lilting refrains about those serving up Big Money for advancing waste gasification, couplets linking forest health and biomass conversion, stirring sonatas of Zero Waste and happy songs about getting the most out of a big city's organic detritus. This has been a great week for environmental sanity, and we're dancing in the aisles.

Going into summer 2015, we find a different tone internationally regarding clean conversion of waste and biomass into heat, electricity, fuels, and any number of commodities. So what is changing? Just as Media puts the really ugly side of human behavior in our communal faces on a daily basis, the flood of communications also serves nicely to bring to our global attention the wealth of inventive, ingenious ways we humans are finding to make our actions around this world a bit cleaner, more resilient, less destructive, and defining just what is sustainable.

When we take the time to compare the real costs and benefits of our activities, certain facts becomes exceedingly apparent. Reducing creation of waste in the first place is a great idea. Reusing goods and materials, perhaps with just some simple cleaning and repair and a lot of care increases our comfort at minimal cost to the planet. Recycling everything back into the circular flow of goods and services is now possible, and it sure beats digging up virgin materials, then tossing everything in a big hole and paying to keep it there. We have the tools and the know-how to pre-treat and cleanly convert discards back into the raw materials needed for remanufacturing. It is this last conversion stage in the recycling pathway that makes it possible to close the gap in the Circular Economy.

Nobody said this was going to be easy. The 5-year report by the US Forest Service lays out their immense collaborative effort to dramatically improve forest health while reducing destruction of resources. One crucial piece of their puzzle is the extraction and commercial usage of the woody residuals that forest practices generate. Teru Talk called attention to this monumental project three years ago as the program locked down 23 national Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration regional projects; the comparison of then-to-now is both encouraging and daunting. The US Department of Energy is also reveling in the positive environmental benefits of biomass conversion to biofuels, discussing years of research within national labs.

The steps toward sustainability and away from destruction aren't cheap, either, and the bill is a bit staggering. Yet when we honestly count the costs of things like gas fracking, petroleum extraction, and the overt damage that supports it, it makes a lot of sense to spend a few million for resource recovery instead of for more destruction.

Hey Rube!

A dialogue takes two or more. We've always promoted an open exchange of views, otherwise it's just Teru talking. We've pulled apart grant awards just authorized by California's Energy Commission, making contact a lot easier. This week as you burn through the news and our new Focus Report, pick one or two of the companies and agencies involved and contact them directly to ask a question or two, to let 'em know what you think about their efforts, and to perhaps see if there's a way to work with them. Go ahead; you can tell 'em Teru sent ya.

This Week's Extra Reading

Teru has written a new Focus Report on the California Energy Commission's recent awards for waste and biomass conversion projects. It's a pleasure to read, so take a look..

This Week's Top Story

Virginia Tech Researchers Make Low Cost Hydrogen Fuel from Corn Stover

A team of Virginia Tech researchers have discovered a way to create hydrogen fuel using a biological method that greatly reduces the time and money it takes to produce the zero-emissions fuel. 04/08/2015

The Week's News

Clean Methane Systems Upgrades Orange County Biogas Conditioning Plants

The Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) is upgrading two biogas conditioning systems to meet more stringent emission regulations at their Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach locations. 04/11/2015

Energy Vision and Urban Future Lab to Host Power of Waste Reception

Energy Vision and the Urban Future Lab will host The Power of Waste: Extracting the Greatest Value from NYC's Organics, introducing New York City's (NYC) organic waste and recycling efforts on May 20, 2015 at the Urban Future Lab's downtown NYC office. 04/10/2015

Bouygues Energies to Design and Construct UK WtE Gasification Plant

AssetGen Partners, a specialized investment fund, has signed a contract worth roughly £82 million with Australia based Bouygues Energies & Services for the turnkey construction of a waste-to-energy (WtE) gasification plant in the Hertfordshire town of Hoddesdon in the United Kingdom. 04/09/2015

US DOE Announces Webinars on Biofuel Sustainability and More

The US Department of Energy (DOE) offers webinars to the public on a range of subjects, from adopting the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, to training for the clean energy workforce. 04/09/2015

SCS Is Now Applicant Certification Body for Sustainable Biomass Partnership

California based SCS Global Services (SCS) has announced that it has been accepted as an applicant Certification Body for the Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP). 04/08/2015

Ener-Core Partners with Hofstetter B.V. for European Market Access

California company Ener-Core, Inc. has announced a partnership with The Netherlands based Hofstetter B.V. that is expected to expand the company’s revolutionary technology to markets throughout Europe. 04/08/2015

CalRecycle to Present Eligibility Criteria for Organics Grant Program

California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) staff will present details and receive comments regarding proposed eligibility criteria for the up-coming funding cycle during the April 21, 2015 Business Meeting. 04/07/2015

USFS Releases 5-Year Report on Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration

The US Forest Service (USFS) is celebrating the five-year anniversary of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) Program this year, and has released a public version of its report to Congress. 04/07/2015

The Week's Action Items

Due 06/15/2015: Pre-Proposals to NFF for US Forest and Grassland Innovation

The National Forest Foundation (NFF) is now accepting pre-proposals for the 2015 Barrett Foundation Business Concept Challenge. 04/07/2015 

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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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