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April 2011 News and Matters of Interest

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Nature'sFuel Breaks Ground on Waste to Fuels Plant

Nature's FuelMulti-tech waste conversion company Nature's Fuel has broken ground on a state-of-the-art recycling facility and waste to fuels plant  at the Huntington Landfill in Indiana. The project is the first of its kind in Indiana, resulting in a longer than expected approval process. Nature's Fuel hopes to have the Huntington plant operational before year's end 2011. According to company president Glenn Johnson, "Nature’s Fuel’s Huntington operation will become a training site for employees hired for additional plants the company plans to open." The company has developed and patented a variety of thermal waste conversion systems capable of converting multiple types of feedstock including post-recycling municipal solid waste residuals, cellulosic feedstock and manure into fuels, energy and biochar. In addition to converting waste-sourced feedstock, Nature's Fuel also grows and harvests their own biocrops and has developed unique slow-speed grinding systems to maximizing BTU per pound while minimizing emissions. The company has developed manure-specific pyrolyzers and gasifiers and provides all their own engineering, operations and maintenance. 04/29/2011

 

ProposedKawartha Biogas Plant Locating Adjacent to Ethanol Facility

The sketch shows the proposed Kawartha Biogas plant location adjacent to Kawartha Ethanol.Ontario, Canada biogas company PurEnergy, Inc, has proposed to build and operate the Kawartha Biogas anaerobic digestion (AD) facility across the road from Canada's newest corn ethanol facility, Kawartha Ethanol. The AD plant would produce biogas to fuel 9.8 megawatts of electric generation for sale under a Feed-in Tariff contract from the Ontario Power Authority. Proposals submitted to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment were presented in a community meeting last month, describing intended anaerobic digestion and conversion to biogas of a variety of feedstock types, including wastes and bi-products of the ethanol plant and a proposed biodiesel facility to be located nearby, from food oil and grease from the surrounding community's businesses and residences, and manure from local farming operations. Effluent solids and liquids separation provides soil amendments and ammonia capture for conversion to ammonium sulfate fertilizer. The balance of plant should have about a 10% power demand for operations. 04/29/2011

 

UCDavis Prof Receives NSF Award for Microbial Enzymatics RD&D

Dr. Tina Jeoh's team will use her NSF award to study microbial enzymatic breakdown of cellulose for biofuels production.Assistant Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering Tina Jeoh at University of California, Davis (UC Davis) has received a $407,573 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award to support her study of microbial enzymatic breakdown of cell walls for biofuels and bio-products development. Saprophytic microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria produce a variety of enzymes that specifically breakdown the structural polysaccharides in plant cell walls. Industrially, these enzymes play a key role in the conversion of agricultural residues, wood wastes or energy crops to biofuels and other bio-based products. “In nature, microorganisms produce many different enzymes that cooperatively release the sugars,” Dr. Jeoh said. “Our goal is to identify the mechanisms of these enzymes, and to learn to consistently reproduce their natural actions in a controlled setting on an industrial scale.” Dr. Jeoh’s lab team is developing molecular-scale atomic force microscopy methods to analyze cellulase-cellulose reactions as they occur, and will incorporate their findings into models that will help predict reaction outcomes in commercial settings. For further information contact Dr. Jeoh at (530) 752-1020, tjeoh@ucdavis.edu. 04/29/2011

 

REIGrant Will Fund Nepal Biogas Development

REI StewardshipREI Adventures in partnership with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation has awarded an $87,000 grant to the non-profit Nepal SEEDS to help install nearly 100 biogas systems over the next three years in Nepal. The work intends to help fund biogas projects to improve the lives of residents of small villages and communities near where REI Adventures’ Royal Trek trip operates in Nepal, providing environmental and health benefits and allowing families to cook with gas instead of wood fires in their homes. The project also will provide village waste management for sanitation and produces pathogen-free fertilizer for local crops. The systems include a composting toilet, an animal waste intake, a large underground tank to connect the two sources of waste, a piping system and a gas burning stove where the fuel generated in the tank is sent. Cynthia Dunbar, REI Adventures manager said  "We were fortunate to be introduced to the great work Nepal SEEDS started, and credit one of REI Adventures’ local top guides who directs and founded the organization." 04/29/2011

 

EdinburghStarts Food Waste Recycling Pilot

The City Council of Edinburgh, Scotland is asking 20,000 residents to take part in a food waste recycling pilot program. Best collection methods will be explored for different types of houses and using various kitchen food waste containers. Participating households will receive a kitchen waste caddy, compostable liners and a leaflet explaining the service; single family residences will also receive a curbside food waste bin. At present, food waste constitutes roughly one third of collected residential waste in Edinburgh. The Council expects to save on landfill taxes by collecting the food waste separately and composting it. Residents are also directed to the non-profit organization Zero Waste Scotland's Love Food, Hate Waste website for detailed guidance. The website provides dramatic food waste statistics: Over £1 billion worth of food is wasted in Scotland each year, an average cost of £430 per household, for 566,000 tonnes of food discards a year. 04/29/2011

  

KGRAto Convert Weyerhaeuser Waste Heat to Renewable Energy

WeyerhaeuserAyden HTP Partners LLC, a subsidiary of KGRA Energy LP, has signed a waste heat to energy contract with Weyerhaeuser for installation of a heat recovery and 800 kilowatt Rankin cycle energy generation system. The system will convert waste heat from biomass-fired drying kilns at Weyerhaeuser's Greenville, North Carolina lumber mill into about 4.5 million kWh of CO2-free electricity per year, and displace the equivalent of more than 9 million pounds of carbon dioxide each year. KGRA's systems are modular and scalable to produce power from smaller, lower-temperature waste heat sources usually not considered economical for energy recovery. The system will be designed and installed by KGRA's subsidiary, Ayden HTP Partners LLC is a joint-venture between KGRA Energy and the Organic Rankin Cycle equipment supplier, TAS Energy LLC, which is a subsidiary of Turbine Air Systems, LTD. Weyerhaeuser and Ayden completed the agreement in March 2011; installation is scheduled to begin in June and the plant is expected to be operational by the end of July 2011. Note: Discussions with KGRA indicate they are expanding, and have job openings. For more information, contact Jason Gold, (713) 481-4609 x101, jason@kgraenergy.com. 04/29/2011

 

BioJetNegotiates with Avjet Biotech to Build Biorefineries

Red Wolf RefiningNorth Carolina based Avjet Biotech is in negotiations for a strategic relationship with BioJet International, an international supply chain integrator for renewable (bio) jet fuel and related co-products. BioJet owns and/or controls large quantities of bio-feedstock, developing refining capacity, solving aviation fuel supply logistics, and handling sales to end users. Under the agreement BioJet will build refineries using Avjet's patented Red Wolf Refining (RWR) System to produce aviation biofuels from fat-containing oils from plant, plant-like, or animal (processing by-product) sources such as  jatropha, camelina, soy, canola, palm, algae, yellow grease (chicken fat) and hog fat. Oils are converted into green diesel, jet and gasoline fuels using three main steps of hydrolysis, deoxygenation and hydrocarbon reforming. Red Wolf Refining Corporation is a subsidiary of Avjet and the exclusive agent for the commercialization of intellectual property for biofuels created by scientists at North Carolina State University. Red Wolf manages production and is dedicated to supporting the US Military in its goal to eliminate dependence on foreign oil. 04/28/2011

  

SouthCarolina City Kicks Off Southern Fried Fuel Initiative

City of Columbus Southern Fried Fuel InitiativeResidents in Columbus, South Carolina can now take their used cooking oil to a residential drop-off center that will collect and store quantities of waste vegetable oil to be converted into biofuel and used to power one of the City's garbage trucks and other City vehicles. The collection center is operated by Midlands Biofuels, a locally owned waste cooking oil recycling company. The City program is also intended to address pipeline blockages that cause sewer back-ups in homes and businesses, and create overflows into local streams and creeks. Since October of 2009, 92% of grease related overflows were due to improper grease disposal by residential customers. Each year, the City spends an average of $1.5 million and 4,500 staff hours unclogging and cleaning waste water collection lines, costs that are passed on to City customers through sanitary sewer fees. Midlands Biofuels also designs, builds, tests and sells biodiesel processing equipment and oil collection bins, and specializes in custom blends of biodiesel. 04/27/2011

 

Intel'sOcotillo Campus Feeds CO2 Emissions to Algae for Biodiesel

Intel's CO2 Emissions to Algae PilotIntel's Ocotillo manufacturing campus in Arizona is developing a pilot project to feed their CO2 boiler emissions to algae for biodiesel production. Working with Arizona State University (ASU), the Intel team has installed a first phase proof-of-concept model on the roof of the Ocotillo fabrication building. Phase two will measure the carbon captured, and explore scale-up options, and assess regulatory regimes. The Intel and ASU team plan to make their results public once the pilot is completed. Intel's Sustainability in Action program encourages employees to explore and to share Intel's environmental sustainability; Ocotillo campus' legal department employee Brad Biddle's curiosity let to the roof-top research project. The entire Ocotillo manufacturing campus recently was the first semiconductor or industrial technology company to obtain the internationally recognized Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. 04/27/2011

 

Gevoand Mustang Sign Bio-Jet Fuel Agreement

GEVOColorado based cellulosic biofuels company Gevo has executed an agreement with Mustang Engineering, LP, for engineering and consulting services to convert Gevo's isobutanol into a renewable jet fuel. Gevo's process for microbial fermentation of all sugars available in almost any cellulosic feedstock allows retrofit of standard ethanol plants for production of isobutanol. Mustang will focus on the downstream processing of isobutanol to paraffinic kerosene (jet fuel) for jet engine testing, airline suitability flights and advancing commercial deployment. "The advent of the jet fuel carbon tax on international flights landing in the European Union is motivating the airline industry and fuel suppliers to seek cost-effective, renewable alternatives to petroleum jet fuel," said Scott Baker, executive vice president of Mustang's Process Plants and Industrial business unit. "Mustang is excited about this opportunity to further support Gevo in the development of the next generation of alternative fuels. The processing steps required to make this bio-jet fuel lend themselves well to integration into refineries and petrochemical facilities." 04/27/2011

 

CaliforniaClean Energy Campaign Launched

Clean Local Energy Accessible Now for CaliforniaThe Clean Local Energy Accessible Now for California (CLEAN California) Campaign has launched to help meet Governor Brown's call for 12,000 megawatts of localized electricity generation to be installed in California communities by 2020. The CLEAN California campaign is one of five national activities set in motion by the CLEAN Coalition to ensure green jobs and speed a smooth transition away from dependence on foreign petroleum. The campaign starts with two initiatives: (1) CLEAN Contracts - Require standard, long-term “CLEAN Contracts” for utilities to purchase energy generated by new projects on the distribution grid. Rates will be pre-defined for smaller projects to maximize simplicity and encourage broad participation, and (2) Grid Connection - Make distribution grid interconnection costs and timeframes reasonable and predictable. Companies and organizations can become CLEAN California partners by endorsing the campaign. 04/26/2011

 

CECSchedules IEPR Workshop on Renewable Localized Energy

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission's (CEC) Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Committee will hold a workshop on Renewable Localized Generation. The Workshop will cover a number of topics related to Governor Brown's goal of deploying 20,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy by 2020, including 12,000 MW of localized energy. In conjunction with the IEPR workshop, CEC staff has released "Developing Renewable Generation on State Property". The report focuses on the potential for developing renewable distributed generation as well as utility-scale projects on state-owned properties, outlining the current amount of renewable energy development on state properties, challenges and opportunities for further development, and next steps. The IEPR workshop will begin at 9:30 on May 9, 2011. You can attend the workshop in person or by remote access. Detailed instructions for connecting to the workshop through WebEx are in the Workshop Notice. 04/26/2011

  

AmerescoCompletes Dallas WWTP Biogas Plant

AmerescoThe City of Dallas Water Utility (DWU) and the Framington, MA based energy solutions provider Ameresco have completed a 4.3 megawatt biogas capture, refining and combined heat and power (CHP) system at DWU's 110 million gallon per day wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The new CHP plant is expected to save the City at least $1.5 million annually and offset approximately 60 percent of the WWTP's electric load. DWU is the second Texas wastewater utility to contract with Ameresco for recovery of biogas energy; the first went online in September 2010, when the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) and Ameresco opened a new biogas facility at the Dos Rios Water Recycling Center. Michael T. Bakas, Senior Vice President of Ameresco said, "The exceptional aspect of this project is the ability to capture waste heat and utilize it, thereby efficiently making use of this renewable resource. This approach allows to us utilize about 80 percent of the biogas resource, since we can reuse the waste heat, while a typical electrical production plant might only be able to use 35 percent of its energy product." 04/25/2011

 

WestCoast Federal Green Challenge Launched

Federal Green ChallengeThe West Coast Federal Green Challenge was officially launched on Earth Day 4/22/2011 as an expansion of the Federal Green Challenge program originally launched in 2008 in EPA’s Pacific Northwest Region. This is a voluntary partnership program challenging federal agencies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 5% in a year by managing six Target Areas of electronics, energy, purchasing, transportation, waste, and water. Target Area efforts are intended to implement responsibilities under energy and waste management Executive Orders 13514 and 13423 and help meet the Federal Facilities Compliance Program. According to Energy Target Area definitions, “Renewable Energy” means energy produced by solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas, ocean (including tidal, wave, current, and thermal), geothermal, municipal solid waste, or new hydroelectric generation capacity achieved from increased efficiency or additions of new capacity at an existing hydroelectric project. The Waste Target Area offers a Food Waste Cost Calculator and other food waste management guidance. Individual federal agency offices can join the program online, or fax or email registration form (DOC) to Laura Moreno at moreno.laura@epa.gov or (415)947-3530. 04/25/2011

 

FrontlineBioenergy and SGC Energia Form Partnership

Frontline BioenergyMinnesota-based Frontline Bioenergy has completed licensing and engineering agreements for their air and oxygen-blown gasification technology with SGC Energia, an advanced biofuels development, licensing, engineering, construction, and production company. Their new partner has offices in Portugal, the US (Houston), Austria and Brazil, as well as a commercial biodiesel facility in Portugal and an FT demonstration facility in Austria. Frontline has commercialized their air / oxygen-blown, pressurized, bubbling fluid bed gasifiers, proprietary PMFreeGas hot gas filtration and other gas conditioning technologies with their 75 ton per day system co-located with Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company's (CVEC) 48 MM gallon per year ethanol plant in Benson, Minnesota. SGC Energia licenses technologies used to convert biomass into Fischer-Tropsch (F/T) products. Just last month they received the first commercial F/T system to be delivered by Oxford Catalysts Group, their partners in an Austrian biomass to liquids demonstration plant completed last year. With this Series B round investment, SGC Energia joins members of the Frontline management team along with CVEC founding partners. 04/25/2011

 

LignolCompletes Commercial Biorefinery Design Package

LignolCanadian advanced biofuels and green chemicals company Lignol has developed an engineering design package for an economical, commercial-scale Biorefinery. The design scale would produce up to 80 million litres of cellulosic ethanol (about 20 million US gallons) and 55,000 tonnes of High Performance Lignin (HP-LTM lignin) derivatives annually. The design utilized data from Lingol's Vancouver pilot plant, and was completed in conjunction with Lignol's partner Pöyry Inc, taking into account the recent price of crude oil, Biorefinery construction and production incentives and information from key suppliers and customers. "Completing this milestone is a significant step forward in our plan to develop a financially viable, commercial-scale biorefinery and market our technology world wide," said Ross MacLachlan, President and CEO.  "The design package and cost estimate are based on robust and valuable design data generated over the past two years through a series of extensive operating campaigns conducted by our scientific and engineering teams at our pilot-scale biorefinery in Burnaby, B.C." 04/23/2011

 

Update:LCFS Posts Draft Guidance on Ultra-Low Carbon Fuels

California Air Resources Board Low Carbon Fuels StandardsThe California Low Carbon Fuel Standards (LCFS) Advisory Panel has posted a draft outline and guidance document on Ultra-Low Carbon Fuels to their website in preparation for their meeting on April 26, 2011.Topic 5 of the Agenda directs the Panel to consider the availability and use of ultralow carbon fuels to achieve the LCFS standards and advisability of establishing additional mechanisms to incentivize higher volumes of these fuels to be used. The Air Resources Board is tentatively defining ultralow carbon fuels as those which reduce carbon intensity (CI) by 60 percent or greater, which parallels the US EPA’s requirements for advanced biofuels under the RFS2 and are derived from renewable resources. Fuels to consider include cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel from waste, renewable diesel from waste, algal biofuels, biogas, electricity, hydrogen and potentially others. Background information related to the processes through which these fuels are made can be found in Low Carbon Advisory Panel Draft Workplan Version 1. 04/23/2011

  

Update:Adama Tech Selling Romanian MSW Gasification Project

Adama TechnologiesIsraeli based Adama Technologies has signed a non-binding term sheet to sell its assets in its proposed municipal solid waste (MSW) gasification plant in Bucharest, Romania. Teru Talk reported on Adama's initial agreement for the project in March. The project uses gasification and Adama Tech's advanced Molecular Bonding Solution (MBS, a form of cementitious encapsulation) to generate 2.5 megawatt of grid electricity, and possible alternative fuels. Negotiations of approximately $15MM are subject to an independent appraisal and due diligence by the purchaser, required to conclude by July 30, 2011. The company seeking to purchase the plant is focusing on greenhouse gas emission reduction and renewable energy production. "The signing of the term sheet with our prospective buyer indicates the value of Adama's ability to identify attractive projects around the globe that can attract substantial partners or as in this case - buyers," stated Aviram Malik, CEO of Adama Technologies. "We look forward to the conclusion of this agreement which would provide significant revenues for our company in 2011." 04/23/2011

 

AEAdvanced Fuels Keyes Receives $1.88MM Grant from CEC

AE Advanced Fuels Keyes Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AE BiofuelsAE Advanced Fuels Keyes Inc (AE Keyes), has been awarded a $1.88 million matching funds grant by the California Energy Commission (CEC) to accelerate the commercial implementation of its enzyme based cellulosic ethanol production technology. The grant will support a pre-development enzymatic processing facility to be located near the 55 million gallon per year commercial ethanol facility the company plans to re-start and operate in Keyes, California in late April 2011. Non-food agricultural wastes could replace up to 25% of traditional corn inputs, reduce fossil fuel consumption and overall green house gas (GHG) emissions, and will build upon prior enzyme optimization work conducted at the company's Butte, Montana cellulose/starch demonstration facility. AE Keyes is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cupertino-based AE Biofuels. "We believe that our integrated cellulose/starch approach is the most cost efficient process to rapidly accelerate the commercialization and adoption of next-generation biofuels in the marketplace," said Eric McAfee, chairman and CEO of AE Biofuels, Inc. 04/23/2011

 

MHIto Make Ethanol from "Soft Cellulose" Rice and Barley Straw

MHI's cellulosic ethanol production demonstration plant in Hyogo Prefecture, JapanMitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has successfully completed technology, product and economic verification to meet Japanese Automotive Standards Organization (JASO) standards for production of ethanol transport fuel from rice and barley straw "soft cellulose". MHI partnered with Hakutsuru Sake Brewing Co., Ltd. and Kansai Chemical Engineering Co., Ltd., to produce ethanol from lignocellulose at a demonstration plant built specifically for the project at MHI's Futami Plant in Hyogo. For preprocessing and saccharification, MHI developed and demonstrated a continuous hydrothermal treatment system jointly developed with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) that is more efficiently than conventional methods, using only hot compressed water and enzyme. MHI began operation of the demonstration plant in November of 2009, and now plans to make the plant available to other business operators in Japan and abroad. MHI will also seek order receipts for both experimental and commercial systems based on its proprietary technologies. 04/23/2011

 

KBRAwarded Two Contracts for Renewable Energy Facilities

KBR, IncKBR, Inc has received a contract award from KiOR, Inc to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to build a biomass to liquid fuel facility to process approximately 500 tons per day of wood biomass and produce over 11 million gallons of fuel per year. The facility will be located in Columbus, Mississippi. KiOR’s proprietary technology uses fast pyrolysis with catalytic cracking to convert biomass into drop-in biofuels; the company filed registration statements this month on their proposed Initial Public Offering. The same day a consortium consisting of KBR's subsidiary, BE&K Construction Company LLC (BE&K), and a subsidiary of The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) was awarded a $688 million EPC contract by the Palm Beach County Solid Waste Authority (SWA) for the County’s new state of the art waste-to-energy facility to process 3,000 tons of municipal solid waste per day to produce up to 95 megawatts of electricity. B&W was awarded a long-term operations and maintenance contract for the WTE facility. 04/22/2011

  

ViridorLaing's Landfill Expansion Approval Includes District Heating Study

ViridorAs a condition of approval given to Viridor Laing (Greater Manchester) Limited (VLGM) for a 1.83 million cubic meter capacity expansion of the Manchester Pilsworth South Landfill, the recycling and waste management company will financially contribute to a study of the feasibility of running a heat pipe line into the town center to provide district heating. Thermal energy would be harvested from the current energy generation facilities, which produce 3.5MW of renewable power from landfill gas that is delivered to the national grid. The approved landfill expansion within the existing site boundaries will provide more regional disposal services for the Manchester area in the United Kingdom, and extend the site life by about five years under their existing permit. VLGM is a partnership between Viridor and John Laing plc to provide the Greater Manchester Household Waste and Recycling Contract. The Pilsworth Landfill site is operated by Viridor within Greater Manchester to provide a waste solution for commercial, industrial and council customers. Its 25 year contract with the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority includes the Longley Lane "clean" Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) for resource extraction and recycling, five mechanical biological treatment (MBT) facilities, four with anaerobic digestion (AD) plants, a Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) production plant supplying about 275,000 tons annual by rail to the INEOS Chlor CHP generation facility in Runcorn, and the continued operation of Viridor's Bolton Energy-from-Waste facility. 04/21/2011

 

GreatLakes Food Industry Biogas Casebook Available

Great lakes Region Food Industry Biogas CasebookThe Energy Center of Wisconsin's "Great Lakes Region Food Industry Biogas Casebook" is available on-line, free of charge. The case studies profile 12 food and beverage processing plants across Illinois, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Indiana that have implemented practical anaerobic digestion (AD) technologies to turn their putrescible solid and liquid waste into methane-rich biogas. Plants were selected across the region based on area of service, the degree of AD and biogas usage, and willingness to share details of how well their system was working for them. Six major types of digesters were in use by the profiled food processing facilities; access to data allowed detailed description and comparison of four of these: one covered lagoon project, two complete mix digesters, three anaerobic contact process (ACP) operations, and four installations of up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket. Types of facilities included three cheese production plants, two beverage sites, two meat processors, one corn based snack production facility, a frozen dough producer, and processing plants for vegetables, sugar, and grain. Some systems were installed in the 1970's; others have only started operations this year. AD systems have allowed the companies to pre-treat their high strength wastewaters, providing cost-effective on-site treatment and compliance with effluent discharge permits. 04/21/2011

 

BioGasProcessing Facility Breaks Ground at Point Loma WWTP

Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant in San Diego County, CaliforniaConstruction has begun on the Trident BioFuels Energy Gas Processing Facility at the 240 million gallon per day capacity Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in San Diego County, California. The plant will use an Air Liquide gas processing system to capture, purify and compress 1.4 million standard cubic foot per day of the WWTP's biomethane for injection into a San Diego Gas and Electric natural gas pipeline. Currently that methane is simply burnt in a flare on-site. "The biogas clean-up processing facility will be the first in the State of California to inject treated biogas into the utility gas distribution system since the Public Utility Commission authorized the concept in late 2009. This project will pave the way for similar future applications," said Frank Mazanec of BioFuels Energy LLC, the project developer. The facility was financed last November by New Energy Capital's CleanTech Infrastructure Fund, supported by the sale of pollution control bonds authorized by the California Pollution Control Finance Authority. SCS Engineers is the designer and general contractor for the project. Start-up is planned for Q4 2011. 04/20/2011

 

Governor'sSpecial Advisor for Renewable Energy to Speak at Summit

Green California Summit and ExpositionThe Green California Summit and Exposition runs from April 19-20, 2011 in Sacramento, covering "green paths to economic recovery". Manal Yamout, selected by Governor Brown to continue in his position as Special Advisor to the Governor on Renewable Energy Facilities, will be presenting on the 19th as part of the "Power to the People – California's Renewables Revolution", a panel to explore distributed power generation. CalRecycle's director Mark Leary will moderate the panel. Ms. Yamout will be honored for her contributions to green energy on June 21st by the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (CEERT) in their 8th Annual Clean Power Campaign Awards. One possible topic: Governor Brown's signing of SBX1 1 (Senator Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento), which establishes the Clean Technology and Renewable Energy Job Training, Career Technical Education, and Dropout Prevention Program. 04/19/2011

 

LondonBorough's Food Waste Collection Pilot a Success

London Borough of Southwark Council, United KingdomThe London Borough of Southwark Council and their waste management contractor Veolia Environmental Services have deemed their food waste collection pilot program a success, and are ready to expand the service beyond the initial 10,000 properties. Within the pilot area, recycling rates now up to 54%, compared to surrounding London's 31.8% recycling rate for the past year. The Council estimated that 887.5 tons of additional recyclable waste were diverted from landfill in the first 6 months of the pilot, saving over £75,000 in landfill costs. The service will now be continued for the pilot area, and Southwark Council and Veolia are considering how the program can be expanded to other residences and to area schools. Program details and guidance for participants is provided on-line, and a public comment area provides questionnaire summaries. Veolia of Southwark works closely with the community beyond the Food Waste Pilot, as with their EnviroGrant Scheme, providing funds and staff time to locals to encourage environmental projects. This year's grants will be awarded in June. 04/19/2011

 

TPALaunches South African Biogas Program

TPA residential-scale anaerobic digesters provide biogas for household heating in cooking.Trade Plus Aid (TPA) has invested in Swiss anaerobic digestion (AD) company Acrona Engineering to establish the TPA Biogas Programme. Acrona develops combined heat and power applications based on their AD designs, and is a distributor for Capstone microturbines. Partly financed through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the United Nations, 22 commercial digesters have been planned in this phase. Proceeds from installation and operation of large-scale AD on South African commercial farms will in turn support development of family size digesters to replace about 3 tons per year per family of wood fuel combustion for meal preparation and heating, while providing sterile nutrient-rich amendments for farm soil improvement. The Trade Plus Aid Domestic Biogas Program has been initiated with the installation of 11 digesters in the Richmond area of Kwa-Zulu Natal. The funding for these initial small-scale digesters has been made available by a grant from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The 6 cubic meter rural household biogas digesters will provide greenhouse gas emission reduction monetary value which will be reinvested back into the domestic biogas program. 04/19/2011

 

Followup:LCFS Draft Workplan Available for Review

California Air Resources Board Low Carbon Fuel StandardThe Low Carbon Fuel Standard Advisory Panel will review the LCFS Draft Workplan Version 1, which has just been made available on the Advisory Panel's web page, at their April 26, 2011 meeting. The Draft will not be presented; attending Panel and public members will need to review the document prior to the meeting. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulation became effective 15, 2010; an excellent review can be found in the Air Resources Board's initial March 2009 Statement of Reasons. Section 95489 of the regulation requires the Executive Officer to conduct two reviews of the LCFS program through a public process. The Executive Officer is also required to convene an Advisory Panel with which he will consult on the reviews. The reviews will address a broad range of implementation topics and may include recommended amendments to the regulation. Staff will present the results of these reviews to the Board by January 1, 2012, and January 1, 2015. 04/19/2011

  

GPRECuts Ribbon on Ethanol Waste to Algae Facility

Green Plains Renewable EnergyGreen Plains Renewable Energy (GPRE) hosted Agricultural Secretary Vilsack this past week to celebrate the grand opening of BioProcess Algae's Phase II “Grower Harvester” algal photo-bioreactor. BioProcess Algae LLC is a joint venture between CLARCOR Inc, BioProcessH2O LLC, Green Plains Renewable Energy, and the international renewable energy group NTR plc. Waste from GPRE's ethanol plant feed Grower Harvester operations, generating algal biomass for further processing to biofuels. "We are honored to have Secretary Vilsack deliver the keynote address at this important event for BioProcess Algae and to see firsthand our bioreactor technology growing and harvesting algae", said Todd Becker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Green Plains Renewable Energy. "The next step for us is to take our commercial scale reactors and build out an algae farm at our ethanol plant in Shenandoah, which can produce inputs needed for feed, food and next generation algae-based fuels. The co-location at an ethanol plant has proven to be the right platform to rapidly commercialize this technology." Teru Talk reported on the February completion of construction of the Phase II plant.  04/18/2011

 

LCFSProgram Schedules 2nd Full Advisory Panel Meeting

California Air Resources Board Low Carbon Fuel StandardCalifornia's Low Carbon Fuel Standard program has scheduled the 2nd open meeting of the full Advisory Panel for Tuesday, April 26, 2011. In this 2nd meeting, the Panel will discuss the work plan and whether the approach and sources identified in it are adequate to address the pertinent topics. Teru Talk reported on the 1st Panel meeting held in February and the summary that was released. Methods 2A and 2B carbon intensity applications were recently modified and are available for review on the LCFS main website, where interested parties can also sign up for the informational listserve. The meeting is scheduled  for 9:00 am – 4:00 pm in the Coastal Hearing Room, 2nd Floor, Cal/EPA Headquarters Building, 1001 “I” Street, Sacramento. The meeting agenda is available on-line, giving details for in-person attendance as well as for both phone and webex public participation. 04/18/2011

  

GroupChallenges CalRecycle's Gasification Decision

Cal RecycleA group of organizations opposed to municipal solid waste (MSW) conversion has demanded that CalRecycle rescind their finding that the plasma-assisted gasification technology proposed by Plasco for their renewable energy project in Salinas, California, is "gasification". The group's April 14, 2011 letter to Secretary John Laird, California Natural Resources Agency, is an attack not only on CalRecycle’s interpretation and purview but that of the California Energy Commission. The two agencies have determined that the plasma-assisted gasification technology proposed by Plasco is "gasification" per Public Resources Code (PRC) 40117, and as such, the proposed plant may be pre-certified as an "eligible renewable energy generation facility". The group's contention stems from their own interpretation of the PRC and their assertion that the agencies don’t have the purview to make the determinations. The confusion comes from two bills promulgated to the PRC eight days after California's Renewable Portfolio Standard became law. For background, see our own Legislative Review of AB 2770, SB 1038, and SB 1078. 04/16/2011

 

Oregon’sBiogas Industry Is Ready to Grow

Stahlbush Island Farms of Corvallis Oregon's biogas plant generates electricity from its fruit and vegetable byproduct.The Climate Trust has released "Growing Oregon’s Biogas Industry", which details how Oregon’s dairies, wastewater treatment plants, municipal solid waste collectors and food processors have the feedstock and infrastructure to generate over 100 megawatts (MW) of biogas energy, but currently have only 8 MW installed. The Climate Trust in conjunction with the Energy Trust of Oregon compiled the report documenting stakeholder roundtable meetings to explore how to expand biogas project development in Oregon. The report finds that dairy farms have the greatest potential to generate biogas energy, and wastewater treatments plants currently generate the most biogas. The benefits of co-digestion are clearly presented. Two policies are proposed that would help biogas projects overcome this financial barrier: production incentives that would raise the value of biogas energy and therefore increase the willingness of lenders to provide construction financing, and a bridge loan program to provide financing for project construction. Conclusions: (1) Biogas technology is ready for widespread implementation but additional state support is needed to realize its economic and environmental value, and (2) The right policies will create rural jobs, advance energy independence and reduce potent methane emissions. 04/16/2011

 

FCEReceives Contracts to Explore Biogas Processing, Carbon Capture

FuelCell Energy's DFC3000 can be used for on-site power generation, cogeneration and Combined Heat and Power (CHP).Connecticut company Fuel Cell Energy (FCE) has received a contract from the US Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate the effectiveness of their Direct FuelCells® (DFC®) to efficiently separate carbon dioxide (CO2) from the emissions of industrial operations such as refineries, cement kilns and pulp and paper mills. Chris Bentley, Executive Vice President of FCE, commented: "Our Direct FuelCell technology is very versatile, providing multiple value streams including ultra-clean power, high quality heat and hydrogen suitable for vehicle transportation or industrial uses. This contract from the US Environmental Protection Agency enables us to research the possibility of yet another value stream, which is the efficient and cost effective capture of carbon using our existing technology. Carbon capture is an important area of focus for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and our team is excited to be undertaking this leading edge research." FCE also has secured two subcontracts totaling $1.7 million with TDA Research, Inc., the prime contractor under a US Department of Energy program, to demonstrate TDA’s advanced biogas de-sulfurization technology. The biogas demonstration projects will determine the market feasibility of a high capacity, expendable sorbent for efficiently removing sulfur from renewable biogas that if successful, could reduce the costs of fuel cells operating on biogas. The integrated solution will be demonstrated at a wastewater treatment facility and a family-owned dairy farm, both located in California, and is expected to conclude in 18 months. 04/16/2011

 

NCSUResearchers ID Microbe Responsible for Methane from Landfills

"NCSU research shows that Methanosarcina barkeri prepares conditions in a landfill that allow other methane producers to flourish."New research from North Carolina State University (NCSU) shows that one species of microbe prepares conditions in a landfill that allow other methane producers to flourish. An anaerobic bacterium called Methanosarcina barkeri is a resilient methanogen that can survive at low pH levels. M. barkeri consumes the acids in its environment, producing methane and increasing the pH levels in its immediate area, improving conditions for other methanogens. Dr. Francis de los Reyes, an associate professor of civil engineering at NCSU and co-author of a paper describing the research, stated, “The research community can use our findings to explore ways of accelerating the methane-generation process creating methane more quickly for power generation, and making additional room in the landfill for waste disposal.” The research paper, “Effect of Spatial Differences in Microbial Activity, pH, and Substrate Levels on Methanogenesis Initiation in Refuse,” will published in the April issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 04/16/2011

  

ProgressEnergy Signs Agreement with Poultry Power for Biogas

Progress EnergyProgress Energy Carolinas has signed a power purchase agreement for energy to be generated by Poultry Power USA’s gasification of farm waste. Poultry Power USA will build, own and operate the 36 megawatt (MWe) power plant in Montgomery County, North Carolina and sell the electricity to the utility. The project will help Progress Energy to meet its share of North Carolina’s renewable energy portfolio standard (REPS), which includes a statutory requirement that a portion of statewide electricity comes from poultry waste. The $125 MM plant will be built in Biscoe, N.C. to use 350,000 tons of poultry litter per year and is scheduled to begin operation in early 2013. Poultry Power USA is based in Jacksonville, Fla., and is a subsidiary of Green Frontiers Energy. “We are pleased to bring jobs and commerce to North Carolina,” said George Erickson Sr., the chief executive officer of Poultry Power USA. “Our clean technology will provide renewable energy to consumers in the state, and we are excited about being a solution to the litter disposal challenges facing the poultry industry. Our commitment is to be a clean and solid corporate citizen with a small carbon footprint.” 04/15/2011

 

UKPlant Will Convert Food Waste to Energy and Fertilizer

The GWE food waste to biogas plant in Driffield, UK  GWE Biogas Ltd’s food waste to biogas and fertilizer plant is performing well during its commissioning phase. The Driffield, East Yorkshire, United Kingdom (UK) site has been taking in both packaged and clean waste streams for several weeks and the digesters are already producing significant volumes of a good quality biogas. Mathew Girking, GWE’s project Director, commented “We are delighted with the initial results of how the plant is working. Our depackaging equipment has completed its first week of trials and commissioning and is proving that it is more than capable of dealing with the very varied packaging that food waste comes in. We are also very satisfied with the amount of food waste that we will be diverting from landfill.” The £10m investment includes a large bio-filter to ensure the area did not smell. He said air vents were being used to filter fresh air into the plant through heather, causing bacteria to grow and eat odour molecules. Andy Hartley from Leeds-based CO2Sense, which has partly funded the project, said: "It's really significant. It's arguably the best designed plant in the country but it's one of only a handful." The first 1MW generator is scheduled to come on line in 2012 and will supply the grid with electricity for almost 1,000 homes. 04/15/2011

 

Cityof Oslo Awards Food Waste to Biogas Contract to Cambi

Cambi converts food waste to biogas.Norwegian anaerobic digestion company Cambi AS has been awarded a US$65MM contract for a turnkey biogas plant to convert treat 50 000 tons of food waste per year. The plant will be built in Nes in Romerike, an agricultural region northeast of Oslo; biogas will be upgraded to fuel the City’s 135 buses, and will also produce approximately 27 000 annual tons of fertilizer. Cambi uses their patented Thermal Hydrolysis Process (THP) to treat municipal and industrial waste prior to anaerobic digestion, processing the organic matter at 165-170°C by steam explosion and pasteurization, and dissolving it into an easily digestible feed for biogas production by anaerobic digestion while destroying pathogens. Mr. Wojtech Sargalski, Cambi’s Business Development Manager - Biowaste, says that although Cambi has 22 plants in operation worldwide and another 3 under construction, this deal is large even by international standards. "We are delighted that Cambi has been awarded the largest biowaste contract in Scandinavia by the City of Oslo. The contract will certainly have a positive impact on Cambi’s international performance in this sector," concludes Sargalski. 04/15/2011

 

KiORPlans Initial Public Offering

KiORTexas-based biofuel company KiOR has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise up to $100 million through their proposed Initial Public Offering (IPO) of shares of Class A common stock. The number of shares and initial price is not determined. The IPO will be jointly managed by underwriters Credit Suisse, UBS Investment Bank and Goldman Sachs. KiOR uses fast pyrolysis for "biomass catalytic cracking" to bio-oil, developing and commercializing Biomass Catalytic Cracking (BCC) technology. BCC technology catalytically converts lignocelluloses biomass into a high quality bio-crude which is suitable for refining directly to standard transportation fuels. KiOR received a $1 billion term sheet loan guarantee from the Department of Energy in February, and secured an off-take agreement for their bio-oil with Hunt Refining in March. The company’s Houston Texas demonstration facility was producing 15 barrels of bio-oil a day during 2010. The process generates enough heat and electricity to be essentially self-supporting. 04/13/2011

 

ConstructionBegins on 13MGY Cellulosic Ethanol Plant in Italy

NovozymesNovozymes’ partner, Mossi & Ghisolfi Group (M&G), is breaking ground on its first fully commercial scale cellulosic ethanol facility in Crescentino, northwestern Italy. M&G is a multinational company specializing in resins for food packaging, with production plants in Brazil, Italy, Mexico, and the US. The plant will be 10 times larger than the largest demonstration facilities in operation today and is designed to operate on cellulosic feedstock such as wheat straw, corn stover, municipal waste, or energy crops. The biomass is first broken down into a pulp, then Novozymes’ enzymes are added, turning cellulose in the biomass into sugar, which can be fermented into ethanol. “Today’s groundbreaking is fantastic news and signals the dawn of a new green era,” says Poul Ruben Andersen, Marketing Director Bioenergy at Novozymes. “With this state-of-the-art facility, M&G proves there is a cure for the world’s addiction to fossil fuels. Biofuel made from lignocellulosic biomass is no longer a distant pipe-dream. The technology is ready and plants will be built and run on commercial scale, offering a compelling alternative to conventional gasoline.” The plant is scheduled to start production in 2012. 04/13/2011

 

Alcoa,Codexis and CO2 Solutions Partner to Turn Waste to Product

"Carbonic anhydrase (CA) is the most powerful catalyst known to accelerate the transformation of CO2 to bicarbonate ion. CA is found in the blood of humans and other mammals, and facilitates the transfer of CO2 during respiration. Image: CO2 Solutions."Biocatalyst firm Codexis and enzyme company CO2 Solutions have partnered with Alcoa for a three-part waste conversion research, demonstration and development (RD&D) project focused on recovering resources from Alcoa’s industrial residues. Aluminum smelting generates alkaline clay, or bauxite residue, as a primary waste product. The pilot project will test a scrubbing process that combines treated flue gas, enzymes and alkaline clay into a mineral-rich neutralized product that could be used for environmental reclamation projects. Codexis and CO2 Solutions have been collaborating since late 2009 on the development of custom carbonic anhydrase (CA) enzymes and processes that could significantly decrease the cost of carbon dioxide capture from industrial sources. CA is an enzyme that catalyzes the transfer of carbon dioxide in nature, and program results to date show that the technology can be used to create and deploy CA biocatalysts with substantially improved stability and performance under industrial conditions. "We are very pleased to be expanding deployment of our carbon capture technology with Alcoa," said Dr. Alan Shaw, Codexis president and CEO. "We recently reported significant progress in our first program to reduce CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants. With this agreement, we are expanding to a second large market where our technology can add real economic value, and where it may convert industrial waste to new, valuable products." 04/13/2011

 

ConstructionCompleted on New British Biogas Plant

XergiDanish anaerobic digestion company Xergi has handed over a new biogas plant to Staples Vegetables, one of Britain's largest vegetable producers located in Wrangle, near Boston in Lincolnshire. The new facility is the first of five biogas plants to receive support from the British Waste Recycling Action Program (WRAP). The anaerobic digestion facility makes biogas from a total annual 26,000 tons of vegetable processing residue and maize silage to produce combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) with a capacity to produce 1.4 MW electricity. "Potential investors in new biogas plants are hesitant and they are keen to ensure that these plants work as they should. There is no doubt that the opening of this plant will help speed up the establishment of new biogas plants in the UK," says Colin Steel, Xergi's Country Manager UK. 04/13/2011

 

LanzaTechPartners with LCY for Bio-Based Chemical Production

LanzaTechNew Zealand based LanzaTech has formed a partnership with LCY Chemical Corporation for development of bio-based C2 through C5 solvents and green foundation chemicals. The multi-national Taiwanese chemical manufacturer wants to begin replacing petroleum-sourced chemicals with LanzaTech’s biologically produced analogues. LCY will fund the construction of production plants in exchange for access to LanzaTech’s technology in their chemical plants in Taiwan, China, Japan, Qatar and the United States. LanzaTech’s core technology feeds carbon monoxide containing industrial emission gases to microbes for fermentation into chemical product syntheses. “Bio-based chemicals are currently one per cent of global chemicals production, but that is expected to increase to nine per cent during the next 10 years,” said Dr Jennifer Holmgren, LanzaTech’s chief executive. “LanzaTech and LCY will produce key bio-based chemicals, creating new products and revenue streams for both companies.” 04/13/2011

 

IEAReleases Its First Global Clean Energy Progress Report

IEA's Clean Energy Progress ReportThe International Energy Agency (IEA) has for the first time published a Clean Energy Progress Report, assessing global deployment of clean energy technologies including renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, nuclear power, biofuels and CO2 capture and storage (CCS), and providing recommendations to countries on future action and spending. The IEA presented their findings at the 2011 Clean Energy Ministerial in Abu Dhabi. The report states that worldwide renewable electricity generation since 1990 grew an average of 2.7% per year, which is less than the 3% growth seen for total electricity generation. Consequently, “achieving the goal of halving global energy-related CO2 emissions by 2050 will require a doubling of all renewable generation use by 2020 from today’s level.” The report finds that global biofuels production grew from 16 billion litres in 2000 to more than 100 billion litres in 2010. In Brazil, as much as 21% of all transport fuel is from biofuels; in the United States its share is 4% and in the European Union it is around 3%. 04/13/2011

 

APL’sNewest Biomass Gasifier is Shipping Container Size

ALL Power Labs’ new 100 kWe integrated gasifier and generator set (genset) fits inside a standard shipping container. It is their latest scaled up design in their line of home and small business scale wood gasification systems for combined heat and power (CHP) and pyrolysis models for production of bio-char. APL’s clients for two of the new systems are the Morris and Twin Cities campuses of the University of Minnesota, who are working with Cummins Power Generation and operating under a DOE grant from the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). The projects are intended to “develop a relevant shipping-container based biomass gasification unit for the U.S. Agricultural market”, and “… provide a gasifier mated to a modern diesel engine with precise ignition control in order to experiment with the unique combustion characteristics of syngas”. APL introduced their first Gasifier Experimenter’s Kit, or GEK, in 2008, sized to run home generators and small vehicles. Their pallet sized 10 to 20 kWe integrated wood gasification CHP was added in 2010. APL maintains an open forum for do-it-yourself (DYI) developers, and all APL’s gasifier plans are distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License. APL will offer a workshop June 17-19, 2011 in Berkeley, free if you own a GEK or $100 otherwise. To sign up, RSVP on their Gasifier User Forum. 04/12/2011

 

U.S. Foodservice Fuels Fleet with Biodiesel from Waste Cooking Oil

US FoodserviceThe Columbia Division of U.S. Foodservice, Inc  in Lexington, South Carolina has acquired WVO Industries, who for years has purified the waste vegetable oil U.S. Foodservice collects from their customers. U.S. Foodservice has been the exclusive collection agent for WVO since 2009, providing it with waste cooking oil from restaurant deep fryers. The waste vegetable oil is collected in specially designed, sealed cans that are convenient and easy for restaurants to use. The cleaned oil is shipped to a biodiesel conversion company who makes a blend of 80% diesel and 20% biodiesel, or B20, which U.S. Foodservice will then use in hundreds of their fleet vehicles. U.S. Foodservice is developing a new facility in Lexington to store, purify, convert and blend up to 5 million pounds of waste oil into 400,000 gallons of bio feedstock each year. The division plans to use approximately 200,000 gallons of converted waste vegetable oil for biodiesel annually, which would allow the remaining waste oil to be made available elsewhere in the company or as a supply source for outside companies. “The purchase of WVO will establish U.S. Foodservice as an industry leader in fleet sustainability,” said Durwood Owens, division president, U.S. Foodservice-Columbia. “We’re also helping customers achieve their sustainability goals by offering an easy, reliable way for them to recycle their waste cooking oil instead of sending it to landfills.” 04/12/2011

 

NewJoint Venture Will Advance Organic Waste Conversion Projects

Onsite Power SystemsDavis, California based Onsite Power Systems (OPS) is forming a joint venture with Purely Organic Products for advancing organic waste conversion technologies for production of renewable energy fuels and multiple high value organic fertilizer products. OPS is commercializing a two-stage high solids anaerobic digester and has an 8 ton per day unit operating on the UC Davis campus. The system converts problematic food and green waste materials into renewable biofuels including both methane and hydrogen. The fibrous residual has multiple uses including organic fertilizer. The OPS - Purely Organic joint venture brings immediate product lines and a current customer base for these high-value organic fertilizers. “Many agricultural and landscape operations across the county are looking for reliable alternatives to petro-chemical based fertilizers” said Dave Konwinski, CEO of OPS. “The value added products from our digester technologies include nutrient rich liquids and high-value soil amendments that provide a substantial opportunity in the agricultural and landscape organic fertilizer market.” 04/11/2011

 

Wisconsin Sees Biogas Opportunity in Cows

Wisconsin Bioenergy InitiativeThe Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative has released their 2011 Strategic Plan focused on “The Opportunity for Biogas in Wisconsin”. The detailed free report is available on-line. Created in 2007 by University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative (WBI) seeks to cultivate bioenergy expertise among UW-Madison, UW-System and Wisconsin stakeholders. The Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative examined energy opportunities within the state’s 13,000 licensed dairy herds, landfills, food processing industry and other businesses to create a statewide recommendation for strategies and policy programs to capitalize on the emerging opportunity. The study indicates potential reductions of 30-35% in CO2-eq/kg ECM and 213-240% in MJ/kg ECM. If all farms with more than 200 cows in Wisconsin would implement anaerobic digesters, the potential on-farm biogas energy production would be 11.5 billion MJ/year, and the correspondent potential of savings on GHG emissions would be 1 billion kg CO2-eq/year. 04/11/2011

  

LCFSAdvisory Panel Releases First Meeting Summary

California Air Resources Board Low Carbon Fuel StandardThe Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Advisory Panel has released a summary of its first meeting held on February 16, 2011. Among the chief concerns expressed by Panel members is the clear need to review and coordinate with the great diversity of other parallel programs in California that also impact greenhouse gas emissions reduction and clean fuel development, given the complexity of issues. Also of high concern is the prioritization being outlined for implementation of the new law, such as which segments of the economy should be among the first to see mandatory compliance? Another concern always attending California project development is an apparent lack of a mechanism for pre-certification, so a developer can be certain that the product once completed and marketed will meet the LCFS criteria. Panel members are now asked to submit top 5 priorities as comments to their website. All prior Panel comments and attachments are available on-line. The next full Panel open meeting is scheduled for April 26, 2011. The LCFS is a key element for meeting the greenhouse gas emission reductions called for under AB 32. Per Title 17, California Code of Regulations, Section 95489, the Advisory Panel will present a first formal review of the program to the Air Resources Board by January 1, 2012, and the second by January 1, 2015. 04/09/2011

 

WhiteHouse Releases Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future

The White HouseThe Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future released last week by the Obama administration outlines a three-part strategy: (1) Develop and Secure America’s Energy Supplies, (2) Provide Consumers with Choices to Reduce Costs and Save Energy, and (3) Innovate our Way to a Clean Energy Future. The report recognizes that “…a global race is underway to develop and manufacture clean energy technologies, and China and other countries are playing to win.” The Blueprint pushes advanced biofuels: a goal of four commercial-scale cellulosic or advanced bio-refineries over the next two years, and speed the development of “drop-in” biofuels substitutes for diesel and jet fuel. The centerpiece of the Administration’s strategy for creating clean energy markets is the Clean Energy Standard (CES) that goes beyond "renewables" to include nuclear and clean coal development. The CES would work by giving electric power plants clean energy credits for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity they generate from clean energy. In his address launching the Blueprint, President Obama said: “We cannot keep going from shock to trance on the issue of energy security, rushing to propose action when gas prices rise, then hitting the snooze button when they fall again.” 04/09/2011

 

TrilliumFiberFuels Receives SBIR Grant

Trillium FiberFuelsOregon based Trillium FiberFuels has received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to advance their cellulosic ethanol development. Trillium works with a rare, naturally occurring enzyme in fixed-bed isomerization to convert the recalcitrant sugar xylose into simpler materials that can be fermented by yeast. Xylose, which is usually unavailable for fermentation, makes up roughly one third of the available sugar in biomass. The new funding Trillium received last month complements a grant from Oregon's Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies (BEST) Center received in January of this year. Trillium FiberFuels was formed in 2006 and started as a research project at Oregon State University. Chris Beatty, Trillium's President, commented that the new award "builds on the feasibility work sponsored by the USDOE and will give us a cost-effective process for feedstocks such as straw from ryegrass and wheat." 04/09/2011

 

H.R.1425 Reauthorization of SBIR includes VCs

US Small Business Innovative ResearchThe US House of Representatives met on April 7, 2011 to consider H.R 1425, a bill that in part calls for 3-year reauthorization of the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant program. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Technology administers SBIR, while the U.S National Science Foundation administers the SBIR.GOV site on behalf of the federal government. It’s been eight years since the last re-up for SBIR and its companion program Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR). The proposed text of HR.1425 would (a) increase the award amount from $100,000 to $150,000; (b) Advance from Phase I to Phase II program activities without additional announcement of solicitation; and perhaps most importantly, (c) open the programs to companies substantially owned by investment interests such as venture capital companies and hedge funds. The bill was referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, also to the Committees on Small Business, and Armed Services for consideration. 04/09/2011

 

PlascoEnergy Secures $143MM Financing

Plasco Energy Secures $143MMPacific Northwestinvestment bank Cascadia Capital and the Soros Management Fund have both recently engaged in what is now totaling a $143 million financing round for Canadian waste to energy firm Plasco Energy Group, Inc. The growth equity financing will advance Plasco’s projects in California's Salinas Valley, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, China and Poland. Plasco has a three-year-old pilot project in Ottawa using plasma-assisted gasification to convert post-recycled residues of mixed solid waste into high-purity syngas, along with separation of recoverable metals, inert aggregates, and water. Syngas is cleaned for power generation and water is treated to potable quality. Plasco held a community meeting in Ottawa attended by around 60 stakeholders to gauge interest and concerns for a permanent facility, resulting in reports of strong support. 04/08/2011

 

ClenergenSecures $8MM for Integrated Biopower Development

Clenergen CorporationClenergen Corporation has acquired a 1.5MWe Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Biomass power plant near Salem in Tamil Nadu, India. The plant operates using chicken litter as a source of feedstock in order to generate renewable electricity. The company intends to expand the existing facility to 10 MWe within the next 15 months. They have also signed a Technical Agreement with Honeywell subsidiary Envergent Technologies to produce Pyrolysis Oil with possible upgrading to fuels. The company has secured $8 million in working capital and project specific financing. Clenergen has spent the last two years working with India’s Union Ministry for New and Renewable Energy, and sees great promise in the government’s target of creating 10,000MW of biomass power generation over the next 10 years. Clenergen integrates AD of agricultural waste, gasification of biomass, and growth of fast-growing biomass crops into their closed-loop “captive power model”. Fertilizer from the AD feeds the fields of Paulownia, Bamboo, Neem and other biocrops while power is generated both from the microbial waste produced biogas and the thermal conversion produced syngas. 04/08/2011

 

GwinnettCounty, Georgia Constructs Co-Digestion BioGas Plant

A co-digestion “gas to energy” plant under construction at the F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center in Gwinnett County, Georgia, will convert sewage biosolids, fats, oils, greases and other wastes into renewable energy. By including fats, oil and grease, the county will improve wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) system efficiency, reduce sewer clogging and cut energy costs to its customers. The new co-digestion biogas plant is partially funded by $3.5 million from the county’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant through the Recovery Act, and was recognized with a Create Award from the Atlanta Regional Commission. The methane gas that the facility produces will generate just over two megawatts of electric power and provide process heat, meeting about 40 percent of the WWTP's power needs as well as all of the heat needed for the anaerobic digesters. The new system has the potential to reduce the electricity bill by more than $1 million per year, generate additional annual revenue of up to $800,000, and reduce greenhouse gases by up to 15,500 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year. 04/08/2011

 

EnergosMSW Gasification Plant Receives First-of-Class ROCs

EnergosUnited Kingdom (UK) based Ener-G subsidiary Energos operates an advanced gasification facility for conversion of municipal solid waste to energy on the Isle of Wight, UK. The Isle of Wight plant is the first facility of its kind to be granted Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) by the UK’s Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), receiving one ROC for each megawatt hour of renewable electricity generated from the biogenic, renewable fraction of the residual waste. ROCs are not available to incineration operations unless they generate both heat and electricity and meet CHPQA requirements, but they are available to gasification and pyrolysis plants certified as ”advanced conversion technologies”. The auction price for ROCs approached £50 in March 2011. Energos gasification technology will also qualify for the UK’s new Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The plant receives 30,000 tons of waste per year and converts that to 1.8 megawatts of electricity (MWe). Energos supplies small-scale energy from waste plants designed to provide community scale energy with minimal emissions as an environmental alternative to landfill. Plants help communities to achieve both the European Union (EU) Landfill Directive requirements (1999/31/EC) for avoiding landfill and outperform EU Emission Standards (2000/76/EC). 04/08/2011

 

APSSeeks Small Renewable Projects

Arizona Public Service seeks Renewable Projects.The Arizona Public Service (APS) is seeking a variety of renewable energy generation projects in the range of 2 to 15 megawatts (MWe) generating capacity. The Request for Proposals lists types of eligible projects: Biogas Electricity Generator, Biomass Electricity Generator, Eligible Hydro Facilities, Fuel Cells that Use Only Renewable Fuels, Geothermal Generator, Hybrid Wind and Solar Electric Generator, Landfill Gas Generator, New Hydropower Generator (10 MWe or less), Solar Electricity Resources, and/or Wind Generator, for an anticipated energy production of 200,000 MWh of annual energy in total through the Program. Proposed projects must come on-line no later than December 31, 2013 for photovoltaic or wind resources and no later than December 31, 2014 for all other renewable resources. APS will use the PowerAdvocate platform for this RFP; visit the PowerAdvocate website to register. For questions, contact Jessica Hernandez at APS. 04/07/2011

 

RhodeIsland Considers Waste Cooking Oil Reuse Legislation

National Biodiesel BoardLast month, Teru Talk reported that the Environmental Council of Rhode Island (ECRI) was exploring development of a waste food collection program. Now we see that the Rhode Island legislature is considering legislation submitted by Senators Algiere and Sosnowski (S.0185) to establish a safe, environmentally sound collection and reuse program for all waste vegetable cooking oil (WVO), and to ban all disposal of the resource. As proposed, the bill would take effect January 1, 2012. The bill was referred to the Rhode Island Senate Environment and Agriculture committee in February, which heard testimony on legislation on March 31, 2011 at the State House and will now be held for additional assessment. The hearing was held one day after President Obama’s call for increasing US production of domestic fuels, to which the National Biodiesel Board commented, "The biodiesel industry is already poised for a record year in which we will displace nearly a billion gallons of petroleum with a renewable fuel produced right here in the United States. We are ready and able to meet the nation's Advanced Biofuel goals and in the process create new jobs, improve the environment and enhance the nation's energy security." 04/07/2011

  

WeltecBiopower Builds AD Biogas Plant in Latvia

Weltech Biopower GmbHGerman AD specialist Weltec Biopower GmbH is constructing their second anaerobic digestion (AD) biogas facility in the town of Limbaži in north-western Latvia, about a dozen miles inland from the Baltic Sea. The town with a population of 10,000 is one of the main Latvian areas of agriculture. The 500 kWe combined heat and power plant should be on-line in July of this year with heat serving adjacent agricultural buildings. The 3,500 cubic meter digester will convert 5,400 tons of manure and 7,800 tons of silage annually as part of a program begun in 2008 to reduce Baltic States’ dependence on Russian natural gas supply. As part of the program, the Latvians are also replacing inefficient co-generation plants with high transport losses with smaller district co-generation plants. Weltec is a member of the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association and will exhibit at ADBA’s annual Conference and Trade Fair, July 6-7, 2011 in the UK. 04/07/2011

  

AgilyxInvestors Back Their Waste Plastics to Synthetic Crude Process

Agilyx CorporationWaste Management Inc. has made a strategic investment in Oregon-based Agilyx Corporation, bringing this newest round of financing to $22 million. Other investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB ) and Total Energy Ventures, International, an affiliate of Total S.A. (NYSE: TOT). Existing investors, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, Saffron Hill Ventures, and Reference Capital also participated in the round. Agilyx uses pyrolysis, or “anaerobic thermal reclamation”, to cook mixed waste plastics and economically extract and refine the resulting liquids into a synthetic sweet crude oil. Their Oregon facility is the first fully permitted waste plastics conversion facility in the US, and has the first refinery off-take agreement as well. Last October, a New York recycling firm started SynCrude LLC and announced they would acquire an Agilyx system for plastics conversion in the New England area. More recently, Agilyx notes that their technology will be used by Green EnviroTech in a facility planned for Riverbank California, and another for Wisconsin to convert 100,000 tons per year of auto shredder fluff (ASR) from used vehicle shredding. “Waste Management wants to maximize the value of the materials it manages”, said Tim Cesarek, managing director of Organic Growth at Waste Management. “Agilyx’s technology complements Waste Management’s advancement of thermal chemical conversion technology platforms and provides us with a viable option for processing contaminated and hard to recycle plastic resins and creating a high value commodity.” 04/04/2011

 

NY’sNorth Hempstead Ready for Waste Grease to Biodiesel Program

"Joe Urda, sewer service supervisor at the Great Neck Water Pollution Control District, holds the biofuel which can be used for anything that takes diesel." Photo credit: Newsday/Mario Gonzalez, March 24, 2011.The Town Council of North Hempstead in New York (NY) has announced plans to collect restaurant cooking grease and make biodiesel. The plan was developed by the town’s Ecological Commission that will kick off a pilot initiative later this spring at North Hempstead’s Solid Waste Management Authority facility in Port Washington. Scale will depend on how much used restaurant cooking oil can be collected; the hope is to produce an initial 40 gallons per day. Supervisor Jon Kaiman said, “We are always studying ways to save taxpayer dollars, but in this challenging economic climate we are even more committed to doing more with less,” Supervisor Kaiman said. “This initiative not only promises to benefit us fiscally but environmentally as well.” 04/03/2011

 

ConstructionBegins on First THÖNI NATURGAS Plant in UK

THÖNITHÖNI and Agrigen Ltd. have signed an agreement for the first “Naturgas” biogas plant in the United Kingdom (UK). The companies jointly announced that construction has begun on the plant on the site of a former military airport at Rendlesham / Suffolk. The plant will initially generate 500 kWe, and then expand to 2.5 MWe once proofing is complete. Peter Hailes, CEO of AgriGen, highlights the advantages of the THÖNI biogas technology: "As a large farming group, we are very exited about our forthcoming AD development. Not only will we utilise high availability industrial standard AD technology but will use off-graded vegetables and energy crops (grown in sustainable rotation) to produce diversified income through green electricity sales and by producing recycled fertiliser. We greatly look forward to working with THÖNI on our exciting, cutting edge development." Austrian company THÖNI’s Environmental Engineering division constructs renewable energy plants for combined heat and power. Agrigen Ltd. is a consortium of farming companies based on Suffolk, Woodbridge, UK. 04/03/2011

 

TwoNew Patents Approved on ARC’s GDiesel Production

Advanced Refining ConceptsNevada based Advanced Refining Concepts (ARC) has announced the US Patent and Trademark Office approval of two new patents that strengthen their production of GDiesel. The patents relate to ARC's ClearRefining® technology, a method for producing clean liquid fuels from biogas through a unique low temperature, low pressure, closed loop catalytic refining process. ARC’s products are manufactured using the company’s proprietary ClearRefining® process, a pollution-free, single-step method for combining natural gas, or other biogases, with a petroleum base to achieve a higher quantity and quality of clean liquid motor and industrial fuels. Recently, the company announced a contract to supply GDiesel® to the 1,400 diesel vehicle fleet operated by Clark County, Nevada – the state’s third largest fleet operator. To date, more than 10 million gallons of GDiesel® have been sold in the Northern Nevada and Las Vegas markets. 04/02/2011

 

CoffeeGrounds to Biodiesel Precursor Methyl Ester in One (Easier) Step

Addition of CO2 to supercritical methanol converts spent coffee grounds lipids to methyl esters. Image: New University of Lisboa, Portugal.The Royal Chemistry Society (RCS) has announced a breakthrough in production of methyl esters, precursors for biodiesel, from spent coffee grounds. Spent coffee grounds can contain over 20% lipids. Advanced biodiesel production can use supercritical methanol (>600 degrees K under high pressure) to turn those lipids into the fatty acid methyl esters from which biodiesel is made, but creating the temperatures and pressures are difficult and expensive. Lab research led by Pedro Simoes of the New University of Lisboa, Portugal, found that addition of CO2 to the mix allowed both temperature and pressure to be significantly reduced while yields are dramatically increased. Rafael Luque, an expert on biofuels from the University of Cordoba, Spain, noted that this work should pave the way for developing methods for new ways of processing waste food rather than composting and anaerobic digestion, adding, “there is a need to change the perception of waste as a problem - it should be perceived as a resource to produce valuable chemicals and biofuels.” The work has been published in the journal Green Chemistry and is available from RCS on-line. 04/02/2011

 

Scotland’sStirling Council Turning Food Waste to Biogas

MonsalMansfield, UK based Monsal Limited has announced their processing train of enzymatic hydrolysis to anaerobic digestion (AD) is now turning 26,000 homes' worth of  food waste that had previously been landfilled to biogas. The system will be used at Horizon Environment’s AD plant at Deerdykes, near Cumbernauld, Scotland following an agreement with Stirling Council. Stirling Council has one of the highest recycling rates in Scotland at 47.5% and is planning to extend the food waste collection scheme to over 39,500 homes to help it achieve the Scottish Government’s target of recycling 50% of its waste by 2013. Horizons Environment is Scottish Water’s commercial resource management business, which has plans to convert other redundant Scottish Water sites into AD plants. 04/02/2011

 

EthanolPlant’s Waste Water Gets a Reprieve

R3 FusionEthanol facilities generate waste, too. R3 Fusion has announced delivery of their first ethanol recovery system to a 50 million gallon per year ethanol plant. R3 Fusion’s SPaCeR “process intensification” technology treats 50 gallons per minute of ethanol plant scrubber wash water. It extracts trace amounts of ethanol from CO2 scrubber water and concentrates the ethanol/water mixture so that it can be introduced directly into standard distillation columns. The benefit to a typical ethanol facility is an increase in overall production capacity and recovery of millions of dollars of ethanol otherwise lost. “We are very excited about the launch of our SPaCeR technology and the enormous implications we believe it will have on global water supplies” said Keith Blakely, R3 Fusion’s CEO. 04/01/2011

 

SynthesisEnergy Receives $83.8MM Chinese Funding

Synthesis EnergyHouston-based Synthesis Energy has announced an investment agreement with China Energy Industry Holding Group Co., Limited ("China Energy") for US $83.8 million. The funds will support the core company's business strategy with China Energy, a Hong Kong based limited liability corporation formed by Zhongjixuan Investment Management Ltd. ("ZJX") of Beijing. Synthesis Energy Systems provides advanced technology products, including its U-GAS® fluidized bed gasification technology licensed from the Gas Technology Institute and related services and equipment, to enable the clean conversion of low feedstock into high value energy and chemical products, such as transportation fuel and ammonia. synthesis Energy currently has offices in Houston, Texas, and Shanghai, China. 04/01/2011

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