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December 2011 News and Matters of Interest

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India Adds 3,815 Renewable MWe and 45,000 Anaerobic Digesters in 2011

Government of India, Ministry of New and Renewable EnergyThe Government of India, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, has released a summary of renewable energy progress during 2011, citing a total new installed capacity of 3,815 megawatts of renewable electricity (MWe). Much of the impetus has been to provide power to remote villages, noting that during 2011 around 965 villages received solar lighting and 30 villages have been provided with biomass gasifiers. Of the 3,815 MWe total installed in 2011, bioenergy accounted for 498 MWe; the government's Biomass Power / Co-generation Programme is now responsible for over 3,000 MWe of installed bioenergy capacity. A target of an additional 2,600 MW is being proposed for the up-coming 12th Plan period. Around 150 rice-husk gasification modules have been installed or are under construction in small villages, while additional larger units are being installed in rice mills, fueling retrofitted diesel generators. The Ministry is also pressing ahead with its National Biogas and Manure Management Programme, primarily designed to meet the heating and cooking needs of families in rural areas. During 2011, about 45,000 family-scale anaerobic digester (AD) installations have been completed, bringing the national total to well over 4 million AD modules servicing over 35% of the population. A new entrepreneurial initiative is demonstrating larger integrated Biogas-Fertilizer Plants (BGFP) for power generation, upgraded and bottled biogas and production of nutrient-rich sterile fertilizer. So far 158 BGFP projects have been commissioned with a total installed capacity of about 2 MW. 12/31/2011

 

EERC Pilot Project Gasifies Coffee Processing Waste for Energy

Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota has announced a pilot project to convert Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) process and facility wastes to energy. The EERC is working with Vermont-based Wynntryst, LLC to develop a gasification system capable of converting its client GMCR's coffee residues, plastic packaging, paper, cloth or burlap, and plastic cups into combined heat and power (CHP). The syngas could then fuel an internal combustion engine or a fuel cell) for CHP production, or be converted to biofuels or chemicals. The pilot-scale tests will evaluate the quality of syngas that can be produced from the Green Mountain waste and facilitate system optimization. Once proven, the pilot will be used to propose a commercial scale demonstration design for installation at a number of GMCR facilities. "The EERC is developing smaller-scale distributed gasification technologies as a means for converting biomass to renewable energy," said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold. "This project is a perfect example of the EERC's ability to adapt to changing market needs, as more and more industries, manufacturers, and municipalities look for ways to utilize modest quantities of available biomass residues for energy." 12/31/2011

 

CEC Releases Report -  Renewable Power in California: Status and Issues

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has announced release of the Lead Commissioner Report on "Renewable Power in California: Status and Issues" (CEC-150-2011-002-LCF-REV1). The report is accessible from the Docket #11-IEP-1 web page, which lists documents for the 2011 integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Proceeding. The report provides a thorough summary and comparison of the various types and applications of renewable energy in the state and offers projections regarding both the potential increase for each type and the relationship to California's renewable energy goals. For example: Biomass electrical generation capacity in place is reported as 1,553 megawatts electric (MWe), less than one half of the 3,820 MWe estimated as technically available. The report first analyzes a broad sweep of critical issues surrounding and barriers to increased renewable energy development, then provides a set of five key recommendations to meet the challenges: (1) Identify and prioritize areas for both utility-scale and distributed energy; (2) Evaluate current project burdens beyond technical costs; (3) Minimize interconnection costs and requirements; (4) Promote and incentivize in-state technology and project development, and (5) Promote and coordinate existing state and federal financing and incentive programs for critical stages including research, development, and demonstration; pre-commercialization and deployment. The report is seen as the first step in strategic plan development in 2012 and complements the upcoming 2011 Integrated Energy Policy Report Update, which the CEC will consider for adoption at its January 12, 2012 meeting. 12/31/2011

 

CARB Responds to Federal Injunction on LCFS Regs, Issues Advisory

California Low Carbon Fuel StandardThe U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California issued several rulings yesterday, including an injunction staying implementation of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulations. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has announced that it intends to appeal the rulings and to seek an order staying the preliminary injunction. As long as the injunction remains in effect, the CARB says it will respect the Court's ruling and withhold enforcement of the LCFS requirements.  In seeking a stay of the preliminary injunction, the CARB will request an order that all requirements of the LCFS in 2011 and 2012 are enforceable for the entire period. The CARB will continue its stakeholder and rulemaking processes to the extent that existing guidance issued is expiring, or stakeholders or the Board has requested modifications to the regulation. The CARB issued Supplemental Regulatory Advisory 10-04B today to provide further guidance to stakeholders on the LCFS regulation.  Supplemental Advisory 10-04B goes into effect January 1, 2012 and will remain in effect through December 31, 2012 unless superceded. 12/30/2011

 

California Will Consider Changes to SRA Fire Prevention Fund Regulations

California Board of ForestryThe California Board of Forestry will revisit the emergency Title 14 regulations adopted to implement Chapter 13 - State Responsibility Area (SRA) Fees, and consider revisions in a Public hearing at its January 11, 2012 meeting at the Resources Building in Sacramento. Public comment is solicited regarding the Proposed Rule package; the Board may authorize staff to issue a 45 day Notice of Rulemaking at the public hearing. Passage in 2011 of the SRA Fire Prevention Fund (ABx1-29) prompted release of draft regulations, which were quickly followed by direction from Governor Brown to "clean-up" the SRA bill language. The two bills introduced in response to the Governor's direction are currently listed as inactive in the state legislature. Passage would have allowed the SRA funds to also be used for fire fighting, which was missing from ABx1-29. SRA Fire Prevention Benefit Fees are to be assessed to owners of property with at least one habitable structure throughout the SRA to support fire awareness and fuel loading reduction programs. This is an example of how the nature of biomass management in the Wildland / Urban interface (WUI) continues to change. The financial mechanisms that pay for fire safety education and protection and the interface between the fire management agencies and the public are also being altered. Parties interested in access to sustainably acquired biomass for conversion to energy, fuels and other commodities should remain current with these changes. In a separate action, the California Fire Safe Council (CFSC) has announced its designation as the official state liaison for the Firewise Communities/USA program in California, which had been CalFire's responsibility. CalFire will continue to work with communities and assist with the assessments in the State Responsibility Areas throughout California. To learn more about Fire Safe Councils and/or the Firewise Communities/USA program, contact CFSC at (800) 372-2543 or. 12/30/2011

 

BP Invests in Cool Planet Biofuels for Renewable Gasoline

Cool Planet Energy SystemsCamarillo-based Cool Planet Biofuels, Inc announced that BP Technology Ventures has invested in the company during its C Round along with investments by current investors. The financing led by Shea Ventures is now ahead of schedule. BP's support builds on prior investments by Energy Technology Ventures, the joint venture between General Electric, ConocoPhillips and NRG Energy, and further investment by both Google Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners. Cool Planet is developing thermal / mechanical processing for direct "fractionators" conversion of biomass such as woodchips, crop residue, algae, etc. into multiple distinct synthetic gas streams for catalytic upgrading to conventional fuel components. Cool Planet notes that its BioFuels Division produces renewable gasoline that is chemically indistinguishable from crude oil derived product and can only be detected by radiocarbon isotope analysis; the company's Energy Systems Division will develop relatively low-cost, modular conversion systems for distributed deployment near biomass sources, to reduce feedstock transport costs. The N100 fuel technology platform includes a proprietary "biomass fractionators" and accompanying "open architecture" catalysis of the syngas to fuels is to be packaged in standard modular shipping containers which can each produce up to 2 million gallons of fuel per year plus large amounts of carbon biochar important as a soil conditioner or solid biofuel alternative replacing coal. CoolPlanet's vision is to provide this revolutionary fuel technology at a cost highly competitive with fossil fuels, thus eliminating dependence on foreign oil and reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide with no added cost to the consumer. 12/30/2011

 

Federal Ruling Halts Implementation of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard

California Low Carbon Fuel StandardGrowth Energy announced today that Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill of the Federal District Court in Fresno, California has ruled that California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) is unconstitutional. National ethanol industry associations jointly filed an initial suit in federal court on December 24, 2009, asserting that the LCFS violates the Commerce Clause and unfairly attempts to regulate industrial practices and the movement of products between states. Growth Energy notes that the Court found that the LCFS discriminates against out-of-state corn-derived ethanol and impermissibly regulates extraterritorial conduct. As a result, the Court issued an injunction. Judge O’Neill also ruled that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) failed to establish that there are no alternative methods to advance its goals of reducing GHG emissions to combat global warming. The ruling allows the CARB to appeal Judge O’Neill’s decision immediately to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen and Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis released the joint announcement, saying: “The state of California overreached in creating its low carbon fuel standard by making it unconstitutionally punitive for farmers and ethanol producers outside of the state’s border. With this ruling, it is our hope that the California regulators will come back to the table to work on a thoughtful, fair, and ultimately achievable strategy for improving our environment by incenting the growth and evolution of American renewable fuels.” 12/29/2011

 

Argentina Initiative Tackles Waste Disposal with Biogas Production

Biodigestor rural en Colonia Laguna del Tigre, Chaco. El biogás se genera a partir de residuos orgánicos y además contribuye a la mitigación del cambio climático. Source: www.proteger.org.arArgentina's Fundación Proteger (Protect Foundation)  has an extensive and successful program underway by providing training in the design, installation, and operation of small modular anaerobic digestion (AD) systems for biogas and fertilizer production. Located in the province of Entre Rios in eastern Argentina, the institution's Socially Appropriate Technology Programme has taught more than 650 agency personnel, professionals, students, farmers and educators from a dozen provinces in Argentina, as well as from Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and from as far away as Spain. For Cerrito, the Fundación has two AD units operating and has its third digester under construction. One AD reactor, built through an agreement between the Fundación Proteger and the Universidad Nacional del Litoral, converts the organic waste from and provides fuel for heating and cooking to a housing complex for 300 people. A second provides gas and electricity to a school. The third now under construction is designed to convert organic waste from up to 10,000 people to heat one of the swimming pools and light the stadiums in the local sports complex. Fundación Proteger general director Jorge Cappato commented "Political leaders are highly motivated by the courses, and we are thinking of launching a network in 2012 of environmentally friendly municipalities that comply with certain requirements, commitments, and budgetary allocations." 12/29/2011

 

UNEP's Pakistan Project Converts Ag Waste to Biofuels, Fertilizer

United Nations Environmental ProgrammeThe United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has just released a summary of its Pakistan project to convert agricultural wastes and residues to fuel and fertilizer. The UNEP's International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC), which is based in Japan, worked with Pakistan's Mehran University to quantify and characterize potential agricultural waste sourced feedstock, identifying elements used regionally as animal food and for other beneficial uses. Their survey found 2.5 million tonnes of annual residuals from wheat and canola straw, cotton stalks, cotton gin waste, sugarcane tops, bagasse, rice straw and husks, and banana plants, with over 80% of the total routinely burnt in the field. An assessment of conversion technology options settled on anaerobic digestion (AD) as most cost effective, as this provided biogas as well as much-needed fertilizer. The research team installed an AD plant at a cost of 2 million rupees (about US $23,000) behind a local sugar mill that agreed to donate the land, and the digester opened operations on August 1, 2011. The plant is now converting 400 kilograms per day of agricultural waste to 50 cubic meters of biogas and 350 kilograms of liquid and solid fertilizer. 12/28/2011

 

Imperial County Supports The FOG Companies' Waste Oil Pilot Project

County of Imperial, CaliforniaThe Imperial County Board of Supervisors approved a Letter of Support for The FOG Companies' proposed Imperial Valley FOG (fats, oil and grease) Pilot Project during the December 20, 2011 Board Meeting in El Centro, California. The Imperial Irrigation District passed a resolution in support of the FOG project at its monthly meeting on the same day. The project will manufacture and distribute patented systems for collection and transportation of used fats oil and grease from residential and commercial food preparation facilities. The collected FOG will then be taken to the company's proposed plant for conversion to biodiesel and other beneficial products. The facility will be designed to process up to 3,000,000 gallons of biodiesel annually. The County's support will extend to assistance in pursuit of state and federal grant support, and to aid and train low-income residents, at-risk youth and disabled citizens to become engaged in the project. Local press covering the meeting quote the company's Bobby Johnson as indicating they plan to break ground for the project in eight months, will employ around 300 locals, and will pick up residential waste cooking oil for free. Johnson: "“Most people don’t realize how much FOG they produce,” Johnson said, adding it is estimated that each person in the Valley produces about 14 pounds of FOG annually." The FOG Companies, LLC was formed in September of this year, and is based in Spring Valley, California.12/28/2011

 

Bus Trips to the Moon Could Be Fueled on Discarded Christmas Paper  

Go to work on a Christmas card: UK's wrapping paper and festive cards could provide energy to send a bus to the moon more than 20 times.Researchers calculate that between 5 and 12 million liters of biofuel could be generated by microbial fermentation from the 83 square kilometers of Christmas wrapping paper and some 1.5 billion Christmas cards landfilled annually in the United Kingdom. To put the potential quantity in perspective, Dr. Richard Murphy, professor of Life Sciences at Imperial College in London, estimates this much biofuel could power a double-decker bus for 18 million kilometers, enough travel to the moon and back more than 20 times. The team considered fermentation of different types of waste paper and cardboard in the lab to determine the chemical and economic feasibility of conversion to bioethanol. They determined that not only was the conversion possible in the laboratory, but that it should indeed be economically viable ion a very large scale: "Our research shows that it would be feasible to build waste paper-to-biofuel processing plants that give energy back as transport fuel," said Dr. Murphy. The team's current research study, "Technology performance and economic feasibility of bioethanol production from various waste papers" was published last week in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Journal, Energy and Environmental Sciences. The team is now analyzing the environmental performance of waste paper fermentation to biofuel production, conducting this using a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach to conventional petroleum-sourced transport fuel. 12/26/2011 

 

Due 02/09/2012: Combined Heat & Power Offers for Projects over 5MWe to SCE  

Southern California EdisonSouthern California Edison (SCE) issued a Combined Heat and Power Request for Offers (CHP-RFO) on December 15, 2011 for projects over 5 megawatts (MWe); complete offer submittal packages are due February 9, 2012. SCE maintains a CHP RFO webpage with detailed schedules and access to all documents. An Offeror Conference (both in person and web access) is scheduled for January 13, 2012; submission of a non-binding Notice of Intent to Offer is due January 17, 2012. Following short-listing, selection and negotiations, final agreements are scheduled for execution by March 28, 2013. This RFO has been released in compliance with the Qualifying Facility (QF) and Combined Heat and Power Settlement Agreement approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on December 16, 2010; the settlement became effective November 23, 2011. The program is "designed to preserve existing resource diversity, fuel efficiency, potential greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions, and other benefits and contributions of CHP … to promote new cost-effective, lower GHG-emitting CHP facilities and encourage the repowering, operational changes through utility-pre-scheduling, or retirement of existing, higher GHG-emitting CHP facilities." To be eligible to submit toward this RFO, proposals must be from owners and operators of New CHP Facility, Existing CHP Facility, Expanded CHP Facility, Repowered CHP Facility, or Utility Prescheduled Facility (as defined in the Settlement Agreement), with nameplate capacity of 5MWe or larger. Questions relating to this RFO questions should be addressed to SCE by email at (copies to: Independent Evaluator at and) or by telephone to Benny Wu at (626) 302-3230, Dahlia Siegel (626)-302-2515 or Gerry Torribio at (626) 302-9669. 12/26/2011 

 

Eco Ventures Secures $12MM 120-Day Purchase Order for Biodiesel

Eco Ventures GroupFlorida company Eco Ventures Group, Inc (EVGI) has announced receipt of a blanket 120-day purchase order for its ASTM-grade biodiesel from the biodiesel supply chain company Agri Liquid Products of Sandy Hook, Mississippi. The supply order specifies ASTM fuel only, currently selling at $3.35 per gallon; EVGI's modular annual output of slightly less than 4 million gallons places the value of the off-take contract at up to $12 million. Production must begin by March 28, 2012. Eco Venture's partner in the Groveland, Florida biodiesel plant is Raptor Technologies, developer of proprietary methods for relatively small-scale modular production of biodiesel, using super-critical temperature and pressure instead of chemical catalysts. "This is an important purchase order for EVGI. This confirms our commitment to the biofuel market and to our business model in build additional facilities," said Randall Lanham, CEO of Eco Ventures Group. Eco Ventures Group operates as two businesses, Eco Minerals Recovery Group for recovery of precious and rare metals from ores and tailings, and Eco Energy Group specializing in production of biodiesel from waste cooking oils (yellow grease) and high-fat seed oils. 12/23/2011

 

Cyclone Power Acquires Licensee Advent Power, Assumes DoD Contracts

Cyclone PowerFlorida-based Cyclone Power Technologies announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire the assets and business relationships of Advent Power Systems, Inc., who has been Cyclone's exclusive licensee for military applications since 2006. The Advent acquisition is expected to close in early 2012. Cyclone is the developer of the external-heat driven, all-fuel Cyclone engine. Cyclone holds numerous US and international patents, including an international patent received last May from Mexico. Advent established a Prime Contractor relationship with the U.S. Army's Tank Command (TACOM) in a project utilizing Cyclone's engines in U.S. combat vehicles. Cyclone will now assume the $1.4 million Phase 1 developmental contract, along with the position as the prime contractor of record eligible for Phase II project contract awards. Dr. Phil Myers, CEO of Advent and a former U.S. Air Force Engineering officer, will assist Cyclone in the contract transition process and procurement of other defense awards internationally. Dr. Myers commented, “I’m very pleased to be joining forces more closely with Cyclone, a company that I’ve worked with and respected immensely over the last five years. I believe that this transaction will be highly beneficial to the successful completion of our U.S. Army contract, and will help attract new customers and strategic partners to Cyclone’s revolutionary engine technology.” 12/23/2011

 

INEOS Receives 10-Year Tax Abatement for Florida Waste to Fuel Facility

INEOS BioThe Indian River County Board of Commissioners approved the first property tax abatement agreement under a new tax abatement ordinance for INEOS New Planet BioEnergy LLC's (INPB) Indian River BioEnergy Center in Vero Beach, Florida. The 10 year tax abatement agreement was approved during a public hearing at the Board's monthly meeting (Public Item 10.A.1, property tax abatement) on Tuesday, December 20, 2011, and is expected to save INPB almost $956,000 in property taxes during the plant's first 10 years of operation. Indian River County voters approved the ordinance late in 2010 authorizing the County Commissioners to approve tax abatements to spur economic development; the Council can choose to exempt up to 100% of property taxes for a period up to 10 years. INEOS completed the first application for tax abatement received by the county under the new ordinance for its proposed waste conversion to fuels plant in Vero Beach. The Economic Development Council reviewed the application and recommended that the Board approve the requested abatement at a descending percentage over the maximum 10 year period beginning in 2013. Local press reports that the Board approved the ERC's recommendation unanimously. INPB finalized a $75 million round of private financing in August 2011 for plant construction, adding to a USDA loan guarantee from the 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program. INPB is a joint venture project of INEOS Bio and New Planet Bioenergy (INBP). 12/23/2011

 

Ameresco Completes Construction on 3-Plant Bioenergy Complex

AmerescoMassachusetts based Ameresco has received Final Acceptance Certification from the US Department of Energy (DOE) for the new Biomass Cogeneration Facility (BCF) constructed at the DOE's Savannah River Site (SRS). The Certification constitutes formal approval of completion of construction and operational testing for the BCF. The DOE awarded the $795 million Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) to Ameresco in May 2009 to finance, design, construct, operate, maintain and fuel the 20 megawatt, 34 acre biomass cogeneration facility. The SRS is a 300-acre federal facility developed in the 1950's for nuclear reactor and weapons manufacturing, research and support. The newly operational BCF will convert about a thousand tons of biomass per day of locally-sourced forest residue and other biomass to generate 20 megawatts of electricity, and will ramp up to provide about 30% of the SRS' power supply by 2012. Keith Derrington, executive vice president and general manager of Federal Operations at Ameresco: “This project represents a partnership between Ameresco, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Savannah River Site, South Carolina and the local Aiken community. This partnership has resulted in the single largest performance-based renewable energy savings contract in U.S. history.” A formal ribbon cutting ceremony is being planned for the first quarter of 2012. 12/22/2011

 

JBI Signs Plastic2Oil Fuel Supply Contract with Indigo Energy, XTR Energy

Plastic2OilJBI, Inc has announced signing of a long-term fuel supply contract with wholesale oil distributor Indigo Energy Partners, LLC to deliver No. 6 Fuel Oil from JBI's Plastic2Oil facility in Niagara Falls, New York. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued a Solid Waste Management and an Air State Facility permit on June 14, 2011, allowing the Niagara Falls three-processor plant to begin operations. The plant has a footprint of 1,000 square feet, is capable of processing 22 tons of plastic per day, and can operate continuously. The contract's timing allows JBI to concentrate on scale-up rather than marketing and distribution. Indigo Energy's COO John Underwood found that JBI's proprietary waste plastic to crude oil (P2O) conversion process produced a quality fuel product; Mr. Underwood added, “We feel this partnership is a natural fit for both companies and we look forward to bringing JBI, Inc.’s products to market as they expand production capacity to future plants across the U.S.” The P2O process converts plastic waste to fuel oil without the need for cleaning or other pre-treatment. JBI is now working on a second facility with Rock-Tenn.12/23/2011 Update: Following on the #6 furnace oil supply contract with Indigo Energy signed just one day earlier, JBI now announces signing a multi-year transport fuel agreement with XTR Energy. This contract will include delivery of Regular Transport Gasoline, Premium Transport Gasoline, Diesel Ultra LS Clear and other acceptable road transport products from JBI, Inc., placing the plastics-to-oil waste conversion company "a step forward in achieving the Company’s vision of becoming a vertically integrated plastic recycling, fuel processing and fuel distribution company." 12/22/2011

 

UK WRAP Announces £500,000 Fund for Food Waste Collection Projects

UK Waste & Recycling Action ProgrammeThe United Kingdom's Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has announced the launch of a new 3 year, £500,000 fund to encourage innovative methods for collection of food waste from businesses and public buildings. Up to £100,000 will be available to any one applicant for purchase of capital equipment to implement successful project proposals; specific tonnage targets will be negotiated for each two-year project. WRAP will administer the program for the government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), opening incentives to the private sector to local agencies and to social organizations. Eligible proposals will in particular address collection of food waste from Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with a focus on restaurants, hotels, catering services and public institutions. Household-generated food waste collection is not eligible for this program. The collected food waste must be recycled through an anaerobic digestion (AD) or in-vessel composting (IVC) processing plant located in England. Contact information, a submission form and documentation is provided on-line from the project webpage. 12/21/2011

 

AESI Launches Biomass Research Institute in Wichita for Feedstock Testing

Alternative Energy Solutions InternationalKansas based Alternative Energy Solutions International (AESI) has announced the launch of its Biomass Research Institute (BRI) in Wichita, Kansas and scheduled an open house for February 1-2, 2012. AESI is an exclusive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in the United States, Canada, Mexico and South America for a well-proven biomass gasification technology designed and developed by Uniconfort, offering biomass fueled boilers, hot air generators and cogeneration plants. AIES also provides global support with solid fuel biomass testing services to industry, commercial installations and research organizations, and the new BRI laboratory is fully equipped for system, fuels and emissions validation. This allows prospective customers for AEIS/Uniconfort systems to proof out potential feedstock prior to equipment acquisition. BRI concentrates on expanding projects through qualifying "opportunity fuels", residues from industry, agriculture, animal husbandry and sorted municipal solid wastes. On-line registration is requested for attending the free open house. 12/21/2011

 

Karlsruhe Institute to Coordinate BioBoost to Advance Waste Biomass Conversion

Karlsruhe Institute of TechnologyGermany's famous Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has announced it will coordinate "BioBoost", a broad European initiative to advance development of conversion of biomass into clean, engine-compatible fuels and chemicals, as well as for generation of biomass-sourced renewable energy and heat. Six research institutes and seven industrial partners will start activities in early 2012, based on KIT's registered Bioliq process of using super-critical hydrothermal treatment in conjunction with flash pyrolysis. The waste-sourced feedstock primarily includes agricultural residues such as straw and spent distiller's grains, along with sewage sludge and other wet biomass. BioBoost was one of only two 7th European Framework Programme proposals chosen for three years of support and will receive about EU 5.1 million in total. The BioSynCrude derived from the process allows decentralized conversion of bulky biomass to an energy-dense carrier, making shipment to regional reprocessing hubs far more economical. The centrally located plants can then produce diesel, gasoline, or kerosene; scientists will also investigate the production of chemicals like methanol, ethylene, and propylene as well as plastics. BioBoost will also concentrate on use of the processing to an energy-rich intermediate product for generation of clean, economical combined heat and power (CHP). The Karlsruhe Institute serves the mission of the Helmholtz Association, a German national research center. 12/21/2011

 

Scorpex Receives $90MM LOI for IET Waste Gasification Equipment

International Environmental TechnologiesNevada company Scorpex Inc. has announced receipt of a financing Letter of Intent (LOI) for $90 million in equipment financing from conversion systems provider International Environmental Technologies, Inc (IET), a Kentucky corporation with patented starved air gasification and thermal oxidation capabilities. Scorpex is constructing its first multi-waste recycling, treatment, conversion and disposal facility near Ensenada, Mexico. IET has indicated the firm has parties interested in providing the financing to support provision of its equipment to the Ensenada plant, after Scorpex signed a four-stage contract for licensing, systems acquisition and installation of IET's waste gasification and thermal oxidation (T/O) equipment earlier this month. With the IET units, Scorpex can accept municipal, industrial and medical waste for processing. The IET power plant will first gasify all non-recyclable elements, convert the resulting syngas in the T/O to heat for production of steam, and drive a steam turbine for up to 3 megawatts of electric power generation per day, per ton of processed waste. Chief Executive Officer Joseph Caywood stated, “IET has continued to be a very strong partner in satisfying our debt equipment financing needs. Increasing the size of our initial equipment contract allows Scorpex the ability to start stronger with more sources of waste supplies. Furthermore, the access to larger equipment financing will allow us to build on the site as soon as possible. I anticipate being able to announce more specific details regarding the debt financing terms and conditions in the coming weeks.” The company was formerly known as Steadfast Holdings Group, Inc. and changed its name to Scorpex, Inc in May 2011.12/20/2011

 

Agilyx Secures $25MM Series C Funding for Waste Plastic Conversion

Agilyx CorporationOregon based waste plastics to crude oil specialist Agilyx Corporation has closed its $25 million Series C funding round, lead by a $4 million investment by Keating Capital of Greenwood Village, Colorado. The round included key equity investments by Waste Management, Total Energy Ventures International, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, Saffron Hill Ventures, Reference Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Agilyx notes that it sells its patented systems to "industrial and municipal waste plastic generators and aggregators looking to reduce disposal-related costs and increase plastics-associated revenues."  The company began operation of a 10 ton per day waste plastic to synthetic crude oil pilot plant last year in Tigard, Oregon, with a daily output of about 55 barrels of oil sold on contract to a regional crude oil refinery. In the Agilyx process, non-recyclable, ground waste plastics are indirectly heated and converted to a gas, then cooled, cleaned and condensed to synthetic oil for storage and shipment. This investment is Keating Capital's tenth new company this year, for a cumulative private investment of $31.8 million, year-to-date. “This represents another major achievement for Agilyx,” said Chris Ulum, CEO of Agilyx Corporation. “This new round of financing will provide us with working capital to fund marketing, business development, the deployment of new projects, but more importantly, allow us to build a war chest to continue to scale our operations and to use when domestic and international expansion opportunities arise. With new partner Keating Capital on board, we continue to address key issues like our insatiable need for oil and the incessant growth of landfills with our solution of turning difficult to recycle plastics to synthetic crude oil.” 12/20/2011

 

JBI Receives Air Permit Exemptions for Plastic2Oil Process

Plastic2OilThe Canadian firm JBI, Inc. has announced that use of its patent-pending Plastic2Oil (P2O) technology has received an exemption from air permitting requirements for use in the first Rock-Tenn Company plastics processing site where P2O will be installed. The state environmental protection agency also determined that the Rock-Tenn plant did not need a waste permit, as all of the plastic wastes to be processed originate from and stay on the packaging site. The authority requested that a stack test be conducted on the first P2O processor installed; this request and exemption came before three stack tests were run on un-filtered emissions from the P2O installation by Conestoga Rovers & Associates on December 5 and 6, 2011. Those stack tests validated JBI's claims, showing emissions reductions with increased through-put rate for processing unwashed, unsorted plastic scrap into to-specification ultra-low sulfur fuel. JBI has successfully scaled the initial 1 kilogram bench process to a 20 million ton per year commercial processor in less than a year, and can produce a range of fuel products, including Diesel (#4), Furnace Oil (#2) and Furnace Oil (#6), from a single processing unit. "The extra time we took to make enhancements to our processor during Q2 and Q3 to maximize its efficiencies and reduce emissions is now starting to pay dividends as we expand into other states," stated CEO John Bordynuik. 12/20/2011

 

Viridor Selected for South London Waste to Energy Recovery Facility

ViridorThe South London Waste Partnership, servicing Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton, has announced selection of Viridor as the Preferred Bidder toward a 25-year contract to treat up to 215,000 tonnes per year of residual waste. Viridor proposed to build an Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) in the London borough of Sutton, next to a 92-hectare landfill that Viridor currently operates, and that the ERF operations will begin to replace in mid-year 2014. The landfill site will be reclaimed as a regional public park, while the ERF emissions will be substantially less than those of the landfill and the cost per tonne of waste management will decrease for all residents. Councillor Phil Thomas, Chair of the South London Waste Partnership Joint Waste Committee: “The Energy Recovery Facility proposed by Viridor is an intelligent solution to a huge environmental and financial challenge. Of course it is important that we all continue to minimise the amount of waste we produce and then recycle and compost as much as we can. But a modern Energy Recovery Facility has an important role to play in ensuring that we can prevent even non-recyclable waste from ending up in landfill sites, costing both the environment and council tax payers dearly.” As Preferred Bidder, Viridor will now enter into the final stage of the Procurement Process, ‘Financial Close’ to finalize agreements with the Partnership. The contract should be awarded by August 2012. 12/20/2011

 

Coskata Files for Proposed $100MM IPO

CoskataIllinois based Coskata Inc. has announced a proposed initial public offering (IPO) of common stock with the filing of a Form S-1 registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. A portion of the net proceeds will be used to partially fund the construction of Phase I of Flagship, Coskata's planned commercial production facility in Boligee, Alabama. Citigroup, Barclays Capital and Piper Jaffray will jointly manage book-running. Although the final number of shares and the initial public offering price has not yet been determined, the Form S-1 fling indicates a proposed maximum aggregate offering price of $100 million. Coskata’s proprietary process converts diverse feedstock types into fuels and chemicals, using woody biomass, agricultural residues, municipal wastes, natural gas and other carbon-containing materials. Coskata's technology platform uses gasification to generate synthetic fuel gas (syngas), then proprietary microbes for precision fermentation. The contaminant tolerance and resiliency of the microbial approach, in contrast to catalytic conversion of the syngas to fuels, allows Coskata to produce alternative fuels and chemical at ambient pressure and moderate temperature for considerable cost reductions. Coskata has finished scale-up of its technology to a semi-commercial scale, and is now finishing design of its first commercial facility. The company attracted over $20 million in its Series D funding round closing in August 2011, then successfully completed syngas to biofuel conversion in October at its FlexEthanolTM facility adjacent to Alter NRG Corporation's plasma demonstration center in Madison, Pennsylvania. 12/17/2011 

 

Due 01/16/2012: Comments on CEQA IS/ND for California Carpet Stewardship Plan

CalRecycleCalifornia's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has released the most recent draft California Carpet Stewardship Plan submitted by Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE). CalRecycle's approval of the Plan is being considered a "project" under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and as lead agency, CalRecycle has prepared an Initial Study and Negative Declaration of Significance (IS/ND) and issued a Notice of Intent to Adopt the IS/ND. The formal 30 day comment period started December 15, 2011 and ends January 16, 2012. The Carpet Product Stewardship law AB 2398 (Perez) was passed in late 2010 and designated CARE as the carpet production industry's stewardship organization. California is the first state to establish a private-sector designed and managed statewide carpet stewardship program. The Plan is being developed as required by the "Product Stewardship of Carpet" regulations adopted by CalRecycle on November 15, 2011 and submitted to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for a formal 30 day review on December 12, 2011. Questions about the Carpet Stewardship program should be directed to Kathy Frevert of CalRecycle's Product Stewardship and Innovative Technologies Section, at (916) 341-6476, or. Comments on the IS/ND or the Plan should be submitted to or as indicated in the Notice. Comments may also be submitted orally or in writing at CalRecycle's public meeting scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on January 17, 2012 in Sacramento at which the Carpet Stewardship Plan and the Initial Study/Negative Declaration will be discussed. 12/17/2011

 

CalRecycle Schedules Informal Workshop on Potential Regulatory Changes

CalRecycleThe California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has announced an informal Public Workshop to be held on December 21, 2011 at the Cal EPA building in Sacramento from 9:00 am to noon. Staff will review and discuss draft regulatory issues and potential approaches for future revisions to Title 14 and Title 27. The CalRecycle has taken a different approach to regulatory streamlining, starting with identification and exploration of pervasive Issues representing barriers to improving waste management, rather than specific code sections. An initial suite of Draft Issues and Potential Approaches was presented on October 18, 2011 (with the list attached to the Notice of that meeting) by CalRecycle's Permits and Certifications Division. Regulatory areas include Compostable Materials, Transfer Processing, Permit Application Form, and Permit Exemptions; the Rulemaking website is active and contains links to relevant regulatory code sections. This workshop will include updates and discussion on Issue 1 (Food waste definition), Issue 2 (Land application), Issue 3 (Stable compost storage), Issue 4 (Odor), Issue 6 (Green waste contamination), Issue 7 (Anaerobic Digestion), Issue 9 (Metal concentrations), Issue 11 (Small-scale composting exclusions), and new Issue 13 (Vermiculture). Questions about the program and the workshop should be addressed to Ken Decio at (916) 341-6313 or.  12/16/2011

 

Mascoma Receives $80MM from DOE, Michigan Biorefinery Now Fully Funded

MascomaNew Hampshire's waste-to-fuels company Mascoma Corporation has announced an award of $80 million from the US Department of Energy (DOE) for the proposed commercial-scale hardwood cellulosic ethanol facility in Kinross, Michigan. Mascoma and the DOE have entered into a cooperative agreement that brings design, construction, and operations assistance along with the funds. In 2008, Mascoma received over $26 million in initial support from the DOE and another $23.5 million from the State of Michigan for the project. This year, the company filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in September, then in early December formed a joint venture with Valero Energy Corporation to develop the 20 million gallon per year Kinross biorefinery. The plant will utilize Mascoma's proprietary consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) technology platform using engineered yeasts and bacteria to convert under-utilized hardwood pulpwood to sugars and other high-value intermediary products in a single step combining hydrolysis and fermentation. Start of construction at Kinross should be within the next three to six months, with completion scheduled for late 2013. “Biofuels hold great potential, not only for reducing our dependence on foreign oil, but also for creating new jobs and economic opportunities for America’s rural communities,” said Valerie Reed, Ph.D., Acting Biomass Program Manager, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, of the DOE. “The cooperative agreement between Mascoma and the DOE will enable the construction of a new commercial-scale advanced biofuels facility, and the only one using CBP technology. It is indeed a significant step towards meeting America’s energy challenges with cost-effective and sustainable bioprocesses.” 12/16/2011

 

City of Glendale Approves Zero Waste Plan, including Food Waste AD

City of Glendale, CaliforniaThe Glendale City Council in Los Angeles County approved a Zero Waste Plan and Extended Producer Responsibility program at its December 6, 2011 meeting. Passage of the plan and program is in response to multiple state waste management imperatives for increased recycling and diversion from disposal. Zero Waste Associates produced a publicly-vetted Zero Waste Strategic Plan under contract to the City dated December 2010. The Plan proposed Resolutions, including steps toward compliance with recently passed AB 341 requiring mandatory commercial and multi-family recycling were two inter-related actions: (1) Rebuild and permit the Glendale Recycling Center as a materials recovery facility (MRF) capable of accepting mixed municipal solid waste (MSW), recovering recyclables while separating food waste, yard trimmings and other organics, and (2) Development an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility at the Scholl Canyon Landfill, capable of converting the separated organics into biogas. Through implementing this first Resolution, the Council plans to achieve 75% waste diversion by 2020 of the current disposal tonnage of 162,000 tons per year, and 90% waste diversion by 2030. Reporting on the Council meeting, local press said the overall plan received a unanimous vote of approval from the Council, with the caveat offered by Public Works Director Steve Zurn that individual elements would need to be approved before being acted upon. 12/15/2011

 

Digester Designer GHD is now DVO, Expands to Asia, EU, South America

DVO, IncPlug-flow digester company GHD, Inc has changed its name to DVO, Inc, and announced expansion of services for export of its technology to farmers in South Korea, Serbia, Chile and Canada. During a decade of business, GHD provided anaerobic digester (AD) design and installations for a great many American projects, including those of Farm Power in the Pacific Northwest, and to DVO's soon-to-be-announced first US municipal client. In addition to its mixed plug-flow basic farm model, the company is adding patent pending designs for "farm-practical" nutrient recovery systems. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) AgStar Program reported on an installation of the GHD modified plug-flow digester design at the Gordondale Farms dairy in Wisconsin in 2005, finding pathogen reduction exceeding 99%, significantly higher biogas generation than conventional plug-flow installations tested, and reduction in the dairy's methane emissions by 221 pounds per cow per year. In 2005 economics, Ag Star estimated a simple pay-back period of 6.3 years. AgStar continues to track and report upon US digester installations and performance; current tracking shows the continued prominence of its modified plug-flow design, as discussed in DVO's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). "In general, anaerobic digesters take waste and turn it into biogas, fertilizer, animal bedding and more, depending on farm and community needs," said Stephen Dvorak, DVO's President. "What puts DVO ahead of our competition is that our technology has superior energy production and pathogen kill, an especially robust design and will process a wide range of wastes." 12/15/2011

 

Enerkem Raises $15MM Equity Financing from WM, EB for Edmonton Plant

EnerkemMontreal's waste to biofuels company Enerkem has announced equity placements by Waste Management Inc (WM) and EB Investments totaling C$15 million toward subsidiary Enerkem Alberta Biofuels L.P., currently under construction in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. Enerkem already operates both a pilot and a separate demonstration scale facility in Quebec. The Edmonton plant is Enerkem's first full-scale commercial facility, converting around 100,000 dry metric tonnes of post-recycling municipal solid waste (MSW) into 36 million litres (10 million gallons) of methanol and/or ethanol per year using the company's proprietary gasification to catalysis technology platform. The development is the keystone of Edmonton Biofuels, a waste-to-biofuels partnership between the City of Edmonton, Alberta Innovates - Energy and Environment Solutions funding the Enerkem subsidiary's project with an additional CA$ 23.35 million in financial support. The parent Enerkem notes that this brings the total raised in 2011 to C$103 million in 2011. “We are glad to see our business model and exclusive technology being increasingly backed by equity investors. We are even more encouraged when these investors tell us they want to take part directly in our projects”, said Vincent Chornet, President and CEO of Enerkem. “To us, this is further validation of Enerkem’s sound strategy and strong position in the cellulosic ethanol sector.” 12/15/2011

 

Inbicon Certifies Harris Group for North American Biorefinery Build-out

InbiconDenmark's waste to biofuels firm Inbicon is expanding operations and has announced certification of the Harris Group Inc as meeting all of the standards necessary for engineering Inbicon commercial scale biorefineries in North America. Inbicon is a subsidiary of Danish DONG Energy that is focused on conversion of non-tree sourced cellulosic feedstock. Last month, Inbicon similarly certified the Appleton Wisconsin location of Danish firm Pöyry for engineering support. This selection of Harris complements Poyry by providing the heavy industrial construction capability. An Inbicon biomass refinery uses the company's patented IBUS technology platform to convert around 1,200 metric tons per day of agricultural residues such as corn stover and wheat straw into 20 million gallons a year of cellulosic ethanol, 180,000 million metric tons per year of lignin for green electricity, and 185,500 million tons per year of C5 molasses for livestock feed or conversion to higher-value green chemistry products. "Three things set Inbicon apart for us," says Doug Dudgeon, Vice President of Process Industries for Harris Group. "First, it's a proven technology—proven at the $100 million biomass refinery in Kalundborg since 2010. Second, it's a holistic technology, turning everything taken off the farmer's field into more valuable forms of renewable energy. And third, Inbicon has strong backing because they're part of DONG Energy," one of Northern Europe's leading energy groups. "So we see Inbicon as ready to move this industry forward in North America. Our primary role is helping Inbicon create successful renewable energy businesses. By developing this cellulosic industry now, we'll also create significant jobs in the rural heartland." 12/15/2011

 

Neste Oil Plans 1st Waste-Sourced Bio-Oil Plant in Porvoo, Finland

Neste OilFinland-based global refining and marketing company Neste Oil Corporation has announced plans to build a waste-sourced bio-oil production facility in Porvoo, Finland, already the site of Neste's main base-oil refinery. Neste is expanding both its oil refining and premium-quality renewable diesel businesses. This will be Europe's first pilot plant in Europe designed to produce microbial oil for use in manufacturing renewable fuel from waste-based raw materials. The plant will be used to develop microbial oil production processes and test various raw materials for producing microbial oil, such as straw and other agricultural residues, as well as industrial waste and residues. Neste Oil's production of sulfur-free NExBTL renewable diesel can use a wide range of virgin and waste sourced oils and fats; the 2 million tonne per year Rotterdam plant started operations in September 2011, and began testing the product for marine use in November. The new Porvoo plant will support Neste Oil's goal of using microbial oil to produce NExBTL renewable diesel in the future and should be completed in the second half of 2012 at a cost of about EUR 8 million. Neste Oil applied for patents in fall 2010 for this new technology; fungal breakdown of agricultural waste and residues into sugars allows Neste's proprietary microbes to grow and produce bio-oil a raw material for producing NExBTL diesel. Petri Lehmus, Neste Oil's Vice President, Research and Technology: "Our aim is to make use of waste and residue materials that offer the maximum potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Waste-based microbial oil is a very promising raw material, in terms of its efficient production potential and sustainability." 12/15/2011

 

City of Ottawa Awards 20-yr Waste Conversion to Energy Contract to Plasco

Plasco Energy GroupThe Ottawa City Council approved a 20 year contract with Plasco Energy Group to convert a portion of the City's solid waste with Plasco's plasma gasification process to energy, deferring the need for a new city landfill until 2070. Plasco and the City of Ottawa, Canada jointly developed the "Zero Waste Ottawa" program beginning in 2006 to operate and evaluate Plasco's 85 tonnes per day demonstration facility at the Trail Road Landfill. The demonstration facility received Certificates of Approval from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment this past October. Under the new contract, Plasco will expand the facility to receive 300 tonnes per day, which must be completed by no later than June 2016 with a “ramp-up” period that could last up to three years. Plasco receives resident-recycled solid waste residuals, re-processes the rough feedstock to further recover metals and other recyclable fractions, then gasifies the predominantly-organic remainder. Carbon residuals and inert aggregates are segregated for re-use, while the raw producer gas is then drawn through a plasma torch super-heated gas upgrading zone. The plasma-treated synthetic fuel gas (syngas) is further refined, removing particulates for re-processing reclaiming moisture for reuse, and passing through heat recovery systems for secondary power generation. The clean syngas may then be used to fuel engines or turbines for ultra-low carbon electricity generation, or as feedstock for production of fuels and chemicals. 12/14/2011

 

DOE Launches Program to Help Business use National Lab Discoveries

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a new pilot program to speed commercialization of critical discoveries from DOE labs. The Agreement for Commercializing Technology (ACT) program lessens the cost to business of partnering with the national labs "from start to finish", removes barriers to using lab data and expertise and reduces the cost of eventual licensing or other collaboration needed to push the innovations into the market place. The new program is designed to complement President Obama's "Startup America" initiative. The DOE will announce final selection of the laboratories that would participate in the pilot technology transfer program in early 2012 and finalize the terms of engagement for multi-year public/private partnership development for each site. The ACT framework joins other current DOE legal mechanisms for working with the national laboratories, including the familiar mechanism of Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), and will facilitate projects currently advancing under those existing programs. 12/14/2011

 

FuelCell Energy and Abengoa Target Biofuel to Fuel Cell Market

FuelCell EnergyCalifornia-based FuelCell Energy has announced a partnership with Abengoa S.A. to develop localized stationary ultra-clean fuel cell power plants. The companies will initially focus on markets in Latin America and Europe, and begin with a fuel-flexible 300 kilowatt Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) module installation at Abengoa's headquarters facility in Seville, Spain. The partners will seek to develop megawatt-class DFC power plants, focusing on municipalities, large industrial power users and facilities that generate renewable biogas. FuelCell Energy's carbonate fuel cell technology can achieve up to 90 percent efficiency when configured to use the high quality heat generated by the power plant in a combined heat and power (CHP) mode. "Abengoa has experience developing fuel cell systems with value added capabilities" said Chip Bottone, President and Chief Executive Officer for FuelCell Energy, Inc. "When combined with their European and Latin American business and marketing reach through the Abengoa organization, we see excellent prospects for market expansion in Europe as well as developing the Latin American market for ultra-clean baseload distributed generation fuel cell power plants." 12/13/2011

 

Shanks Opens Cumbria MBT Plant for Waste Conversion Ahead of Schedule

Shanks Group LLCUnited Kingdom waste management company Shanks Group LLC. has announced the opening a mechanical-biological treatment (MBT) facility for household waste three months ahead of schedule in Hespin Wood, Carlisle. The Cumbria County Council manages about 250,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) annually, and this facility is one of two that are key elements of Shanks' 2009 contract with the Council. The second MBT plant is currently under construction at Sowerby Woods Business Park in Barrow and is scheduled for completion by April 2013. Shanks two MBTs will each treat 75,000 tonnes, diverting over 75% of that material from disposal. The company already has two 180,000 tonne per year MBTs already operating in East London. This "MBT" form of waste conversion has been defined by UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) as "a generic term for an integration of several processes commonly found in other waste management technologies such as Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs), sorting and composting or anaerobic digestion plant. MBT plant can incorporate a number of different processes in a variety of combinations. Additionally, MBT plant can be built for a range of purposes. This section provides an overview of the range of techniques employed by MBT processes." Councillor Tim Knowles, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for environment, said, “While excellent progress has been made in reducing, reusing and recycling waste in Cumbria, this diversion of waste from landfill via the MBT plant will not only have major environmental benefits by reducing methane emissions but will also ensure Cumbria meets Government recycling targets and avoids millions of pounds of the additional costs of landfilling.” 12/13/2011

 

Mule Dung Biogas Plant Installed for India Cave Shrine

Holy Cave of the MotherLocal press for the Jammu and Kashmir region of India reports that the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) has installed a 4 tonne per day anaerobic digester (AD) near the pilgrimage base camp, and will soon commission the plant. The AD system will primarily convert mule dung for production of biogas for cooking and heating for the pilgrims. The Shrine Board was set up in August 1986 under the provisions of The Jammu and Kashmir Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Act, 1986. SMVDSB will be offering the digestate as a Bio-Manure fertilizer for local sale, with an expected output of 12 to 15 tonnes per month. Indian religious tradition holds that visiting the Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi traces a number of locations Mata Vaishno spent time in her life. The popular pilgrimage includes a 12 kilometer trek to the cave shrine, supported an array of rental and free accommodation, with on-line advance booking. Helicopter service to the base camp is available. The Jammu and Kashmir State (J&K State) Division of Agricultural Engineering began introducing AD systems and encouraging rural implementation of organics digestion for biogas production earlier this year as an aid to the economy and especially to women's health, providing an alternative to traditional wood and dung-fired cooking and heating. 12/13/2011

 

International Research Team Engineers Rice Straw for Biofuels Production

Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryResearchers from Washington State University Pullman and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have teamed with the National Chiayi University in Taiwan to engineer rice straw to produce enzymes facilitating its cellulosic hydrolysis, without significantly impacting the food value of the rice grain. With broad curtailment of open burning, cost-effective disposal of rice straw has become increasingly difficult for the rice farming agricultural industry. The team notes, "With the anticipation of a fossil fuel shortage in the near future and awareness of the need for environment protection, the use of agricultural wastes and bioenergy crops for biofuel production is considered desirable. Large-scale production of effective cellulose hydrolytic enzymes is the key to bioconversion of agricultural residues to ethanol. The goal of this study was to develop rice plant as a bioreactor for large-scale production of cellulose hydrolytic enzymes via genetic transformation and to improve rice straw simultaneously as an efficient biomass feedstock for conversion of cellulose to glucose." The engineered rice straw produced 43% more reducing sugars than unmodified rice straw. The research was published in the journal "Biotechnology for Biofuels," with a pre-publication version made available on-line of their article "High level expression of Acidothermus cellulolyticus β-1, 4-endoglucanase in transgenic rice enhances the hydrolysis of its straw by cultured cow gastric fluid." 12/12/2011

 

LanzaTech Takes Two Top Global Honors for Emissions Conversion Technology

LanzaTechNew Zealand based LanzaTech has announced receipt of two world-class 2011 clean tech awards, taking top honors with an Award of Excellence as Platts Global Energy's "Sustainable Technology Innovation of the Year". LanzaTech also placed in the top ranks of Red Herring's "Global 100" list, which the magazine's chairman Alex Vieux noted was drawn from around 1,100 companies. LanzaTech bubbles carbon monoxide laden emissions or synthetic fuel gas (syngas) through a microbial reactor, converting the emissions to fuels and chemicals. The company has had a stellar year, moving from completion of over 2500 hours in its Auckland pilot to projects converting Korean and Chinese steel mill emissions, to successful aviation fuel tests in October and receipt of the largest of the FAA awards for drop-in jet fuel development this month. Dr Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, notes: “LanzaTech is operating internationally and our partners recognise our technology has the potential to make a significant contribution to the global energy pool. Our process has no impact on the food value chain and offers alternatives to the use of fossil fuels in the production of key chemicals. We are able to tailor the input resources according to availability in the region. This will help in meeting the challenge of energy democratization – that means enabling more people around the world to access clean energy.” 12/12/2011

 

BIOCORE Produces 2nd Generation Ethanol Through Waste Straw Conversion

BIOCOmmodity REfineryThe European Union's 18 month old multi-national collaborative project "BIOCOmmodity REfinery", or BIOCORE, has announced success in advanced non-food sourced biofuel pathway development and implementation with the pilot-scale production of 2nd generation bioethanol. BIOCORE's coordinating body, the French National Institute for Agricultural research (INRA) partnered with key participants Royal DSM N. V., the French institute, Centre d'Imagerie Médicale de Vevey SA (CIMV) and Arkema S.A. for the pilot-scale conversion of wheat straw to biofuels and biochemicals. CIMV converted the straw to refined cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin; the CIMV process cleanly separates biomass into its major component parts and provides three platform intermediates for industry: BioligninTM, cellulose (C6) and hemicellulose syrup (C5). DSM then pre-treated the cellulose fraction using its proprietary enzymes and fermented the slurry to ethanol in a final stage of conversion, Arkema will process the bioethanol into ethylene, a precursor to polyvinyl chloride, the ultimate target commodity of the effort. Other efforts are underway to use the lignin fraction in manufacture of insulating materials, plastics and glues. BIOCORE notes that its researchers are analyzing the whole of the biorefinery process, from the production of the feedstock through to the ultimate use of the biorefinery products, using a variety of assessment methods in order to ensure that a comprehensive appraisal of the benefits of the BIOCORE concept will be available at the end of the project. 12/12/2011

 

Tox21 Robot Ready to Screen 10,000 Chemicals for Health and Green Chemistry

Tox21 Robotic Screening SystemUnderstanding chemical toxicity in pursuit of "Green Chemistry" moves forward with the announcement that Tox21 is beginning to test 10,000 chemicals with a high-speed robotic screening system for potential toxicity, including consumer products, food additives, chemicals found in industrial processes, and human and veterinary drugs. Tox21 was established in 2008 and is an ongoing collaboration between the US National Institute of Health (NIH),  the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Partners also include the National Toxicology Program (NTP), administered by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the NIH Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC), which is part of the NIH Center for Translational Therapeutics (NCTT), housed at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). The new robotic system was announced in March 2011 and been undergoing testing since that time.The testing is organized in the Distributed Structure-Searchable Toxicity (DSSTox) Database Network and contains a complete list of the compounds being assessed. The DSSTox database is managed by the EPA's National Center for Computational Toxicology (NCCT). “The robot has undergone rigorous testing since it was installed and unveiled earlier this year. It’s ready to start testing this large compound library,” said NHGRI Director Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D. “This is a milestone for Tox21, because it will allow us to test chemicals at a rate previously impossible for anyone to do by hand.” All testing results will be available to the public through NIH and EPA chemical toxicity databases. In addition, NCTT has created a free-use Tox21 chemical inventory browser to provide researchers with additional information about the chemicals. An informational brochure on the Tox21 program is also available. 12/11/2011

 

Mascoma, Valero JV for Hardwood Cellulosic Ethanol Facility in Michigan

MascomaNew Hampshire-based Mascoma Corporation has announced definitive agreements with independent oil refiner and ethanol producer Valero Energy Corporation to develop and operate a 20 million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol facility in Kinross, Michigan. The joint venture formed for the project, Kinross Cellulosic Ethanol LLC, is between Frontier Renewable Resources, LLC, a subsidiary of Mascoma, and Diamond Alternative Energy, LLC, a subsidiary of Valero. Valero is providing the majority of the estimated $232 million cost to construct, commission and start up the plant, with support from both the US Department of Energy and the State of Michigan. Mascoma will utilize its proprietary consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) technology platform using engineered yeasts and bacteria to convert under-utilized hardwood pulpwood to sugars and other high-value intermediary products in a single step combining hydrolysis and fermentation. “This partnership provides an exciting opportunity to combine Mascoma’s innovative CBP technology platform and expertise with Valero’s project management, operating, distribution and marketing capabilities,” stated George Stutzmann, Vice President of Alternative Energy of Valero. “We view this first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facility in Kinross and our partnership with Mascoma as an important foundation for potential expansion beyond Kinross.” 12/11/2011

 

Biffa and Wetherspoon Pubs to Expand Food Waste Recycling Trials

BiffaUnited Kingdom (UK) waste management company Biffa has announced expansion of a long-standing partnership with one of the largest of the country's restaurant and pub companies, JD Wetherspoon (JDW), to conduct food waste connection and recycling trials. This new program helps implement JDW's corporate commitment to conserve resources and reduce energy usage, currently recycling over 12,000 tonnes of waste annually, including 1,938 tonnes of waste cooking oil in 2009. In JDW's Reduce-Reuse-Recycle company supplement of 2010, the Biffa trials are proposed for an initial 22 pubs in the Midlands, where food wastes would become input for Poplars, the mixed-waste anaerobic digestion (AD) facility Biffa opened in June 2011. The Poplars project is the largest food AD plant in the UK with capacity to process 120,000 annual tonnes of food waste, reclaiming water, generating fertilizer and producing enough energy for 10,000 homes. This year, the trial has increased to involve a total of 28 JDW pubs; Biffa group sales and marketing director Bob Barltrop commented: “Wetherspoon’s already divert a huge amount of waste from landfill and adding food waste recycling to this is a clear demonstration that, increasingly, the food industry takes its environmental responsibility seriously. It’s the right thing to do and, as landfill tax costs continue to rise it makes good business sense; it will increasingly be the cheapest thing to do with food waste. In fact, collection contracts such as this are set to be the most economical way for businesses of all sizes to deal with food and general waste.” 12/11/2011

 

Due 02/28/2012: Proposals for Implementation of EIBI Bioenergy Demonstrations

Due 04/03/2012: Proposals for EIBI Commercial Lignocellulosic Ethanol Demo

European Biofuels Technology PlatformThe European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative (EIBI) continues close collaboration with the European Commission and Member States. Two Calls have been released by the collaborative on topics to advance the EIBI's 7th Framework Programme (FP7) goals. Call FP7-ERANET-2012-RTD was released with the intent to promote joint strategic planning and programming for the implementation of Bioenergy demonstration projects by providing broad coordination and organizing support among member states through available research and development resources. The deadline for submission is February 28, 2012.  Call FP7-ENERGY-2012-2 was released with the aim to support construction of a first commercial-scale lignocellulosic ethanol production demonstration with a target installed capacity of 60,000 tons per year. It's deadline for submissions is April 3, 2012. Proposals should address the complete value chain including the supply chain of the sustainable biomass resource and the eventual use of the biofuel in the market wherever appropriate. A detailed Life Cycle Analysis and GHG calculations covering the entire value chain must be included in the proposal. Further information including the document library from the last Call for Expression of Interest is available from the Strategic Energy Technology Information System (SETIS). 12/11/2011

  

California ARB Releases Final Draft LCFS 2011 Program Review Report

California Air Resources Board Low Carbon Fuel StandardCalifornia Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has released the Final Draft of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard 2011 Program Review Report, which was submitted to the ARB as mandated by Section 95489 of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulations. The goal of the LCFS is to reduce the carbon intensity of fuels sold in California ten percent by 2020. The report focuses on implementation status and methods developed by the LCFS Advisory Panel as informed from the many Working Groups covering topics specified in the regulation, including harmonizing the LCFS with other similar programs within and outside the United States, supply and availability of low carbon fuels, status of technology, lifecycle, economic, and environmental impacts, high-level program enhancements to better meet long term goals, and alternative approaches for handling High Carbon Intensity Crude Oil (HCICO). This report is provided to the ARB for its first mandated formal review; the second formal review is to be completed by January 2015, and ARB staff will continue to encourage and facilitate broad stakeholder engagement in the intervening years. 12/08/2011

 

Rainier Biogas Dairy Manure AD Plant Schedules Groundbreaking

Farm PowerA groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for the Rainier Biogas Dairy Manure Digester Project on December 12, 2011 at the Ritter Dairy just outside Enumclaw, King County, Washington. Ritter Dairy and partner Farm Power Northwest have formed Rainier Biogas LLC as a partnership to operate the anaerobic digestion (AD)  facility. Farm Power owner Kevin Maas has told us that the project has taken a decade to get to this stage, and construction should be completed mid-2012. Short presentations by participating dairies, by researchers from Washington State University and by funding partners will follow the opening welcome speeches by Dow Constantine, Executive of King County, and Mario Villannueva, State Director, USDA Rural Development. The facility is designed to convert manure from up to five local farms into biogas for generation of about one megawatt of energy. Manure will initially be piped or trucked to the digester by at least three local dairies including the Ritter Dairy.  By processing manure into methane over three weeks in a million-gallon digester vessel, Rainier Biogas will generate enough electricity to power about 600 homes. The elimination of manure lagoon methane emissions combined with clean electricity will reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 9,000 tons of CO2 per year. By separating digested fiber from the processed manure, the project will also create a local supply of cow bedding that will reduce the farms' dependence on sawdust that is becoming increasingly scarce. Concurrent with the ceremony, the State of Washington Department of Commerce has announced in this month's summary that Rainier Biogas LLC has been selected for an award of $1,392,500 ($974,750 loan / $417,750 grant) for the AD project from the State Energy Program (SEP) Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Loan & Grant Program. The estimated cost of the project is $4 million.12/08/2011

  

MagneGas Expands Presence to Michigan for Syngas Production and Operations

MagneGasFlorida based MagneGas Corporation announced expansion of production and operations into Michigan with lease of an industrial complex in Rochester Hills for installation of a large 300 kWh MagneGas refinery by January 2012. The company first toured with a 50 kilowatt mobile waste conversion module, demonstrating the production and application at selected customers' locations. The demonstrations with the firm's Michigan distributor Blue Water Industries have resulted in an initial purchase order for 200 cylinders of MagneGas, from over 30,000 fuel cylinders in stock rotation. Blue Water Industries estimates that to meet increased demand for MagneGas, they will order up to 20,000 cylinders per year. MagneGas uses its proprietary Plasma Arc FlowTM technology to reduce liquid wastes such as sewage sludge to a synthetic gaseous (syngas) alternative to natural gas, selling MagneGas as a less expensive, cleaner fuel for heating, cooking or running flex-fuel vehicles. The syngas is particularly useful for metal cutting, as an alternative to acetylene; MagneGas just posted a detailed video presentation to their website covering metal cutting applications. The company has been rapidly expanding, with development in China, with a second site in Florida, and with closing on over $3 million in private placement financing. "The expansion of our operations into Michigan further validates our technology and fuel as we continue to see an increasing demand for MagneGas," commented Scott Wainwright, President of MagneGas. "Through distributors, such as Blue Water, MagneGas is being well received as a clean alternative in the metal working fuel market. With the installation of the large refinery as well as the mobile unit leading demonstrations, we are confident that this is a significant step for MagneGas as we continue to expand our presence throughout the U.S." 12/08/2011

  

Due 12/23/2011: Comments to ARB on Changes to Carbon Intensity Lookup Tables

California Air Resources BoardThe California Air Resources Board (ARB) has released a Notice of Availability with the details of the most recent text modifications for the Carbon Intensity (CI) Lookup Tables as a continuation of the Rulemaking governing the implementation of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). All modifications of the CI Lookup Tables must be formalized by Rulemaking procedures because the Tables are a specific element of the regulation rather than less-stringently controlled policy. Substantive changes have been made as a result of recent submission from biorefinery companies modifying early filings, and new assessments completed by ARB staff. The Regulatory Order and Supportive documentation from ARB staff and from both POET LLC and Arthur Daniels Midland Company may be accessed from the LCFS Lookup Table program web page. The 15-day Public Notice seeks comments on the modifications until December 23, 2011, which may be submitted in writing or electronically via ARB's Comments page. 12/08/2011

 

Due 12/30/2011: Comments to CEC on Renewable Energy Challenges in CA

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) is exploring implications of Governor Brown's signing and subsequent passage in April 2011 of legislative mandates that dramatically increase goals for renewable energy development in California, and requiring electric utilities to purchase at least 33% from renewable generators by 2020. In addition, Governor Brown's Clean Energy Jobs Plan includes 12,000 MW of renewable energy located "on-site" or close to where energy is consumed (20 MW and smaller) and 8,000 MW of large renewable energy facilities and expands compliance with the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) beyond the previous mandates solely for Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) to include all electricity utilities in the state. The CEC has established an on-line survey addressing "Planning and Permitting Renewable Energy Projects" (PREP) to simplify submission and receipt of comments reflecting the challenges stakeholder face in renewable energy use and project development and asks stakeholders to complete the survey by December 30, 2011. Questions on the program should be emailed to CEC staff at. 12/08/2011

 

AeroThermal's Autoclave-to-AAD Project Approved for Devon County Waste

AAD (South West) LtdOn November 30, 2011, the Devon County Council granted planning approval for AAD (South West) Ltd, a subsidiary of British engineering firm AeroThermal Group (ATG), to develop a non-hazardous commercial and industrial (C&I) Waste conversion facility in Lee Moor, South Devon. The proposed two stage Advanced Anaerobic Digestion (AAD) project will refurbish a 4.5ha site that is a shuttered portion of the Lee Moor China Clay refinery, producing electricity from biogas and a digestate that would be used for the restoration of the surrounding china clay (kaolin) quarrying area, a brownfield site. ATG first established a Community Liaison Group and initiated a public consultation, then submitted an application with detailed supportive statements in July 2011. The facility will use ATG's proprietary AAD waste processing platform with the design capacity for processing up to 75,000 annual tonnes of C&I waste. The approach first treats sorted waste in an industrial-scale autoclave to sterilize and degrade organics, allowing secondary separation of the non-organic fraction for recycling and recovery. The organics are then processed in ATG's three step "EnviroForm" anaerobic digestion process of hydrolysis, acidogenesis, and methanogensis for production of biogas, fueling combined heat and power (CHP) generation of about 3.25 megawatts of renewable electricity and 150 megawatts of thermal energy per hour, used for steam production to maintain the AAD vessels at an optimal constant temperature. Stabilized organic residual will be used for land restoration around the Lee Moor China Clay operation. The likely output is approximately 7,000 tonnes per annum and this would be the amount of material required to restore approximately 8.05ha of land per annum. There is an immediate need to restore an area of approximately 80 ha of the adjoining mineral site, which is expected to take approximately 10 years. As the china clay extraction continues, there will be an ongoing need for restoration materials. Construction is now expected to start in early 2012 with the facility being fully operational by April 2013. 12/08/2011

 

Due 12/23/2011: Comments on CEC's 2011 Integrated Energy Policy Report

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has released a preliminary draft of its 2011 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) for public comment (docket number 11-IEP-1A). The CEC adopts an IEPR every two years with an update every other year. The report is the state's key energy planning document, and is focused on energy reliability, renewable resources, jobs, and the environment. One of California's mandates is the Renewables Portfolio Standard into which Governor Brown signed legislation (SBX1 2 (Simitian, Chapter 1, Statutes of 2011-12, First Extraordinary Session). The law's goal is generation of 33 percent of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2020. "As California adds more renewable energy to its mix, accurate, long-term planning to ensure a reliable energy system becomes more important - and more difficult - than ever before," said Energy Commission Chair Dr. Robert Weisenmiller. The 2011 IEPR calls for improved coordination between the state's major energy agencies, including a coordinated and open transmission planning process and continued research and development into more efficient energy technologies. It discusses ways to streamline power plant permitting processes while protecting California's environment, and examines issues facing California's nuclear power plants in the wake of this year's catastrophic events in Japan. Interested parties have until December 23, 2011 to provide written comments on the draft. Comments may be submitted electronically by email to with a copy to the IEPR project manager at. Include docket number 11-IEP-1A and indicate “Draft 2011 IEPR” in the subject line or first paragraph of your comments. See the second page of the notice for complete instructions. Comments will be considered in the final document scheduled for release on January 24, 2012. Final adoption of the IEPR by the CEC is expected in February 2012. 12/06/2011

 

Spanish Researcher Extracts PHAs for Bioplastics from Olive Skin Residues

Denomination of Origin Sierra de SiguraThe Spanish olive oil Denomination of Origin (DO) Sierra de Sigura has announced that Jesus Zorilla, a researcher assisting the DO's regulatory board, has successfully extracted the bioplastic precursor polymer polyhydroxy alcanoate (PHA) from oil mill olive skin residues in collaboration with the lab of the 10 Potosi S.A. olive oil mill. Crushed olive skins, or "pelts", have previously required disposal. The DO notes that olive oil mills processing 10,000 tons per year of olives could extract about 30,000 kilograms of the bioplastic polymer, valued at €200,000 ($268,000). The DO is aiding Zorilla in patent applications, and is now seeking financing assistance for further process development, licensing and commercialization. Interested parties may contact the Council regulator of the DO Sierra de Segura, Building José Bautista of the tower. Llanos de Armijo industrial s/n, 23360. La Puerta de Segura (Jaén), 953 486 063, or at. (note: most of the site information is in Spanish only) 12/05/2011

 

UN's FAO Releases "Energy Smart Food" Issue Paper

1205-1The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has published an Issue Paper entitled, "Energy Smart Food for People and Climate", utilizing detailed analyses of per-country and global food production demand for energy, emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG) and economics. The researchers find that "decoupling increase in food production from fossil fuel use will require fundamental changes in global food systems" and discusses how the entire value chain "from the farmer’s field to the consumer’s plate" needs to rely more on "low-carbon energy systems and using energy more efficiently, strengthen the role of renewable energy within food systems, provide greater access to modern energy services for development, and at the same time support national food security and sustainable development goals." According to the paper, animal wastes, crop and forest residues, by-products from food processing, food wastes from retailers, households and restaurants are examples of biomass originating from different stages of the food supply chain. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) set a target of reducing by 2020 the amount of food wasted (sent to landfill) by 35 percent from 1995 levels. This food related biomass is a flexible energy resource, and can also be used to produce bio-materials and bio-chemicals. The paper follows on a proclamation by the United Nations Secretary-General: “The General Assembly of the United Nations declared 2012 to be the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. Initiatives by Member States and international organizations are being undertaken to create an enabling environment at all levels for the promotion of access to energy and energy services and the use of new and renewable energy technologies.” 12/05/2011

 

FAA Awards $7.7MM in Contracts for Sustainable Aviation Fuel Development

US Federal Aviation AdministrationThe US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced the award of $7.7 million in contracts to eight companies to advance commercial production and availability of next-generation alternative "drop-in" aviation fuel. The contracts will be overseen by the Department of Transportation's John A. Volpe Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and are intended to address key recommendations made by the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee, which was commissioned by Secretary LaHood last year. This builds on the FAA's Continuous Lower Emissions, Energy and Noise (CLEEN) program work with the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuel Initiative (CAAFI) organization. The largest award of $3 million went to LanzaTech, whose Illinois base for US operations will be joined by researchers from Battelle and the Michigan Technological University, from the advanced fuels firm Imperium Renewables, and by LanzaTech's syngas-to-liquid fuel partner Swedish Biofuels. Other awardees, in order of contract size: $1.5 MM each to Virent Energy Systems and to Oxford Catalyst's Velocys, Inc.; $1.1 MM to Honeywell's UOP and another $280,000 to Honeywell Aerospace; $250,000 to Metron Aviation; $50,000 to Arlington Virginia's Futurepast, Inc., and a final $25,000 to Life Cycle Associates LLC of Portola, California. “Alternative aviation fuels offer enormous potential environmental and economic benefits,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “This work, in combination with investments being made by other U.S. agencies and industry, will advance our pursuit of clean alternative jet fuels for a more sustainable NextGen aviation system in the United States and around the world.” 12/03/2011

 

Finland's Outotec Acquiring Energy Products of Idaho

OutotecIn a move designed to strengthen its energy and environmental technologies growth and portfolio, Finnish resources company Outotec has announced that it is acquiring all assets of Energy Products of Idaho (EPI). Financial closure following regulatory approval is expected by the end of this month, and is reported as of two components: a fixed EUR 43 million, and an additional payment of up to EUR 25 million, depending upon EPI's financial performance in 2012 and 2013. EPI notes that with more than 100 fluidized bed energy systems providing over five million hours of operating experience, it now leads in waste fuel fired fluidized bed gasification and thermal oxidation technologies for the conversion of biomass and difficult waste-sourced fuels. EPI provides a base for expansion of Outotec sales and service capabilities in the US, while the Finnish firm can use its own broad European network to deploy the systems globally. Outotec already has proprietary fluidized bed systems of its own design and has over 260 system currently deployed to metallurgical and energy generation sector customers; EPI's patented systems are seen as a complement to Outotec's own designs. "The acquisition of EPI by Outotec will provide benefits for EPI's existing customers and its employees. Customers will benefit from Outotec's global sales and service network and its technological expertise in fluidized bed technology. In addition, I believe EPI's employees will have more opportunities to develop their careers as a result of Outotec's global business operations", says LeRoy Pope, General Manager of Energy Products of Idaho. 12/03/2011

 

Viridor Clears Legal Challenges to Avonmouth Waste to Energy Plant

ViridorWaste management and recycling company Viridor has announced that the United Kingdom's High Court has now dismissed legal challenges from nearby Bristol City Council to development of the Avonmouth Resource Recovery Centre. The highly-integrated waste management facility will include a materials recovery facility (MRF) expected to divert and recover up to 150,000 tonnes of recyclables annually, while sending around 350,000 tonnes to a 30 megawatt Waste to Energy plant. The proposed development on the northern portion of the shuttered 20-acre Sevalco carbon black plant in Chittening, Avonmouth. The Sevalco plant had been in operation since 1951 and was owned by Columbian Chemicals. The plant had been subject to significant governmentally-levied fines for pollution in recent years and was closed in late 2008 due to the economic downturn. Viridor’s Head of Planning and Permitting, Ian John, commented, “The challenge to overturn the Secretary of State’s decision to grant planning permission was made on three grounds relating to the scope of the project's Environmental Impact Assessment, the planning policy for the area and the awarding of costs against the council resulting from the inquiry. We are pleased that the challenge was dismissed on all three counts. We will continue to work on the submissions required by the planning permission so we can commence work on site as soon as possible and deliver this much-needed infrastructure project.” 12/02/2011

 

CHO-Power, ROC Plan 4 Waste Gasification to Energy Projects in UK

CHO-PowerThe French firm Europlasma SA has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary CHO-Power SAS and the United Kingdom's (UK) Sunrise Renewables Companies (ROC) will work together to complete four biomass and waste to energy developments located at the UK ports of Hull, Barry, Sunderland and Barrow. Sunrise, a group of experienced project developers based in Warrington, Cheshire, England, had already received planning permissions and grid inter-connections for all four sites; feedstock supply and power purchase contracts are being finalized for the complement's 37.5 total megawatt generation capacity. The two companies will propose the projects for funding with construction scheduled to start on the first facility in late 2012. The CHO-Power waste conversion process first separates recyclables and undesirable refuse from incoming municipal solid waste (MSW), reduces the size and gasifies this post-recycling residual. Raw producer gas from the gasification stage is then "polished" using ultra-high temperature plasma, reducing the synthesis gas (syngas) to primarily carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Heat is recovered and re-used from the staged thermal processing, either on-site or by local customers with a thermal demand. The cleaned syngas then can be used as a clean-burning fuel for a variety of engines and turbines for power generation. Marc Lefour, Head of CHO-Power Development, says: “Sunrise Renewables are a talented team and we are delighted to help to bring these projects to the execution phase. CHO-Power brings a bankable technology, as it demonstrated with its flagship plant in Morcenx (France).” 12/02/2011

 

EPA Releases Proposed Changes to Boiler/CISWI Emissions and NHSM Rules

US Environmental Protection AgencyThe US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the issuance of "reconsiderations and proposed amendments" to the March 2011 issued final rules on emission of air pollutants from existing and new boilers and other "major sources" and "area sources", and governing Commercial and Industrial Solid Waste incinerators (the CISWI rules). Concurrently, EPA has released proposed revisions to the rules governing Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM rule). All documents are available on the agency's Air Quality Planning and Standards Regulatory Actions web page, including links to the pre-publication Rule revisions. The agency notes that there are currently 95 solid waste incinerators in the US, for which the proposed rules will reduce emissions including mercury, lead, cadmium, nitrogen dioxide, dioxin and particulate pollution. NHSM rule changes will impact determinations of which non-hazardous secondary materials would be considered "solid waste", and which could still be considered and used as "fuel". These actions are another key step in on-going revision and court-ordered implementation of CISWI and Boiler MACT rules for which Teru Talk provided "EPA Waste & Combustion Rules" summary in February of this year. In May, EPA's administrator delayed the effective dates to gather more data, then in June set a timeline for reconsideration. A concise Overview has now been provided outlining the current actions and providing details for submitting comments to the various revisions; the 60-day comment period will start with formal publication in the Federal Register available on Regulations.gov (http://www.regulations.gov) in the rulemaking Docket No's. EPA-HQ-OAR-2002-0058 (Boiler, major source), EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0790 (Boiler, area source) and EPA-HQOAR-2003-0119 (CISWI). Questions and comments should be submitted to , identifying the Dockets noted above. 12/02/2011

 

Inbicon Plans North American Expansion of New Biomass Refinery Technology

InbiconDanish biofuel company Inbicon has announced the selection and qualification of the Wisconsin office of the Finnish engineering firm Pöyry as its preferred provider in development of its advanced soft-cellulose biorefineries in North America. Inbicon selected Pöyry after a lengthy assessment of global engineering firms, certifying that the company has met all quality, reliability, and professional standards necessary for engineering projects involving Inbicon Biomass Refineries. Inbicon is a subsidiary of Danish DONG Energy that is focused on conversion of non-tree sourced cellulosic feedstock; its core IBUS process technology of Inbicon is a three-stage process: mechanical, hydrothermal, and enzymatic treatment of biomass. The biorefinery technology was originally developed to convert straw into bioethanol, animal feed and solid biofuel, but can be adapted to other types of biomass such as corn stover, grasses, bagasse and other wastes and residuals. The IBUS process allows high dry-matter content in all process streams (20 to 40%), with relatively simple pre-treatment based on hot water and enzymes. Pöyry employs 7,000 people worldwide in 50 countries, including the American office in Appleton, Wisconsin. Carl Minke, Vice President of Projects and Construction Management for Pöyry (Appleton), explained to us that this enables yeast fermentation for ethanol production, anaerobic digestion for generation of methane-rich biogas, or a combination of both, and that the company is now exploring manufacture of many other commodities from this foundation. The process has been successfully proven in a demonstration biorefinery on the new Inbicon Biomass Technology Campus at the port of Kalundsborg, Denmark. "We're really looking forward to a long-term relationship with Inbicon," says Micke, "We have all the different engineering disciplines they'll need, and Inbicon has a process proven at demonstration scale at Kalundborg, which gives them an important edge in an industry with tremendous growth prospects." 12/01/2011

 

Verdezyne Opens Bio-Sourced Adipic Acid Pilot Plant

VerdezyneThe California biochemical and biofuel company Verdezyne has announced a significant milestone with the opening of its first pilot production facility in Carlsbad, California. The plant will boost organism performance and accelerate Verdezyne's commercial bio-sourced production of the foundation chemical adipic acid, a precursor to nylon 6,6, thermoplastic polyurethane resins, and diverse "everyday" products. The company's proprietary biological pathway development ensures lower cost production and lower emissions than from petroleum sources. The adipic acid pathway is feedstock flexible, allowing conversion of a variety of sugars, plant-based oils, and alkanes; the firm has also developed separate robust metabolic paths for production of cellulosic ethanol from both C5 and C6 sugars. “We are excited to achieve this key milestone,” said Dr. E. William Radany, president and CEO of Verdezyne. “This is the first demonstration of the production of bio-based adipic acid at scale from a non-petroleum source. Our novel yeast platform enables production of adipic acid at a lower cost than current petrochemical manufacturing processes.” In the next year, Verdezyne will be seeking partners for commercialization. 12/01/2011

 

Greenleaf Biofuels and Tenaska BioFuels Sign Multi-Year Biodiesel Agreement

Greenleaf BiofuelsNew Hampshire based Greenleaf Biofuels LLC has announced the signing of an exclusive multi-year agreement with Tenaska BioFuels LLC, a subsidiary of the independent energy company Tenaska. Under the agreement, Tenaska BioFuels will provide feedstock and sell the products from Greenleaf's initial 10 million gallon annual capacity plant in New Haven, Connecticut, with options to expand the partnership over time. Following on "pre-seed" funding in March 2011, Greenleaf secured full funding for the facility in October and started construction in November of this year. Greenleaf produces clean-burning BiodezlTM and BioheatTM that can be refined from plant oils and animal fats, as alternatives to petroleum-sourced diesel and heating oil. Tenaska BioFuels is the biofuels marketing affiliate of the Omaha, Nebraska based Tenaska one of the largest privately-held US corporations. "We are very pleased to announce this agreement with Tenaska BioFuels. Between its significant experience in the biofuels industry, vegetable oils and waste feedstock procurement, and trading operations, we feel extremely fortunate to have TBF as our commodity manager. We look forward to many years of collaboration with this pre-eminent energy company," said Gus Kellogg, CEO and founder of Greenleaf. 12/01/2011

 

Dynamotive to Commercialize Pyrolysis Oil Upgrading with IFP Energies, Axens

Dynamotive Energy Systems CorporationVancouver, Canada based Dynamotive Energy Systems Corporation has announced a step forward in the development, scale-up and commercialization of its proprietary pyrolysis oil upgrading process. Dynamotive, the French-headquartered energy funding, research and development firm IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) and its technology licensing and product development subsidiary Axens have agreed to terms of the agreement between the firms. The new agreement will include performance-contingent participation of Renewable Oil Corporation Pty Ltd. (ROC), Dynamotive's Australian partner in advancing its proprietary flash pyrolysis of biomass to oil and biochar. IFPEN will continue process research development and refinement at its French facilities; Axens will assist in later-stage processing and commercialization. Both IFPEN and Axens hold strong global positions in the industrial oil and gas sector; Dynamotive's bio-sourced hydrocarbon products are well-suited for addition to and processing as standard refinery inputs, with reduced oxygen content, near-zero entrained water and minimal corrosivity. The process uses 100% of the input feedstock: non-condensable combustible gases (10 to 20% by weight) are used to externally heat the pyrolytic retort, volatile organics produce the BioOil (60-75% by weight) and non-volatilized biomass is recovered as high-grade Biochar product (15-20% by weight). Dynamotive's strategic partnering has facilitated development of an upgrading process to produce transport fuels including jet fuel from its BioOil. 12/01/2011

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