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January 2014 News and Matters of Interest

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Florida Biodiesel Sells Biodiesel System to New Mississippi High School

Florida BiodieselFlorida Biodiesel, Inc has announced the sale of a B-60 Biodiesel Processor made by 70centsagallon.com to Oxford High School, Mississippi to be used as a hands-on educational tool to show students how to make renewable energy. The biodiesel production equipment will be used to demonstrate Green Fuel technology for on-campus activities. Oxford High School is a new state-of-the-art facility that just opened its doors on January 7th, and was designed to offer its students a technology-rich environment for learning. The B-60 Biodiesel Processor requires 60 minutes of assembly time and will allow students to safely produce 45 gallon batches of biodiesel. Victor Garlington, Director of Client Services at 70CentsaGallon.com: "The students will process the oil they collect from the cafeteria into biodiesel fuel for use in campus vehicles. The B-60 is very user friendly and great for students to learn biodiesel basics." 01/31/2014

2nd Gen Biofuel from Clariant and Haltermann Is Tested by Mercedes-Benz

ClariantClariant, Haltermann, and Mercedes-Benz have announced that Clariant's cellulosic ethanol blended with conventional fuel by Haltermann is being tested by Daimler AG in their Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The Clariant sunliquid® process converts wheat straw into cellulosic ethanol, the production of which is virtually CO2-neutral. The company Haltermann then mixes the cellulosic ethanol with conventional fuel components to form the new fuel. Over the next twelve months, test fleet vehicles can be refilled with the new fuel at a specially equipped gas station at the Mercedes-Benz production plant in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim. Professor Andre Koltermann, Head of Group Biotechnology at Clariant: "This shows that second generation biofuels based on agricultural residues are now technologically ready and available, not only in production but in application as well." The cellulosic ethanol comes from Clariant’s sunliquid® demonstration plant in Straubing, where approximately 4,500 tons of agricultural residues such as grain straw or corn stover are converted into cellulosic ethanol each year. At the Haltermann plant in Hamburg, the bioethanol is mixed with selected components to form the innovative fuel, the specifications of which reflect potential European E20 fuel quality. 01/29/2014

UK Launches edoc On-Line Waste Transfer Tracking System

Electronic Duty of CareThe United Kingdom's (UK) Environment Agency has launched its Electronic Duty of Care (edoc) system to provide surety regarding sources and destinations of wastes and residuals. Developed by the Environment Agency in partnership with the waste sector and government bodies from Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, edoc provides a modern and efficient alternative to completing and keeping paper waste transfer notes. edoc also comes at a time when the government is focused on improving outdated, burdensome, or over-complicated regulations.  In a set of major announcements this week, Ministers have highlighted edoc’s potential to replace 23 million of paper waste transfer notes a year. The Environmental Services Association (ESA), the voice of the UK’s waste and resource management industry, supports the launch of the edoc system. ESA’s Director General, Barry Dennis, said: "edoc will transform the way business records what happens to the waste they produce, or handle, by reducing administrative costs and burden and improving data quality; as well as reducing the ability to falsify paperwork and increasing controls to discourage illegal waste management." 01/29/2014

IncBio to Supply 40,000 MT/Year Biodiesel Plant in Saudi Arabia

IncBioPortugal based IncBio has announced that it has signed an agreement with Bio Renewable Energy Factory (BREF)in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to supply BREF with a 40,000 MT/year Biodiesel plant. The plant will incorporate IncBio’s ultrasonic technology to produce biodiesel from animal fats collected from rendering plants in the Saudi market. Using multi-feedstock technology, the plant will be able to convert a wide range of raw materials into high quality biodiesel, exceeding the strict standards of EN14214 and ASTM D6751. This includes crude vegetable oils to waste materials and by-products such as used cooking oil (UCO), animal fats, distilled Free Fatty Acids (FFAD), Palm Fatty Acid Distillate (PFAD), Trap Grease oil, etc. IncBio's process can handle up to 100% FFA. The plant will be the first of several projects planned by BREF for the region for the coming years. IncBio and BREF expect the plant to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2014. 01/29/2014 

DOE Schedules Bioenergy Demonstration and Deployment Strategy Workshop

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy's (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has announced a Demonstration and Deployment strategy workshop on March 12-13, 2014, at the Argonne National Laboratory's conference center in Chicago, Illinois. As the bioenergy industry advances commercial scale cellulosic ethanol production, BETO will identify the next step(s) in drop-in hydrocarbon biofuel production. This workshop intends to discuss, reassess, and prioritize the demonstration and deployment efforts needed to realize affordable, scalable, and sustainable production of hydrocarbon biofuels. Registration is required to participate in the workshop and be can be performed online. 01/28/2014

Due 02/17/2014: Registration of Intent to Submit for UK Energy Funding

UK Department of Energy and Climate ChangeBritish small and medium size enterprises (SME) within the energy efficiency, building technologies, power generation, and energy storage sectors are invited to submit applications for funding of up to £2million under the third phase of the Government’s Energy Entrepreneurs Fund. Support will be given to state of the art technologies that could bring down the cost of consumer bills and reduce carbon emissions, such as ground source heat pumps, and energy from waste technologies. In addition to funding, the winning companies will also receive advice from commercial experts on how to attract investment to bring their products to the market. Applications are assessed by engineering and technical experts across government and industry, as well as a commercial panel of low carbon investment professionals. Bids are judged against a range of criteria including the ability to cut the cost of existing technologies, future carbon savings. and commercial viability. A total of £10m is available for projects up to March 31, 2016. Full details on how to apply, and deadlines for registration and submission of applications, are in the guidance notes. 01/28/2014 

Forth Energy Receives Planning Consent for 120MW CHP Plant in Scotland

Forth EnergyForth Energy has announced that the Scottish Government has granted planning consent for a £325 million biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the Port of Rosyth in Fife. The CHP plant will use sustainably sourced wood fuel and have the capacity to generate 120MW of low carbon renewable electricity and 30MW of heat. The equivalent of over 40% of the Fife Council area’s electricity needs could be met, with the additional potential for a heat distribution network. The plant is expected to demonstrate significant carbon savings over its operating life compared with fossil fuel alternatives. The wood fuel for the plant would be sourced from overseas and delivered by ship, the lowest carbon means of transportation for bulk goods. The plant’s location within the Port of Rosyth would allow the fuel to be discharged directly to the plant. Forth Energy Managing Director, Calum Wilson: "We are delighted that the Scottish Government has approved our proposal for a renewable energy plant at Rosyth. We look forward to engaging with the Scottish Government, Fife Council and the local community." 01/27/2014

Valmet Will Supply CFB Multi-Fuel Boiler for Paper Mill in Finland 

Valmet CorporationValmet Corporation has announced that it will furnish a complete circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler to Sappi Ltd's Kirkniemi Mill in Lohja, Finland, including installation, training, and commissioning. The new boiler will have a steam capacity of 88 MW and can flexibly use solid fuels such as bark from the mill's debarking process, other wood-based fuels, and coal. Together with the mill's current biofuel boiler and Valmet's new boiler it is possible to produce biomass-based energy up to 100%. The startup of the plant is scheduled for summer 2015. "Competitive solutions for multi-fuel based energy production are one of Valmet's key competences and we are a leader in this field. Jyrki Holmala, Pulp and Energy Business Line President, Valmet: "The agreement with Sappi is an excellent start for our energy business for the new year." Valmet was recently formed through a partial demerger from Metso Corporation, which transferred all business related to pulp, paper, and power to Valmet. 01/27/2014 

Iogen Develops New Method to Make Drop-in Cellulosic Biofuels from Biogas

IogenOttawa, Canada based Iogen Corporation has announced that it has developed and patented a new method to make drop-in cellulosic biofuels from biogas using existing refinery assets and production operations. The company estimates there is refining capacity in place to incorporate 5-6 billion gallons per year of renewable hydrogen content into gasoline and diesel fuel. Iogen plans to initially commercialize the approach using landfill biogas, and then expand production using biogas made in the cellulosic ethanol facilities it is currently developing. The production method involves processing biogas to make renewable hydrogen and incorporating the renewable hydrogen into finished fuels in selected refinery hydrogenating units. Patrick Foody, Iogen’s Executive Vice President, Advanced Biofuels: "Biogas is produced today from landfills, wastewater treatment plants, waste digestion facilities, and farm digesters with well-proven technology. We can now take biogas and make specification gasoline and diesel with renewable content using well-proven existing refining operations." 01/24/2014

Chesterfield Biogas Selected to Build UK’s Largest Biomethane-to-Grid Project

Chesterfield BiogasUnited Kingdom (UK) based Pressure Technologies plc has announced that its subsidiary Chesterfield BioGas Limited has been awarded a £4.2 million contract to supply, install, and commission biogas upgrading equipment for a UK renewable energy project. When commissioned in late 2014, not only will it be the first facility of its kind, it will be the largest of any biogas-to-grid project so far announced or operating in the UK. Chesterfield will install Greenlane® Totara+ water-wash upgraders (licensed from Greenlane Biogas of New Zealand) and capable of processing up to 5,000 cubic metres of biogas per hour. The Totara+ upgraders will clean the raw biogas produced by anaerobic digestion of the waste organic material, to more than 98% pure biomethane, matching the purity criteria required of natural gas being piped to households and commercial premises. The water-wash process is proven in operation over the last 20 years. 01/24/2014

BioAmber Plans 100,000 Ton Plant to Supply BDO Under Take-or-Pay Contract

BioAmberQuebec, Canada based BioAmber, Inc has announced signing a 15-year master off-take agreement for bio-based 1,4-Butanediol (BDO) with Texas based Vinmar International. Under the terms of the take-or-pay contract, Vinmar has committed to purchase 100% of the BDO produced in a 100,000 ton per year capacity plant that BioAmber plans to build in North America and commission in 2017. Vinmar also plans to invest in the BDO plant alongside BioAmber. In order to seed the market for its bio-based BDO, BioAmber plans to initially produce approximately 4,000 tons of BDO annually at a toll manufacturing facility that the company expects to commission in 2015. The tolling facility will convert bio-succinic acid produced at the Sarnia, Canada plant that is currently under construction. Under the terms of the agreement announced today, Vinmar has committed to also purchase 100% of the BDO produced at the planned tolling facility. Jean-Francois Huc, Chief Executive Officer of BioAmber: "This partnership with Vinmar positions BioAmber to become a producer of BDO, a second platform chemical beyond succinic acid." BioAmber produces BDO by combining its succinic acid technology with a catalyst technology licensed from DuPont and believes that its bio-based BDO is cost competitive with petroleum derived BDO. Feedstock used can come from agricultural sources or biomass such as plant wastes or from organically grown and non-GM feedstocks. 01/24/2014 

Renewable Energy Group Enters Industrial Biotech with Acquisition of LS9

Renewable Energy GroupIowa based Renewable Energy Group, Inc (REG) announced that it has acquired leading renewable chemical technology developer LS9, Inc for a purchase price of up to $61.5 million, consisting of up front and earnout payments, in stock and cash. Most of the LS9 team, including the entire R&D leadership group, will join the newly named REG Life Sciences, LLC, which will operate out of LS9’s headquarters in South San Francisco, California. Daniel J. Oh, REG President and CEO: "This acquisition is a major step in realizing REG’s strategy to expand into the production of renewable chemicals and other products."  LS9’s technology platform can utilize diverse feedstocks including conventional corn and cane sugars, low-cost crude glycerin from biodiesel production, and cellulosic sugars to make a wide range of renewable chemicals, as well as renewable fuels. REG owns and operates eight active biodiesel refineries in four states with a combined nameplate production capacity of 257 million gallons and distributes biodiesel through a national network of distribution terminals, distributors and customers. 01/23/2014

VTT's Biomass Supply Chains Speed Up Use of Bioenergy in Vietnam

VTT Technical Research Centre of FinlandVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland announced that it has developed efficiency in the current biomass supply chains and power plant operations in Vietnam's Mekong Delta to increase the use of biomass fuels for energy. Loading and unloading of biomass is traditionally performed manually, and mechanization the process reduced transport costs by 15%. The typical Vietnamese biomass materials are harvest and food processing residues of rice, sugar cane, wood, coffee, and coconut, most of which can be used as biomass fuel. The overall production potential for solid biomass in 2010 was 104.4 million tonnes (374 TWh), with the share of agrobiomass by-products at 70% and of wood fuel at 30%. A primary goal was to promote the simultaneous use of multiple biofuels to ensure a year-round supply of agrobiomass-based raw materials. As part of the project, production and use of biomass pellets in industrial boilers was demonstrated to be financially and technologically sound. The project was a collaboration between VTT and the Institute of Energy in Hanoi. VTT  has released a publication summarizing their biomass supply chain improvements in Viet Nam. 01/23/2014

EU Funds Verbio for Biomethane from Straw Demo Project in Germany

VerbioVerbio AG has announced that the €22.3 million grant agreement has been signed and the demonstration project to convert straw to biomethane has now officially been launched. The European Commission committed to provide the funding to Verbio in December 2012 to demonstrate its innovative technology to produce biomethane entirely from straw. It is intended that the biomethane will be fed-in at the Verbio plant in Schwedt in the second half of 2014. Dr. Andreas Schütte, managing director of the Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V. (German Agency for Renewable Resources): "Theoretically, Germany could use up to 10 million tons of the straw produced each year for energy production without compromising soil fertility, and thus significantly and economically increase the proportion of energy sources represented by renewable energy." 01/23/2014 

Blue Sun BioRefinery Commercializes Enzymatic Transesterification

Blue Sun EnergyColorado based Blue Sun Energy has announced implementation of its enzymatic biodiesel processing technology at the Blue Sun St Joe Refinery in St Joseph, Missouri. This new process utilizes Novozymes’ Callera Trans L® enzyme, first implementation in the world of enzymatic transesterification at full commercial operation. Leigh Freeman. Blue Sun CEO: "We have fully commercialized the enzymatic process technology and the plant is operating at full commercial scale. This process gives Blue Sun a clear competitive advantage in the market, allowing us to bring the absolute highest quality fuel to market using this industry leading technology." The facility is capable of producing high-quality biodiesel from multiple feedstocks such as animal fats and other lower-grade, high-FFA oils. A state-of-the-art distillation system was installed last year at the refinery. The 30 million gallon per year facility was acquired by Blue Sun in 2011 from Terra Bioenergy LLC. Construction had been completed in 2009 but the facility had not begun operations. 01/22/2014

EcoWASTE Platform Introduced During Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week

EcoWASTEEcoWASTE is a new regional platform introduced during this year's Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week with an exhibition held January 20-22, 2014 to support the urgent waste disposal challenges and needs in the Middle East. EcoWASTE was hosted by Masdar and held in partnership with the Centre of Waste Management to bring together leading local and international providers, buyers, and industry professionals from the sustainable waste management and recycling sector. Masdar is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Government-owned Mubadala Development Company. 01/22/2014 

Elementa and the Ontario Power Authority Finalize Energy-From-Waste PPA

ElementaOntario, Canada based Elementa Group Inc has announced that it has reached an agreement with the Ontario Power Authority to sell power from a new commercial-scale, energy-from-waste project to be built in Sault Ste. Marie. The proposed plant is designed to convert 50,000 tonnes of post-recycled municipal solid waste using Elementa's endothermic steam reforming gasification process to send 10 megawatts of electricity to Ontario's grid system. Elementa's patented technology enables the generation of electricity while providing an alternative to landfilling residual waste streams. The Elementa plant will be required to meet all Ontario Ministry of the Environment ("MOE") operational requirements, and is expected to surpass air, waste, and water regulations prescribed by the MOE. Jay Zwierschke, President, CEO, and Founder of Elementa: "We are proud to be locating our new plant at The City of Sault Ste. Marie and working with the City to bring our full-scale commercial plant into production." 01/21/2014

Global Bioenergies and AUDI Partner on Drop-in Biofuel for Gasoline Engines

Global BioenergiesFrance based Global Bioenergies has announced entering into a collaboration with the German car-manufacturer Audi on the development of isobutene-derived isooctane, a high performance biofuel for gasoline engines. The program consists of the production of bio-isobutene using Global Bioenergies' gas fermentation process to transform biomass into isooctane, the gold standard for gasoline engines (octane number 100). As a 100% drop-in fuel, it can be used in any blending ratio with all standard fuels for gasoline motors. It does not present the drawbacks associated with alcohol-based biofuels such as ethanol or isobutanol which lead to limited blending ratios and lower mileage per liter. Thomas Buhl, Head of Business Development at Global Bioenergies: "We had recently announced the start of our pre-commercial pilot phase at the Fraunhofer CBP in Leuna allowing obtaining high-purity isobutene which can be used for different applications. One crucial point of our collaboration with Audi will consist in supplying them with isooctane derived from our isobutene to be produced at that pilot. Furthermore, the collaboration with Audi will enable us to emphasize even more the usage of sustainable feedstock." During the two-year collaboration, this agreement also foresees the possibility for Audi to acquire shares of Global Bioenergies corresponding to less than 2% of its capital. 01/21/2014

Loans Available for Renewable Energy Projects in Developing Countries

IRENAThe International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) have announced approximately $41 million in concessional loans for renewable energy projects in developing countries. The financed projects will have a combined total capacity of 35 MW and will bring reliable and sustainable power to rural communities that are currently lacking access to modern energy services. Eligible projects include all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar, and wind energy. The loans go to a geographically diverse set of countries, including the Republic of Ecuador, Sierra Leone, the Maldives, Mauritania, Samoa, and Mali. The UAE government has committed a total of $350 million in concessional loans through the ADFD to support the deployment and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy in developing countries. The current financing cycle is the first of seven. Applications for this financing cycle are open now. Visit www.irena.org/adfd for more information. 01/21/2014 

Grand Canyon Railway's 1923 Steam Engine Runs on Waste Vegetable Oil

Grand Canyon RailwayThe Grand Canyon Railway (GCR) has announced that it will fire up its iconic 1923 steam engine for regularly scheduled runs from Williams, Arizona to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in 2014. While more than 100,000 steam engines were built in the US during the steam era, it is estimated that less than 100 still run, many over just short distances and at very low speeds. Locomotive No. 4960 is an industry pioneer that runs on waste vegetable oil from French fries and chicken wings, a fuel alternative that reduces carbon emissions by 28,856 pounds per round trip to the Grand Canyon. The water for the engine's boiler is captured snowmelt and rain water. While the GCR operates daily (excluding December 25) and is normally powered with diesel engines, Locomotive No. 4960 will pull the train on the first Saturday on every month from April through September 2014, as well as on Presidents Day (February 17), Earth Day (April 19,) and on the anniversary of the railroad (September 17). The Grand Canyon Railway, established in 1989, is the first tourism railway in the US to receive ISO 14001 third-party certification of its environmental management system. 01/20/2014

Sonoco Dedicates $75MM Biomass Boiler Facility at South Carolina Plant

SonocoSouth Carolina based Sonoco Products Company has announced dedication of the new biomass boiler at its Hartsville paper manufacturing facility. In 2011, Sonoco committed to a $75 million investment to replace two aging, coal-fired boilers and add the new biomass boiler at its plant in Hartsville. The new boiler is fueled primarily by woody biomass from regional logging activity, but can also run on natural gas. The boiler will produce about 16 megawatts of green energy that will be consumed by the manufacturing complex, as well as steam that is used in the paper making process. Sonoco President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Sanders: "A key part of Sonoco's culture is our commitment to sustainability, including our dedication to improving the environment and our contributions to the future of the communities in which we operate. This boiler is proof of that commitment." 01/20/2014  

Green Day Technologies Receives $10-20MM Order for Refuse/Biomass Pellets

Green Day TechnologiesFlorida based Kleangas Energy Technologies, Inc has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Green Day Technologies, Inc, has received an order worth $10,000,000 up to $20,000,000 for pellets. The order for 5,000 to 10,000 metric tons of pellets per month will be delivered to South Korea. The agreement runs for a full 12 month period and represents a minimum of over $800,000 to as much as $1,700,000 per month of income. Green Day has several additional similar requests and expects more agreements for biomass and refuse derived fuel (RDF) pellets to be processed over the next few months. Green Day has secured the ability to deliver the quantities for this order and is in the process to greatly expand on production capabilities in the near term. The company expects demand for these pellets to continue to increase due to the ongoing environmental pressures to burn cleaner and more environmentally friendly products than coal and crude products. Kleangas acquired Green Day in December of last year. 01/17/2014

European Commission Approves Neste Oil's Sustainability Verification System

Neste OilNeste Oil has announced that its sustainability verification system for all diesel fuel produced from renewable feedstocks has been approved by the European Commission (EC). The EC has confirmed that the system complies with the standards set for reliability, transparency, and independent third-party auditing. In accordance with the European Union's Renewable Energy Directive, strict limits are imposed on where feedstocks can be cultivated and where cultivation cannot take place. Forestland must not be cleared to produce biofuels and inputs cannot be grown on peat bogs, wetlands, other high carbon stock land, or in environmentally sensitive areas. The system also establishes strict requirements covering issues such as the traceability of the supply chain. Pekka Tuovinen, Neste Oil's Director, Sustainability and Supplier Compliance: "To date, we have primarily relied on the RSPO and ISCC verification systems. Our own system, which has now been approved by the Commission, is a useful addition for verifying the sustainability of renewable inputs, particularly waste and residues." Neste Oil is capable of producing premium-quality renewable fuel from more than 10 different types of vegetable oil and waste- and residue-based materials. Neste Oil knows the origin of all the renewable inputs that it uses. 01/17/2014 

American Chemistry Council Forms New Plastics-to-Oil Technologies Alliance

American Chemistry CouncilThe American Chemistry Council (ACC) has announced that a new group has formed within its Plastics Division to support technologies that convert non-recycled plastics into petroleum based products. The new Plastics-to-Oil Technologies Alliance will work to increase awareness of the benefits of plastics-to-oil technologies, enhance the industry’s voice through expanded membership and demonstrate broad support for plastics-to-oil technologies through an expanding network of allies. Founding members of the group include Agilyx Corporation (Beaverton, Oregon), Cynar Plc (London) and RES Polyflow (Akron, Ohio). Membership is open to entities that develop and implement technologies to convert non-recycled plastics into petroleum and petroleum based products. Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council: " Used plastics are a valuable resource that should be recycled whenever possible, but when recycling isn’t an economically or environmentally feasible option, there is enormous potential to transform used plastics into energy to help power America’s homes, businesses and communities. The members of ACC’s new Plastics-to-Oil Technologies Alliance are helping to make this happen." 01/16/2014

Cambrian Installs 1st Commercial EcoVolt System at Bear Republic Brewing

Cambrian InnovationBoston based Cambrian Innovation, Inc has announced that the first commercial installation of its EcoVolt wastewater system at Bear Republic Brewing Factory in Cloverdale, California will begin commissioning next month. The full system is expected to generate about 50% of the brewery's power needs while providing clean recycled water to meet over 10% of facility water use demand. Richard R. Norgrove, Sr., Bear Republic CEO: " Sustainable production practices have been a cornerstone of Bear Republic’s business since we started in 1996. Cambrian’s innovative technology not only fulfills this mission, but also has proven to be a valuable asset for our business, especially as California is in the midst of a drought." Cambrian's bioelectrically active microorganisms reduce organics in wastewater and convert carbon dioxide to biogas. The EcoVolt process is a commercial-scale microbial fuel cell, and is packaged with headworks and combined heat and power capabilities. Bear Republic is Cambrian Innovation's first customer. A pilot installation of Cambrian's EcoVolt system was installed at the Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma in November. 01/16/2014  

Vadxx Energy Receives Financing for 1st Plastic Waste to Energy Facility

Vadxx EnergyOhio based Vadxx Energy LLC has closed on financing for its first commercial-scale, plastic waste-to-energy facility. Private equity firm Liberation Capital has agreed to fund the first unit, which will be implemented in Akron, Ohio and is scheduled to come online in early 2015. Rockwell Automation is the design, procurement, and construction contractor, and will build and commission the facility. Vadxx has operated a 1/50th scale pilot facility for several years, working to optimize its process, test future plastic feedstocks, and educate investors. The new regional operation will recycle almost 60 tons per day of waste plastics, diverting them from landfill disposal.  Vadxx's proven technology continuously converts plastic waste to valuable energy products by cooking, cleaning, and cooling the plastic in a closed and controlled system. The solid plastic melts and turns into a vapor that that is routed through pipes to another closed vessel where it is cooled and condensed back into a liquid. The company has received significant support from Northeast Ohio economic development entities and the state of Ohio. Jim Garrett, Vadxx CEO: "Vadxx is focused on implementing our first commercial unit in Akron successfully, as an important first step toward global expansion." 01/15/2014

Due 03/11/2014: Grant Applications to CEC for Biofuel Production Facilities

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has issued Program Opportunity Notice PON-13-609, making available up to $24 million in grant funds for the development of California-based biofuel production facilities that can sustainably produce low carbon transportation fuels. Funds can be used for new or the modification of existing Pilot-Scale and Commercial-Scale biofuel facilities capable of producingdiesel substitutes, gasoline substitutes, and biomethane. Corn grain is not an eligible feedstock; however, corn oil and corn stover are eligible. If using municipal solid waste (MSW) as a feedstock, only the biogenic fraction of the waste stream is eligible. The funding is available through the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP).One non-mandatory Pre-Application Workshop is scheduled for January 31, 2014 at 10:00 am. Participation is available through in-person, WebEx, and conference call. The deadline to submit written questions is February 3. Applications are due no later than March 11, 2014 at 3:00 pm. 01/15/2014  

Aphios Granted US Patent for Pretreatment of Cellulosic Biomass for Biofuels

AphiosMassachusetts based Aphios Corporation has announced that it has been granted US patent 8,540,847, “Methods and Apparatus for Processing Cellulose Biomass,” for its Aosic enabling technology platform for Cellulosic Biomass Pretreatment (CBP). Currently, steam explosion is the most commercially used method for expanding cellulosic fibers. In the Aosic process, biomass is contacted with SuperFluids such as carbon dioxide with or without small quantities of polar cosolvents such as ethanol, both sourced from the downstream fermentation process. Pressure is released and fibers are made more accessible to enzymes as a result of expansive forces of SuperFluids (about 10 times those of steam explosion) and carbonic acid hydrolysis. Additional fiber separation is achieved by ejecting biomass through mechanical impact devices. Carbon dioxide is recovered and recycled; pressure energy is recovered in a turbine. Dr. Trevor P. Castor, inventor of the Aosic platform: "Carbon dioxide is consumed in the Aosic process which is a net consumer of carbon. It also utilizes significantly less water than steam explosion and the dilute acid pre-hydrolysis pretreatment process." 01/14/2014

New York State Makes $21MM Available to Dairy Farmers for Waste to Energy

New York State Energy Research and Development AuthorityNew York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that nearly $21 million will be available to create new economic opportunities for New York’s dairy farmers by helping them to produce renewable energy and improve their business operations. The funding will help dairy farmers convert farm waste to energy and develop individualized business and environmental plans to reduce operating costs and increase profitability. Beginning January 17th, $20 million will be available through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to install anaerobic digester technology that produces renewable biogas used to produce electricity and heat from organic wastes. Farms, food processing manufacturers, or municipal wastewater sites would be eligible for up to $2 million per project. Funding for the Dairy Acceleration Program (DAP) will be increased by $850,000, focusing primarily on small dairy farms of 300 cows or less. John B. Rhodes, NYSERDA President and CEO: "The anaerobic digester funding coupled with the Dairy Acceleration Program funding is another step the State is taking, under Governor Cuomo, to assist farmers in reducing their operating costs and in generating clean energy." 01/14/2014

European Biofuels Technology Platform Seeks Input for Funding Decisions

European Biofuels Technology PlatformThe European Biofuels Technology Platform (EBTP) program has launched the Advanced Biofuels Stakeholder Questionnaire 2014, an on-line 10 minute survey intended to help direct biofuels research and development funding through 2016 for the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Four areas are explored, asking for stakeholders to rank priorities: (1) RD&D Topics, (2) Sustainability, Policy and Finance, (3) Support for RD&D, and (4) the EBTP organization's own activities. Issues related to conversion of wastes and residuals for biofuels are prominent in the survey. 01/13/2014

NCF Completes Stage 1 Proof of Concept to Convert CO2 to Fuels

New CO2 FuelsIsrael based New CO2 Fuels (NCF) has announced successful completion of Stage 1 Proof of Concept testing for high-temperature dissociation of carbon dioxide (CO2; as contained in industrial emissions) into carbon monoxide (CO) and oxygen. Two technologies demonstrated in Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science are being co-developed: (1) CO2 emissions to gaseous and liquid fuels, and (2) a solar thermal system that can produce the 1200 degrees Centigrade necessary to drive that dissociation and catalysis. In Stage 1 testing, the rate of dissociation has been increased by a factor of 200, while costs have been reduced by about a third from initial trials. The same system used for CO2 dissociation also is effective in dissociating water to hydrogen and oxygen; combining CO and H2 creates a synthetic fuel gas that can also be catalyzed to produce liquid fuel. In Stage 2 testing during the first quarter of 2014, the CO2 dissociation rate is expected to be quadrupled, and the thermochemical system will be integrated with NCF's solar thermal technology. NCF expects to start commercial scale reactor development later this year, once Stage 2 testing is completed. 01/13/2014 

Construction of Viridor's Anaerobic Digestion Plant in Somerset Is Complete

ViridorConstruction of Viridor’s £10 million anaerobic digestion plant at Walpole Landfill near Bridgwater, Somerset in the United Kingdom is substantially complete, and is expected to be fully operational in the coming weeks. The plant is now producing power, and when operating at full capacity is expected to generate more than 1.6MW of renewable power, enough to power over 3,000 homes. The anaerobic digestion technology was provided by Monsal with the capacity to process up to 30,000 tonnes of food waste per year, 20,000 tonnes of which will be provided by councils in the Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP). Start of construction of the facility was announced in April 2012. 01/10/2014

California SB 498 Redefining Biomass Conversion Referred to Committee

California State CapitolCalifornia Senate Bill (SB) 498 - Solid Waste: Biomass Conversion was introduced by Senator Ricardo Lara (D) on February 21, 2013, to revise the definition of "biomass conversion" under the California Integrated Waste Management Act. The proposed bill has been revised several times, tabled twice, and most recently has been scheduled for hearing on January 15, 2014 before the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. SB 498 proposes to revise the definition of "biomass conversion" to include any other conversion technology in addition to controlled combustion when used to convert biomass materials segregated from solid waste. The bill defines "conversion technology" as "a method capable of converting biomass into marketable products and fuels through a noncombustion thermal, chemical, or biological process." This revision in the law would incorporate all conversion technologies under the definition of biomass conversion, subjecting waste conversion facilities and projects using conversion technologies to the 10% limitation in existing law for landfill diversion credits in local agency waste management plans. 01/10/2014  

Now Accepting Applications for California Woody Biomass to Energy Projects

The Watershed Research and Training CenterThe Watershed Research and Training Center (WRTC) has announced that it is now accepting applications for assistance to California organizations, groups, and communities for development of wood energy projects. WRTC is administrator of the Statewide Wood Energy Team (SWET), a partnership formed with the ad hoc California Forest Biomass Working Group and funded through a Cooperative Agreement with the USDA Forest Service to provide early stage wood energy assistance in California. Assistance may include access to information about site assessment, pre-feasibility and feasibility assessment, financing, and workshop and outreach assistance. There is also potential for limited reimbursement of cost of consultants. Assistance with other barriers to development will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Interested parties should first call or email Angie Lottes at <> or (314) 610-2237. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and considered monthly. It should not take longer than two months for requests for assistance to be processed. Basic questions, information and networking requests will be considered immediately. Funds for assistance will be available until expended. 01/09/2014

BDI Contracts to Expand Netherlands Multi-Waste Feedstock BioDiesel Plant

BDI - BioEnergyAustria based BDI - BioEnergy International AG has announced a EUR 47 million contract with Biodiesel Amsterdam (subsidiary of Simadan Holding) for expansion of a Multi-Feedstock Biodiesel Plant in the Port of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Biodiesel Amsterdam already brought an initial Multi-Feedstock BioDiesel plant supplied by BDI with a production capacity of 100,000 tonnes/year into operation in 2010 and is now increasing its production capacity at the location by a further 150,000 tonnes/year. BDI's patented technology is capable of turning a wide range of raw materials such as animal fat, used cooking oil, trap grease, and vegetable oils into high-grade BioDiesel that exceeds the most stringent quality standards such as EN14214 and ASTM D6751.Once the expansion has been completed, the plant will be producing BioDiesel from waste materials and will have a total capacity of 250,000 tonnes/year. Waste vegetable and animal oils from trade and industry are the only raw materials used to manufacture biodiesel. The project includes a Glycerin distillation factory with a production capacity of 50,000 tonnes/year. Glycerin, a by-product of biodiesel production, can be sold after appropriate processing to the industry as a raw material and thus generates further added value. Dr Edgar Ahn BDI CSO and member of the Executive Board: " This exemplary project demonstrates that with the right, flexible BioDiesel technology and inexpensive access to raw materials derived from waste, business success can be achieved – even at a time of great uncertainty on the biofuel market." 01/09/2014 

Konica Minolta's Singapore Beach Cleanup Waste Is Converted to Energy

Konica Minolta Konica Minolta's employees and their families in Singapore helped clean trash from the eastern shoreline last month as part of the country's National Environmental Agency's (NEA) Seashore Life Programme. Teru Talk inquired as to the fate of that collected refuse and just today received an enlightening response from the NEA. All trash collected as part of the beach cleanup initiative was processed by NEA's Solid Waste Management Infrastructure, which includes four waste to energy incinerators. Combustion heat generates steam to drive turbines for power generation. Ferrous metals are recovered and the residual ash is barged 30 miles to the Semaku Landfill. Singapore's waste generation has increased six-fold between 1970 and 2012, peaking at 8,016 tonnes per day. In 2012, Singapore's Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources announced institution of a country-wide Uniform Fee for waste disposal and a consolidation of all collection services; fees are to remain constant for seven-year cycles. Of the 7.3 million tonnes of trash generated by Singapore in 2012, 4.3 million tonnes were recycled and recovered with final disposal of 2.9 million tonnes for a national recycling rate of 60%. 01/08/2014

NCSU Researchers Develop Simple Method to Remove Lignin from Biomass

North Carolina State UniversityNorth Carolina State University (NCSU) has announced that its researchers have developed a simple, effective, and relatively inexpensive technique for removing lignin from the plant material used to make biofuels, which may drive down the cost of biofuel production. Lignin, nature’s way of protecting plant cell walls, is difficult to break down or remove from plant materials, such as the non-edible parts of the corn plant. The researchers began by making a number of liquid salts called “protic ionic liquids” (PIL). The new process dissolves lignin into the PIL, leaving cellulose behind as a solid. Ezinne Achinivu, Ph.D. student in chemical and biomolecular engineering at NCSU and lead author of a study describing the new technique: "This PIL-based technique can be easily scaled up and is likely to be both more energy efficient and less expensive than existing biomass pretreatment techniques for removing lignin.” The NCSU researchers have published their technique in "Lignin Extraction from Biomass with Protic Ionic Liquids." 01/08/2014  

Air Products to Produce Food-Grade Liquid CO2 at Wisconsin Ethanol Plant

Air ProductsPennsylvania based Air Products and Chemicals, Inc has announced that it will operate a facility to produce 250 tons per day (tpd) of liquid CO2 at Big River Resources’ established ethanol plant in Boyceville, Wisconsin under a long-term agreement. Air Products plans to market food and beverage-grade liquid CO2 from the facility, which is expected to begin production in early 2014. CO2 is a co-product of ethanol production that is present during the fermentation stage. The liquid CO2 is cleaned of any residual alcohol, compressed, and sold to other industries for uses such as in carbonating beverages, manufacturing dry ice, and flash freezing meat. Jim Leiting, chief operating officer at Big River Resources, LLC: "This is our first foray into working with a CO2 company at any of our ethanol plants and we are very happy to begin this collaboration with Air Products." 01/07/2014

Metso Spins Off Energy, Pulp, and Paper Business as Valmet Corporation

Valmet CorporationFinland based Metso Corporation has announced completion of a partial demerger, transferring all business related to the company's pulp, paper, and power business into a new entity, Valmet Corporation. The new company was listed with the Finnish Trade Register on December 31, 2013 to imitate trading as of January 2, 2014. Metso's Mining and Construction and Automation business form the continuing operations of Metso Corporation. Metso supplied the gasification technology for the world’s largest biomass gasification plant inaugurated March 2013 in Finland. Valmet now offers the technical solutions to convert biomass and waste to energy. including fluidized bed boilers, gasifiers, power plants, integrated pyrolysis, equipment for environmental protection, as well as wide selection of life cycle services. 01/07/2014

USFS Releases 2013 Technical Report on 'Southern Forest Futures Project'

US Forest ServiceThe US Forest Service’s (USFS) Southern Research Station has recently released its 2013-updated Technical Report and Summary Report on the Southern Forest Futures Project (SFFP). The SFFP began in 2008 to provide a science-based “futuring” analysis of the forests of the 13 States of the Southeastern United States, and to understand the various forces reshaping the forests. Chartered by the USFS Southern Region and Southern Research Station along with the Southern Group of State Foresters, the project examines a variety of possible futures and how they might shape forests and their many ecosystems and values. Chapter 10 of the new report addresses Forest Biomass Based Energy, analyzing the potential effects of the emergence of a wood bioenergy market on southern forests, forest owners, traditional forest product industries, and forest ecosystems. Among the key issues: how markets for wood for energy production might evolve, and how this might impact traditional forest product industries and landowners; the status of technologies for large-scale production of wood bioenergy products; how bioenergy policies could impact forest landowners and forest industry; and effects of woody bioenergy markets on the health of forest ecosystems. 01/05/2014 

EPA Releases Proposed Rule for Residential Wood Heater Performance

US Environmental Protection AgencyThe US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a detailed Pre-Publication Notice on January 3, 2014 on "Standards of Performance for New Residential Wood Heaters, New Residential Hydronic Heaters and Forced-Air Furnaces, and New Residential Masonry Heaters." The proposed regulations have been issued in advance of formal publication in the Federal register to provide an extra two or three weeks for public review and comment. John Ackerly, President of the Alliance for Green heat, has provided a review of the proposed Rule, stating, "We can harness the huge demand for this type of renewable energy if the stoves and boilers are clean enough. We believe the emissions numbers released by the EPA today are reasonable and achievable and will help the wood stove industry grow and thrive in coming decades." A public hearing has been scheduled for February 26, 2014 in Boston, MA and requires registration if you wish to present oral testimony. Comments may be submitted electronically to <>, attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0734. 01/04/2014

IET Schedules Manchester Heat Debate on Low Carbon Heating Systems

Institution of Engineering and TechnologyThe Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has scheduled the Manchester Heat Debate for January 29, 2014 in Manchester, United Kingdom,  to obtain knowledge and opinion regarding the provision of low carbon heating systems from local stakeholders in the Energy and Built Environment sectors. Topics to be covered include combined heat and power (CHP), heat pumps, fuel sources, control systems, market conditions and government directives and incentives. From the debate, industries can begin to develop an approach to providing solutions to those issues which are felt to be the most important today and in the future (2015-2030). With the knowledge gained from different regional debates, an IET positional document on Heating will be produced for the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). There will be a guided tour of the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) Media City CHP facility prior to the debate. The event is free, but online registration is required. 01/04/2014

Colorado Spring's Drake Coal Plant Starts Biomass Power Co-Firing Pilot

Colorado Springs UtilitiesColorado Springs Utilities (CSU) began a biomass power pilot project at its Martin Drake Power Plant at the beginning of the year to determine the best co-firing blend of woody biomass and coal. The pilot is taking place at the Drake Plant using existing equipment originally designed to burn coal. CSU has teamed with a local supplier, Rocky Top Resources, who will provide 50 to 60 tons of wood chips, or biomass, a day. West Range Reclamation will provide additional biomass as required, and Fort Carson will contribute its natural wood waste. Wood chips must be ground to less than an inch in size to work with the existing coal burning equipment. Although the project began on January 1st, the plant began combusting a biomass blend on December 18th, and is addressing any issues that arise within the system. The energy generated from the program will equal approximately two percent of Drake's total electric output, which also burns coal and natural gas. The Colorado Springs City Council in the role of CSU's board contracted the engineering firm HDR last May to assess alternatives for when and how the Drake Plant could be de-commissioned. HDR's final report was released in December and considered 11 study alternatives, eight of which were pre-determined by the task force directing the study. None of the study alternatives considered biomass co-firing, although the subject was addressed and rejected in the report section that discussed screening of alternatives. The City Council will summarize the final report and make a decision process recommendation to the full Utilities Board this month. A decision about the future of the Drake Plant is expected sometime in 2014. 01/04/2014  

US EPA Rules MaxWest's Sludge Gasification System is Not An Incinerator

MaxWest Environmental SystemsThe US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ruled that federal emissions guidelines and compliance rules for sewage sludge incinerators do not apply to a sludge gasifier developed by Florida based MaxWest Environmental Systems, Inc. In a December 19, 2013 letter, the EPA held that MaxWest's technology that breaks down sewage sludge through heating in an oxygen-starved environment prevents combustion, and thus will not be regulated as an incinerator. The EPA further exempted from incinerator regulations the second energy-saving step in the process, a "thermal oxidizer process heater" in which gases released from thermochemical reactions are scrubbed and then burned to create heat needed to dry incoming sludge. 01/03/2014

MMPA's Hometown BioEnergy Facility in Minnesota Starts Operations

Minnesota Municipal Power AgencyConstruction and commissioning of the 8 MW Hometown BioEnergy in Le Sueur County, Minnesota, has been completed and the facility is now operational. The anaerobic digestion plant converts food processing and agricultural waste to biogas for electricity, liquid fertilizer, and renewable solid fuel from undigested biomass. Hometown BioEnergy is one component of the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency's (MMPA) renewable energy portfolio. Danish company Xergi A/S was selected in 2011 to provide  the facility design and supply key components, including its FLEXFEED® module for the pre-treatment of the biomass before it is fed into the anaerobic digester, and  the SCADA system to control and monitor biogas plant operations. Derick Dahlen, CEO of Minneapolis-based Avant Energy, Inc, the company that developed the biogas project and has long managed the MMPA: "We see ourselves being more financially effective by storing the gas and making electricity when it has greater value." Minnesota's other biogas digesters are mostly smaller units at dairy farms that use the technology for manure management, odor reduction and small-scale power generation. 01/03/2014

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