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Teru TalkJune 2015 News and Matters of Interest

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B&W Celebrates New Advanced Waste-to-Energy Plant in West Palm Beach

Babcock & WilcoxThe Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) has announced the grand opening of the Palm Beach Renewable Energy Facility 2 (PBREF2) in Florida, the Solid Waste Authority (SWA) of Palm Beach County’s new advanced waste-to-energy facility. The facility was designed, manufactured, and constructed by a consortium of Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc (B&W PGG) and KBR, Inc to be the cleanest and most-advanced power plant of its kind in North America. PBREF 2 will provide power for an estimated 44,000 homes and businesses while processing more than 1 million tons of post-recycled municipal solid waste each year. This will reduce reliance on the landfill by up to 90%, while also recycling an estimated 27,000 tons of steel, aluminum, copper and other metals annually. The SWA and the consortium celebrated the facility’s grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, June 27. The plan consists of three mass-burn, waste-to-energy boilers, capable of generating up to 95 megawatts of electricity and an environmental control system. B&W PGG’s emissions control technologies, including a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system, pulse jet fabric filters, spray-dry absorbers (SDA) and continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) are designed to capture and control pollutants, including mercury and heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates, within permitted levels. The plant also features DynaGrate® air-cooled and water-cooled combustion grates and will be operated under a 20 year agreement by B&W PGG’s subsidiary, Palm Beach Resource Recovery Corporation, which has operated the adjacent PBREF1 since 1989. 06/30/2015

Amyris and Total Proceed with Restructure of Jet Fuel Joint Venture

AmyrisCalifornia company Amyris, Inc has announced its agreement on key business terms with Total Energies Nouvelles Activités USA (a wholly owned subsidiary of France based Total S.A) (Total) for restructuring its fuels joint venture to open the way for proceeding with commercialization of its jet fuel technology over the coming years. Following the restructuring, Total would own 75% of the joint venture with Amyris. In conjunction with this transaction, Amyris has also agreed on key business terms with Total and Temasek, another major stockholder of Amyris, under which, and as part of a plan to strengthen the balance sheet, these stockholders would exchange an aggregate of $138 million of convertible debt for Amyris common stock at a price of $2.30 per share, with an additional $37 million of outstanding convertible debt being restructured to eliminate Amyris's repayment obligation at maturity and provide for mandatory conversion to Amyris common stock. These joint venture and exchange transactions are subject to the execution of definitive agreements between Amyris and the parties. 06/30/2015

United Airlines Invests $30M in Fulcrum BioEnergy

Fulcrum BioenergyCalifornia based Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc and United Airlines, Inc have announced that United Airlines has made a $30 million equity investment in Fulcrum and will have the option to directly participate in Fulcrum's waste-to-jet fuel plants across North America. United has also negotiated a long-term supply agreement with Fulcrum and, subject to availability, will have the opportunity to purchase at least 90 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel a year for a minimum of 10 years at a cost that is competitive with conventional jet fuel. This represents the biggest strategic partnership in the biofuels and aviation industries and Fulcrum's second direct investment by an airline. Fulcrum has established strong strategic partnerships with industry leaders that are also significant investors in Fulcrum. 06/30/2015

McInnis Cement and ACF - St. Elzear Sign Biomass Cooperative Agreement

McInnis CementQuebec, Canada company McInnis Cement and the Forestry Cooperative Association - St. Elzear (ACF – St. Elzear) have announced the signing of a cooperative agreement to study the feasibility of using forest biomass as an auxiliary fuel for the cement plant under construction in Port-Daniel-Gascons. The utilization of forest biomass as an alternative to fossil fuel would enable the McInnis cement plant to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). In order to take advantage of the reduction, McInnis Cement has provided the equipment necessary for the use of this resource at its new facility. Forest biomass is a fuel source in abundant supply in Gaspésie. McInnis Cement requires a local long-term quality source of supply at competitive costs. ACF - St. Elzear is capable of supplying forest residues, wood chips, sawdust, shavings, and bark whose utilization by the cement plant would be beneficial. 06/29/2015

Oregon Enacts Law Exempting Biomass CO2 Emissions as Carbon Neutral

State of OregonOn the 18th of June Oregon's Governor Kate Brown signed into law Senate Bill 752, which exempts carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion or decomposition of biomass under Oregon law, except where necessary for compliance with the federal Clean Air Act. The bill was introduced by Senators Knopp and Edwards as an emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of public peace, health and safety. In the new law, “biomass” means: (A) Nonfossilized and biodegradable organic materials that originate from plants, animals and microorganisms and that are products, byproducts, residues or wastes from agriculture, forestry and related industries; (B) Nonfossilized and biodegradable organic fractions of industrial and municipal wastes; and (C) Gases and liquids recovered from the decomposition of nonfossilized and biodegradable organic matter. The bill was first read in February of this year; it brought heated debate from both supporters and detractors, pitting the Northwest Paper and Pulp industry against the Oregon chapter of the Sierra Club. The enrolled and chaptered bill became effective upon signing. 06/29/2015  

Suez Environnement Inaugurates New Organic Reuse Centre In France

Suez environnementParis based SUEZ environnement has announced the inauguration of a new organic reuse centre that features a methanation unit developed entirely by the Group. The startup of this new unit in Faulquemont, 40km from the city of Metz, France, represents a concrete step forwards in the energy transition of the region. The new unit at the centre reuses organic waste from industry, retailers, local authorities, and agriculture as new energy resources. This green energy is used locally to meet 70% of the needs of the neighboring ISMERT industrial company, which specializes in the cleaning of tanks and containers, and also supplies electricity to the mains network of the city of Metz. The centre will transform up to 19,000 tons of waste from the region into new energy resources each year, producing 4,000 MWh of green heat and 4,000 MWh of green electricity, the equivalent of the electricity consumed by 1,000 households. Each year, the centre will also transform 35,000 tons of organic waste (urban sludge, plant waste, digestate from the methanation process) into fertilizers and compost that meets the applicable standards. 06/26/2015

Bullfrog Power Launches Green Transportation Fuel

Bullfrog PowerCanadian company Bullfrog Power® has announced the launch of green fuel, a new solution to help advance the shift to a more renewably powered transportation system. Bullfrog Power's green fuel is an earth-friendly, renewable alternative to liquid fossil fuel, allowing climate-conscious businesses in Canada to reduce the environmental impact of their transportation. With the introduction of green fuel to the market, Bullfrog Power is providing much needed funding that can help biofuel producers grow their business at a critical stage for their industry. For the launch of green fuel, Bullfrog Power is sourcing biodiesel from producers that repurpose waste streams such as cooking oils from restaurants and kitchen facilities. 06/26/2015  

CEC Proposes Awards for Early and Pre-Commercial Biofuels Development

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has issued a Notice of Proposed Awards for Grant Solicitation PON-14-602, Biofuels Early and Pre-Commercial Technology Development, released in October 2014. The grant solicitation was an offer to fund projects that put emphasis on transformative technology solutions to significant biofuels industry problems. Project applicants proposed for funding include Altex Technology Corporation for Biomass Conversion to Synthetic Gasoline System (BCSGS), award: $999,993; and West Biofuels, LLC for Production of Advanced Renewable Fuels Ethanol and Value-added Chemicals from Biomass Residuals, award: $1,000,000. Funding is contingent upon approval of these projects at a publicly noticed CEC Business Meeting and execution of a grant agreement. 06/25/2015

Mixed Waste Processing May Increase Recycling and MSW Diversion Rates

American Chemistry CouncilThe American Chemistry Council has announced a new report that looks at processing mixed waste to extract recyclables finds potential to significantly increase recycling rates of certain materials and diversion rates of municipal solid waste (MSW) in general. These results are primarily due to improvements in processing technologies, such as optical sensors that can identify and separate specific plastics. The report, The Evolution of Mixed Waste Processing Facilities, 1970-Today by Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc (GBB) of Fairfax, Virginia, notes that mixed waste processing (MWP) facilities use a variety of new and existing technologies to separate recyclable commodities from a stream of mixed trash, or MSW. Technological advances make today’s mixed waste processing facilities “different and in many respects better” than older versions, the report’s authors say, which could enable communities to recycle at much higher rates than under existing collection systems. The report was commissioned by the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council, which is examining methods to increase recovery of plastics. 06/25/2015

Berkeley Lab Validates Innovative Microvi Bio-Ethanol Technology

Microvi BiotechnologiesMicrovi Biotechnologies has demonstrated breakthrough improvements to biological ethanol production while working with the Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit (ABPDU) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). Microvi’s technology uses engineered biocatalyst composites which have been synthetically designed to 1) alleviate ethanol toxicity on the cells which produce it, 2) induce higher feedstock conversion yields and efficiencies, and 3) enable robust and repeatable continuous fermentation. The technology, now commercially available, is also designed to limit microbial contaminants in the production process. A preliminary techno-economic evaluation by Microvi indicates that the combined impact of higher productivity, increased titers, and near complete conversion of feedstock to ethanol represents a strong case for cost reduction by ethanol and bio-based chemical producers. 06/25/2015

Alphabet Energy's Modular PowerModule™ Converts Waste Heat to Power

Alphabet EnergyCalifornia based Alphabet Energy, Inc has announced the PowerModule™ as a standalone product that can convert almost any industrial source of exhaust heat into valuable electricity. Now, any energy-intensive industry from automotive, commercial trucking, industrial manufacturing, defense, oil and gas, to mining can custom design solutions to fit their unique needs and convert exhaust heat into valuable electricity. The Alphabet Energy PowerModule™ is a solid-state, liquid-cooled electrical generator that converts exhaust heat into electricity using Alphabet Energy’s proprietary PowerBlocks™ thermoelectric materials. Thoroughly tested in Alphabet Energy’s first product, the E1™ Thermoelectric Generator (there are 32 PowerModules in an E1™), the PowerModule™ directly accepts exhaust heat with a temperature ranging from 350 – 600 °C and transforms it into DC electricity, delivering up to 850 watts of power. According to TechNavio, 20 to 50 percent of global industrial energy is wasted as heat. In the United States alone there is the potential to convert waste heat from over 2,900 industrial sites into 14,594 MW of power. 06/24/2015

DOE to Issue Funding Opportunity for Innovative Bioenergy Technologies

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has announced its intent to issue, on behalf of the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), funding opportunity announcement (FOA) targeting innovative technologies and solutions to help advance bioenergy development. “Bioenergy Technologies Incubator 2” (No. DE-FOA-0001320) is intended to fund projects that will pursue research and development (R&D) not significantly represented in BETO’s current portfolio. The FOA will seek to support projects that facilitate BETO’s goals in the following technology areas: Algal Biofuels R&D, Feedstocks Supply and Logistics R&D, and Conversion Technologies R&D. It is anticipated that this FOA will be posted to EERE Exchange in or around July 2015. 06/24/2015

GIB Invests £2m in SHARC Sewage Heat Recovery Projects Across Scotland

UK Green Investment BankGreen Investment Bank (GIB) has announced that the Equitix-managed fund Energy Savings Investments (ESI) is investing £2m in a sewage heat recovery system installation program in locations across Scotland, beginning with Borders College. An additional £2m of private sector capital has been mobilized from the Equitix Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF). It will be the first time the sewage heat recovery technology developed by SHARC Energy Systems has been deployed in the United Kingdom (UK). The pilot project will see heat extracted from wastewater intercepted from Scottish Water’s Galashiels network. The heat will then be sold to Borders College under a 20-year purchase agreement resulting in energy and cost savings and a reduction in carbon emissions. Installation of the system is scheduled to start later this month and completion is expected by the end of the summer. 06/24/2015

Valmet Supplies Automation to New Waste-To-Energy Plant in Worcestershire

ValmetFinland company Valmet Corporation will supply automation to the new EnviRecover waste-to-energy plant in Hartlebury, Worcestershire, United Kingdom (UK). The delivery will take place in November 2015, and the system will be handed over to the customer in November 2016. Switzerland based Hitachi Zosen Inova AG (HZI) is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the EnviRecover Hartlebury plant. This is the ninth time that HZI has chosen Valmet's automation technology for its waste-to-energy plant projects. Earlier deliveries have been made to waste-to-energy plants in Zistersdorf, Austria; Bergen, Norway; Riverside, Newhaven, STV 4&5, Ferrybridge and Greatmoor, UK; and Vaasa, Finland. Valmet's delivery includes a Valmet DNA automation system, an information management system and a safety system. In addition engineering, installation and commissioning are included in the delivery. 06/24/2015

 

Tennessee Awards $250K Grant for PHGE's Waste Gasification Plant

PHG EnergyNashville based PHG Energy (PHGE) has announced that a $250,000 grant of matching funds has been awarded to The City of Lebanon to assist with construction of a new waste-to-energy facility that will reduce landfill usage and provide clean electrical power. The funding comes from the Clean Tennessee Energy Grant program administered by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). The biomass gasification plant will convert as much as 64 tons per day of wood waste, sewer sludge, and used tires to electricity for use at the City’s wastewater treatment plant on Hartman Drive. The City contracted with PHGE in February of this year to construct the facility. Completion is expected in mid-2016.The Lebanon project will deploy what PHGE believes is the world’s largest downdraft gasifier. The new design has been vetted through a rigorous testing process for more than two years at PHGE’s research facility. A standard PHGE gasifier can convert up to 12 tons of feedstock per day to fuel gas, while the Lebanon model will process up to 64 tons per day without substantially increasing the footprint of the plant. 06/23/2015

CRI Licenses IH2 Technology to SynSel for Norwegian Biomass to Fuel Demo

CRINorway company SynSel Energi AS, a member of SynSel Energy Inc (SynSel), has entered into an IH2® process demonstration license agreement with United Kingdom based CRI/Criterion Catalyst Company Ltd, a member of the CRI Catalyst group.  IH2 technology is a continuous catalytic thermo-chemical process which converts a broad range of forestry/agricultural residues and municipal wastes directly into renewable hydrocarbon transportation fuels and/or blend stocks. The IH2 process was developed by Gas Technology Institute (GTI) of Des Plaines, Illinois, a research, development, and training organization serving energy markets. The 5 metric ton/day demonstration plant located in Grenland, Norway is to be completed over a period of several months by Zeton, Inc (Zeton) of Ontario, Canada. The IH2 demonstration plant will be integrated into an existing third-party petrochemical manufacturing site, allowing for optimized capital and operating expenses. Design feedstock for the facility will be forest residues including slash, sawdust, bark and wood chips with the ability to process select agricultural and municipal residues as well.  IH2 hydrocarbons produced from these feedstocks span the gasoline, jet and diesel range. 06/23/2015  

Viridor Energy-from-Waste Residue Will Become Carbon8 Building Blocks

ViridorViridor announced that it has signed a ten-year contract with Carbon8 Aggregates Ltd  for the removal, treatment, and recycling of Air Pollution Control residue (APCr) from Viridor's Energy Recovery Facilities (ERFs) in Exeter, Cardiff, Ardley and Peterborough. APCr is a by-product of the filtering process to clean exhaust gases before they exit the facility through the flue stacks that has traditionally been disposed of in a licensed landfill site. Carbon8 will treat the residue with waste carbon dioxide (CO2) in specialist mixer vessels. The treated residue will then be mixed with various binders and fillers prior to being pelletized with more CO2 to form a lightweight aggregate material. The Environment Agency considers the aggregate to be a product in its own right, having been assessed as an ‘end of waste’ material. This product has various applications, but is principally used in the production of carbon negative building blocks. Viridor is already committed to recycling the incinerator bottom ash from its ERFs This contract will allow the company's ERFs to continue in their pursuit of a zero waste to landfill solution, and to ensure that output materials are fully recycled. 06/22/2015 

EPA Releases 2013 Sustainable Materials Facts and Figures Report

US EPAThe US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced publication of the "Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures 2013" Report, which is released every two years. The report was previously named the "Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures." The report's new name emphasizes the importance of sustainable materials management (SMM). SMM refers to the use and reuse of materials in the most productive and sustainable way across their entire life cycle. SMM conserves resources, reduces waste, slows climate change and minimizes the environmental impacts of the materials we use. New this year, is additional information on source reduction (waste prevention) of municipal solid waste (MSW), information on historical tipping fees for MSW, and information on the Construction and Demolition Debris generation, which is outside of the scope of MSW. A fact sheet, the full report, and methodologies used are available online. 06/18/2015

CARB Schedules Public Symposium on 50% Petroleum Use Reduction Goal

California Air Resources BoardThe California Air Resources Board (CARB) has scheduled a public symposium for July 8, 2015 from 9:00am to 1:30pm to discuss reduction of petroleum-sourced transportation fuels by 50%, by 2030. This transportation focus is one of a series of public forums addressing Governor Brown’s five key climate change strategy pillars identified in his January 2015 inaugural address: (1) reducing today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent; (2) increasing from one-third to 50 percent our electricity derived from renewable sources; (3) doubling the efficiency savings achieved at existing buildings and making heating fuels cleaner; (4) reducing the release of methane, black carbon, and other short lived climate pollutants; and (5) managing farm and rangelands, forests and wetlands so they can store carbon. The meeting materials can be found at the ARB’s Climate Change website at http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/cc.htm. An agenda and presentation material will be posted on the website prior to the symposium. 06/18/2015 

Genomatica Advances the Commercial Readiness of Biomass for Chemicals

GenomaticaCalifornia based Genomatica, Inc has announced significant progress in harnessing cellulosic biomass for commercial production of high-quality chemicals rather than just fuels. Through advances in strain engineering and process design, Genomatica has developed clear guidance for biomass pretreatment technology developers to enable their technologies to work better with commercial bioprocesses for chemicals. As part of the current work, Genomatica developed a ‘sugar specification’ for biomass pretreatment technologies to produce sugars compatible with commercially-proven GENO™ processes; assessed ten technologies against that standard; and demonstrated that at least four can currently produce sugars suitable for commercial production of chemicals from a quality standpoint. Technical details are available in a March 2015 presentation and June 2015 report. Genomatica’s work was supported in part by grant DE-EE0005002 from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO). 06/17/2015

Bio-on Technology Makes Bio-Plastics from Biodiesel Production By-Products

Bio-onItalian company Bio-on S.p.A. has announced completion of another phase in the development of the technology for making polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) from glycerol, and is ready to grant licenses for this new technology. Glycerol, also known as crude glycerol, is a waste product of biodiesel production and is present in large quantities around the world. Europe currently produces approximately 4 million tons per year. PHAs are bioplastics that can replace a number of traditional plastics currently made with petrochemical processes using hydrocarbons. PHAs guarantee the same thermo-mechanical properties with the advantage of being completely naturally biodegradable. Bio-on technology can be used in facilities producing from 2,000 tons/year to 10,000 tons/year of PHAs. 06/17/2015  

Veolia Is Appointed Operator Of Ireland’s Largest Biomass Power Plant

VeoliaVeolia has announced that its subsidiary in Ireland, Veolia Energy Services, has been awarded a EUR 450 million-contract over 15 years by Mayo Renewable Power to operate a biomass power plant in Killala, Co. Mayo, in Ireland. The plant, which will be the largest independent biomass power plant in Ireland, will provide 42.5MW of Combined Heat and Power (CHP), enough electricity to power the equivalent of 68,000 homes. In addition to operating and maintaining the power production plant and the adjacent fuel processing plant, Veolia will also supply the total biomass fuel requirement for the facility. The plant will use similar technology to that applied at Veolia’s biomass facilities at Merritt and Fort St. James in British Colombia, Canada, which are among the largest plants in North America. The plant will be in commercial operation in mid-2017. 06/16/2015

Smurfit Kappa Sustainability Report Highlights Zero Waste to Landfill Progress

Smurfit KappaMultinational paper milling company Smurfit Kappa has released its Corporate Sustainability Report for 2014, highlighting that last year, 12 of its 38 global paper mills reached zero waste to landfill. The report, entitled "Sustainability in Every Fibre" also points to total chain of custody control over raw materials, 21.6% reduction in carbon emissions per tonne of paper produced, and 28% reduction in the amount of organics in effluent returned to the environment. Smurfit Kappa has also launched a waste to landfill assessment project to map opportunities to reduce waste throughout its operations, enabling specific waste reduction targets. The company is vertically integrated, operating all aspects of its value chain from raw material sourcing to final product distribution. This includes a global fiber recycling and recovery operations, and recycled fiber production mills. The report notes that "paper-based packaging is one of the most recycled materials globally, and can be converted to a valuable resource for paper production, used up to 8-10 times through its wood fiber cycle, before being further used as a source of bioenergy or biodegradable material, particularly in agricultural applications." 06/16/2015

Andritz to Supply Drying Equipment for California Biosolids Recovery Plant AndritzHeadquartered in Austria, the Andritz technology group has announced selection of its advanced paddle dryer technology for installation at the KORE Infrastructure biosolids-to-biofuels development in the City of Rialto, Riverside County, California. Andritz Separation supplies and services the solid/liquid separation industrial sector. The KORE plant is a biosolids to liquid fuel process which utilizes pyrolysis to generate the liquid fuel. KORE has scaled down and re-engineered a historically large-scale industrial process to create a modular, closed-loop system that transforms biosolids to diesel fuel. The system consists of three redundant primary operating systems, each with two sub-systems. The first part of the system uses a fully odor-controlled, enclosed solids handling facility to receive biosolids. The second stage of the system is responsible for the pyrolytic disintegration of biosolid material. The process then captures the gases and removes dust and dirt particles via a totally enclosed cyclone separator, venturi separator and condenser. The KORE process is also designed to capture and separate all heavy metals from the gas stream during the gas cleanup procedure. An Initial Study with air quality analysis was submitted to the City of Rialto in February of 2015. 06/16/2015 

Shanks Launches New CR Targets Focused on Waste-to-Product Vision

ShanksShanks Group plc has launched an ambitious set of five year Corporate Responsibility (CR) targets for 2015-2010 that support the Group’s clear plans to deliver its waste-to-product vision. The new targets are wider in scope and more demanding than Shanks’ previous CR targets, and are the result of an extensive assessment of the most important issues for the company’s different stakeholder groups. The five year program covers four overarching objectives within the areas of: health and safety, sustainability, community engagement, and employee satisfaction. The launch of the new objectives and accompanying targets follows the successful completion of Shanks’ previous five year CR objectives. These objectives, which were set in 2010, were in the key areas of recycling and recovery, carbon avoidance and health and safety. The company achieved all three of these goals, with a recycling and recovery rate increased from 74% to 82%, carbon avoidance nearly doubled to 1.41 million tonnes and a reduction in serious accidents over the period of 39% against a target of 25%. 06/15/2015

Due 09/04/2015: Comments to EC on Functioning of EU Waste Markets

European CommissionThe European Commission (EC) has opened a consultation to obtain a better understanding of the nature and the extent of regulatory failures causing undue distortions to European Union (EU) waste markets for recycling and recovery. In January 2015, the EC launched a study to examine obstacles and regulatory failures affecting the functioning of waste markets in the EU. The information gathered through the consultation will contribute to the finalization of the above-mentioned study and will be taken into consideration in preparation of the new initiative on the Circular Economy. The EU's waste management industry has a high potential for growth and job creation. According to existing rules, waste to be prepared for re-use, recycled, or subject to other recovery activities should move freely within the EU, without any unjustified restrictions. In some cases, however, the regulatory environment may hamper the efficient functioning of waste markets and fail to ensure optimal implementation of the waste hierarchy. The consultation period is open until September 4, 2015. 06/15/2015 

Global Bioenergies Secures EU 1.4M Financing for Bio-Isobutene Program

Global BioenergiesGlobal Bioenergies has announced that it has been granted a “Zero Percent Interest Innovation Loan” (Prêt à Taux Zéro Innovation) from Bpifrance to adapt its isobutene process to certain specific industrial environments. Isobutene is one of the key petrochemical building blocks. Fifteen million tons of isobutene are derived from oil each year and converted into fuels, plastics and elastomers. Global Bioenergies is developing a synthetic biology process to produce isobutene alternatively, from renewable resources (sugar, cereals and agricultural or forestry waste). This financing, which allows Global Bioenergies to strengthen its leadership in the field of fermentative isobutene, is structured in the form of a 1.4 million euro interest free loan over seven years. 06/12/2015

Idaho City Meets Sludge Disposal Regs with GE’s Monsal Technology

General ElectricGE has announced the City of Rexburg, Idaho, has selected the company’s Monsal* advanced anaerobic digestion and Monsal 70 technologies to treat biosolids (sewage waste) at the City’s wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). GE’s Monsal technology uses an advanced anaerobic digestion process to treat biosolids, and GE’s Monsal 70 system pasteurizes the sludge, creating “Class A” biosolids for disposal. The City selected GE’s technology because it needed a new solution to treat sludge from the WWTP prior to landfill disposal in order to ensure it complied with the EPA’s sludge disposal standards. The biogas generated from the anaerobic digestion process will be used to fuel the pasteurization boilers. A heat recovery system is being installed to capture and convert the biogas to heat. GE is scheduled to deliver its equipment by fall 2015, and the digestion system is expected to begin operating in late 2015. 06/12/2015

States May Apply for $100M USDA Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership Grants

USDAFollowing an announcement by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on May 29, 2015, the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) has now announced that all 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. may now apply for up to $100 million in grants under the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP). The funding is to support the infrastructure needed to make more renewable fuel options available to American consumers. The Farm Service Agency will administer BIP. Through BIP, USDA will award competitive grants, matched by states, to expand the infrastructure for distribution of higher blends of renewable fuel. This new investment seeks to double the number of fuel pumps capable of supplying higher blends of renewable fuel to consumers. This will expand markets for farmers, support rural economic growth and the jobs that come with it, and ultimately give consumers more choices at the pump. Applications must be submitted by July 15, 2015, using www.grants.gov. To locate, search by funding opportunity number "USDA-FSA-2015-22." 06/12/2015  

EU Funds UPM Valchem Project to Demo Wood to Chemicals Value Chain

UPMFinland based UPM has announced that its ValChem (Value added chemical building blocks and lignin from wood) project has received EUR 13.1 million funding from the European Union (EU). The EUR 18.5 million project will be done in cooperation with Sekab, METabolic EXplorer and the Technische Universität Darmstadt. The ValChem project combines the competences of forest, chemical and bio-technology industries to realize a sustainable and innovative integrated process from wood to end products. The aim of the project is to demonstrate the technical and economic viability of an integrated biochemicals process, covering the entire value chain from wood raw material to a selected platform chemical and lignin based performance chemicals. ValChem utilizes the existing demonstration plants of the project partners to produce wood-based chemicals that are competitive with fossil alternatives in terms of quality and production costs. The wood raw material will be used as efficiently as possible and only sustainably sourced PEFC and FSC certified wood will be used. 06/11/2015

Cambi Thermal Hydrolysis Will be Installed at Atlantic WWTP in Virginia

CambiThe Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) Commission at its May 2015 meeting  approved a contract for the supply of a Cambi Thermal Hydrolysis Process (CambiTHP®) to be installed at the Atlantic Treatment Plant (WWTP). An expansion project was completed at the WWTP in 2010, and the CambiTHP® will be installed as part of a project to upgrade solids handling processes at the facility. The Atlantic Treatment Plant will be the third facility in the US to adopt the Cambi Thermal Hydrolysis process for enhancing the anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge. The Cambi process reduces the size and cost for anaerobic digestion, while allowing communities to convert the solids produced to create green renewable electricity and a Class A pathogen free biosolids. 06/11/2015  

USDA Assesses Study on Global Wood Pellet Demand Benefits to US Forests

USDAThe US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) chief economist has posted a positive review of an independent analysis of the increasing demand for wood pellets and its impact on the global economic market and the environment. The researchers found that the increased demand is resulting in more forest area, more forest investment, large greenhouse gas reductions, and little change in forest carbon inventories. The collaborative research was conducted by Duke University's Nicolas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and North Carolina State University, and was published in the journal Global Change Biology-Bioenergy. The study, entitled, "Sustainability Guidelines and Forest Market Response: An Assessment of European Union Pellet Demand in the Southeastern United States" examined how participation in those markets will affect forest inventories and carbon storage in this region and whether European Union (EU) sustainability guidelines for pellets can be met. EU sustainability guidelines require that biomass sources of heat and electricity, including wood pellets, meet initial greenhouse gas reductions of 35 percent—increasing to 60 percent by 2018. Galik and co-author Robert Abt combine—for the first time—an economic model of forest markets in the southeastern United States with spatially explicit information on sensitive forest lands to examine the implications of new demand for biomass sources under these guidelines and to track how that demand feeds into the economy. Their work shows that increased biomass demand would expand the area of southeastern forests by over 6 million acres and lead to a small increase—roughly 1.5 percent—in forest carbon storage by 2040 as compared with a scenario in which biomass demand remained at current levels. 06/10/2015

AnaeCo™ AD Plant at WMRC Project Approved for Electricity Grid Connection

AnaeCoAnaeCo Limited has announced that its first commercial scale 60,000tpa anaerobic digestion (AD) plant, part of the Western Metropolitan Regional Council (WMRC) Project, has achieved the key milestone of grid connection for export of electricity. The 1.2MW combined heat and power (CHP) generator installed at the AnaeCo™ plant in Shenton Park, Western Australia has now received the required technical and regulatory approvals from Western Power allowing for permanent connection to the electricity grid. The plant will be the first operational waste facility in Western Australia generating renewable electrical energy by processing municipal solid waste (MSW), and the first to incorporate AnaeCo’s patented organics recycling technology, the DiCOM™ bioconversion process, anywhere in the world. The generator is a dual fuel unit and will run on biogas generated during normal operations, complemented by natural gas to maintain the steady flow rate required by the generator. The electricity generated will be used to power operations at the plant with the surplus exported for use in the local Western Power owned electricity grid. Thermal energy recovered from the generator will be used to maintain process water at temperatures suitable for the anaerobic microbiology. 06/10/2015

Goodyear to Use Rice Husk Ash Silica to Manufacture Tires in China

Goodyear Tire & Rubber CompanyThe Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has reached a supply agreement with Yihai Food and Oil Industry in China for silica derived from rice husk ash. Goodyear will begin using the silica this year in a consumer tire that will be manufactured in its factory in Pulandian, China, and sold in China. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard J. Kramer: "This new silica benefits the environment in many ways: It reduces waste going into landfills; it requires less energy to produce; and it helps make tires more fuel efficient." Goodyear has tested silica derived from rice husk ash over the past two years at its Innovation Center in Akron and found its impact on tire performance to be equal to traditional sources. Silica is used as a reinforcing agent in tire tread compounds. Compared to carbon black, a traditional reinforcing agent for tires, silica reduces rolling resistance. Lower rolling resistance, in turn, improves a car's fuel economy. It also can have a positive impact on a tire's traction on wet surfaces. 06/10/2015 

Peel Environmental’s Renewable Energy Centre in Barnsley Gets Green Light

Peel EnvironmentalUnited Kingdom (UK) based Peel Environmental has announced that the Barnsley Council's Planning Board has approved Peel's proposed £65 million Renewable Energy Centre at the site of the former Houghton Main Colliery in Barnsley. The plans for the Houghton Main Renewable Energy Centre consist of a Timber Resource Recovery Centre that will use biomass to generate up to 20MW of energy for export to the grid. The facility will accept up to 150,000 tonnes of fuel per year, including construction and demolition waste timber, and will subject it to a process that recovers clean ferrous and non-ferrous material for recycling. The facility will use an advanced gasification process to generate enough energy to power around 49,000 homes. Peel Environmental has partnered with specialist developer Northern Bio Power at Houghton Main, who will build and operate the Energy Centre. 06/09/2015

Babcock & Wilcox Board Votes to Spin Off Clean Power Generation Business

Babcock & Wilcox North Carolina based The Babcock & Wilcox Company has announced that its Board of Directors  has formally approved the spin-off of the Power Generation business and creating a new public company. The spin-off results in the separation of nuclear engineering and manufacturing elements from those specializing in clean energy and environmental technologies. The nuclear focused company will be named BWX Technologies, Inc (BWXT) with its headquarters in Lynchburg, Virginia, and will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “BWXT” beginning July 1, 2015. The Power Generation business will be named Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, Inc (New B&W) and will be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. New B&W will also begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on July 1, 2015, using the ticker symbol “BW” and will continue to use the Babcock & Wilcox name. 06/09/2015

Neste and Total Fluides Collaborate on Bio-Based Solvents and Fluids

Neste CorporationFinland based Neste Corporation and Total Fluides have signed a collaborative agreement for the supply of Neste proprietary NEXBTL renewable isoalkane used by Total Fluides as feedstock to produce and develop innovative bio-based solvents and technical fluids. Total Fluides will market a new line of renewable fluids for numerous applications such as  paints and coatings, drilling fluids, solvents for emulsion polymerization, printing ink fluids, emollients for cosmetics and many others industrial and automotive fluids. Neste's NEXBTL renewable products have a comparable composition to that of their fossil equivalents and using Total Fluides' advanced technology, they can be transformed into materials with unique properties. Total Fluides will produce these new bio-based high-quality special fluids in its plant in France. 06/09/2015

New Tools Help Assess Potential to Generate Fuels From Used Plastics

American Chemistry CouncilThe American Chemistry Council (ACC) and Ocean Recovery Alliance have introduced two new tools aimed at helping communities around the globe evaluate their potential to adopt plastics-to-fuel technologies. A growing number of experts believe that harnessing more of our non-recycled plastics to create valuable fuels and manufacturing feedstocks could help dramatically reduce ocean litter and deliver economic and environmental benefits to local communities. The "2015 Plastics-to-Fuel Developers Guide" and "Cost Estimating Tool for Prospective Project Developers" were designed to help determine whether this rapidly growing family of technologies could be a good fit for meeting local waste management needs and local demand for the relevant commodities. Available at no cost, these tools provide for the first time an exploration of available commercial technologies, operational facilities, and things to consider when developing a business plan. 06/09/2015 

WELTEC ProMOS Bio Management System Wins Biogas Innovation Award

Weltec BiopowerWELTEC BIOPOWER has announced that it received the "Biogas Innovation Award of the German Agriculture" at the Biogas Innovation Conference in Osnabrück, Germany, in recognition of the company's ProMOS Bio management system. Using this software, operators of all biogas plants can easily collect, check, and analyze their operating data. The award in the "Economy" category honors particularly trend-setting technologies. The two-day event, which also nominates scientific innovations, is organized by the German Farmers' Association (DBV), the German Biogas Association (FvB) and the German BioEnergy Association (BBE). The profitability of the biogas plant operation is also the main concern of the regular functional upgrades that WELTEC makes available free of charge to ProMOS Bio licensees. 06/05/2015

Due 06/19/2015: Comments to Final CARB Low Carbon Fuel Standard Regs

California Air Resources BoardThe California Air Resources Board (CARB) proposes to readopt the Low Carbon Fuel Standard in July 2015, and has now released final modifications to the regulation in a 15-day public comment period. Many new definitions have been proposed, including for key terms Biomass, Biodiesel, Biogas, Bio-CNG, and Biomethane. An indirect land use change (iLUC) modifier to the carbon intensity value (CI) has been proposed, with an initial set of values for some biofuels. Additional documents and details are also available for review. Comments are only accepted on the modified text, and are due June 19, 2015 either online or by mail to Clerk of the Board, Air Resources Board, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, California 95814. 06/05/2015  

BESC and Mascoma Develop Revolutionary Microbe for Biofuel Production

MascomaNew Hampshire based Mascoma LLC and the US Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) have developed a revolutionary strain of yeast that could help significantly accelerate the development of biofuels from nonfood cellulosic plant matter. C5 FUEL™, engineered by researchers at Mascoma and BESC, features fermentation and ethanol yields that set a new standard for conversion of biomass sugars from pretreated corn stover, the non-edible portion of corn crops such as the stalk, converting up to 97 percent of the plant sugars into fuel. Researchers announced that while conventional yeast leaves more than one-third of the biomass sugars unused in the form of xylose, Mascoma’s C5 FUEL™ efficiently converts this xylose into ethanol, and it accomplishes this feat in less than 48 hours. The finding was presented yesterday at the 31st International Fuel Ethanol Workshop in Minneapolis. 06/04/2015

Genscape Marks Industry Milestone with First Verified D6 Ethanol Q-RINs

GenscapeGenscape, Inc has announced that its D6 ethanol Q-RINs were generated within the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Moderated Transaction System (EMTS) for the first time during the final week of April 2015. Four ethanol facilities are now generating Q-RINs, with more expected to come online in the coming months. Genscape is the EPA approved QAP provider for all four of these facilities, including three POET facilities. POET is one of the largest ethanol producers and marketers in North America. The introduction of D6 Q-RINs indicates that ethanol facilities see value in QAP services. D4 Q-RINS also have a proven track record of fetching a higher value than their unverified counterparts. 06/04/2015

Ensyn and Youngstown Thermal Sign RFO™ Biofuel Supply Agreement

EnsynEnsyn Fuels Inc has signed a contract with Youngstown Thermal LLC for the supply of up to 2,500,000 gallons per year of RFO™, Ensyn's advanced cellulosic biofuel. Deliveries will begin as soon as the fourth quarter of 2015 in time for the 2015-2016 winter season. Youngstown Thermal will use the RFO to displace up to 50% of its fuel needs in their natural gas fueled boiler. This five-year contract follows a series of successful RFO combustion demonstrations carried out at Youngstown Thermal in 2014. Ensyn's RFO is a liquid fuel produced from non-food solid biomass including forest and mill residues. RFO, essentially "liquid wood", displaces petroleum fuels in heating operations and is also a renewable feedstock for refineries for the production of spec gasoline and diesel. 06/04/2015

Alaska Airlines and WSU Partner to Advance Use of Aviation Biofuels

Alaska AirlinesAlaska Airlines is partnering with the Washington State University (WSU) led Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) to advance the production and use of alternative jet fuel made from forest residuals, the tree limbs and branches that remain after a forest harvest. As the airline partner for NARA, Alaska Airlines intends next year to fly a demonstration flight using 1,000 gallons of alternative biofuel being produced by the NARA team and its many partners. The planned flight signals a growing interest in the aviation industry for a viable alternative to conventional fossil fuel. NARA is a five-year project supported by the US Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and is comprised of 22 member organizations from industry, academia and government laboratories. 06/04/2015

IBI Releases On-Line Biochar Classification Tool

International Biochar InitiativeThe International Biochar Initiative (IBI) has released its Biochar Classification Tool, an on-line format for the identification and classification of types of biochar. Biochar is pyrolyzed biomass, a refined form of charcoal, usually made from organic wastes and residuals. The tool is based on physiochemical properties: Carbon Storage Value, Fertilizer Value, Liming Value, and Particle Particle Size Distribution. In addition, the tool provides the fertilizer grade for six plant nutrients (N, P, K, S, Ca and Mg). Note that 1) to classify a biochar with the tool users must have laboratory-measured values of: hydrogen to organic carbon ratio (H/Corg) and organic carbon concentrations (Corg); plant-available levels of P, K, S, and Mg; calcium carbonate equivalent (% CaCO3-eq); and particle size distribution, and 2) to provide the fertilizer grade users must have information on total and plant-available levels of N, P, K, S, Ca, and Mg. Detailed descriptions of each value category are provided. There is no charge for use of the new tool. 06/04/2015 

Ener-Core Obtains US Patent for System to Convert Waste Gases to Steam

Ener-CoreCalifornia based Ener-Core, Inc has obtained a US patent for a system that converts waste gases into steam or heat for industrial uses. It is the company's18th patent issued, and is the first to focus on the Power Oxidizer’s generation of steam rather than electricity as the end-product. Ener-Core’s technology converts waste gases into heat, while at the same time preventing those gases from being released into the atmosphere. A turbine can then use this heat and convert it into useful electricity. Ener-Core has already installed several of its turbine-based systems and secured a global license agreement with Dresser-Rand. The new patent is Ener-Core’s first to specifically claim the steam conversion capability of its Power Oxidizer. 06/02/2015

OriginClear Executes MOU with CSU Bakersfield for Technology Validation

OriginClearLos Angeles based OriginClear, Inc (formerly Origin Oil) has announced that the company executed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with California State University, Bakersfield (CSU Bakersfield). The MOU establishes a cooperative framework to research and validate OriginClear’s technology for application in agriculture and oil and gas operations and widen educational opportunities for CSU Bakersfield students. The MOU research projects will focus on evaluating OriginClear’s technology in the treatment of produced water for agricultural applications. CSU Bakersfield and OriginClear will also pursue joint research proposals for project funding, and publish results in appropriate venues. The company's patent-pending Electro Water Separation™ (EWS) process rapidly and efficiently removes organic material from large quantities of water without the need for chemicals. EWS focuses on the Total Suspended Solids (TSS) in the water, to maximize the clarity of effluent water for downstream operations. Some of the solids, such as petroleum and algae, are valuable co-products. 06/02/2015

Due 07/24/2015: Applications for CA 2015 Governor's Leadership Awards

State of CaliforniaThe Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award Program recognizes individuals, organizations, and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions in conserving California's precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the State's economy. The awards will be presented for voluntary achievements culminated in 2014. Competition is open to all California residents, businesses, non-profit organizations, professional and trade associations, communities, state and local government entities, tribes, and federal agencies operating in California. Projects are deemed ineligible if they are the result of mitigation, litigation, or required by legislation. Those who applied previously are welcome to apply again. For any questions regarding the application process, please contact Nilan Watmore at < >. Applications are being accepted through July 24, 2015. 06/02/2015 

USDA Restarts Biomass Crop Assistance Program for Renewable Energy

USDAThe US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that incentives will resume this summer for farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners interested in growing and harvesting biomass for renewable energy. The support comes through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. BCAP provides financial assistance to establish and maintain new crops of energy biomass, or who harvest and deliver forest or agricultural residues to a qualifying energy facility.. Eligible crops may include corn residue, diseased or insect infested wood materials, or orchard waste. Biomass energy facilities can apply for, or renew, their BCAP qualification status beginning June 1. $11.5 million of federal funds will be allocated to support the delivery of biomass materials through December 2015. This fiscal year USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) will allocate up to $8 million for producer enrollment to expand and enhance existing BCAP project areas. Additionally, in accordance with the 2014 Farm Bill, underserved farmers are eligible for a higher establishment cost share. BCAP projects have supported over 50,000 acres across 74 counties in 11 different project areas. 06/01/2015

Due 06/05/2015: Public Comment on CEC Staff Final RPS Eligibility Guidebook

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) will consider adopting the Staff Final Renewables Portfolio Standard Eligibility Guidebook, Eighth Edition, (RPS Guidebook) at its Business Meeting on June 10, 2015. Proposed changes to the RPS Guidebook clarify eligibility and procedural requirements, address topics considered at a staff workshop in 2014, and implement changes in law. Documents and presentations for the meeting are available online. Send comments to the Dockets Unit by email to < > and < > or by mail by 4:00 p.m. on June 5, 2015. Written comments will be also accepted at the meeting; however, the CEC may not have time to review them before the conclusion of the meeting. Interested parties may attend the meeting in person, or participate by telephone or WebEx. 06/01/2015

 

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