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March 2014 News and Matters of Interest

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ACORE Releases New Report on Outlook for Renewable Energy in America

American Council On Renewable EnergyThe American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) has announced the release of its new report, "The Outlook for Renewable Energy in America 2014." The report assesses the marketplace and forecasts the future of each renewable energy technology sector from the perspectives of US renewable energy trade associations. Each sector forecast is accompanied by a list of the trade association’s specific policy recommendations that they believe might encourage continued industry growth. The articles detail specific market drivers for the biofuel, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, waste, and wind energy sectors. The industry-association authors of The Outlook are: Advanced Biofuels Association; American Wind Energy Association; Biomass Power Association; Biomass Thermal Energy Council; Energy Recovery Council; Geothermal Energy Association; Growth Energy; National Hydropower Association; Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition; and Solar Energy Industries Association. 03/31/2014  

Fiberight Gets Economic Support from Iowa City to Construct MRF for Biofuels

FiberightMaryland-based Fiberight LLC has announced that the Marion City Council in Iowa agreed at its March 20, 2014 meeting to provide the firm with an economic-development incentive worth up to $850,000 to help it build its 50,000-square-foot materials recovery facility (MRF). The MRF will be located in the City’s “eco-industrial” park at 44th Street and Third Avenue. Fiberight plans to begin construction on its waste recycling, sorting, and shredding facility in June, and hopes it will be ready to accept garbage by December. The new $15-million facility will be designed to grab the organic material in garbage to convert into ethanol at the company’s ethanol plant now being renovated in Blairstown. The MRF in Marion is part of a larger project that includes the conversion and expansion of a former corn-based ethanol plant in Blairstown in Benton County into a plant that turns the organic material in trash separated in Marion into ethanol. The City signed a development agreement with Fiberight last summer and committed to sending the City’s municipal solid waste to Fiberight's facility. The City of Marion intends to become a zero waste community and changed its ordinances a few years ago to redefine solid waste as a commodity, or feedstock. 03/29/2014

BioNitrogen Commits to $9MM Allocation From Florida Investment Program

BioNitrogenFlorida company BioNitrogen Holdings Corp has announced that it has signed a term sheet for a $9 million investment supported by the Florida New Markets Capital Investment Program (NMTC). The NMTC investment will be to Hendry BN Construction & Fertilizer Services, LLC, a newly-formed subsidiary of BioNitrogen Holdings Corp. The $9 million NMTC allocation will translate into a new cash investment of approximately $1.5 million for BioNitrogen. The cash proceeds will be used for capital equipment, engineering, closing costs, and improvements to the Hendry County site, including feedstock and fertilizer services and related equipment. Hendry BN will operate on approximately 15 acres at the Weekley Industrial Park and provide mulch, feedstock, construction, and fertilizer services to the site, Hendry County and surrounding areas. The investment is expected to close in April. Bryan Kornegay, Jr, President and CFO of BioNitrogen: "Hendry BN provides us with a dedicated team focused on providing biomass processing and fertilizer services to the local market." 03/29/2014

US EPA Proposes Additions to List of Categorical Non-Waste Fuels

US Environmental Protection AgencyThe US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to add three materials to the list of categorical non-waste fuels: (1) Construction and demolition (C&D) wood processed from C&D debris according to best management practices, (2) Paper recycling residuals, including old corrugated cardboard (OCC) rejects, generated from the recycling of recovered paper and paperboard products and burned on-site by paper recycling mills whose boilers are designed to bum solid fuel, and (3) Creosote treated railroad ties that are processed and combusted in units designed to bum both biomass and fuel oil. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) non-hazardous secondary material (NHSM) rulemakings identify which non-hazardous secondary materials are, or are not, solid wastes when burned in combustion units. The regulations are codified at 40 CFR part 241. In the February 7, 2013 rule, the EPA listed particular non-hazardous secondary materials as “categorical non-waste fuels” and procedures for adding additional materials to the list. Facilities burning these non-hazardous secondary materials do not need to evaluate them under the general case-by-case standards and procedures that would otherwise apply to non-hazardous secondary materials burned in combustion units. A pre-publication version of the proposed rule is available for review. 03/29/2014

Map Updated for Operational AD Sites in UK, AD Quality Protocol Released

Waste and Resource Action ProgrammeAnaerobic Digestion (AD) facility development is advancing rapidly in the United Kingdom (UK). The UK Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP) has just released a substantially updated interactive map with accompanying data to identify and track all forms of AD development. The easy to use tool-set now lists 133 operational AD facilities, detailing 24 industrial, 55 on-farm, 7 demonstration, and 45 strictly commercial sites as well as two identified as being part of integrated waste management facilities. The open program encourages owner/operator interaction and is actively seeking additions to the listings. In other news, the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and WRAP have released AD Quality Protocol for the production of quality digestate from anaerobic digestion of source-segregated biodegradable waste (biowaste). Quality digestate from anaerobic digestion include the whole digestate, in addition to any subsequently separated fibre or liquor fractions. If these criteria are met, quality outputs from anaerobic digestion will normally be regarded as having been fully recovered and to have ceased to be waste. 03/28/2014

LanzaTech’s $60MM Series D Round Led by Mitsui Investment

LanzaTechLanzatech has announced a $60 million Series D funding round led by Mitsui & Co with a $20M investment. The funding round includes new investors Siemens Venture Capital, CICC Growth Capital Fund I, L.P, and existing investors: Khosla Ventures, Qiming Venture Partners, K1W1, and the Malaysian Life Sciences Capital Fund. The investment will be used to extend LanzaTech’s core platform and further develop LanzaTech’s product portfolio. To date, products include fuels such as ethanol or jet fuel, and commodity chemicals such as butadiene used in nylon production or propylene used in plastics manufacture. LanzaTech’s gas fermentation platform disrupts the current highly centralized global energy system by enabling the regional production of low-cost energy from local wastes and residues, including gases as varied as industrial flue gas, gasified biomass wastes and residues, biogas, and high-CO2 stranded natural gas. LanzaTech’s first commercial facility, fully financed by BaoSteel, one of the largest steel manufacturers in China, is expected to be operational in 2015 and will use steel mill off gases to produce fuels and chemicals. 03/26/2014

Cool Planet and OWS Team for Storm Water Treatment Technologies

Cool Planet Energy SystemsColorado based Cool Planet Energy Systems has announced signing a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with California company Organic Waste Solutions, LLC (OWS) to address California’s storm water runoff regulations and improve water quality. OWS is engaged in the design and construction of low impact solutions to address water pollution from storm water runoff, and for water treatment and environmental remediation. Cool Planet and OWS will cooperate in developing proprietary biochar-enabled technologies to address the need for secondary wastewater treatment, water remediation, and the management of storm water runoff. The companies will work to set up and operate laboratory and field demonstrations, optimize and document the benefits of Cool Planet’s proprietary biochar product in ecological bioremediation, and provide designs for optimal delivery systems. Jonathan Todd of OWS: "We are incredibly excited to work with Cool Planet and integrate their proprietary biochar product into our ecological wastewater treatment systems. Having this vital tool will increase the effectiveness of our systems exponentially, even with just the known benefits of biochar today." 03/26/2014 

Dyadic Secures New US Patent on Cellulosic Biomass Hydrolysis Enzymes

Dyadic InternationalFlorida based Dyadic International, Inc has announced that it has been issued US Patent No. 8,673,618 entitled, "Construction of highly efficient cellulase compositions for enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose" by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This new patent covers methods of developing and producing novel enzymes which efficiently convert different sources of plant biomass (e.g. corn stover, wheat straw, and bagasse) to fermentable sugars. Methods include processes for degrading plant material using enzyme mixtures and specified enzyme combinations. Dyadic's President and CEO, Mark Emalfarb: "Plant biomass provide a plentiful source of potential energy in the form of sugars that can be utilized to produce advanced biofuels and bio-based chemicals. This latest patent further broadens our family of patents that address the advanced biofuels and bio-based chemicals market." 03/25/2014

Global Bioenergies Secures Australian Patents for Biomass to Isobutene

Global BioenergiesFrench company Global Bioenergies has announced that the Australian Intellectual Property Office has granted two patents that protect key steps of its process for converting renewable resources into isobutene. Global Bioenergies holds exclusive exploitation rights to about twenty families of patent applications which protect its processes for converting renewable resources into isobutene, butadiene, and propylene. Now the first two applications have resulted in the granting of two patents in Australia, registered AU2009265373 and AU2010297362. Each of the granted patents protects one essential enzymatic reaction of the isobutene production pathway constructed by Global Bioenergies. The particularity of this process is that isobutene is directly produced by fermentation. Frédéric Pâques, Chief Technology Officer of Global Bioenergies: "The enzymatic activities covered by these patents have been successfully implemented in bacterial strains that are currently used at lab scale to produce isobutene. New generations of these strains will be built and transferred to our pilot under construction in Pomacle-Bazancourt." 03/25/2014

ACOA Funds CelluFuel for Woody Biomass to Diesel Pilot Plant in Nova Scotia

CellufuelThe Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) has announced funding for the startup of CelluFuel’s pilot plant with an initial capacity of 1.3 million litres of diesel per year to transform otherwise low-value wood fiber into renewable fuel for the refinery market. The firm is debuting its technology at ReNova Scotia Bioenergy Inc. in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, with a long-term plan to launch a full commercial-scale operation in Clare by 2015. The Government of Canada’s $500,000 repayable investment through ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP), supports the purchase of special equipment to establish the plant. The Province of Nova Scotia previously announced a $1.5 million repayable investment in the project. 03/25/2014 

WM, Ventech, NRG, and Velocys JV for Smaller-Scale Gas-to-Liquids Facilities

Waste ManagementWaste Management, Inc (WM), Ventech Engineers International LLC, NRG Energy, Inc, and Velocys plc have announced the formation of a joint venture (JV) to produce renewable fuels and chemicals from biogas and natural gas using smaller-scale gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology. WM has pioneered the use of smaller-scale GTL utilizing landfill gas, including building and operating a demonstration unit at the East Oak landfill in Oklahoma. Ventech, as the engineering contractor to the joint venture, has optimized the design and engineering of the joint venture’s first facility. NRG brings extensive experience in developing large renewable capital projects, strong green customer focus, and expertise in the acquisition and transportation of large quantities of natural gas. Velocys, the leader in smaller-scale GTL technology, will supply the Fischer-Tropsch reactor and catalyst to the joint venture. The JV’s first facility is under development and will be located at WM’s East Oak site in Oklahoma. A final decision to proceed on this first plant will be made this year. Engineering and design work is substantially complete, final draft permitting documents have been submitted, and development activities for additional facilities are expected to commence shortly. 03/24/2014

MagneGas Unveils Mobile Liquid Biomass Solution

MagnaGasMagneGas Corporation announced its new mobile liquid biomass solution today at the 7th Annual International Biomass Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida. MagneGas CEO Ermanno Santilli: "We know our liquid biomass solution technology is performing as expected overseas and we are positioning ourselves for a pilot program in the agricultural sector here in the US in the very near future. Beyond a test on our home soil, we are preparing to solicit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval of the technology that we believe will prove we can turn Class B sludge into Class A material to reduce disposal costs and in some cases render it suitable for fertilization and / or irrigation." The MagneGas technology converts liquid waste such as sewage, sludge, agricultural manures, and bio-diesel products into sterilized water which in some instances, is usable for irrigation and fertilization as well as creating a clean burning hydrogen-based fuel that is essentially interchangeable with natural gas. The process uses MagneGas' patented Plasma Arc Flow process that gasifies the liquid wastes. The MagneGas created can be used for metal working, cooking, heating, powering bi-fuel automobiles and more. 03/24/2014 

Tamar Energy's New Retford Anaerobic Digestion Facility is Officially Open

Tamar EnergyUnited Kingdom (UK) based Tamar Energy Limited has announced that a new anaerobic digestion (AD) facility has been officially opened in Retford, Nottinghamshire by The Rt Hon Greg Barker MP, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change. The Retford facility is a joint venture between Tamar Energy and Sutton Grange Anaerobic Digestion, a company established by Fred Walter and Mark Paulson. It is situated on Fred Walter’s 2,500 acre family farm in Nottinghamshire. The 3MW AD facility started operations earlier this month and takes agricultural waste, manures, and maize from local suppliers in nearby areas of Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, and South Yorkshire. The biogas is converted on-site to generate renewable electricity to be exported to the national grid, enough for as many as 6,000 homes. The AD process also creates a nutrient-rich biofertilizer, which can be used in agriculture in place of costly fossil fuel-based fertilizers. In addition, heat generated will be used to dry woodchips for sale to the Drax biomass power station in North Yorkshire. Greg Barker MP, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change: "Tamar Energy’s new Anaerobic Digestion plant is the largest facility of its kind in the UK and is a great example of how waste can be used to powering homes and businesses across the country." 03/21/2014

Anaergia Selected for Biogas Upgrading Facility to Serve 9 WWTPs in Arizona

AnaergiaCanada based Anaergia Inc and its project partner, Arizona company Grannus LLC, have been selected to enter negotiations with the Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department (PCRWRD) in Arizona to design-build-finance-own-operate (DBFOO) a large-scale biogas upgrading facility. Biosolids from the PCRWRD's nine wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) are processed by centrally located anaerobic digesters (AD) to produce a continuous supply of digester gas, which is currently flared. The DBFOO project will allow the PCRWRD to focus on its core business of WWTP operation and regulatory compliance, while creating a long-term partnership with Anaergia / Grannus to not only deliver and operate the biogas upgrading facility, but to market and sell the commercial biomethane product. Arun Sharma, President of Anaergia Services: "Wastewater treatment plants across the country are searching for innovative ways to convert their facilities into resource recovery centers. The PCRWRD has taken a leadership role in demonstrating how this can be achieved with minimal risk or investment." 03/21/2014

CalRecycle Schedules Workshop Series on Thermal Resource Recovery

CalRecycleThe California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has announced the first in a series of workshops to address thermal conversion of waste to energy. The first workshop, 'Thermal Resource Recovery: A Pathway to the Highest and Best Use of Residuals,' is scheduled for April 29, 2014. CalRecycle staff will introduce a policy approach that supports the recovery of energy, fuels, and chemicals from solid waste residuals that cannot be recycled. This will be a highly interactive workshop discussing principles, regulatory safeguards, and incentives for moving forward. Staff from CalRecycle, Air Resources Board, and California Energy Commission will introduce core principles for the process, clarify boundaries, identify potential regulatory safeguards and propose incentives. Ample time will be available for stakeholder comments, questions, and input. The workshop will be held at the CalEPA building in Sacramento and will be webcast. Agenda, Webinar Links and Workshop Materials will be posted closer to the workshop date. Email <> for more information. 03/21/2014

Due 05/24/2014: Qualifications for Kabd MSW Treatment Facility, Kuwait

KuwaitThe Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) in collaboration with Kuwait Municipality has issued a Request for Qualification for the Kabd Municipal Solid Waste Project (the “Project”). The Project will be procured as a design, build, finance, operate, and transfer structure in accordance with the PPP Law (Law No. 7 of 2008 regulating public private partnerships). The scope of the Project is to design, build, finance, operate, and transfer a facility to treat municipal solid waste (MSW), household / commercial / agriculture, with an initial design capacity of 3,275 tonnes per day through waste to energy technology to generate electricity. Recovery of remaining slag and flue gas will be disposed into separate sanitary landfills on the Site. The plant is expected to receive 50% of total municipal solid waste produced in Kuwait. Kuwait Municipality will enter into a 30-year contract with the winning investor. This will include 2 years for construction and equipment installation. The objectives of the Project are diversion of municipal waste from landfills and the generation of energy through waste incineration. Short-listed firms will be issued requests for proposals during the fourth quarter of 2014. Interested parties may purchase the Request for Qualification document from the POTB offices for two thousand five hundred Dinars KWD 2,500 with a certified check from a local bank. Qualifications must be submitted to the PTB no later than 12 noon (Kuwait time) on Sunday 25th May 2014. 03/21/2014  

GIB Invests in Proposed UK Energy from Waste Facility Near King's Lyon

Green Investment BankThe United Kingdom (UK) Green Investment Bank (GIB) has announced its commitment to making an investment of £51m into a proposed new energy from waste plant in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. The new facility, the Willows Power & Recycling Centre, will provide a long-term waste treatment solution for the Norfolk County Council. It will process 170,000 tonnes of black bag waste from households across the county and 100,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste each year, which will be converted into 170 GWh of electricity per annum. The facility is being developed by a consortium consisting of Cory Environmental Ltd and Wheelabrator Technologies Inc as Norfolk County Council's preferred bidder for the project. The Council has signed the contract with the consortium and four periods of consultation have taken place on the planning application that was approved on June 29, 2012. Shaun Kingsbury, Chief Executive, UK Green Investment Bank: "Not only will this new facility prevent over a quarter of a million tonnes of waste being sent to landfill each year it will also generate enough electricity to power over 40,000 homes a year." 03/20/2014

Biochar May Be Effective in Removal of Heavy Metal from Acid Wastewater

Institute for Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of SciencesResearchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute for Urban Environment have found that biochar made from pyrolysis of the organic residuals from anaerobic digestion can be effective in the removal of heavy metal contaminants from acidic industrial wastewater. The team's findings have just been published in the BioResources Journal of the College of Natural Resources, North Carolina State University: Zhang, Y., and Luo, W. (2014). "Adsorptive removal of heavy metal from acidic wastewater with biochar produced from anaerobically digested residues: Kinetics and surface complexation modeling" BioRes. 9(2), 2484-2499. The authors, Youchi Zhang and Wensui Luo, concluded in the study that "converting anaerobically digested food and garden wastes into biochar could be an efficient method of treating municipal solid waste and producing metal adsorbents for environmental remediation." 03/20/2014

AfDB Launches Clean Energy Business Plan Competition in Africa

African Development BankThe Sustainable Energy Forum for Africa (SEFA), a program of the African Development Bank (AfDB), has announced launch of the third Africa Forum for Clean Energy Financing (AFRICEF-3) Business Plan Competition with submissions due April 13, 2014. The $1MM competition is supported in part by the newly formed African Renewable Energy Fund (AREF) announced earlier this month, aggregating $100MM in committed capital and anchor investments from the AfDB and SEFA. AREF has been established to support small- to medium-scale independent power producers (IPPs). The fund, which will be headquartered in Nairobi, is targeting a final close of US $200 million within the next 12 months to be invested in grid-connected development stage renewable energy projects including small hydro, wind, geothermal, solar, biomass and waste gas. 03/20/2014

Feedstock Supply LOI Signed for Bluesphere's Rhode Island Biogas Plant

BluesphereIsrael and Nevada based Bluesphere Corporation has announced signing a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Massachusetts company Organic Waste Management, LLC for 100-200 tons of organic waste (primarily food waste) per day to supply Bluesphere's proposed 3.2 MW biogas plant. The plant will create electricity from organic waste and renewable resources, and is scheduled to be constructed later this year in Johnston, Rhode Island. Bluesphere CEO Shomi Palas: "We are delighted to have met with and started what we hope will be a long-term relationship with Organic Waste Management. Not only is Organic Waste Management interested in supplying our Rhode Island biogas plant with waste, but we are also discussing other business opportunities, including additional anaerobic digester plants in Massachusetts, where, effective in October 2014, there will be a ban on dumping organic waste in landfills for certain, larger producers of waste." 03/20/2014  

Cahill Energy Contracts for Plasma Waste-to-Energy Plant in Barbados

Cahill EnergyGuernsey based Cahill Energy has announced entering into an agreement with the Government of Barbados to build and operate a clean waste-to-energy plant on the Caribbean island. Cahill plans to utilize plasma gasification technology to transform up to 650 tonnes of solid waste per day on Barbados into clean, renewable energy. The energy generated will provide a new domestic source of power for Barbados, reducing the island’s reliance on costly imported fossil fuel. The plant is expected to provide up to 25% of Barbados’s total energy needs and reduce the cost of energy substantially. Alberta, Canada based AlterNRG Corp owns 100% of Westinghouse Plasma Corporation, which is expected to supply the plasma gasification technology.Cahill Energy expects to invest up to $240 million (USD) in the proposed plant which will be built in Vaucluse, St Thomas, providing the Government of Barbados with several hundred million dollars in estimated savings over the life of the 30 year contract. 03/18/2014

MU Study: Small Biomass Power Plants Could Stabilize National Power Grid

University of MissouriThe University of Missouri (MU) has announced a study by MU researchers that has found that creating a bioenergy grid with small biomass power plants could benefit people in rural areas of the country as well as provide relief to an overworked national power grid. Tom Johnson, the Frank Miller Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the MU College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources and professor in the MU Truman School of Public Affairs: "Transporting power through power lines to remote, rural areas is very inefficient and can be expensive for farmers and other rural citizens. Farmers already have access to a large amount of biomass material left over each year after harvests. If they had access to small biomass power plants, they could become close to self-sustaining in terms of power. If the grid was improved enough, they could even provide additional power to other people around the country, helping to stabilize the national power grid. This could help save rural citizens money and be a boon for rural economies." Johnson published the study in the journal, Biomass and Bioenergy. 03/18/2014

DTE's Stockton Coal-to-Biomass Power Plant Conversion Complete

DTE EnergyDTE Energy Services, Inc (DTEES), a subsidiary of Michigan based DTE Energy Company, has announced completion of the conversion of its shuttered coal-fired power plant to operate on biomass at the Port of Stockton. The plant, known as Stockton Biomass, began commercial operations last month, and is selling renewable power to PG&E Company to help the utility meet its renewable energy requirement. Steve Sorrentino, Vice President Wholesale Power & Renewables, DTEES: "We are excited to have this green energy plant operational and appreciate the support we've received from the Port of Stockton, local officials and community leaders to make it a reality." The plant will use about 320,000 tons of woody biomass fuel annually to generate about 45 megawatts of power, enough electricity to meet the needs of 45,000 homes. The fuel primarily is derived from urban wood waste, tree trimmings, and agricultural processes. The plant began operation in 1989 as a coal-fired power plant and ceased operation in April 2009. DTEES purchased the plant in June 2010 with plans to convert the plant to biomass. DTEES replaced the boilers and employed the best available control technologies to minimize air emissions. DTEES received an Authority to Construct and Certificate of Conformity from the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District (SJAPCD) in June 2011. 03/18/2014

GeoSynFuels Acquires Wyoming Cellulosic Ethanol Demo Plant

GeoSynFuelsColorado based GeoSynFuels, LLC (GSF) has announced the acquisition of a cellulosic ethanol demonstration facility located in Upton, Wyoming The demonstration facility, formerly owned and operated by the Blue Sugars Corporation, was originally constructed in 2007 for the enzymatic conversion of wood feedstocks to ethanol. The plant has a nominal capacity of 50 tons per day of biomass and in 2011 was converted to enable the processing of sugar cane bagasse. The plant is currently based on a typical enzymatic hydrolysis flowsheet and includes all unit operations through to final fuel-grade ethanol production. GSF plans to retrofit the existing flowsheet to its proprietary 5CS™ Technology. Todd Harvey, President and CEO of GSF: "The acquisition of the demonstration facility is an important step forward in the commercialization of our cellulosic ethanol technology." The 5CS™ Technology derives its advantage by extracting and converting into ethanol only the hemicellulose portion of the biomass while leaving the feedstock relatively unaltered and suitable for their original obligated use. The core of the 5CS™ Technology is its proprietary fermentation platform which enables the conversion of five carbon sugars into economically viable ethanol. 03/18/2014 

Göteborg Energi Inaugurates Valmet-Supplied Gasification Plant at GoBiGas

ValmetValmet Corporation has announced that the Valmet-supplied Repotec gasification plant at Göteborg Energi's GoBiGas (Gothenburg Biomass Gasification Project) in Gothenburg, Sweden, was inaugurated on March 12, 2014. The plant was commissioned in late 2013 and will produce biomethane gas by gasifying forest residues and wood pellets. The produced biogas is similar to natural gas and will primarily be used in the transport sector with the goal to switch from fossil fuel to biofuel. Johanna Lindén, Valmet's Director of Scandinavia, Energy: "The indirect gasification generates high-energy gas with high heating value that can be mixed with natural gas. This makes it possible to replace a lot of today's fossil transportation fuel by fossil-free fuel in gas powered vehicles." Åsa Burman, CEO of GoBiGas project, Göteborg Energi: "We are proud to be the first to inaugurate a gasification plant for production of high quality biomethane and we hope to see many followers." Göteborg Energi is the fourth largest energy company in Sweden. 03/14/2014

UK Defra Calls for Evidence on Refuse Derived Fuel Market in England

UK DefraThe United Kingdom (UK) Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has released a Call for Evidence regarding all aspects of refuse derived fuel (RDF) used both in England and for export. The requested information is intended to fill the gaps in Defra's knowledge of the RDF market and will be used in the development of policy options. The evidence is being requested from those working in, or with, the energy from waste industry. Included in the questions is whether government action is needed to improve the market, and if so, what should government be doing. 03/14/2014

Vega Biofuels and JV Partners Plan New State of the Art Torrefaction Facility

Vega BiofuelsGeorgia based Vega Biofuels, Inc has announced that it has entered into a joint venture (JV) agreement with partners that include Agri-Tech Producers, LLC (ATP) to build and operate a pilot torrefaction facility in Allendale, South Carolina. The new JV entity will operate under the name ATP-SC, LLC and will produce various torrefied products including bio-coal, bio-products, and biochar. The Joint Venture partners plan to build additional plants around the world and the Allendale pilot plant will be a model for those plants. Columbia, South Carolina based ATP is in the business of manufacturing and selling cost-effective torrefaction equipment to be used to manufacture torrefied materials and solid fuel. ATP has licensed and commercialized the innovative torrefaction technology originally developed by North Carolina State University. Vega’s bio-coal product is generally made from plant or wood biomass, primarily wood, using torrefaction technology. Torrefaction is a mild pyrolysis, that takes place in a low oxygen environment which makes the physical and energetic properties of the biomass much more comparable to traditional coal. The bio-coal will be shipped to European power generating companies from the Port of Savannah. 03/14/2014  

NBE and Solvay JV for Torrefied Wood Pellet Production and Distribution

New Biomass EnergyMississippi based New Biomass Energy LLC (NBE) and international chemical firm Solvay SA have announced formation of the joint venture (JV) Solvay Biomass Energy for the production and distribution of torrefied wood pellets, also known as black pellets. Torrefied wood, which handles and burns similar to coal, is produced through torrefaction, a roasting process that changes the chemical composition of the material. Compared to traditional wood pellets, torrefied pellets contain 35% more energy by weight, which yields significant logistical benefits. NBE's plant in Quitman, owned by BTH Quitman Hickory LLC, is the largest torrefaction facility in North America. This project will complete the expansion of the Quitman plant, bringing annual production capacity to 250,000 metric tons by the end of 2014. Solvay Biomass Energy will use by-products, such as sawmill residues, from the highly developed timber industry in the area’s managed forests. Solvay Biomass Energy will promote its torrefied wood pellets for electricity production in Europe and Asia. 03/13/2014

US EPA's Latest MSW Data Demonstrates America's Evolving Waste Stream

National Waste & Recycling AssociationThe National Waste & Recycling Association has presented additional insight into the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report on municipal solid waste (MSW) generation and recycling rates. The Association notes that the latest statistics, based on 2012 data, show a continual decline in per capita waste generation and an evolving waste stream that continues the trends of less printed paper and lighter-weight packaging. Waste recovery rates also dipped slightly to 260,000 tons. The EPA report, "Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling and Disposal in the United States," was released in late February. Sharon H. Kneiss, president and CEO of Waste & Recycling: " EPA's statistics show that Americans are disposing of less waste—about 4.38 pounds of waste per person per day—continuing a decline that began in 2000. Part of the dip in recycling can be attributed to our evolving waste stream. We're generating less printed material—newspapers, office paper or magazines—as we shift to a digital world." 03/13/2014 

CalRecycle Posts Grant and Loan Program Overview and Criteria Documents

CalRecycleCalifornia Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) staff has posted notice of proposed grant and loan programs to be presented to the Board for consideration for formal approval during the March 18, 2014 monthly meeting in Ontario, California. Staff has now released the Request for Approval outlining a proposed implementation schedule for: (1) Organics Grant Programs, (2) Fiber, Plastic and Glass Grant Programs, and (3) Greenhouse Gas Reduction Loan Programs. Program Overviews and Scoring Criteria documents are available on-line. Grant programs should start mid-April; loan applications should be released in July. Contact Brian Larimore, CalRecycle Materials Management and Local Assistance Division, (916) 341-6579, or <> for further questions. 03/12/2014

9th Annual California Bioresources Alliance Symposium, June 3-4, 2014

UCDavis ExtensionThe University of California, Davis (UC Davis) Extension and the Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 (EPA R9) will co-host the ninth annual California Bioresources Alliance Symposium on June 3 & 4, 2014 at the Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center at UC Davis. The symposium will be geared toward students and researchers who work on organic residuals issues, and sessions will include legislative and policy developments on organic residuals in California, impacts of mandatory recycling and landfill closures, waste-to-energy issues, biogas issues at dairies and wastewater plants and use for vehicle fuel, and use of bioresources to address the drought. Conference attendees will also tour the UC Davis Biogas Energy Project. Further information including on-line registration are available from the UC Davis Extension's website. Special discounts are available for full time students, as well educational credits. 03/12/2014

Due 03/28/2014: Comments to CARB on LCFS Re-Adoption and iLUC

California Air Resources BoardThe California Air Resources Board (CARB) conducted two workshops on March 11, 2014, the first addressing the proposed re-adoption of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), and the second exploring preliminary concepts for incorporating indirect land use change (iLUC) impact metrics into the carbon intensity (CI) values of the LCFS. A LCFS Re-Adoption Concept Paper was posted late last week; this document and presentations from the workshops are now available on the LCFS Program Meetings webpage. Various working groups and additional workshops are being scheduled. CARB staff will present proposals to the Board during the March 28, 2014 public meeting. All comments on the program and interest in participating should be directed to Katrina Sideco <>, 916-323-1082 prior to the March 28 meeting. 03/12/2014 

Maverick and PPE Partner to Produce Small-Scale Methane-to-Methanol Plants

Maverick SynfuelsNorth Carolina based Maverick Synfuels, Inc (formerly Maverick Biofuels) and Texas company Plant Process Equipment, Inc. (PPE) have announced their partnership to manufacture and sell small-scale Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) methanol plants. These skid-mounted modular plants can be rapidly deployed and are capable of producing between 3,000-10,000 gallons per day of ultra-clean synthetic fuels and chemicals from natural gas or methane-rich "waste gas." The modular plants provide waste gas producers with an alternative to flaring or generating electricity. Waste gas sites are abundant worldwide as a source of low-cost methane, many in locations remote from markets or pipelines. Converting methane gas to methanol liquid is a component of Maverick’s "hub and spoke" strategy that builds on Maverick’s patented Olefinity™ technology. Methanol produced at small-scale GTL plants (spokes) located at the waste gas source is easily transportable to larger "hub" facilities, where it can be converted to higher value products such as clean transportation fuels, and specialty chemicals like propylene. The first methanol plant from the PPE/Maverick partnership will be deployed at a large-scale dairy in the upper Midwest with three existing anaerobic digesters. Jeff Harrison, Chief Engineering Officer of Maverick Synfuels: "A proven supply of low-cost biogas combined with the transportation logistics and operational synergies gives Maverick a substantial economic advantage in this market". Maverick was awarded three US patents last year for producing a mixed-alcohol fuel from synthesis gas (syngas) by means of a methanol intermediate. 03/11/2014

Zilkha Biomass Energy Licenses Black Pellet Technology to Cate Street Capital

Zilkha Biomass EnergyTexas based Zilkha Biomass Energy LLC has agreed to license its Zilkha Black® Pellet technology to Cate Street Capital, Inc, a company that invests in green technology companies. Thermogen Industries, the pellet manufacturing subsidiary of Cate Street Capital, will utilize Zilkha's patented proprietary process to produce black pellets at their Millinocket, Maine location. Zilkha Black® Pellets are made from woody biomass such as forest residuals and understory, as well as wood waste from lumber, furniture, and paper factories. Thermogen Industries will produce more than 300,000 metric tons per year of water-resistant black pellets, greatly increasing the supply of this biomass product to the renewable energy market. Black pellets handle like coal, and they are an ideal alternative for coal-firing plants, which are under increasing pressure to replace their fossil fuels with cleaner, sustainable sources. Jack Holmes, CEO of Zilkha Biomass Energy: " Thermogen Industries is strategically located in the northeast of the United States, and they have the infrastructure to greatly increase the supply of the Zilkha Black® Pellet." 03/11/2014  

GIB and Equitix Invest in Biomass Boilers for Matthews' Turkey Farms

Green Investment BankThe United Kingdom (UK) Green Investment Bank (GIB) and Equitix have announced a £24.5m investment to finance the installation of renewable energy boilers at Bernard Matthews' turkey farms. The project, the largest of its kind, will see 179 new biomass boilers installed across 21 farms in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Lincolnshire, meaning that 40 per cent of Bernard Matthews' estate will benefit from the new renewable energy technology. In addition to reducing costs, the new boilers will have a significant green impact by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The dry heat biomass systems will also produce a number of benefits due to the improved circulation of heat, including reduced ammonia levels, reduced ventilation requirements, and increased litter (bedding) quality. The project was conceived, designed, and managed by Lumicity Ltd, a UK based renewable energy developer. Lumicity identified the sites, designed the project, advised Bernard Matthews through the process of tendering and negotiating, and introduced financing. Lumicity will continue to manage the project for the next 20 years. 03/10/2014

Viridor's Runcorn EfW Facility Begins Processing Refuse Derived Fuel

ViridorUnited Kingdom (UK) based Viridor has confirmed that it has begun using refuse derived fuel (RDF) in final commissioning of the first phase at its energy from waste (EfW) facility in Runcorn. The Runcorn plant will be capable of generating up to 70MW of electricity and up to 51 MW of heat, and will process up to 850,000 tonnes of RDF. The facility will offer local authorities (including the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority) and NW businesses a viable alternative to sending non-recyclable waste to landfill or exporting it for treatment in Europe. Prior to use as fuel at the Runcorn plant, waste will be passed through a pre-treatment process to remove materials for recycling either at a Viridor or authorized third party site. Commissioning of Phase1 of the Runcorn EfW facility began in January, and the ‘first burn’ using RDF signals the final stages of testing and commissioning before the site becomes fully operational. Much of the RDF for Runcorn will arrive by rail and the railhead delivery points have also been successfully tested. The facility will produce renewable electricity and heat which will be utilized by the neighboring INEOS facility. 03/10/2014

Methes Energies Manufactures Biodiesel Processor for Aruba Client

Methes EnergiesNevada based Methes Energies International Ltd has announced receiving a deposit from Antilla Energy VBA (formally known as BioFuel Aruba) to start manufacturing of a Denami 600 biodiesel processor. The Denami 600 is expected to be delivered to Aruba in September 2014. Antilla will utilize locally collected waste cooking oil to produce biodiesel that will then be blended with diesel fuel and distributed to clients across the island. Gregory Fung-A-Fat, Managing Director of Antilla Energy VBA: "The plan is to grow our facility to about 6 million gallons per year so we are setting up in a way that will make it easy and cost effective to add 4 more Denami's 600's as the market conditions allow. We're glad to be doing our part to help Aruba reach its Green Aruba 2020 targets." 03/10/2014 

Singapore's NEA Cracks Down on Collection of Waste Grease for Biodiesel

Singapore National Environmental AgencyThe National Environmental Agency (NEA) of Singapore has issued an advisory providing an update regarding several cases of illegal collection of waste kitchen and sewer grease for conversion to biodiesel. According to local news, witnesses reported seeing people extracting oil from grease traps serving several local restaurants. There was concern that the used oil was being reused to cook food, triggering the NEA's investigation. In Singapore, all waste grease must be collected by franchised haulers only, and the resource must be taken to the country's nationalized wastewater treatment plants for processing to biomethane in the facility digesters. The NEA will be pressing charges against one Singaporean couple for collecting waste without a license. NEA’s investigations revealed that the waste oil from the grease traps serving eateries was illegally collected and sent for processing into biodiesel. Two other cases are currently under investigation. 03/09/2014 

Ensyn and Memorial Hospital Sign RFO™ Cellulosic Biofuel Supply Agreement

Ensyn CorporationDelaware based Ensyn Corporation (Ensyn) has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ensyn Fuels, has entered into a contract with Memorial Hospital of North Conway, New Hampshire ("Memorial") for the supply of RFO™ heating fuel, Ensyn's advanced cellulosic biofuel. RFO is produced from forest residues (wood biomass) using Ensyn's patented RTP technology, and will be used by Memorial as a heating fuel, replacing petroleum-based fuels. Under the contract signed with Memorial, Ensyn Fuels will provide Memorial with approximately 300,000 gallons/year of RFO for a renewable term of five years, commencing deliveries as early as April, 2014. Adoption of Ensyn's RFO will allow Memorial to convert its entire heating requirements from petroleum fuels to Ensyn's renewable fuel, and provide substantial cost savings. The conversion will reduce Memorial's greenhouse gases from heating fuels by approximately 85% and total air emissions by approximately 75%. Memorial will be able to use its existing boilers to combust the new fuel. Ensyn Fuels will supply the onsite tankage and the RFO delivery system to the boiler. Dr Robert Graham, Ensyn's Chairman and CEO: "This is one of our first contracts related to the supply of RFO from our expanded production capacity. We are pleased that Memorial Hospital, with its dedication to the environment along with excellence in health care, will help initiate the roll-out." 03/08/2014

US DOE Hosts Biomass Liquefaction and Bio-Oil Co-Processing Workshops

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy's (DOE) Bioenergy Technology Office (BETO) has posted details and registration links for two up-coming biomass conversion workshops. The workshop topic for March 20-21, 2014 in Golden, Colorado will be Biomass Indirect Liquefaction (IDL) and is intended to discuss and detail the research and development (R&D) needs for biomass IDL. Discussions will focus on pathways that convert biomass-based syngas (or any carbon monoxide, hydrogen gaseous stream) to liquid intermediates (alcohols or acids) and further synthesize those intermediates to liquid hydrocarbons that are compatible as either a refinery feed or neat fuel. On April 3, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana, the BETO will explore Bio-Oil Co-Processing: Expanding the Refinery Supply System, examining the potential to partner renewable technologies with conventional petroleum refining by considering biomass-derived oils as an additional feedstock. Participants will be engaged in discussions about the potential advantages, disadvantages, and challenges of bio-oil integration in the current U.S. petroleum refinery infrastructure. There is no charge for the workshops, but on-line registration is required. 03/08/2014  

Global Bioenergies Selects Linde for the Design of Its German Pilot Plant

Global BioenergiesParis based Global Bioenergies SA has announced that the Engineering Division of The Linde Group will design Global's second industrial pilot that will be located at Leuna refinery site in Germany. The pilot plant will combine two 5,000 liter fermenters and a complete purification system, and will be designed for an isobutene production capacity of up to 100 tons per year. The German ministry of research has committed a €5.7m grant to the project. Global Bioenergies recently strengthened its deployment in Germany by setting-up a subsidiary in Leipzig and signing a partnership on renewable gasoline with Audi. Markus Wolperdinger, Vice President Biotechnology Plants at Linde's Engineering Division: "We regard isobutene as a very attractive gaseous molecule for a wide range of applications in chemical and industrial products. We are delighted to be chosen as Engineering Company for Global Bioenergies' second pilot plant." 03/07/2014

Liquid Light Unveils Catalytic Process to Make Chemicals From CO2

Liquid LightNew Jersey company Liquid Light, Inc has announced its new process for the production of major chemicals from carbon dioxide (CO2), showcasing its demonstration-scale 'reaction cell' and confirming the potential for cost-advantaged process economics. Because carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is low-cost and readily available worldwide, Liquid Light's customers can profit by producing high-value chemicals from waste CO2, reduce their dependence on oil, and potentially reduce their carbon footprint. Liquid Light's core technology is centered on low-energy catalytic electrochemistry to convert CO2 to chemicals, combined with hydrogenation and purification operations. By adjusting the design of their catalyst, Liquid Light can produce a range of commercially important multi-carbon chemicals. Kyle Teamey, CEO of Liquid Light: "Liquid Light's technology offers a new and cost-effective way to make everyday products from plain old carbon dioxide. This is a great way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels while we simultaneously consume an environmental pollutant." 03/07/2014

Springboard Biodiesel's New Chico Facility Launches Local Buyers Club

Springboard BiodieselCalifornia based Springboard Biodiesel has announced the creation of a local biodiesel buyers club for interested individuals and companies in and around Butte County. Springboard will not have a traditional pump and go system per the filling-station model, but will offer biodiesel club members the opportunity to buy quality biodiesel at competitive prices in prepared volumes of 10, 55, and 275 gallons. Springboard CEO Mark Roberts: "We believe that producing locally and consuming locally is a sustainable and profitable energy model that will benefit the local communities where our systems are located." Springboard has been manufacturing and selling state-of-the-art biodiesel production equipment for nearly 6 years. The company was awarded a grant by the California Energy Commission (CEC) in 2012, which enabled construction of a new, larger biodiesel production facility in Chico. Working with Smart Alternative Fuels, a Redding-based used cooking oil collector, Springboard will be processing up to 350,000 gallons of biodiesel annually in the new facility. 03/07/2014 

2014 Clean Energy Challenge Finalists include Waste Conversion Start-Ups

Clean Energy TrustClean Energy Trust has announced the 16 startup companies that will compete in the fourth annual Clean Energy Challenge, a $500,000 business plan competition that takes place April 3, 2014 in Chicago. In the Early Stage Finalists category, Equares Energy of St. Louis, Missouri has designed a small-scale power plant that would take in waste from agricultural operations, hospitals, and other facilities and turn it into pollution-free electricity. The process is based on technology used to process radioactive medical waste. In the Student category from Purdue University's Research Park is Spero Energy, developers of a lower-cost biorefinery process that produces cellulosic ethanol form waste wood while eliminating the need for water and producing valuable chemicals from unused lignin. From Northwestern University, the myPower team converts "wasted motion" to power by capturing runners’ kinetic energy and using it to charge smart phones or other mobile devices. From the University of Missouri-Columbia is Imagine Labs, who is developing a non-intrusive, patent-pending thermoelectric generator that extracts "wastes heat" from generation equipment to generate electricity. A panel of clean energy business experts, venture capitalists, and scientists will select the Clean Energy Challenge winners on April 3rd at Venue SIX10 in Chicago. Tickets for the 2014 Clean Energy Challenge are now available. 03/05/2014

Succinity's First Commercial Plant Startup Produces Biobased Succinic Acid

SuccinitySuccinity GmbH, the joint venture between Corbion Purac and BASF for the production and commercialization of biobased succinic acid, has announced the successful start-up of its first commercial production facility. The plant, located at the Corbion Purac site in Montmeló, Spain, has an annual capacity of 10,000 metric tons and is producing commercial quantities of biobased succinic acid. The Succinity process uses the proprietary microorganism Basfia succiniciproducens, which allows for a flexible usage of different feedstocks including almost any form of cellulosic biomass. Furthermore, Succinity biobased succinic acid can be produced efficiently without major waste streams thanks to a closed-loop process. An elaborate downstream processing method ensures the production of high quality biobased succinic acid. Biobased succinic acid is a versatile building block with a significant market potential in the chemical intermediates market. 03/05/2014

HP and YFY Jupiter Partner to Convert Chinese Straw into Packaging

Hewlett-PackardHewlett-Packard (HP) has announced that it has partnered with YFY Jupiter in an innovative program to convert waste straw into packaging and a cash crop for Chinese farmers. Previously, there was no economic use for the straw that remained after the farmers in China harvested their cereal crops. Nearly 90 percent of the remaining stalks were simply burned to clear the fields for the next harvest. YFY Jupiter uses straw waste to create materials like corrugated cardboard and molded pulp packaging. HP's partnership with YFY Jupiter supports HP’s packaging environmental strategy and demonstrates ongoing commitment to its overall Supply Chain Social and Environmental Responsibility program. In addition, the partnership is helping the local Chinese economy. 03/05/2014 

Foster-Wheeler Secures Contract for Two Boilers at Pakistani Sugar Mill

Foster-WheelerFoster Wheeler AG has announced that a subsidiary of its Global Power Group has been awarded a contract by Shanghai Marine Diesel Engine Research Institute (SMDERI) for the design and supply of two grate boilers for Fatima Energy Limited, a subsidiary of Fatima Group. The new 120 MWe co-generation power plant will be located at the Fatima sugar mill in Savawan, Pakistan. Under the agreement, Foster Wheeler will design and supply two 60 MWe (gross megawatt electric) grate boilers and auxiliary equipment. The boilers will be designed to burn coal and bagasse, a fibrous matter that remains after sugarcane stalks are crushed to extract their juice. Foster Wheeler has received a full notice to proceed on this contract. Commercial operation of the new boilers is scheduled for the first-quarter of 2016. 03/04/2014

BioNitrogen Signs 25-Year Biomass Feedstock Supply Agreements with BRM

BioNitrogenBioNitrogen Holdings Corp has announced signing biomass supply agreements with BioResource Management (BRM) for feedstock supply for Bionitrogen's initial plantin Florida. These agreements are the direct result of a favorable biomass feasibility study on the plant recently completed by BRM. BioNitrogen signed a 25-year agreement with BRM to provide biomass feasibility studies for future plants as well as consulting services regarding design optimization of the biomass delivery process and wood yard configuration. The company also signed a 25-year agreement with BRM to provide biomass supply services to the Florida plant. The agreement specifies the delivery of approximately 350,000 tons of biomass annually. BRM will manage the biomass supply chain, delivery logistics, scheduling, quality and billing services. Ernie Iznaga, BioNitrogen Vice President of Operations: "These agreements are an important part of the foundation we are putting in place to ensure the plant has a robust biomass supply chain. BRM has the experience and reputation we need to manage this critical part of our supply chain." 03/04/2014

IBI Will Host 2 Public Webinars on Proposed Revisions to Biochar Standards

International Biochar InitiativeThe International Biochar Initiative (IBI) has announced two interactive webinars to discuss proposed changes to last year's Version 1.1 Biochar Standards. Events are free, but interactive space is limited and prior on-line registration is required. The March 17, 2014 webinar will address proposed changes to standards involving weathering, post-processing and sampling, while the March 25, 2014 webinar will discuss issues surrounding biomass fly-ash. The Version 1.1 standards are available for review, as are the Version 2.0 proposed changes. If you have questions that are not answered by the webinar, you may send them to>. 03/04/2014 

Metro Vancouver Will Convert Sewage Waste to Biogas for Pipeline Injection Metro VancouverMetro Vancouver in British Columbia (B.C.) Canada has announced a $13 million project to capture some of the energy in sewage and convert it to energy-rich biomethane for delivery to FortisBC and its natural gas distribution system. Instead of being flared off into the atmosphere, biomethane will be piped to homes and businesses to help fuel furnaces, stoves, and hot water heaters. This spring, Metro Vancouver is initiating design of the $13 million Green Biomethane Project at Lulu Island Wastewater Treatment Plant in Richmond, British Columbia. The project is expected to begin operation in 2016. The project will use an innovative technology called MicroSludge. The patented technology developed by Paradigm Environmental Technologies Inc increases the quantity of energy-rich biomethane generated in a biomass digester. Metro Vancouver Utilities Committee Chair Darrell Mussatto: "This will be the first time that a wastewater treatment plant in B.C. will put biomethane into a natural gas distribution system which delivers fuel to homes. 03/03/2014

UCSF and Verliant Collaborate to Advance Science of Waste Conversion

VerliantSan Francisco based Verliant Sciences (Verliant), has announced entering into a multi-year collaborative research and development agreement with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) for the analysis and separation of molecular constituents of various waste streams. This research is expected to have important applications for waste reclamation and renewable energy, as well as biomedical. The multi-year alliance will take a phased approach and will draw on the biomedical expertise of UCSF researchers, as well as the environmental research expertise, technology, and industry experience of Verliant’s science team. Scientists expect the research to generate information that will expand the use of waste byproducts and increased digestion efficiency, ultimately resulting in greater waste diversion potential. Nancy Phillips, Ph.D., chemist in the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry: "Not enough is known about the molecular constituency of municipal waste or other waste streams, and investigating the bioconversion of wastes is relevant to resolving our global waste and energy problems." 03/03/2014

USFS Releases Forest Management Plan and FEIS for Kaibab National Forest

US Forest ServiceThe US Forest Service (USFS) has announced release of the new land and resources management plan and accompanying final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the Kaibab National Forest (KNF), which are available on the USFS website. The FEIS documents the analysis of the alternatives developed for the management of about 1.6 million acres of the KNF, replacing the original 1988 forest plan. The KNF is the northwestern unit of the Four Forests Restoration Initiative (4FRI). The new Kaibab National Forest Plan provides direction to do the following: 1) Restore ponderosa pine, frequent fire mixed conifer forests, and grasslands by increasing the amount and rate of mechanical thinning and managed fire treatments, and support landscape scale restoration projects such as the 4FRI; 2) Promote aspen regeneration and protect natural waters, which are important centers of biological diversity: 3) Provide for sustainable uses that honor the forest’s human history while meeting current demands; Establish a monitoring framework that enables adaptive management. The Plan also recommends about 6,400 acres for wilderness designation adjacent to existing wilderness. 03/03/2014

University in Denmark Reports on Cheaper 2G Biofuels without Enzymes

University of Southern DenmarkThe University of Southern Denmark (USD) has announced that its researchers in collaboration with the University of Baghdad and Al-Muthanna University in Iraq have developed a new technique to make second generation (2G) biofuels without the use of expensive enzymes. Producing 2G bioethanol from dead plant tissue is environmentally friendly, but it is also expensive because the process that is used today needs expensive enzymes, and large international companies dominate this market. Per Morgen, professor at the Institute of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Southern Denmark: "The goal is to produce bioethanol from cellulose. Cellulose is very difficult to break down, and therefore cannot directly be used as a food source. Cellulose is found everywhere in nature in rich quantities, for example in the stems of the corn plant. If we can produce bioethanol from the corn stems and keep the corn cubs for food, we have come a long way." The team has developed a completely enzyme-free technique that is not patented and not expensive. The technique uses an acid that is made from treated rice husks. The ashes from burnt rice husks have a high content of silicate, and this is the important compound in the production of the new acid. The scientists paired silicate particles with chlorosulfonic acid and this made the acid molecules attach themselves to the silicate compounds. The result was an entirely new molecule, the acid RHSO3H, which can replace the enzymes in the work of breaking down cellulose to sugar for the production of 2G biofuels. 03/03/2014

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