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May 2013 News and Matters of Interest

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UI-ACES Funded for new Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory

University of IllinoisThe University of Illinois (UI) at Urbana-Champagne, College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES), has announced that the Illinois Capital Development Board has designated funding for design and construction of the Integrated Bioprocess Research Laboratory (IBRL). The project with a budget of just over $23 million, is an outgrowth of the UI Center for BioEnergy Research (CABER), and will be built adjacent to the existing Agricultural Bioprocess Laboratory. According to CABER professor Hans Blaschek, the facility will connect bench-scale research with requirements for scale-up to commercial viability, for development and commercialization of advanced biofuels. ACES professor Vijay Singh: "We are offering an annual industrial affiliate membership which includes access to the pilot plant, faculty expertise, working with master’s students (via internships), bioenergy class presentations, one online class, and an invitation to the annual industrial members’ networking conference." Recent biofuels research at the ACES includes conversion cellulosic biomass into biofuels, addressing the effect of enzymatic hydrolysis on pre-treatment of Miscanthus, and analyzing the influence of feedstock particle size on lignocellulose conversion. A collaborative effort between the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, USDA, and Illinois, is also assessing the effects of fungal-sourced mycotoxins on ethanol production. DuPont Industrial Biosciences and Novozymes have joined as affiliate members, and in the last year, five multinational companies recently completed projects at the current facility. Groundbreaking for the new facility should take place in fall of 2013, with completion expected in 18 months. 05/30/2013

Fulcrum BioEnergy's MSW Conversion to Low-Carbon Jet Fuel Successful

Fulcrum BioEnergyCalifornia-based Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc. has announced it has successfully demonstrated the conversion of municipal solid waste (MSW) into low-carbon jet and diesel fuel, in addition to previously trialed conversion to ethanol. Testing was completed at Fulcrum's demonstration facility in Durham, North Carolina, based on the company's technology platform of MSW sorting, recyclate separation and recovery, steam reforming gasification of residuals, and syngas catalysis to liquid fuels. Fulcrum also announced that it has been awarded a $4.7 million grant by the U.S. Department of Defense (“DoD”) to begin engineering and development on a plant to produce jet fuel. Fulcrum will match this DoD grant with $4.7 million of its own capital to provide funding to complete the engineering and development of Fulcrum’s first MSW to jet fuel plant. The plant will produce jet fuel at a lower cost to the military, and with lower carbon emissions than petroleum jet fuel. E. James Macias, Fulcrum’s President and Chief Executive Officer: "Fuel diversity adds an integral component to our innovative business plan, creating a platform to offer customers the product they want, in the market they want. Our process is now capable of producing jet fuel, diesel and ethanol from residential garbage that would otherwise be landfilled. Fulcrum’s large development program, backed by secured MSW, will have the capacity to produce more than half a billion gallons of fuel in markets across North America at lower costs compared to conventional petroleum fuel, while reducing carbon emissions by more than 80%." 05/30/2013

AB 1126 Solid Waste Conversion Legislation Clears California Assembly

California LegislatureCalifornia Assembly Bill 1126 (AB 1126) waste and biomass conversion bill was passed by the California Assembly this week and has been sent to the Senate for study. This complex and contentious legislative offering continues to undergo considerable change as it moves through the process. "AB 1126 Solid waste: biomass conversion: municipal solid waste (MSW) conversion" attempts to first define, and then classify and characterize technical methods of waste and biomass conversion, and guide the permitting and oversight process for the facilities where this could be accomplished. Yet the bill has strong opposition from those most likely to understand the realities of waste conversion. Los Angeles County's Integrated Waste Management Task Force filed its argument against the current language in a letter dated May 23, 2013 to Assemblyman Gatto, Chair of the Assembly's Appropriations Committee. Key points of contention: (1) categorizes MSW conversion as disposal; (2) eliminates diversion credit for the amount of solid waste diverted from disposal facilities through source reduction measures; (3) impacts base-year disposal rates with negative financial impacts on municipalities: (4) fails to differentiate between combustion and non-combustion processes; (5) sets an arbitrary processing limit of 500 tons per day, and (6) contains provisions that should be exclusive to combustion technologies at the expense of non-combustion processes. The letter concludes, "Instead of addressing current barriers in statute by establishing a permitting pathway for MSW conversion facilities, this bill sets capricious standards that make facility development even more challenging than it currently is. Therefore, the Task Force opposes AB 1126 as amended on May 8, 2013." 05/30/2013

Pacific Biodiesel Completes High Vacuum Distillation Testing

Pacific BiodieselHawaii based Pacific Biodiesel, Inc has informed Teru Talk that its subsidiary Big Island Biodiesel, LLC (BIB) has completed testing of a High Vacuum Distillation (HVD) unit installed at its Hawaiian biorefinery in Keaau. Pacific Biodiesel's flexible design at the 5.5 million gallon per year BIB facility already accepts a wide range of waste oils and grease. The HDV unit facilitates installed in 2012 allows further purification of the resulting biofuel. Distillation of biodiesel under high vacuum is a new approach to addressing the shortcomings of traditional biodiesel refining techniques when dealing with degraded feedstock. American Standard Testing Method (ASTM) D6751 quality limits for sulfur and glycerin in biodiesel are 15 and 0.24 parts per million (ppm), respectively; the HDV reduced Pacific Biodiesel's results from 6.5 ppm to 0.9 ppm for sulfur, and from 0.125 to 0.011 ppm glycerin. The HVD system at BIB was made possible by a grant from the US Department of Energy, which awarded funds to the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR) to competitively select projects. PICHTR awards funds through two programs, the Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture (HREDV) and the Energy Excelerator. HREDV then awarded BIB $1 million to expand its capability to process a wider range of feedstocks and increase local biodiesel production. BIB Plant Manager John Griffith: "The results from our standard process are well within specification, and were produced with feedstock having up to 15% FFA content. However, our new distilled biodiesel not only far surpasses the specifications, but the process works great with high FFA feedstock as well." .05/29/2013

SINTEF Improves Forest Biomass Residual Processing through Torrefaction

SINTEFThe Scandinavian based independent research organization SINTEF has reported on progress toward developing cost-effective methods for utilization of the lowest grade of forest logging waste, leaf mulch, and other biomass residual materials in Norway. The piles of tree branches and tops left behind from logging operations are referred to as GROT in Norway, and are considered a major unexploited energy resource. The SINTEF laboratory has been researching torrefaction, a low-temperature (275º C) thermal conversion process that reduces the bulk of biomass residuals by 30%, while retaining 90% of the entrained energy. The resulting charcoal can be ground to a fine power and pressed into energy-dense fuel pellets. The volatile gases released during the heating process are used as fuel to maintain the retort temperature. The resulting torrefied wood pellets are much closer to coal in combustion properties than are wood chip "hog fuel" or non-torrefied wood pellets. The NOK 2 million (US $340,000) laboratory is wholly financed by SINTEF Energy Research. SINTEF's research on torrefaction is financed from the Research Council of Norway’s competence building project STOP (STable Operating conditions for biomass and biomass residues combustion plants), and a partnership with the industrial sector through the "national biomass team", CenBio. 05/29/2013

Shanks Selected for £560m Waste Treatment Contract in Northern Ireland

Shanks GroupUnited Kingdom (UK) based Shanks Group Plc has announced that its SBS consortium has been selected as preferred bidder on a £560m multi-stage waste management, recycling, and energy generation project in Northern Ireland. The SBS Waste Partnership is comprised of the Shanks Group, Northern Ireland civil engineering company BricKKiln, and construction company Sisk. The project for the North West Regional Waste management Group (NWRWMG) of Northern Ireland to manage up to 140,000 tonnes of mixed municipal and industrial waste per year, using mechanical biological treatment (MBT) to segregate and remove recyclable materials and to produce a refuse derived fuel (RDF) for gasification and energy generation. Planning permission for the site has been approved and the project is now moving into the financing stage. BricKKiln notes that all seven councils in NWRWMG have now agreed to approve the SBS Waste Partnership for the 25-year deal. The consortium already has planning permission for the MBT and gasification facility at BricKKiln’s Enviroparc at Electra Road in Maydown. Councillor Evelyne Robinson, chair of the NWRWMG’s joint committee: "This is one of Northern Ireland’s largest ever procurement exercises and I am delighted that the north-west is on course to become the Province’s most environmentally friendly region in the area of waste management." 05/28/2013

Benefuel Teams with Flint Hills Resources for US Biorefinery Development

BenefuelChicago based Benefuel Inc. has announced entering into an agreement for biorefinery development in the United States with Kansas based Flint Hills Resources LLC (FHR), a subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc and a shareholder in Benefuel. The facilities will be developed by Duonix, LLC, a joint venture of the two firms, with the first plant being a retrofit of a 50 million gallon capacity ethanol facility in Beatrice, Kansas. The existing facility was purchased out of bankruptcy by FHR and ownership has been transferred to Duonix. The plants will utilize Benefuel's ENSEL process for heterogeneous catalysis, enabling use of cheaper, high free fatty acid (FFA) feedstocks, such as oil by-products from ethanol refining, waste-vegetable oils, animal fats, and unrefined oils. The solid-acid-catalyst reactor combines esterification and transesterification into a single process step to meet both ASTM (American) and EN (European) biodiesel standards. The Japanese conglomerate Itochu Corporation (also a current Benefuel shareholder) has strategically invested in the Beatrice biorefinery as a base for international expansion. The ENSEL has now been independently validated by both FHR and ITOCHU at two separate, one-ton-per-day, demonstration facilities. Benefuel is the exclusive, worldwide license-holder of the patented, intellectual property and catalyst, which was developed by National Chemical Laboratories (NCL) and is produced by Clariant Corporation subsidiary Süd-Chemie, developers of the SunLiquid cellulosic biofuel process. 05/27/2013

US DOE Awards Technical Assistance to Tribes for Bioenergy Projects

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced selection of five Native American tribal institutions for receipt of technical assistance through the department's Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Program for renewable energy project development and installation. Two of the five projects are based on biomass utilization. The Chugachmiut Regional Corporation of Port Graham, Alaska is the health and social services provider for seven Tribes in the Chugach region of south central Alaska. The corporation plans to replace a local, community-scale hot water distribution system with a new energy-efficient biomass plant, which will use local wood to generate power for community buildings in the Native Village of Port Graham. The second technical assistance awardee is the Ho-Chunk Nation of Black River Falls, Wisconsin, receiving help with the development of a one to two megawatt biomass waste-to-energy plant. The plant could potentially use municipal solid waste, agriculture waste or other biomass resources to offset tribal facility energy costs. The other tribes receiving assistance are the Pinoleville Pomo Nation (Ukiah, California), the San Carlos Apache Tribe (San Carlos, Arizona), and the Southern Ute Indian Tribe (Ignacio, Colorado). Through the START program, the DOE and National Laboratory experts work directly with Tribal communities to evaluate project financial and technical feasibility, provide on-going training to community members and help implement a variety of clean energy projects, including energy storage infrastructure, renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency. Since its launch in 2012, the START program has helped eleven Native American and Alaska Native communities cut energy waste and deploy local clean, renewable energy projects. 05/27/2013

Due 07/18/2013: Qualifications for City of Surrey Waste to Biofuel Facility

City of SurreyThe City of Surrey, British Colombia, Canada, has announced the release of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for development of an 80,000 metric tonne per year organic waste and residual processing facility for production of advanced biofuels. The facility will use anaerobic digestion (AD) to process residential and commercial kitchen and yard waste into biogas for upgrading to a renewable fuel, which will be used to power the City's fleet of new waste trucks as part of its ENERGYShift plan. The RFQ invites teams to submit responses indicating their interest in and qualifications for the project, leading to selection of a shortlist of up to three teams who will then be invited to submit proposals to design, build, partially finance and maintain the new facility. The City estimates construction cost at $65 million and hopes to engage a successful proponent in early 2014. A summary document outlines the Surrey Biofuel Processing Facility Project (RFQ #5587); the full document and all amendments are are available on-line at the BC Bid web portal which requires free registration for downloads and to receive updates. All qualifications packets are to be submitted by 11:00 PST, July 18, 2013 directly to Partnerships BC, 2320 - 1111 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 4M3, attention Elena Generalova. Questions are to be directed by email (only) to Ms. Generalova at <>. 05/27/2013

Oregon DEQ Plastics Recovery Assessment Project Includes Pyrolysis

State of OregonThe Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has begun a Plastics Recovery Assessment Project, partnering with METRO, the elected regional government for the Portland metropolitan area. The project will consider the best way to recover plastic so that the largest amount of material can be re-used. As part of developing Oregon's Materials Management 2050 Vision and Framework for Action, the Oregon DEQ conducted an analysis indicating that of all waste materials, plastics showed the greatest potential for energy savings and also was a significant material in terms of potential for greenhouse gas reduction through recovery. A background paper from that analysis has been posted on-line providing an overview of Oregon's recycling and disposal information. The project's Scope of Work addresses key sources of plastic wastes, plastics categorization, and the methods and technologies in use for sorting, recycling, recovery, and conversion via pyrolysis to produce fuels, lubricants, and other products. Use of plastics to reduce iron ore in virgin smelting, and direct combustion for recovery of heat will also be considered. DEQ and METRO intend to team with other states, recycling businesses, equipment manufacturers, industry and environmental groups, and local government agencies. A working group is currently being assembled and the group's first meeting is scheduled for May 30, 2013 at DEQ headquarters. For further information regarding participation in the project, contact Peter Spendelow, (503) 229-5253, or via email at <>. 05/25/2013

New Paper on Viable Production of Diesel from Non-Recyclable Waste Plastics

Plastic2OilA detailed paper by John Bordynuik, CTO of JBI, Inc. addressing the company's patent pending Plastic2Oil process is now available in the newly released Proceedings of the 21st Annual North American Waste-to-Energy Conference (NAWTEC) last month in Fort Meyer, Florida. The paper, entitled "Viable Production of Diesel from Non-Recyclable Waste Plastics" reviews the recovery of valuable hydrocarbons from the pyrolytic breakdown of the long-chain polymers that make up plastics. JBI began with a 1 gallon continuous-feed reactor in 2009 and produced a separable diesel-naptha mix, then scaled up to a 55 gallon reactor and engaged third party testing that concluded: (a) the process was replicable and scalable, (b) 85-95% of the plastic feedstock was converted to "near diesel" fuel, (c) 8% was converted to usable synthetic fuel gas or syngas, (d) 1% remained as a residual of carbon black and ash, (e) no evidence of air toxins was found in emissions, and very importantly, (f) the process generated twice the amount of energy consumed 5to convert the waste to beneficial raw materials. A 3,000 gallon capacity pilot plat followed in 2010 that produced over 15,000 gallons of fuel the first year, over 122,000 gallons in 2011 and more than doubling that capacity to over 317,000 gallons in 2012. A second plant went on-line early in 2012 in Niagara Falls, New York. JBI has been successful in repeated funding rounds and in its permitting of an increasing operation capacity. JBI's Fuel Oil No. 6, Diesel, and Naphtha. Fuel Oil No. 6 and Naphtha do not require any additives and are shipped directly to a customer. The diesel fuel has very low sulphur so a lubricity additive is injected prior to shipping the fuel to a customer. The fuel has been tested by InterTek, Petrolabs, Southwest Research, and Alberta Research Council. 05/25/2013

Enval Wins at "Finance for the Future" for Plastic Laminate Recovery

EnvalBased in Cambridge, Enval Ltd. has announced its selection as winner in the "Inspiring New Ideas" award category, in the United Kingdom's (UK) Financing for the Future competition. Initiating a public-private consortium that includes the Kraft Foods Group and Nestlé, Enval has developed an integrated process to recover separate resources from laminates of plastic and aluminum, such as used commonly for flexible beverage containers. The laminates are separated from municipal solid waste at a materials recovery facility (MRF), and processed using pyrolysis to recover impurity-free aluminum. The UK's Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP) studied the process in 2011 and determined it was viable; Enval secured substantial funding during early 2012 and selected a commercial facility site in Alconbury, UK in October of last year. The Finance for the Future Awards are organized by NatWest, The Prince's Accounting for Sustainability Project and ICAEW; the Inspiring New Idea category recognized the creation of the Enval Consortium to aid in technical development and commercialization of its patented recovery process. Dr. Carlos Ludlow, Enval’s Managing Director and CTO: "The Enval Team is thrilled to have had its work recognised with this prestigious award. We are grateful for this acknowledgement of the positive impact of our efforts to bring our technology to market. This award is also testament to the interest in the innovative solutions Enval is developing amongst the wider community beyond the waste handling sector. We are continuing to seek new partners across the supply chain, who want to underline their commitment to sustainability by engaging us for the development of new recycling processes for other valuable materials that still end up in landfill." 05/25/2013

Due 06/14/2013: Comments to California ARB on LCFS Incentive Alternatives

California Air Resources BoardThe California Air Resources Board (ARB) has proposed amendments to provide cost containment provisions within the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulation, and seeks stakeholder input. An informal public workshop was conducted on May 24, 2013; the slide presentation is available on-line as is a staff white paper on "Potential Concepts to Further Incent Investments in Low-CI Fuels and Provide Additional Compliance Strategy Options." The 2009 LCFS regulatory language includes a "mix of strategies" designed to lower the cost to regulated parties. The mix includes: investing in production of low-carbon-intensity (low-CI) fuels to self-generate credits; purchasing low-CI fuels for blending with traditional hydrocarbon fuels; purchasing credits from other regulated parties; and banking credits for use in future years. A 2011 Advisory Panel recommended two major changes: (1) further stimulate investment in low-CI fuels; and (2) provide additional compliance strategy options. Five options that have been suggested to date: (1) a “credit window” option; (2) a “reinvestment plan” option; (3) a “credit multiplier” option; (4) a “credit clearance” option; and (5) a “noncompliance penalty” option. During the workshop, comments on Option 2 included (a) recognition that the lack of long-term surety and stability in the LCFS credit system is a barrier to waste to Low-CI fuel project funding; (b) a request for development of a Green Investment Bank for funding Low-CI Fuels production facilities, and (c) a request for a more direct and inclusive approach to technology development companies capable of creating Low-CI fuels. Written comments may be submitted by June 14, 2013 via email to Michelle Buffington at <>. 05/25/2013

California ARB and OEHHA Submit Final Biomethane Report to CPUC

California Air Resources BoardThe California Air Resources Board (ARB) and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) have announced completion of the co-authored staff report, "Recommendations to the California Public Utilities Commission Regarding Health Protective Standards for the Injection of Biogas into the Common Carrier Pipeline."  The final report has been submitted to the Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in compliance with the mandates of Assembly Bill 1900 (Gatto, Statutes 2012, Chapter 602). AB 1900 requires the CPUC to develop human health standards for biomethane injected into the natural gas utility grid. The report release coincides with work mandated by the legislation for other agencies; the California Energy Commission is currently addressing challenges to biomethane procurement for pipeline injection in preparation of an element of the Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) and has scheduled a workshop on the topic for May 31, 2013. The ARB and OEHHA's transmittal memo to the PUC discusses the recommended health protective standards for constituents of concern in biogas that is upgraded to biomethane and injected into the common carrier pipeline. Following detailed presentation of contaminants and respective health concerns, the Recommendations address (a) Risk Management, with identification of specific health protective standards based on the ARB's 1993 "Guidelines for New and Modified Sources of Toxic Air Pollutants", (b) Monitoring and Testing Requirements with quarterly assessment where any of 12 designated contaminant exceeds the "trigger level", and (c) Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements. Tables separate requirements: landfill gas sourced biomethane must be tested and reported upon for all 12 constituents of concern, while biogas produced from Publicly Owned treatment Works (POTWs) list six constituents and dairy digesters only five. The joint report includes portions of appendices to be completed in the near future; the agencies must now review and update the standards as needed at least every five years. 05/22/2013

Due 06/24/2013: Proposals to Minnesota Commerce Dept for CHP Study

Minnesota Department of CommerceThe Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources, has published notice of a Request for Proposals under the state's Conservation Applied Research and Development Grant Program (CARD Grant RFP FY2013-02). The RFP solicits proposals from organizations or individuals interested in conducting research to: 1) develop a combined heat and power (CHP) white paper that will evaluate regulatory issues and policies specific to Minnesota, and 2) perform a Minnesota CHP potential study. The information obtained from this effort is intended to inform electric and natural gas utility Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) development and state energy policy. Funding for one award of to $200,000 in total is available for this RFP. The Department has posted an informational webinar on the RFP that can be viewed at any time. The full proposal and support documents are available from the RFP Notice page at no charge, but require registration to download. The CARD program was developed to help implement Minnesota's 2007 Next Generation Energy Act to identify new technologies or strategies to maximize energy savings, improve the effectiveness of energy conservation programs, or document the carbon dioxide reductions from energy conservation projects. 05/22/2013

EuropaBio Launches Video Series on BioTech Solutions for EU BioEconomy

European Association of BioindustriesThe European Association of Bioindustries (EuropaBio) has announced the launch a collection of short films (videos) presenting Stories from the Biobased Economy, "in response to calls for tangible examples where biobased industries are working together to build new value chains across Europe." EuropaBio's "bioeconomy" encompasses the production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, biobased products and bioenergy. The series begins with examples of the farmer's cooperative Cristal Union and its collective investment in research and processing capabilities. Next, Pannonia Ethanol in Dunaföldvár, Hungary addresses community involvement, while Roquette presents its multi-feedstock starch-to-biofuels biorefinery development in France. Ralf Hortsch, managing director of Clariant’s Straubing biorefinery, explains how their new plant produces its Sunliquid biofuel from wheat harvest residues. Finally, Novozymes researchers in Denmark explain development of fungal-sourced enzymes for pre-treating cellulosic biomass. EuropaBio is managed by representatives of the 1800+ Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) member companies, from the three main segments of Biotechnology: Healthcare (Red Biotech), Industrial (White Biotech) and Agri-Food (Green Biotech). EuropaBio Secretary General, Nathalie Moll: "Biobased industries, using industrial biotech, are already making a major contribution towards tackling the big societal, environmental and economic challenges we face. There are so many more examples out there of how these new partnerships are bringing widespread benefits across the member states. Our hope is that these films will help inspire others to share their success stories to show how investments in biobased industries pay back big dividends for Europe and Europeans." 05/21/2013

Agrivert Opens Wallingford AD Plant to Covert Food Waste to Energy

AgrivertBased in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, Agrivert Ltd. has announced the official opening of its £10 million, 45,000 tonne per year Wallingford anaerobic digestion (AD) facility. The Wallingford plant was designed to convert source-separated residential food waste, retail commercial food waste and organic residuals from industrial food processing. Methane produced in the digesters is cleaned and upgraded for fueling gas engines for combined heat and power (CHP). Design power generation capacity is over 2.3 megawatts of electricity (MWe); initial heat usage will be to maintain the digesters, with expansion plans for later on-site biofuel drying. The plant is one of six organic waste recycling facilities built by Agrivert Ltd under a 20 year contract to provide a complete organic waste treatment solution for Oxfordshire County Council. The other plants comprise four composting sites and another AD plant at Cassington. The Wallingford AD facility will also process waste for The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) under a 25 year contract in partnership with Covanta, which has recently extended its food waste collection service to all local households and this means residents who recycle food can benefit from the council’s rewards for recycling scheme. The borough was the first local authority in the UK to actively promote Recyclebank rewards for household recycling and the food waste steam is now recycled at Agrivert’s anaerobic digestion plant to produce valuable fertiliser and renewable energy. 05/21/2013

Due 06/14/2013: Comments to CEC on Challenges to Biomethane Procurement

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has released Notice of a staff workshop to assess the challenges that limit biomethane procurement in California and the potential solutions, and to solicit public input. The workshop is scheduled for May 31, 2013 in the CEC's main hearing room, and will be web-cast; comment during the workshop will be entered into the IEPR record. This workshop will focus on the requirements of Assembly Bill 1900 (Gatto, Statutes 2012, Chapter 602). Prior to the bill's passage, direct injection of biomethane into the utility gas grid was prohibited. AB 1900 added Section 25326 (a) to the Public Resources Code directing California agencies to address the problems including specific duties assigned to the CEC, the Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the Air Resources Board (ARB), the Department of Toxic Substance Controls (DTSC), the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), and the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA). Public input during and subsequent to the workshop will inform the CEC's biomethane assessments to be included in the 2013 Progress-to-Plan for the Bioenergy Action Plan, as an element of the 2013 Integrated Energy Policy Report (Docket No. 13-IEP-1M). The California Energy Commission adopts an Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) every two years and an update every other year. Oral comments may be submitted at the hearing, but written comments are requested to be submitted by June 14, 2013. The CEC encourages electronic comment submission by e-mail, identified as to Docket No. 13-IEP-1M and submitting parties, indicating Biomethane Procurement Challenges in the Subject Line and sent to both the Docket Office, <> and to Garry O'Neil, lead technical staff, <>. 05/21/2013

Work to Begin Under 1st Four Forest Restoration Initiative Contract

Four Forest Restoration Initiative The US Forest Service has announced that work under the first stewardship contract issued through the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) will begin in early June. The program's long-term goal is to restore the structure, pattern and composition of fire-adapted Southwestern Region ecosystems in the Kaibab, Coconino, Apache-Sitgreaves and Tonto national forests. The Forest Service anticipates that the work authorized under the initial Ranch Task Order released late last month will provide fire risk reduction and forest health treatment on about 1,000 acres on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests near Show Low, Arizona. The selected contractor for biomass residual removal, Pioneer Forest Products, was awarded a 10-year stewardship contract in May 2012, and is working closely with the Forest Service for the removal of wood, road maintenance and erosion control activities. Montana-based Pioneer announced a teaming agreement with Arizona's Cooley Forest Products and biomass conversion company Concord Blue in August of last year; the team will sustainably remove excess biomass and convert this to liquid fuels. This is the beginning of restoration work that will treat an average of 30,000 acres per year on the Coconino, Kaibab, Apache-Sitgreaves and Tonto National Forests over the next nine years and is an important step for the 4FRI – a 20-year plan to restore 2.4 million acres of ponderosa pine forest in northern Arizona. The overall contract provides for treatment of 300,000 acres over 10 years and is the largest stewardship contract awarded to date by the Forest Service. 05/20/2013

Green Energy Renewable Solutions and Cirque Energy II, LLC Merge

Cirque Energy, IncNevada based Green Energy Renewable Solutions Inc. (GERSI) has announced a merger with Michigan based Cirque Energy II, LLC. GERSI develops integrated municipal waste management, recycling and reprocessing complexes; Cirque Energy is an experienced renewable energy project developer. With the merger, GERSI will change its name to Cirque Energy Inc and share administration with Cirque Energy LLC's current management.  Joe DuRant, Chief Executive Officer of Green Energy: "Our merger with Cirque came together as a result of our shared vision to create a unique energy development company that provides end-to-end expertise in the development, implementation and operation of renewable energy projects that conserve natural resources and minimize negative environmental impact. Cirque’s senior management team brings skills sets and expertise that are unparalled in the energy development industry and our combined strengths will enable GERSI to successfully transition from a development stage company to a full operating company with the capability to execute and finance renewable energy projects. Cirque Energy has developed a diversified portfolio of potential renewable energy projects that are ready for implementation and which carry with them above-market return on investment." 05/20/2013

The St. Joe Company and Green Circle Bio Energy Sign Wood Pellet LOI

Green Circle Bio Energy, IncFlorida based The St. Joe Company has announced signing a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Green Circle Bio Energy, Inc. to encourage economic development opportunities for Florida’s Northwest region and to work toward making the Port of Port St. Joe operational. Green Circle is part of the JCE Group of Sweden, a diversified company operating in a variety of markets, including the traditional energy sector and forestry-related businesses. Green Circle already operates the world’s second largest wood pellet plant in Cottondale, Florida, is interested in leasing a site from St. Joe along the AN Railway to develop a wood pellet production facility. The St. Joe Company owns approximately 567,000 acres of land primarily in northwest Florida along with residential and commercial land-use entitlements in hand or in process. The majority of land not under development is used for the growing and selling of timber. Green Circle and St. Joe have also expressed their intent to enter into a wood fiber supply agreement as part of a definite agreement to be negotiated between the parties. The wood pellets produced at the new production facility can be transported via truck or AN Railway to the Port of Port St. Joe for further shipment to overseas markets. Additionally, bulk cargo port facilities are being considered for development at the Port site to accommodate Green Circle’s shipping needs. Congressman Steve Southerland: "Today’s announcement is great news for Port St. Joe and our surrounding region. By building upon Northwest Florida’s tremendous potential, both as a world leader in biomass production and a natural fit for rail, road, and waterway shipping, The St. Joe Company and Green Circle have made an important commitment to growing jobs and strengthening our local economy." 05/20/2013

Enerkem Secures $1.1MM Grant for Waste Conversion to Drop-In BioFuels

EnerkemMontreal based Enerkem Inc. has announced new research collaboration with the Government of Canada to further develop conversion of waste to advanced fuels. The project will be conducted at Enerkem’s research and development pilot facility in Sherbrooke, Quebec, in collaboration with the University of Sherbrooke. The Canadian government is contributing $1.1 million to this project with funding from Natural Resources Canada through the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative. The objective of the project is to develop new catalytic processes for the conversion of waste into “drop-in” biofuels. These “drop-in” biofuels are fully interchangeable with hydrocarbon fuels, such as conventional gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Vincent Chornet, president and CEO of Enerkem: "Enerkem’s core business is the commercial production of cellulosic ethanol, and we now intend to take advantage of our flexible technology platform to gradually expand our line of biofuels and chemical products. This research project is part of our growth strategy and demonstrates our commitment towards innovation and a greener economy." Enerkem's technology platform converts mixed waste and residues into a pure synthesis gas (syngas), which is suitable for the production of biofuels and chemicals using proven, well-established and commercially available catalysts. With its proprietary technology platform, the company is able to chemically recycle the carbon molecules from non recyclable waste into a number of products. 05/17/2013

Colorado Governor Signs HB 13-1001 Supporting Clean Technologies

State of ColoradoThe Colorado Cleantech Industry Association (CCIA) has announced that Governor John Hickenlooper signed House Bill 13–1001, the Advanced Industries Acceleration Act. The bill provides several million per year for the next decade including over $12 million next year in grants supporting seven advanced industries driving the Colorado economy including energy and natural resources. Through this act, the Colorado Office of Economic Development will provide grants for clean technology projects based on the existing funding stream within the Clean Technology Discovery Evaluation Grant Program starting in 2014. The goal of the act is to grow the most promising technology sectors in Colorado by providing grant opportunities to energy and natural resources; advanced manufacturing; aerospace; bioscience; electronics; engineering; and information technology. The Advanced Industries Acceleration Act absorbed an existing clean technology grant program that is set to begin disbursing funds in spring 2014. Companies that qualify will now be eligible for proof-of-concept grants (capped at $150,000), early stage capital and retention grants (capped at $250,000), and infrastructure grants (capped at $500,000). All three types of grants have a required matching component. Additionally, if a grantee qualifies for a “preference,” there are no caps on grant amounts. Chris Shapard, Executive Director of CCIA: "The passing of the Advanced Industries Acceleration Act is a huge win for cleantech and a win for the Colorado economy. Colorado’s future depends on these advanced sectors, and further innovation in cleantech will lead the way in spurring job growth and prosperity throughout the region. The passing of the Advanced Industries Acceleration Act is a huge win for cleantech and a win for the Colorado economy." 05/17/2013

Oregon BEST Funds Microbial Fuel Cell for Brewery Wastewater to Energy

Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies CenterThe Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (Oregon BEST) has announced a $150,000 commercialization grant for tests of a new microbial fuel cell to convert brewery wastewater to energy. The award is to the Oregon State University spin-off Waste2Watergy who is partnering with Widmer Brothers Brewing in Portland, one of Oregon's largest craft beer breweries. The patented technology uses electrodes impregnated with a proprietary combination of microbes that generate electricity when consuming organic matter suspended in wastewater. The process lowers the wastewater’s biological oxygen demand (BOD) level, helping to purify the water while producing electricity. Waste2Watergy was co-founded by Hong Liu, a professor in the OSU Dept. of Biological and Ecological Engineering and Yanzhen Fan, a researcher in the same department. The company will install its first small-scale in-field pilot, a 1-cubic meter fuel cell at Widmer’s Portland brewery, where it is expected to treat about 1,000 gallons a day. The average water usage ratio for the brewing industry is 6-8 gallons of water to produce a gallon of beer. Although Widmer Brothers’ water usage ratio is about half the industry average (4.2 gallons), the facility uses some four million gallons of water per month, paying the City of Portland to treat this wastewater. Widmer’s parent company also operates the Red Hook Brewery in Seattle and Kona Brewery in Hawaii, where they could apply the technology if the pilot proves successful. Julia Person, Sustainability Coordinator at Widmer Brothers: "We're very excited about this partnership. In the brewing industry, one of the main measuring sticks is the Water Usage Ratio, or how much water is needed to make a gallon of beer. If this technology can help us reduce our water usage ratio by cleaning our wastewater so we can reuse it, and in the process generate some electricity, it will be a real win." 05/16/2013

Kroger Unveils Food Waste to Clean Energy AD System in Los Angeles

The Kroger CompanyMassachusetts based FEED Resource Recovery Inc. has announced start of operations at its 55,000 ton per year anaerobic digestion (AD) system installation at The Kroger Company's Los Angeles, California grocery supply distribution center. The Kroger Recovery System utilizes AD to convert about 150 tons per day of unsold organics and onsite food-processing effluent into renewable biogas, which then powers electricity generation. The system will provide enough renewable biogas to offset more than 20% of the energy demand of the Ralphs/Food 4 Less distribution center. FEED integrates front-end materials handling and depackaging with high throughput rate AD reactors, interchangeable modular biogas utilization components for combined heat and power (CHP), and web-based optimization software to provide turnkey systems capable of matching a client's needs. Kroger is combining the use of renewable energy power with more than 150 zero emission fuel cell forklifts to make the Ralphs/Food4Less distribution center one of its greenest and most efficient facilities, advancing the City of Compton as a leading sustainable community. Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s president and chief operating officer: "We are committed to finding solutions for food waste and clean energy, and we believe this is a meaningful step forward. Investing in this project is a good business decision for Kroger and, most importantly, an extraordinary opportunity to benefit the environment. We want to thank Governor Brown and his team at CalRecycle and CalEPA, the City of Compton, the SCAQMD, and most importantly the team at FEED for making this renewable energy project a reality." 05/16/2013

BioFuelNet Canada Joins Airbus, Air Canada for Aviation Biofuels Solutions

BioFuelNet CanadaBioFuelNet Canada has announced entering into a cooperative agreement with Air Canada and Airbus to identify the promising biofuels for aviation. Air Canada and Airbus are part of a broad coalition that has pledged Carbon Neutral Growth from 2020 and reduction of greenhouse emissions by 50 per cent by 2050. BioFuelNet Canada, a not-for-profit organization hosted by Montreal's McGill University, will assess the viability of various Canadian advanced biofuels solutions for aviation. The project will focus on diverse feedstock including municipal solid waste and agricultural and forestry waste, as well as a range of conversion processes available for biofuel production. The ultimate goal is to determine which advanced biofuels are the most sustainable for aviation. BioFuelNet was launched in 2012 as part of the Federal Networks of Centres of Excellence program, which funds BioFuelNet through a $25 million grant over 5 years to bring together leading researchers, industry partners and government to accelerate research, development, and commercialization of advanced biofuels. Dr. Donald Smith, President of BioFuelNet and McGill University Professor stated, "Aviation biofuels are one of the most promising ways to reduce the aviation industry's carbon footprint, making air travel more environmentally-friendly. Airbus and Air Canada are key players in the field, dedicated to finding the most sustainable fuel sources for the future of air travel. These relationships are of great importance to BioFuelNet Canada." 05/15/2013

DOE Launches H2USA Program to Deploy Advanced Hydrogen Infrastructure

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the launch of a new program encouraging public/private partnerships to develop and deploy an advanced hydrogen infrastructure. Called "H2USA", the effort is focused on advancing hydrogen infrastructure to support more transportation energy options for U.S. consumers, including fuel cell electric vehicles. The new public/private partnership brings together automakers, government agencies, gas suppliers, and the hydrogen and fuel cell industries to coordinate research and identify cost-effective solutions to deploy infrastructure that can deliver affordable, clean hydrogen fuel in the United States. Inaugural members of the H2USA partnership include the American Gas Association, Association of Global Automakers, the California Fuel Cell Partnership, the Electric Drive Transportation Association, the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, Hyundai Motor America, ITM Power, Massachusetts Hydrogen Coalition, Mercedes-Benz USA, Nissan North America Research and Development, Proton OnSite, and Toyota Motor North America. Through H2USA, infrastructure being developed for alternative fuels includes natural gas, as well as fuel cell applications including tri-generation that produce heat, power, and hydrogen from natural gas or biogas. Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson: "Fuel cell technologies are an important part of an all-of-the-above approach to diversify America's transportation sector, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and increase our competitiveness in the global market. By bringing together key stakeholders from across the U.S. fuel cell and hydrogen industry, the H2USA partnership will help advance affordable fuel cell electric vehicles that save consumers money and give drivers more options." 05/15/2013

Canadian Government Partners for Algae to Biofuels using Industrial CO2

Government of CanadaThe Government of Canada has announced a joint 3 year project to use algae for sequestering and recycling industrial carbon emissions from oil sands development and in other industrial facilities. The Algal Carbon Conversion Pilot Project is a partnership among the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Canadian Natural Resources Limited (Canadian Natural) and Pond Biofuels. The initial effort will design and build a unique $19 million demonstration-scale algal biorefinery adjacent to Canadian Natural's Primrose South oil sands site, near Bonnyville, Alberta. The plant will recycle emissions from the oil sands facility, using carbon dioxide to grow algal biomass which will undergo further processing into products, such as biofuels, livestock feed and fertilizer. Pond Biofuels has built and is operating an industrial algae production facility utilizing raw cement production gas emissions as feedstock for algae growth. The resulting system is a cost effective CO2 scrubber and carbon sequestration technology, qualifying for CO2 credits, and producing oxygen in the process. The algal biomass is produced in quantity sufficient for commercial bio-sourced oil production, bioplastics, gasification, coal replacement, biodiesel, and many others. The ultimate goal of the project is to test the viability and feasibility of this technology on a large scale. If proven successful, it can then be used as a model for recycling industrial emissions in the oil sands, and in industries across Canada and around the world. Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology): "This discovery has tremendous potential to benefit our environment and our economy, and further establish Canada as a leader in managing CO2 emissions. What the results of this project could mean for the future of the oil sands and Canadian businesses makes this a significant day for Canada." 05/15/2013

Due 06/11/2013: Small Business Innovative Research Phase I Proposals to NSF

Due 06/13/2013: Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I Proposals to NSF

National Science FoundationThe National Science Foundation (NSF) has opened the application processes for Fiscal Year 2014's Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant programs. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program stimulates technological innovation in the private sector by strengthening the role of small business concerns in meeting Federal research and development needs, increasing the commercial application of federally supported research results, and fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses. Full Proposals are due by  June 11, 2013. The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program focuses on essentially the same goals, but requires researchers at universities and other non-profit research institutions to play a significant intellectual role in the conduct of each STTR project. These researchers, by joining forces with a small company, can spin-off their commercially promising ideas while they remain primarily employed at the research institution. With similar purpose, this STTR Phase I solicitation aims at encouraging the commercialization of previously NSF-funded fundamental research (NSF funding lineage). Both SBIR and STTR proposals submitted should fall into one the four broad topic areas: (1) Biological and Chemical Technologies (BC); (2) Education Applications (EA); (3) Electronics, Information and Communication Technologies (EI); and Nanotechnology, Advanced Materials, and Manufacturing (NM). Full Proposals are due by June 13, 2013. In a concurrent program with no formal due date, NSF invites current SBIR / STTR grantees to join an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC). The supplements are intended to accelerate the innovation process by partnering industry-relevant academic research with commercialization focused small business research. The supplements will enable small businesses to purchase annual memberships in I/UCRCs; thus opening the doors to the benefits of the centers’ collaborative research endeavors, which are directed to the needs of specific industries. 05/15/2013

Spanish Research Institute Improves CO2 to Methanol Catalysis

Institute for Chemical Research for CataloniaThe Spanish Institute for Chemical Research for Catalonia (ICIQ) has released a "technology available" notice via the international Innoget service (free registration required), entitled "Carbon dioxide recycling: high yielding process for the preparation of methanol and DME from carbon dioxide" (Tech Offer ID: O-1176). The notice describes an improved process for catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) into methanol, providing a "sustainable approach to methanol synthesis consists in capturing carbon dioxide from atmosphere or from burning plants and treat it with hydrogen to form methanol, thereby closing the carbon cycle. Such processes have been reported and they most commonly suffer from low selectivity to methanol and/or conversion of carbon dioxide to methanol, therefore requiring sophisticated process plants with high associated operating costs." The patent-pending technology, available for licensing, provides highly productive and selective preparation of methanol from CO2 in a continuous flow one-pass reactor operating at high pressure on a readily available copper-based catalyst. ICIQ is a non-profit foundation focused on organic chemistry and catalysis, created by the Government of Catalonia (Generalitat de Catalunya) in 2000 as part of its policy of setting up research centers in strategic areas. ICIQ started its research activities in 2004. The Institution is searching for industrial partners to further develop these technologies from the laboratory scale to the commercial plant, jointly or independently. 05/14/2013

Resolute Forest Products Opens Green Power Island at Ontario Paper Mill

Resolute Forest ProductsCanada based Resolute Forest Products (RFP) has announced the inauguration of a renewable energy complex at its Thunder Bay, Ontario pulp and paper mill. The power island includes a refurbished and upgraded wood waste boiler and a new 65-megawatt condensing turbine. The C$65 million project took just over 21 months to complete. Power produced will be sold to the Ontario grid under a power purchase agreement between Resolute and the Ontario Power Authority. RFP provides a range of products including newsprint, commercial printing papers, market pulp and wood products. The company owns or operates over 40 pulp and paper mills and wood products facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea, and power generation assets in Canada. Resolute has third-party certified 100% of its managed woodlands to at least one of three internationally-recognized sustainable forest management standards, including 65% certified to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards. Honourable David Orazietti, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources, sent a statement to mark the occasion: "The investment by Resolute in its turbine at Thunder Bay is a key commitment by the company to support the future viability of the Thunder Bay pulp and paper operation. I am pleased to see that the government's offer of access to additional wood supply through the 2010 wood supply competition has helped support Resolute's investment in its turbine, and that this government provided C$9.6 million towards this important green energy project that is integral to Resolute's pulp and paper complex in Thunder Bay." 05/14/2013

JBEI Advances Use of Ionic Liquids for Enzyme-free Biomass Pretreatment

Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryThe Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has announced that researchers at its Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have developed a new technique for pre-treating low-value cellulosic biomass prior to full conversion for production of biofuels and bio-sourced chemicals using ionic liquids without reliance on enzymatic hydrolysis. The research has just been published in the journal Biotechnology for Biofuels, titled "Production and extraction of sugars from switchgrass hydrolyzed in Ionic liquids." The use of Ionic liquids (ILs) as biomass solvents is considered to be an attractive alternative for the pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass. Environmentally benign ionic liquids are used as green chemistry substitutes for volatile organic solvents. While showing great potential as a biomass pretreatment for dissolving lignocellulose and helping to hydrolyze the resulting aqueous solution into fuel sugars, the best of these ionic liquids so far have required the use of expensive enzymes. Guided by molecular dynamics simulations carried out at DOE’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), the project's leader Blake Simmons and his colleagues at JBEI solved this problem by deploying the ionic liquid imidazolium chloride in tandem with an acid catalyst. Separation of products from pre-treatment solutions has been a problem; following JBEI's new approach, sugars and the ionic liquids form two completely separate layers, with 54% recovery of glucose and 88% recovery of xylose. The JBEI researchers believe these sugar yields can be increased by optimizing the process conditions and using more advanced methods of phase separation and sugar recovery. Simmons: "After optimizing the process conditions, our next step will be to scale the process up to 100 liters. For that work we will use the facilities at the Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit." 05/14/2013

US DOE Funds Eight Small Business Biomass-Focused Energy Technologies

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy office has announced awards totaling over $16 million for innovative small businesses focused on energy technologies. The awards are 88 companies in 28 states under the Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR / STTR) programs. Companies competing for these grants were encouraged to propose outside-the-box innovations to meet ambitious cost and performance targets. Of these, eight companies are focused on conversion of biomass: (1) Carbo Analytics of Colorado is developing cheap, fast sensors for determining the sugar content in raw materials; (2) Forest Concepts of Washington state for rotary shear advancements to cut the cost of biomass shredding; (3) Sabia, Inc. of San Diego, California is working on sensors to determine material density, percentage of moisture, percentage of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, iron, aluminum, silicon, calcium, etc., and calculate calorific value; (4) Aerodyne Research of Massachusetts has a high-pressure slurry pump for the delivery of biomass solids in high-pressure hydrothermal processes; (5) Hydrogy Llc of Florida is developing a hybrid torrefaction process; (6) Altex Technology Corporation of Sunnyvale, California is working on feedstock delivery into pressurized reactors; (7) Broadleaf Energy of Maryland is developing a scalable anaerobic digestion and filtration system; and (8) Hydrax of San Diego, California is preparing a method to separate solid by-products and recover ionic liquid solvent with very high recovery ratios. Acting DOE Secretary Poneman: "Small businesses form the backbone of our economy, employing half of our workers and creating two out of every three new jobs in the U.S." 05/13/2013

Coahuila Landfill Gas to Energy is 1st Biogas Project Financed by NADBank

North American Development BankThe North American Development Bank (NADBank) has announced that six new environmental infrastructure projects have been selected for financing and certification, totaling $44.57 million in grants and loans. Included in the projects certified for financing is NADB’s first biogas project, which will capture and use methane gas from the municipal landfill in Saltillo, Coahuila to generate electricity. The project will be developed by Lorean Energy Group, S.A.P.I. de C.V., which has the concession from the Municipality to use the landfill biomass and operate the biogas recovery and power generation project. The electricity will be used by the Municipality under a self-supply permit, which will reduce its energy costs. The facility is expected to help displace 45,015 metric tons/year of carbon dioxide equivalent, as well as capture and burn the biogas (methane) from the landfill preventing its release into the atmosphere. The five other selected developments will aid water and wastewater management in the region, and together will benefit more than 1.54 million residents throughout the U.S.-Mexico border region. The selections came as a result of Board of Directors meetings between NADB and its sister agency, the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) in Matamoros, Tamaulipas. 05/13/2013

WELTEC BIOPOWER Will Construct 1.8 MW Biomethane Plant in Finland

WELTEC BIOPOWERThe Vechta, Germany based company WELTEC BIOPOWER GmbH has announced development of a modular anaerobic digestion facility with a nameplate capacity of 1.8 megawatts (MWe) of renewable electricity, but designed to produce refined biomethane for transport. WELTEC's in-house component development and modular stainless-steel construction facilitates rapid, standardized construction and commissioning; the plant is expected to come on-line during the fall of this year. The facility will consist of three 4,000 cubic meter fermenters and two receiving tanks, and will integrate WELTEC's innovative MULTIMix pre-treatment system. MULTIMix can disintegrate and blend diverse feedstock types including long-fiber materials resistant to processing, delivering a consistent homogenous flow to the digesters. The pre-treatment processing occurs up-stream of pumps and stirring systems, removing contaminants that could otherwise damage the plant and increase maintenance costs. The initial feedstock blend will consist of only wastewater, straw and grass as fermentation substrates; once systems are optimized, the plant will begin to accept a broader array of wastes and residuals including locally-sourced fox, mink and pig manure. Post-digestion residuals will be processed to government standards for agricultural use as fertilizers and nutrient amendments. Finland's dependence on biomass-sourced power has recently exceeded its strong nuclear power generation. Biogas plants are to be expanded, especially in the area of the waste industry. According to Finland's Association for Foreign Trade, more than 30 biogas plants are currently in planning or under construction. 05/13/2013

Due 06/03/2013: Response to IBI Survey on Global Biochar Projects

International Biochar InitiativeThe International Biochar Initiative (IBI) is seeking detailed information regarding current trends in worldwide biochar deployment, and has posted a Biochar Projects Survey. For this international survey, IBI is asking for data on biochar projects being carried out by universities, non-profits, commercial enterprises, community-based organizations, and other entities. In particular, IBI is interested in projects being conducted with the participation of local stakeholders (e.g., farmers) with the goal of establishing operational biochar systems from feedstock sourcing to biochar production and application. IBI will be using the data collected in this survey to highlight the worldwide breadth of biochar projects, to look at trends in geography, feedstocks, technology, financing, project stages, and utilization. The data will be shared with the global biochar community in aggregated form to share the benefits and need for sustainable biochar deployment at all scales. The organization has asked that surveys be completed by June 3, 2013. Biochar is a solid material obtained from the carbonization of biomass, and may be added to improve soil function, reduce emissions and sequester carbon. These properties are measurable and verifiable in a characterization scheme, or in a carbon emission offset protocol. IBI recently completed Version 1.1 revised set of standards for biochar definition and testing for use in soils, after a year-long trial and comment period on Version 1.0. IBI has now launched a voluntary Biochar Certification Program with the primary goal to eliminate consumer and marketplace uncertainty and confusion around biochar by creating a standardized, recognized system to certify biochar that meets the IBI Biochar Standards. 05/13/2013

Edgeley Green Power Receives Council Approval for £20MM Bioenergy Plant

Edgeley Green PowerThe United Kingdom (UK) based Edgeley Green Power has announced receipt of approval to proceed with development of a biofuel power station on a one-acre site adjacent to the existing Shoreham Power Station on Fishersgate Terminal, Shoreham Port in Southwick, southern England. Plans for the 32 megawatt (MWe), £20 million bioenergy complex were approved by the Adur District Council's planning committee, allowing Edgeley to move forward with permitting applications to the UK's Environmental Agency. The new power station's engines will be fuelled by a range of independently audited inedible plant oils and animal fats that meet the sustainability criteria within the country's Renewable Obligation. The fuel will be delivered to the site by ship, and consist of: (1) used cooking oil sourced and processed on the continent to a specification suitable for power generation; (2) category one animal tallow, a product deemed suitable only for energy generation and road transport fuel use; (3) an oil derived from tall oil pitch, which is a byproduct of wood pulp manufacture, produced during the wood pulping of mainly fast growing coniferous trees in Scandinavia and Canada; and (4) crude and refined vegetable oils which as a result of insurance salvage are deemed unfit for human consumption. Shoreham Port’s development director Peter Davies: "We are pleased the project has been given the go ahead. It is good for the port and good for jobs. The planning authority properly looked into local people’s concerns about the fuel source and possible environmental aspects and found the scheme to be both safe and sustainable. We now look forward to seeing the power station being built." 05/10/2013

CEC Awards $1.75MM for Biomass to Fuel Cell Demo at Blue Lake Rancheria

Redwood Coast Energy AuthorityThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has announced approval of 21 Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) awards and 13 Energy Innovation Small Grants (EISG) totaling $14.5 million. Among the projects, $1,750,000 was awarded for development and installation of a small-scale biomass gasification-to-fuel cell installation for combined heat and power (CHP) in Humboldt County, California. The project lead is the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA), partnering with Humboldt State University's Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) and the Blue Lake Rancheria Hotel and Casino host site owner, the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe. The project expects to initially gasify about 2 tons per day of sawmill residue to produce a hydrogen-rich synthetic fuel gas (syngas) to be cleaned and upgraded as fuel for a 175 kilowatt Ballard ClearGen fuel cell. Heat from the system will be captured and used for augmenting the hotel's hot water. Jim Zoellich, Senior Research Engineer at the Schatz Center, noted that options for scaling-up the project are being considered, and that selection of the specific thermal system complement to feed the Ballard proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell has not been finalized. The final gasification system chosen will dictate the type of syngas upgrading necessary to produce the high-purity hydrogen for the fuel cell. The Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe secured the turnkey fuel cell system from Ballard earlier this year as the first biomass to PEM fuel cell nationally, shortly after the proposed research funding was first announced by the CEC. The Blue Lake Rancheria biomass to fuel cell project is part of RCEA's RePower Humboldt Strategic Plan. The Schatz Center also received separate EISG funding of $95,000 to assess the feasibility of converting biomass into high-energy bio-coal products. 05/10/2013

Sierra Institute in Plumas County Is Awarded $300K CEC PIER Grant

Sierra Institute for Community and EnvironmentThe Sierra Institute for Community and Environment of Taylorsville (Plumas County) will receive $300,000 to support a two-year effort to develop a renewable energy and energy efficiency action plan, and to make locally-sourced biomass available for public heating system upgrades. The Sierra Institute's application was among the renewable energy projects selected for Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) grant funding by the California Energy Commission (CEC) The plan will center on integrating woody biomass and other renewable energy sources into Plumas County's existing energy infrastructure to help reduce fossil fuel usage. The agreement will include $75,000 in match funding from the recipient. Work supported by the grant is to begin July 1, 2013. The CEC proposal follows findings of a year-long study completed in March 2012 by TSS Consultants on contract to the Institute, "Forest Biomass Transport and Value-Added Market Optimization Assessment for the Upper Feather River Watershed" as part of the Institute’s Cooperative Agreement with the Plumas National Forest. The primary focus of the Cooperative Agreement is to identify expanded economic uses of biomass through reduction of hazardous fuels on National Forest System Lands. In 2011, the Institute was instrumental in organizing and getting funded the 400,000 acre Burney-Hat Creek Basins Project, a Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) proposal engaging the Forest Service, private timber companies, recreation enthusiasts, environmental groups, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., ranchers, timber contractors, the Pit River Tribe, and the Lassen Volcanic National Park. 05/10/2013

RSB Services Hosts Webinar on Selling Renewable Biofuels into the UK Market

RSB Services FoundationRSB Services Foundation, the implementation arm of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels, has announced a free webinar that it will co-host on May 21, 2013 with the certification firm SCS Global Services. The webinar is designed to inform rendering and waste oil companies who are interested in selling into the United Kingdom (UK) market. The webinar will include a description of the procedures and documentation that will be required by international traders to sell into the UK market, also addressing requirements for other EU countries. The on-line registration page notes that to meet the renewable fuels obligation requirements under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and sell waste greases for export to the UK market, renderers and waste grease companies must include chain-of-custody documentation, verified through an EU-recognized certification. Scientific Certification Systems, Inc., now doing business as SCS Global Services, is a trusted leader in third-party environmental, sustainability and food quality certification, auditing, testing and standards development. In January 2012, the RSB announced the formation of the RSB Services Foundation, a 501©3 non-profit organization based in the United States, charged with implementing the RSB standards and managing a broad range of operational activities on behalf of the RSB Standards Body, including the certification process and oversight of licensing and use of the trademark. 05/09/2013

WRAP Funds NNFCC and CNG to Assess Farm Waste to Biogas Networks

Waste and Resource Action ProgrammeThe York-based company NNFCC has announced that the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has provided funding to assess the feasibility of establishing farm waste to biogas networks in the United Kingdom (UK) by using a group of Cheshire farmers as a test case. NNFCC will partner with the biomethane to pipeline specialist CNG Services Ltd. Biogas networks offer small-scale anaerobic digestion (AD) developers the opportunity to combine their resources to cut the cost of selling gas to the national grid. The feasibility study funding was awarded as part of the WRAP's Driving Innovation in Anaerobic Digestion (DIAD) programme. The feasibility study will look at the feedstock and technology options, as well as the viability of a number of business models, health and safety requirements, ownership of the infrastructure and regulations that could be barriers to the development. The partnership between NNFCC and CNG Services already has the backing of the National Grid, Arla Foods Ltd. and the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF), as well as Honesty Food Ltd.; a consortium of dairy farmers in West Cheshire. Lucy Hopwood, Head of Biomass and Biogas at NNFCC: "Many farmers are interested in anaerobic digestion but don't want to go it alone, the idea of a hub of farms feeding the national grid with low carbon gas is therefore attractive. Developing biogas networks could be an important way of getting more farmers involved in anaerobic digestion, which will benefit the rural economy and improve farm resource efficiency, such as nutrient and water management. It could also provide a major boost to the renewable heat market, helping to displace the use of fossil fuels." 05/09/2013

CEC Approves $100MM "Alt Fuels" Program Investment Plan for 2013-2014

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has announced approval of the Investment Plan for the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVT, the "Alt Fuels" program) for fiscal year 2013-2014 during its May 8, 2013 Business Meeting. The ARFVT program supports development and use of green vehicles and alternative fuels, implementing the mandates passed into law by Assembly Bill 118 (Nunez, 2007). The 2013-2014 ARFVT Investment Plan, released in draft on April 24, 2013, establishes priorities and describes how funding will complement existing public and private investments, including other state programs. The staff presentation on the Draft investment Plan is posted on-line. The new Plan places an alternative fuels funding support emphasis on fuels and technologies that use existing infrastructure and vehicle stock, use waste-based and other sustainable feedstocks, promote next-generation fuel conversion technologies, and encourage in-state production. There will be about $23 million allocated specifically to the alternative fuels sector. Alt Fuels infrastructure for electric vehicles, hydrogen and natural gas cumulative will receive around $28.5 million; the Alternative Fuel and Advanced Technology Vehicles section is allocated about $32 million. A total allocation of about $16.5 million will be divided between Emerging Opportunities, Manufacturing, Workforce Development, and Market & Program Development. For further information, email <>. 05/09/2013

NIB Finances New Biomass Combined Heat and Power Plant in Sweden

Nordic Investment BankThe Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) has announced an agreement to provide EUR 20 million financing for the development of a combined heat and power (CHP) biomass fueled plant at Tallholmen, in the City of Vimmerby, Sweden. The 20-year maturity loan is assigned to the utility Vimmerby Energi & Miljö AB and is completely financed using NIB Environmental Bonds. The start-up of the CHP facility is scheduled for the end of 2014, and is designed for a thermal output of 26 megawatts (MWt) and an electrical output of 7.5 MWe. Feedstock is to be bark and wood chips based on local forest residues available as fuel. The utility's existing biofuel-fired boiler is unable to meet current demand and needs to be supplemented with fossil fuel during peak periods; the investment will enable an increase in capacity of around 50%, contributing to an annual increase of heat- and electricity production of 90 GWh and 20-25 GWh, respectively. Vimmerby Energi & Miljö AB supplies local customers with renewable electricity, heat and process steam. Its operations are primarily located in the municipalities of Vimmerby and Hultsfred. The utility is wholly owned by the municipality of Vimmerby. NIB is an international financial institution owned by eight member countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden. The Bank finances private and public projects in and outside the member countries. Henrik Normann, NIB President and CEO: "The new and more efficient biofuel combined heat and power plant will benefit the inhabitants and industry in Vimmerby with a steady supply of district heating at reduced greenhouse gas emissions." 05/08/2013

Cyclone Power Offered Support for Ohio Production Line Expansion

Cyclone PowerFlorida-based Cyclone Power Technologies reports that a meeting with local, state, and federal representatives in Carroll, Ohio has resulted in a significant offer of support for the company's plans to expand its engine production operations. The Cyclone Engine is a Rankine Cycle heat regenerative external combustion, otherwise known as a “Schoell Cycle” engine. The Cyclone Engine is capable of operating on a raw heat source or using any fuel including biofuels, with significantly reduced emissions compared to traditional gas or diesel powered internal combustion engines. Among the options that may be available to Cyclone include job creation incentives, property tax credits, and economic development bonds for the purchase of equipment and facilities. U.S. Representative Steve Stivers, whose district encompasses Precision CNC's facility, commented: "I thank Cyclone and Precision CNC for showing me the incredible work both companies are doing to develop clean energy technologies that can support the diversification of our energy resources, and create dozens of engineering and production jobs here in Ohio. Small businesses like Cyclone and Precision CNC are the engines for economic growth in the United States by creating real value through research and manufacturing. I support their ingenuity and efforts." Cyclone signed a manufacturing agreement with the local company Precision CNC in December of last year, and began strategic development with the Ohio State University's Center for Automotive Research (CAR) in February of this year. 05/08/2013

Vieste Selects Abengoa to Build $110MM Waste to Energy Plant in Arizona

AbengoaThe Spanish firm Abengoa has announced that it has been selected by Chicago-based energy developer Vieste, LLC to design, build, and operate a facility for municipal solid waste (MSW) to materials and energy in Glendale, Arizona. Vieste designs, builds, finances, and owns various types of energy-related assets from traditional energy plants to solar, biomass, and waste-to-energy facilities, and invests in energy distribution infrastructure. Vieste's website notes previous infrastructure project experience. The project, estimated to cost around $110 million, is to include facilities for the receipt, sorting, recycling, and residuals processing of up to 180,000 tons of MSW per year under a 30 year operations and maintenance (O&M) contract. Non-recycled wastes will be processed to synthetic gas using gasification technology, currently being demonstrated at Abengoa's Babilafuente Biomass facility in Salamanca, Spain. The intent of the Arizona project is to optimize the conversion of MSW for generation of base-load electricity; up to 350 tons of syngas per day will fuel engines for generation of 15 megawatts of electricity (MWe). The construction period will last for about 20 months, during which about 50 jobs will be created directly and indirectly. The company's division Abengoa Bioenergy New Technologies has developed both biological and thermochemical waste conversion processes that allow acceptance of a wide array of feedstock and production of diverse end-products. The press release indicates that, "With this new project, Abengoa consolidates its leadership in the development of technological solutions that increase the recovery rate of recyclable material from MSW, utilize a resource that otherwise would be disposed of, and minimize the environmental footprint, thereby creating huge benefits for society." 05/07/2013

Placer County Approves 2MW Cabin Creek Biomass Facility Near Truckee

County of PlacerIn Teru's own California backyard, the Placer County Board of Supervisors conducted a public hearing on May 7, 2013 and unanimously approved the proposed Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and certified the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR SCH# 2011122032) for the Cabin Creek Biomass Facility. The FEIR was released for public comment last December. The proposed facility is a two-megawatt (MW) electric power generation facility to be constructed at the site of the Eastern Regional Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Transfer Station near Truckee on Cabin Creek Road. In order to approve the project, the Board heard a third party appeal filed by Senior Attorney Kevin Bundy on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity. Placer County Senior Planner Gerry Haas outlined the project and sought dismissal of the appeal. Mr. Bundy followed to explain that the Center's key objections had recently been addressed by the planning staff. At the core of the long debate is the Center's state-wide program to ensure that biomass feedstock for community scale bioenergy projects such as this were restricted to forest sourced woody waste and debris that would have otherwise been burnt in the field, rather than virgin biomass harvested to fuel the plant. Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery echoed the Center's concerns, stating that if she had thought the project intended "forest mining" for feedstock she would not have supported the effort. The Board asked for and received no further public comment; with the stipulation that the Center's concerns were to be incorporated into the formal documents.  The Board then denied the appeal request, approved the CUP and certified the FEIR. 05/07/2013

USDA's Value-Added Producer Grant Winners Include Waste Conversion

US Department of AgricultureThe US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that its Rural Development program has selected a total of 110 proposals for Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) awards. Among the selected proposals in this round of the VAPG are 11 projects involving production of bio-based products. The bulk of the funding will support diversification of locally produced and marketed foods; a substantial number include some form of waste / residual conversion to energy, fuels, chemicals and other commodities as efficiency improvements and co-product developments. Grants are included to convert: corn stover to anhydrous ammonia; miscanthus fiber, wood and goat manure into biochar and enhanced compost; and sorghum to electricity and fertilizer. The announcement notes that through the 2008 Farm Bill, Congress made several enhancements to the VAPG program. It expanded the definition of value-added to include locally-produced agricultural food products, and it gave priority to projects that focus on increasing opportunities for small and mid-size family farmers and ranchers, beginning farmers and ranchers, and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. VAPGs are an important element of USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, which coordinates USDA's work to support local and regional food systems. Previous VAPG awards supporting local and regional projects are located and identified on the "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass Map." Secretary Vilsack: "This support will benefit rural businesses and the communities where the recipients are located. These awards also will advance USDA's goals to develop a bio-based economy and support local and regional food systems." 05/07/2013

ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative Funds 55 Projects Across Canada

CanadaCanada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced selection of 55 proposals for support through its ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative, which was introduced in Budget 2011, and is being led by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). Of the 55 projects receiving support, 15 will be pre-commercialisation demonstration projects to test the feasibility of various technologies, and 40 will be research and development projects to address knowledge gaps and bring technologies from the conceptual stage to the ready-to-be-tested stage of development. The projects will be undertaken in seven provinces and two territories and will focus on research in the following areas: energy efficiency; clean electricity and renewables; bioenergy; electrification of transportation; and, unconventional oil and gas. Among those selected is Quebec-based CO2 Solutions, who has developed a proprietary bio-technological platform for the efficient capture of waste carbon dioxide (CO2) using the enzymatic biocatalyst carbonic anhydrase, which functions within humans and other mammals to manage CO2 during respiration. CO2 Solution has successfully adapted the enzyme to function within an industrial environment, and thus has taken advantage of a biomimetic approach to CO2 capture based on millions of years of evolution. The Company is commercializing its technology for coal fired power generation, the oil sands and other CO2-intensive industries where a low-cost capture solution is key to meeting climate change legislation in a cost effective manner. Prime Minister Harper: "Our Government is positioning Canada as a global leader in the clean energy sector by supporting innovative projects across the country aimed at producing and using energy in a cleaner and more efficient way. The research and development generated by the projects being announced today will also maintain and create jobs, while benefitting the environment." 05/07/2013

European Intelli-Flue Project Focuses on Domestic Wood Heating Solution

IK4-IkerianThe Basque non-profit research and development center IK4-Ikerlan has announced that the Intelli-Flue project has succeeded in designing a low-cost retrofit for residential and small business conventional wood stoves. The program was initiated to promote solid fuels as an alternative to fossil oil and gas usage. It addresses management of the highly corrosive flue gases generated by low-quality feedstock for wood stoves that significantly reduce the lifetime of flue liners. Coupled with increased flue gas temperatures from high efficient solid fuel stoves now coming on the market, flue liners were failing to reduce serious chimney fires. The IK4-Ikerlan solution prototype intercepts stove exhaust to recover otherwise-wasted heat, lowers final exhaust temperature, and improves combustion process efficiency. A flue gas/water heat exchanger allows recovered heat to be used to heat other rooms. A heat power control mechanism has been developed for the stove, together with a new flexible ceramic smoke duct liner that resists highly corrosive combustion gases, enhancing the safety of the appliance. The trial period for the device is due to start soon and the market launch of the product is expected to follow a year later. Ricardo Marín, IK4-Ikerlan’s Intelli-flue project manager: "Combining all these solutions has enabled us to turn a conventional wood stove into a full heating system providing even heating throughout the whole home, without forfeiting appearance or comfort." The Intelli-flue project began in 2011 with a budget of almost 1,500,000 Euros, and has recently been completed. In addition to IK4-Ikerlan, other participants in the European Intelli-flue project were the consortium of companies comprising Thatched Owners Group Limited (UK), ATech elektronika (Slovenia), AIC (Poland), V Fraas GmbH (Germany), Cico Chimney Linings (UK) and Hormigones Refractarios de España (Spain), and the UK Materials Technology Research Institute (UK) and Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen (Germany) research centres. 05/06/2013

USFS Seeks Additional Comments on New Forest Plan Rule Directives

US Forest ServiceThe US Forest Service (USFS) has announced an extension of the public comment period to solicit additional input regarding the proposed directives for implementing the new Forest Planning Rule. The formal public comment period closed on April 29th; the extension will run an additional 15 days and begin upon publication in the Federal Register, on or about May 8, 2013. The currently proposed Directives will modify the Forest Service Handbook and the service's Planning Manual 1900, addressing a great many changes to administrative policies and field management practices; among these are key elements impacting the Collaborative Forest Lands Restoration program, the interaction of the public and industry with the Forest Service, and the sustainable extraction and beneficial utilization of biomass wastes and residuals from national forest health and timber management efforts. The Agency's goal is to ensure an adaptive land management planning process that is inclusive, efficient, collaborative and science-based to promote healthy, resilient, diverse and productive National Forests and Grasslands. The proposed directives will support consistent approaches to achieving the broad goals of the 2012 Planning Rule. A copy of the proposal, along with background information, is available on-line, at any regional Forest Service office or by calling (202) 205-1449. 05/06/2013

Rentech Enters Global Pellet Production and Supply Market

RentechCalifornia based Rentech Inc. has announced the $112 million purchase of Georgia-based Fulghum Fibres, and intends to acquire two shuttered Ontario, Canada wood fiber processing mills. The Wawa and Atikokan mills will be converted for pellet fuel production to meet long term take-or-pay supply contracts for pellet fuel sale and transport. Fulghum Fibres senior management will continue in their current positions. Wood processing equipment company Fulghum Industries, under common ownership with Fulghum Fibres, is not being acquired, but will continue to supply equipment and expertise. The acquisition of Fulghum Fibres brings with it an equal equity joint venture with one of the world's largest pellet fuel producers, the Estonian company Graanul Invest who will provide back-up supply and mutual marketing, engineering, procurement and contracting (EPC) services, and investment in development of wood pellet facilities both in Canada and the U.S. The first and largest supply contract is a 400,000 ton per year strategic agreement with the Drax Power Limited subsidiary of Drax Group plc of the United Kingdom, involved in the shift to biofuel for UK's largest coal-fired power station. The remaining 45,000 tons per year are also to replace coal, contracted to Ontario Power Generation (OPG). Rentech has backed away from advanced biomass to liquid fuels research and development in California and Colorado, favoring more standard industrial pursuits through its subsidiary Rentech Nitrogen Partners LLP, and with this entry into the global pellet fuel market. The press release indicates that global demand for wood pellets is projected to triple by 2020, to 50 million metric tons. D. Hunt Ramsbottom, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rentech: "We expect these new businesses to have stable cash flows. The pellet facilities are structured around sustainably managed long-term fibre supplies and long-term off-take and logistics contracts. Fulghum Fibres' chip processing business is primarily a fee-based service. The stability of margins we expect here will reduce our consolidated exposure to agricultural cycles inherent in Rentech Nitrogen's business. We believe this diversification and pricing stability creates a stronger and more valuable entity at Rentech in the short, medium and long term." 05/05/2013

European n-CHITOPACK Project Converts Shrimp Waste to Food Packaging

n-CHITOPACKThe collaborative project n-CHITOPACK has reported on its efforts to isolate and commercialize chitin nanocrystals (also known as chitin nanofibrils, or CN) from marine food wastes such as shrimp and crab shells. The European Union's 7th Framework Programme is sponsoring the small and medium enterprise (SME) focused project (ref #315233, SME-2012-1), coordinated by Mavi sud, the global SME patent holder that supplies CN. The effort involves a host of international industrial research and development specialists, including packaging producers MICROTEC (Padova, Italy) for flexible food packaging, AROMA SYSTEM (Bologna, Italy) for rigid packaging, RODAX IMPEX (Bucharest, Romania) for packaging equipment, and BIOZOON (Bremerhaven, Germany) for marketing analysis and identification of consumer demand. The team will conduct research on the optimal composition of CN-based packaging to meet specifications and characterize its mechanical and chemical properties together with its hydrophobic, biodegradable, anti-microbial and UV-resistant benefits for food packaging. The n-CHITOPACK project team will leverage a novel patented processes for simple, easy and inexpensive preparation of industrial quantities of chitin-nanofibrils from marine wastes as well as their integration into the production process of polymer materials. The project estimates that chitin waste from the fisheries industries exceeds 250 billion tons/year. 05/04/2013

CPUC Seeks Comments on SB 1122 Small-Scale Bioenergy Report

California Public Utilities CommissionThe California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) conducted a public workshop on May 2, 2013 to receive stakeholder input on a draft study by Black & Veatch (B&V) titled, “Small-scale Bioenergy: Resource Potential, Costs, and Feed-in Tariff Iimplementation Assessment,” first released on April 9, 2013. The study was prepared as part of implementing Senate Bill 1122 (Rubio), signed into law on September 27, 2012 by Governor Brown and creating a 250 megawatt (MW) bioenergy carve-out for the state’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program for new projects scaled up to a 3 MW electric generation capacity. The workshop was focused on receiving comments in order to refine the draft specifically regarding: (1) the resource potential estimates, (2) LCOE estimates, (3) potential market and regulatory barriers to implementation of SB 1122, and (4) potential technology allocations by IOU to implement SB 1122. Adam Schultz of the CUPC and Scott Olson of B&V led with an accompanying slide presentation, outlining small-scale bioenergy resource potential, cost analysis and resource allocation options from the draft report. Category 1 resources are associated with biogas generated through co-digestion in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), municipal organic waste diversion including fats, oils and grease (FOG), food processing wastes and low solids green waste. Category 2 resources include dairy manure, agricultural residues, and high solids food processing waste. Category 3 resources represent residuals from sustainable forestry practices, especially from "fire threat treatment areas" (FTTAs). Technology assumptions included both microbial and thermal conversion; feedstock availability assumptions were made upon existing coarse-grained data. Cost analyses were discussed with accompanying spreadsheets modeling the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE). Potential funding allocation was discussed: Option 1 - Proportion by Load; Option 2 - By Resource Availability, and Option 3 - By Resource Availability, using Market Competition Factors. There will be an informal staff review of comments and potential report changes, followed by an administrative law judge (ALJ) Ruling seeking comments and a final ALJ decision later this year. Direct all questions and comments to Adam Schultz at (415) 703-2692 or <>. 05/03/2013

Vermont Tech Breaks Ground for Waste Biomass Anaerobic Digester Facility

Vermont Technical CollegeThe Vermont Journalism Trust's news service VT Digger has reported on the ground-breaking ceremony held May 1, 2013 for the Central Vermont Recovered Biomass Facility (CVRBF), located on the Vermont Technical College (VTC) campus in Randolph. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and numerous other state dignitaries attended the ceremony. The Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District conceived of the CVRBF in 2004, receiving the support and assistance of the Vermont Environmental Consortium and Senator Patrick Leahy. A US Department of Energy grant led to an initial feasibility study that showed promising results; the anaerobic digester (AD) project is being developed by a partnership of VTC and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. The development and operation are integrated with VTC curricula while helping to provide the campus central heating plant with state-of-the-art renewable energy technology. The Lipp Digester, a German digester "double-fold" wall design being developed in North America by the Canadian firm Bio-Methatech, will receive food waste, manure, and other regionally-sourced organics for conversion to biogas, A site plan and slide presentation outline the project and its potential to provide renewable electricity for the state's grid, recover heat for campus usage, carbon dioxide for campus greenhouse use, and soils amendments for regional agriculture. A power purchase agreement has already been established with the Central Vermont Public Service to sell power into Vermont's Sustainably Priced Energy Development (SPEED) program, analogous to the popular Cow Power program but designed for non-farm based renewable energy generation. Coupled with the state's healthy feed-in tariff, both programs strongly encourage AD development in Vermont. President of Vermont Tech, Dr. Philip Conroy: "This facility will become a focus for education in renewable energy, waste management, sustainable agriculture, and contribute to the health of our soils here in Vermont and the region. It will be a source of knowledge for researchers, lawmakers, policy-makers, the resource management industry, and so many more here in Vermont and throughout New England." 05/03/2013

Russian Pyrolysis Developer Technokomplex Starts US Distribution

TechnokomplexCommercial for more than eight years in Russia, Bulgaria, and Turkey, the pyrolysis systems manufacturer Technokomplex has announced the onset of sales and distribution in North America. The company supplies ISO 9000 certified small-scale Pirotex 20 tons per day low-temperature pyrolysis retorts and all ancillary process train elements intended for conversion of waste tire and rubber, plastics, oil sludge, and waste oils. Feedstock is externally heated to between 260 and 560ºC; off-gasses are cooled to separate liquid fuel oils and remaining lighter gases. Between 15 and 25% of the total liquid fuel output is recirculated for heating the retort to provide self-sustaining operation. Conversion products include liquid pyrolytic oils and gases, carbon char, and recovery of metals. Besides Pirotex itself, the company product line includes air-blown gasification of diverse feedstock for production, capture, cooling and upgrading of the lighter pyrolytic gases. Igor Gofman, Technokomplex General Director, said,“We would like to thank our American partners for their active role in the course of equipment preparation for sale, for a number of valuable comments which helped to improve the equipment and meet all standards of the US.” 05/02/2013

New UNEP Reports Focus on Rare Metals Recovery from Waste

United Nations Environmental ProgramThe United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) has released two new publications by its International Resource Panel (IRP) that are focused on the need and methods for increasing recovery rare and precious metals from waste. The announcement for the first report, "Metals Recycling: Opportunities, Limits and Infrastructure" emphasizes that current global recycling best management practices fail to effectively reclaim the diverse, dispersed resources, due to the focus on the economics of specific more easily segregated and brokered recyclates such as sheet metal, cardboard, glass and plastic. The report notes, "… the small amounts of metals in, for example, electrical and electronic waste can be harder to recover because they are often just one among up to 50 elements. As an example, a mobile phone can contain more than 40 elements including base metals such as copper and tin, special metals such as cobalt, indium and antimony, and precious and platinum-group metals including silver, gold, palladium, tungsten and yttrium." The IRP's authors are part of the Global Metals Flows Working Group; they recommend a shift to a Product-Centric approach to recycling and reprocessing for types of discards where such resources have been identified. The second report's announcement, entitled "Environmental Risks and Challenges of Anthropogenic Metals Flows and Cycles" suggests to apply best available techniques and to increase recycling of metals, which not only requires significantly less energy per kg metal produced than primary production but also helps decreasing the overall local impacts of mining. UN Under Secretary-General Achim Steiner, UNEP’s Executive Director: "As populations in emerging economies adopt similar technologies and lifestyles to those currently used in OECD countries, global metal needs will be three to nine times larger than all the metals currently used in the world." 05/02/2013

Canergy Selects Chemtex and Beta Renewables for Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

CanergyCalifornia based Canergy LLC has announced selection of Chemtex and Beta Renewables for development of a mixed cellulosic ethanol and advanced sugarcane-sucrose ethanol biorefinery in southern California. Canergy intends to develop a 25 million gallon per year ethanol plant in Brawley, Imperial County, California, with construction slated for early 2014 pending permitting and financing. The developer has also selected the ethanol marketing firm CHS Inc to exclusively manage the biofuels off-take; CHS is an international agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States with a focus on sustainable stewardship practices. The Imperial Valley’s 450,000 acres of irrigated farmland is one of the most productive growing regions in the world. Tim Kelley, President/CEO of Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation: "I am glad to see that Canergy has decided to make a major investment in the Imperial Valley. This cellulosic facility will create over 100 full-time jobs and will have a major ripple effect on our agribusiness economy." Chemtex is a subsidiary of the Italian company Gruppo Mossi and Ghisolfi (M&G). Beta Renewables was established in 2011 as a joint venture between M&G (through Chemtex), TPG Capital and TPG Biotech (collectively “TPG”). Beta Renewables is headquartered in Italy with a US office in North Carolina, and has been established to exclusively license Chemtex’s PROESA Technology into the global marketplace. PROESA integrates hydrothermal conversion and enzymatic hydrolysis pre-treatment processing to convert non-food ligno-cellulosic biomass into fermentable sugars. When integrated with standard sugarcane sucrose-to-ethanol fermentation, the bagasse residual left after initial processing can also be converted to fermentable sugar. The platform has been validated in M&G Group's Rivalta, Italy pilot facility with commercial scale facility nearing completion in Crescentino, Italy. 05/02/2013

Due 06/20/2013: Applications to DOE for Tribal RE, Energy Efficiency Funding

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE/EERE) has announced a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0000853) for Tribal Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Deployment Assistance under the agency's Tribal Energy Program. Funding is available for up to $250,000 of allowable project costs for each selected proposal. Applicants must be members of an Indian Tribe, part of a Tribal Energy Resource Development Organization, and/or part of a Tribal Consortia. Renewable energy projects must provide energy efficiency measures and/or heating and/or cooling installations for existing Tribal buildings (not proposed structures), including homes, businesses, government buildings, or other tribal facilities to reduce energy costs and increase Tribal energy security. Projects must demonstrate at least a 30% reduction in total use of fossil fuels. For combined heat and power (CHP) projects, the displaced fossil fuel use at the central station power plant and both the thermal and electrical inputs and outputs of the system should be included in the calculation of the total fossil fuel reduction. Utility-scale projects intended to export excess power are not eligible. Eligible renewable energy systems for electric power or CHP applications can include photovoltaic, biomass (including waste to energy), wind power, incremental hydropower, or other renewable energy hybrid systems for electric power generation. All proposals are due by 5:00pm Eastern Standard Time, June 20, 2013. Registration is required to develop an account, necessary for receipt of addenda and to file proposals. Submit questions about this announcement via email to:   not later than 3 business days prior to the application due date, and include “DE-FOA-0000853 Question” in the subject line. Submit electronic applications through the EERE Exchange website. 05/02/2013

Due 06/27/2013: Applications to DOE for Tribal Community-Scale Clean Energy

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced new renewable energy development funding open to Indian Tribes, Tribal Energy Resource Development Organizations and Tribal Consortia. Up to $7 million is available to install “community-scale” or “facility-scale” clean energy systems on Indian lands to provide electricity and/or heating and cooling for local use in tribal buildings. For this Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0000852), "clean energy systems" include "renewable energy systems" and "combined heat and power systems." Selected proposals must reduce energy costs and increase energy security for Indian Tribes and tribal members; projects must provide at least 15% decrease in fossil fuel usage, in existing, under-construction or proposed buildings. Proposals for energy efficiency measures are not eligible under this solicitation. Eligible Renewable Energy Systems must be commercially proven, and can include electric power generation or heating or cooling applications, and can include photovoltaic (solar electric), biomass (including waste to energy), wind power, incremental hydropower, or other renewable energy hybrid systems for electricity power generation. Heating or cooling applications include, but are not limited to, the use of biomass for high efficiency stoves, boilers or furnaces, active solar thermal systems for space or water heating, use of ground source heat pumps, wind energy for heating, direct-use hydrothermal (geothermal) resources for water and space heating, or other renewable energy hybrid systems for heating and/or cooling. Match funds of 50% of the proposed project budget are required. Between $2.5 and $4.5 million is expected to be available, pending final Congressional appropriation. Between ten and twenty projects are expected to receive awards, ranging from $50,000 to $1.5 million. All proposals are due by 5:00pm Eastern Standard Time, June 27, 2013. Registration is required to develop an account, necessary for receipt of addenda and to file proposals. Submit questions about this announcement via email to:   not later than 3 business days prior to the application due date, and include “DE-FOA-0000852 Question” in the subject line. Submit electronic applications through the EERE Exchange website. 05/02/2013

Due 06/19/2013: Proposals to NYSERDA for Clean Tech for Executives Program

New York State Energy Research and Development AuthorityThe New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has released a Program Opportunity Notice (PON) 2730 seeking proposals to develop a multi-year Clean Tech Transition for Experienced Executives program to educate experienced executives interested in seeking opportunities in clean technology (clean tech) and renewable energy industries. The NYSERDA has determined that experienced entrepreneurs outside of the clean energy industry may lack the specific knowledge of clean energy technologies and the opportunities of the clean energy market, and that there is a lack of localized clean energy education programs targeted at experienced business executives. A successful program will have graduates that start, join, advise, or invest in New York State (NYS) clean tech companies; contractor(s) must develop a comprehensive, self-sustaining program to teach successful entrepreneurs about different facets of clean energy industries; connect and coordinate with supporting organizations for lecturers; provide venue hosting for the sessions; create program and session materials; and facilitate a capstone project, participant networking session and participant success tracking. NYSERDA's Clean Tech Connect program should be integral to all proposals. Technical program questions should be addressed to Jacques Roeth at (518) 862-1090, ext. 3301 or . If you have contractual questions concerning this solicitation, contact Nancy Marucci at (518)-862-1090, ext.3335 or  . Interested parties are instructed to submit one electronic copy and two paper copies of their proposal by 5:00pm EST, June 19, 2013 to Roseanne Viscusi, PON 2730, NYS Energy Research and Development Authority, 17 Columbia Circle, Albany, NY 12203-6399. 05/01/2013 

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