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Teru TalkOctober 2015 News and Matters of Interest

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California Governor Proclaims Tree Mortality State of Emergency

State of CaliforniaRecognizing a four-year record drought, California Governor Jerry Brown has proclaimed a State of Emergency that broadens his 2014 drought emergency proclamation. The governor points to the massive tree die-off from insect infestation linked to the drought, which has increased fire hazard risk and fire management costs. Citing extreme threat to life and property, the governor has ordered immediate multi-agency identification of high fire hazard zones and charged all agencies to begin removal and storage of dead and dying trees in these zones. The proclamation calls for increased mulch usage along highways, increased chip and grind services, and increased allowance and usage of prescribed burns. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is directed to expedite bioenergy contracts and power purchase agreements for near-term projects using high-hazard zone feedstock, and the California Energy Commission (CEC) is directed to prioritize grant funding for woody biomass to energy technology development and deployment. To ensure implementation of the Orders in the proclamation, the governor has suspended numerous sections of both the Public Resources Code and the Public Contracting Code and directed impacted agencies to develop and adopt implementing regulations or guidelines. The Office of Emergency Services is directed to provide local government assistance, and all state agencies "shall actively monitor tree removal efforts directed by this Proclamation to assess their effectiveness in protection forest health and strengthening forest resilience." 10/30/2015

Construction Begins on Advanced 21.5 MWe Ince Biomass Plant at Protos

Ince Bio PowerCoGen Limited (CoGen) has announced completion of project financing and the onset of construction of Ince Bio Power, the 21.5MWe Waste Biomass facility at Protos, formerly known as Ince Park, in Cheshire, United Kingdom. Construction has commenced on the site with MBV Energy, a joint venture between MWH Treatment and Black & Veatch, appointed as EPC contractor, with Outotec Energy Products being the main technology subcontractor and MWH Treatment appointed as O&M Contractor.  The plant is expected to export its first power in 2017. The plant, which will qualify for 1.8 Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) for the first 19 plus years of its lifespan, uses an Advanced Conversion Technology (ACT) process to convert c.170,000 tonnes per annum of recovered waste wood into clean renewable energy, enough to power around 40,000 homes. The electricity produced will be purchased by nPower under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), while the recovered waste wood will be supplied under a long term contract by Ince Park Renewables Ltd. Ince Bio Power has entered into a lease agreement on two plots totalling some 7.5 Hectares on the Protos Site owned by Peel Environmental. Ince Bio Power is the first of a pipeline of CoGen projects to be fully financed in an all-equity transaction by Bioenergy Infrastructure Group (BIG), the recently announced waste infrastructure investment platform comprising stakeholders Infracapital, Aurium Capital Markets, Foresight Group and Helios. 10/30/2015

Wheelabrator is Issued Environmental Permit for Deeside EfW Facility

WheelabratorNatural Resources Wales (NRW) has issued an environmental permit to Wheelabrator Technologies Inc for an energy from waste (EfW) facility in Deeside, Flintshire. NRW conducted an in-depth assessment including a public consultation, and consulted with specialist health organizations such as Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Public Health Wales on the plans to investigate whether the facility could have any impact on people’s health. NRW determined that the Wheelabrator’s detailed plans demonstrated that it will comply with environmental laws, and can operate without harming the environment. NRW received the permit application from Wheelabrator in October 2014 for a facility to burn waste to produce electricity. The facility will accept up to 200,000 tonnes of non-recyclable household, industrial, and commercial waste per year. Combined heat and power technology will incinerate the waste, while at the same time generating steam, which will produce electricity through a turbine and generator. This will produce around 14.4 Megawatts of electricity per year for export to the National Grid – enough to power about 30,000 homes. Ash produced through the process will be treated on site to produce materials for the construction industry. Wheelabrator received planning approval for the project in May 2015. 10/30/2015 

Ferrybridge Multifuel 2 Power Station Project Receives Planning Consent

Multifuel EnergyMultifuel Energy Ltd (MEL) has announced the Secretary of State for the Department of Climate Change's decision to grant planning consent for the Ferrybridge Multifuel 2 (FM2) project in West Yorkshire. MEL is a 50:50 joint venture between SSE and Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. MEL’s FM2 project will process up to 675,000 tonnes of waste derived fuels from various sources of municipal solid waste, commercial and industrial waste each year to produce around 70 MW of electricity, enough to power around 160,000 homes. The project will be located on land next to the newly constructed Ferrybridge Multifuel 1 (FM1) project, which entered commercial operations earlier this year. The application was submitted for consideration on 31 July 2014 and accepted for examination on August 20, 2014. Following a six month examination during which the public, statutory consultees and interested parties were given the opportunity to give evidence to the Examining Authority, a recommendation was made to the Secretary of State on July 29, 2015. 10/29/2015

IB2Market Project Launched to Bring New Biobased Products to the Market

Bio Base EuropeBelgian organization Bio Base Europe (BBE) has announced its partnership in the launch of IB2Market, a public project funded by the 7th Framework Program of the European Union. The biobased industry uses renewable resources such as biomass, starch, cellulose, vegetable oils, and agricultural waste to produce bioproducts, biomaterials, and bio-energy. IB2Market aims to bring industrial biotechnology from the research lab to the market and to solve the bottle-necks in industrialization and commercialization. The project covers process development, scale up, market exploration, and the drafting of a valorization plan to support a successful market introduction. The program is a broad collaborative effort involving both public and private European interests, now prepared to jointly bring the first two classes of bio-based molecules, certain surfactants and specialty carbohydrates, into the global marketplace. The project partners can cooperate with potential customers to bring production and application of the new products in line with the customer’s needs, to adapt product formulation to application needs or to cooperate on possible new applications. 10/29/2015

BDI – BioEnergy and Heineken Open World's First Major Green Brewery

BDI - BioEnergyBDI – BioEnergy International AG has announced that the last milestone towards carbon neutrality as part of Heineken's sustainability initiative "Brewing a better World" was laid yesterday with the formal opening of the brewery Göss' spent-grain fermentation plant. The BDI plant in Göss/Leoben, Styria, Austria was opened only six months after the official start of construction. In the presence of Styrian VIPs, Brau Union Österreich and BDI – BioEnergy celebrated the opening of the Göss brewery plant. Brau Union Österreich, part of the international Heineken family, has set itself the goal of using renewable energies throughout the entire brewing process. In future the energy generated from the brewery's residual materials will be used in the brewery for steam generation and excess gas will be converted into green electricity. In addition, the digestate, a by-product of the spent-grain fermentation plant, will be used as high quality fertilizer. 10/29/2015 

Webinar Scheduled on EPA's Proposed Landfill Methane Regulations

BBI InternationalA free webinar scheduled for November 10, 2015 entitled Landfill Methane: Capture for Cash, Compliance & Clean Air is being sponsored by the International Biomass Conference and Expo and hosted by BBI International's Biomass Magazine. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is tightening up its existing landfill methane regulations, and proposing that new, modified, and existing landfills will begin collecting and controlling landfill gas at emission levels nearly a third lower than current requirements. For existing landfills, approximately 989 open and closed landfills are expected to be subject to the proposed emission guidelines, 574 of which are already required to collect and control emissions. The agency has noted landfills may control gas by putting it to beneficial use by combusting it in an enclosed combustion device for energy production, or by using a treatment system that processes the collected gas for sale. The comment period for the proposed rule closed two days ago. Anna Simet, Managing Editor of Biomass Magazine will moderate the interactive discussion. Although free, space is limited and on-line registration is required. 10/28/2015

PHGE Schedules Groundbreaking for Tennessee Renewable Energy Facility

PHG EnergyPHG Energy (PHGE) has scheduled a November 12, 2015 groundbreaking ceremony for the Lebanon, Tennessee waste-to-energy gasification facility on the grounds of the Lebanon Wastewater Treatment Plant. PHGE’s downdraft gasifier will convert wood waste, scrap tires, and sewage sludge into power, diverting thousands of tons annually away from landfill disposal and cutting the city’s waste management costs. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) awarded the City of Lebanon $250,000 in June of this year to support the project; the city contracted with PHGE in August to construct the project. 10/28/2015 

Stora Enso Builds Biomaterials Demonstration Plant and US HQ in Louisiana

Stora EnsoFinnish pulp, paper and biomaterials company Stora Enso has announced construction of its new US headquarters and biomaterials demonstration and market development plant in Raceland, Louisiana. Stora Enso acquired wood-to-sugar company Virdia (formerly HCL CleanTech) last year, and is investing EUR 32 million (USD 43 million) in the new facility. The plant will be used for industrial validation of the extraction and separation technology developed by Virdia that enables cellulosic biomass, such as wood or agricultural waste, to be converted into highly refined sugars. Stora Enso will use the biomaterials platform at the Louisiana plant to convert regional sugar cane residuals (bagasse) into low-cost fermentable sugars and lignin using hydrochloric acid hydrolysis. Start of production is scheduled for 2016. 10/27/2015

BMW South Africa Plant Is Now Powered with Manure and Organic Waste

BMWBMW South Africa has announced that it received the first green energy at its Rosslyn plant in Pretoria on October 10, 2015. BMW signed a power purchasing agreement with energy company Bio2Watt (Pty) Ltd in 2014, and between 25% and 30% of BMW Plant Rosslyn’s electricity requirements will now be generated from renewable sources. The new 4.4MW Bio2Watt biogas plant in Bronkhorstspruit is located on the premises of one of South Africa’s larger feedlots (Beefcor) and an agricultural stronghold in Gauteng. The location provides the project with proximity to key fuel supplies; grid access and sufficient water supplied by Beefcor’s storm water collection dams. The City of Tshwane is also a key supplier of waste to the project. About 40,000 tons per annum of cattle manure and 20,000 tons of mixed organic waste is fed into two anaerobic digesters at the plant that produce the biogas feedstock for a combined heat and power application. 10/27/2015

Due 11/23/2015: Proposals to CEC for Technical Services for EPIC Program

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has released Solicitation #RFP-15-318 - Technical Assistance for the Energy Research and Development Division EPIC Program. The CEC is seeking a contract team to provide technical support services for the Energy Research and Development Division's (ERDD) Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Program. The contracted team will provide technical expertise regarding energy-related support activities for the EPIC Program, including: energy efficiency and demand response for buildings and the industrial, agricultural and water sectors; advanced grid technologies; transmission and distribution; clean advanced electrical generation; energy-related environmental research; energy smart communities; renewable energy technologies; transportation; market facilitation; program planning and evaluation; and technology transfer. Estimated value of the contract is $3 million.  Proposals are due no later than November 23, 2015 by 3:00 PM PST. 10/27/2015  

RSB Certifies 1st Smallholder Biomass Supply Project in Southeast Asia

Roundtable on Sustainable BiomaterialsThe Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials has announced certification of the first Smallholder Project in Southeast Asia. Biomass Supplies Ltd, a subsidiary of the Biomass Group, coordinates collection of biomass residuals in Sri Lanka. The company works with 30,000 small farmers who have planted 60 million Gliricidia trees on their fences. Gliricidia is a fast-growing, short-rotation tree found naturally in Sri Lanka. Principally grown for its leaves, which provide base materials for fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides, the species also finds use in plantations as a shade tree and soil improver by functioning as a “live fencing”, and for animal fodder. The now-certified practice of coppicing Gliricidia branches twice a year also provides smallholders additional income. The main root and trunk of the tree remains sequestering carbon. Biomass Supplies is the first operation in Southeast Asia to earn RSB certification and the first smallholder project to become RSB certified in Asia. Sustainability, traceability, and accreditation will enable Biomass Supplies to command fair prices which in turn will provide local farmers with a better income. The company's supply chain will deliver Gliricidia fuel-wood from plantations and smallholders to industrial customers and power stations to replace furnace oil or coal. Biomass Group plans to develop a series of 10MW biomass-fuelled power plants that will deliver renewable energy to the national grid on long-term contracts. 10/26/2015

USDA Funds Over 1,100 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects

US Department of AgricultureThe US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding loans and grants to help more than 1,100 rural small businesses and agricultural producers reduce energy usage and costs in their operations. The funding is for energy efficiency improvements and/or renewable energy systems. the USDA is financing projects in every state, as well as in the Virgin Islands, the Western Pacific, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The USDA is providing $102 million in loan guarantees and $71 million in grants for 1,114 projects financed through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Although most funding supports energy efficiency and solar project development, over 40 projects receiving support are focused on solid fuel production, anaerobic digestion, and thermal conversion. Among the projects, nearly $6 million is being awarded for 17 anaerobic digesters in California, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Washington. Funding of each award is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement. 10/26/2015  

FTC Issues Ruling to Require Scientific Proof of Biodegradable Claims

US Federal Trade CommissionEarlier this month, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ruled (Docket No. 9358) that Ohio based EMC BioFilms Inc (dba Enviroplastics International) had not proven that its plastic additives ensured environmental biodegradability, and barred their use of the claims on their products. The FTC's Final Order has far-reaching implications for the manufacture and sale of all products represented as "biodegradable", and defines the requirements for “competent and reliable scientific evidence”. EMC BioFilms has been in a long-standing dispute with the FTC with opposing legal findings and opinions hinging on whether adding EMC MasterBatch Pellets to standard plastic production causes the resulting products to biodegrade, as the company claims, "within two months to five years."  An FTC Administrative Law initial decision issued February 6, 2015 made the distinction between claiming the products were "biodegradable" versus implications that all final degradation products would be "elements found in nature." Based on its own examination of the evidence, the FTC found that ECM BioFilms made implied claims that plastic products treated with its additive will biodegrade in a reasonably short period of time, or within five years, and that these claims were false and unsubstantiated. This reversed the ALJ’s finding that Complaint Counsel did not prove that ECM’s environmental marketing conveyed such implied claims. In part, the Order now states "that any plastic product or package is degradable, or that any product, package, or service affects a plastic product or package’s degradability, unless such representation is true, not misleading, and, at the time it is made, respondent possesses and relies upon competent and reliable scientific evidence that substantiates the representation; and the entire item will completely decompose into elements found in nature within five (5) years after customary disposal." The precedent-setting Final Order implements enforcement of the initial decision. 10/23/2015

International Team Converts Woody Biomass to EPA Registered Gasoline

US Environmental Protection AgencyAn international consortium of five companies and organizations came together in a joint effort to transform woody biomass, including trees and wood waste, into a gasoline product suitable for use in today’s automobiles. Through their collaborative efforts, Haldor Topsoe, The Gas Technology Institute, Andritz Oy, UPM-Kymmene Corporation, and Phillips 66 succeeded in producing more than 10,000 gallons of gasoline. The wood pellets were prepared at an independent mill in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, and shipped to the Gas Technology Institute’s facility in Des Plaines, Illinois. The wood was converted to a synthesis gas with a fluidized-bed steam-oxygen gasifier, and tars and other impurities were removed from the synthesis gas by a catalytic tar reformer jointly developed by Andritz and Haldor Topsoe. Following synthesis gas cleanup and compression, the resulting clean synthesis gas was converted to gasoline through the Topsoe Improved Gasoline Synthesis process, which features a combined methanol-dimethyl ether synthesis reactor. This conversion process was then followed by a catalytic transformation of the dimethyl ether into gasoline long hydrocarbons. Following characterization by Phillips 66, some of this gasoline was sent to the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, for use in single-engine emissions testing. The test results were used by Phillips 66 for the EPA application for registration as a transportation fuel. In August 2015, EPA approved the application, thereby registering the gasoline blend that is up to 80% biogasoline from a renewable cellulosic source. The registration belongs to Phillips 66. Following the engine test, the remainder of the fuel was blended with conventional gasoline, ethanol, and other additives to make a green gasoline blend-fuel for a fleet test that was supervised by Phillips 66. The blend was 45% bio-gasoline, 45% conventional gasoline, and 10% ethanol. 10/23/2015  

FEAD Petitions EU Commission for Demand-Side Circular Economy Targets

Federation of Waste Management and Environmental ServicesThe European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD) has called upon the Commissioners and the Secretariat General of the European Commission (EC) to include resource recovery targets at European Union (EU) level and demand-side "pull" measures as key elements of the upcoming Circular Economy Package. The FEAD believes that including these elements will give the private sector a firm basis for making business and investment decisions on waste and resource management infrastructure. The FEAD further notes that the EC’s original proposals on waste targets were mainly focused on the supply side. The proposals to ban recyclable waste from landfill by 2025, and to set a 70% recycling target for municipal waste by 2030 would vastly increase the supply of secondary raw materials. The FEAD is calling on the EU to put much more emphasis on the demand side in its revised proposals by including the following “pull” measures:  (1) Minimum recycled content requirements for selected products, (2) Minimum green public procurement requirements at the EU level to boost purchase of recycled products and materials, (3)  Eco-labeling rules to incorporate indications of recycled content and recyclability, and (4) Lower or zero rate of VAT on second hand goods and products with recycled content. The FEAD has circulated one of the letters sent to the Commissioners and the Secretariat General. Also see Teru's Focus Reports on the EU proposal and the FEAD's position. 10/22/2015

UPM Initiates Field Tests of Wood Based Diesel Fuel In Helsinki Region Buses

UPMFinland based UPM Corporation has announced that it will be starting field tests of its wood-based diesel fuel in urban buses together with Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) and the VTT Technical Research Centre. The field tests are also supported by St1, Volvo, and Transdev Finland. UPM BioVerno diesel has previously been studied in several engine and vehicle tests conducted by various research centers as well as in fleet tests, all with excellent results. The new round of tests with UPM BioVerno fuel will begin in October and run for a minimum of one year. The heavy duty vehicle field tests will focus on investigating UPM’s renewable diesel in terms of fuel functionality in bus engines, their emissions, and fuel consumption compared to fossil diesel. These tests will be operated by Transdev Finland on HSL’s regular bus route between the city of Kerava and Helsinki in Finland. The tests will be done with four identical Volvo Euro VI Class buses that have low emissions and efficient engines. The bus field tests are also part of a larger “BioPilot” project coordinated by VTT. The goal of this project is to encourage companies to commercialize renewable energy solutions in traffic. 10/22/2015

California Journal Focuses on Woody Biomass Utilization and Forest Mgt

UC Berkeley Woody Biomass Utilization GroupThe July-September 2015 Special Issue of California Agriculture entitled "Woody Biomass: Energy, ecosystems, economics" focuses on the nexus of forest management, climate change, and renewable energy through the lens of forest biomass utilization in California. The quarterly peer-reviewed journal is published by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Drs. John Shelly and Peter Tittmann of UC Berkeley Woody Biomass Utilization Group served as Guest Editors for this issue. Articles cover a broad range of topics including: ecological impacts of fire hazard reduction activities in California forests; improved air quality outcomes from biomass energy production compared with alternative biomass fates; comparison of costs between suppression and preventative fuels treatment; economics of biomass utilization in energy applications including liquid fuels; innovative approaches to wood chip transport that can reduce costs. The edition also includes editorials from Ashley Conrad-Saydah, California Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Secretary for Climate Change and Energy, and Dr. Peter Tittmann, Academic Coordinator for the woody biomass utilization group at UC Berkeley. This special issue helps underscore the importance of increasing utilization of biomass residuals from sustainable forest management, and a broader recognition of the important role of wood products and biomass from active forest management. 10/22/2015

ElectraTherm Enters Biogas Market in Romania with Sale of Power+ Generator

ElectraThermNevada based ElectraTherm has shipped a Power+ Generator to a biogas plant in Sacueni, Romania, the first installation of the 4200 (ElectraTherm’s 35kW unit), and the first biogas application in Romania. ElectraTherm and distributor B:POWER will commission the Power+ 4200 this winter to generate additional power and increase energy efficiency on site. The Power+ will be incorporated with a TEDOM QuantoD580 internal combustion engine producing 600kWe. ElectraTherm’s Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology will capture the waste heat from the engine’s jacket water and exhaust at 97°C, and convert that waste energy into electricity for the site. The high pressure vapor expands through ElectraTherm’s patented twin screw power block, spinning an electric generator to produce approximately 32kWe gross at this site. After turning the expander, the vapor is condensed back into liquid through a liquid loop radiator. The Power+ Generator will produce fuel-free, emission-free power, increase site efficiency and reduce engine cooling loads. 10/21/2015  

WELTEC Group Acquires Two Biomethane Refineries in Germany

WELTECThe WELTEC Group has acquired two biomethane refineries in Hesse and Saxony-Anhalt (Germany). One of the plants is located in Ebsdorfergrund, Hesse, and has been acquired within the framework of an asset deal. Nordmethan Produktion Ebsdorfergrund GmbH, an affiliate of the WELTEC Group, is now responsible for the operation as the new owner, and will retain all of the current employees. WELTEC BIOPOWER was the plant engineering company that set up the entire process technology and is familiar with all technical details of the plant, including gas upgrading technology. The plant began operations in 2012,  produces 1,000 standard m³/h of raw biogas, and conditions it to 550 standard m³/h of natural gas equivalent biomethane. By way of the public natural gas grid, the green energy source is available throughout Germany. In addition to the purchase of the biomethane refinery in Hesse, WELTEC BIOPOWER has reported the repurchase of one of the world's large biogas parks with gas-to-grid technology in Könnern, Saxony-Anhalt. The WELTEC Group had purchased the biomethane refinery in March 2015 from the insolvency assets of AC Biogas GmbH. As in Ebsdorfergrund, all employees have been taken over in Könnern as well. The annual production of this plant, which had been planned and set up by WELTEC, amounts to about 15 million standard m³ of biomethane, enough to supply 10,000 homes with heat and power. 10/20/2015

Due 11/13/2015: Proposals  for Commercial Waste Characterization Services

City of San Jose, CaliforniaThe City of San José, California, Environmental Services Department is seeking proposals from consulting firms (Consultant) interested in providing commercial waste material characterization services for solid waste and recycling programs on an as-needed basis for various projects. The commercial waste material characterization services will include multiple projects that design and conduct material audits to characterize the streams that are collected and processed from the commercial system. The commercial system material audits will include recyclables captured, organic feedstock streams to be used in an anaerobic digestion facility and a final residue stream after all processing is complete. The proposing Consultants shall have relevant expertise, experience and an approach that demonstrates their ability to provide the required services. The designated contact for this solicitation is Andrew Hitchcock, who can be reached at <> or (408) 975-2572. Proposals are due by November 13, 2015 at 4:00 PM PST. 10/20/2015 

DuPont Supplies Enzymes to QCCP for Cellulosic Biofuel from Corn Fiber

DuPontDuPont Industrial Biosciences (DuPont) and Quad County Corn Processors (QCCP) have announced a new multi-year contract to supply the enzymes that enable QCCP’s Cellerate™ process in the production of cellulosic biofuel from corn kernel fiber. Cellulosic ethanol is a biofuel produced from the inedible parts of plants that are used in low-greenhouse-gas transportation fuels. In 2014, QCCP produced the nation’s first cellulosic ethanol gallons and the world's first gallons from corn kernel fiber with a process developed by QCCP and powered by DuPont enzyme technology. DuPont’s enzymes have been a part of the process from the start. QCCP uses DuPont™ OPTIMASH® suite of enzymes from the DuPont™ Accellerase™ portfolio of cellulosic enzymes. The OPTIMASH® enzymes are specifically formulated for use in the corn fiber cellulosic application. DuPont will be joining QCCP as a producer of cellulosic ethanol this fall, with the commissioning of its own cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in Iowa on October 30. The facility will be the largest in the world and produce 30 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel from corn stover gathered from local farmers in the region. 10/19/2015

Due 11/23/2015: Comments to Oregon DEQ on Draft Solid Waste Regs, Fees

State of OregonThe Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is proposing to revise rules governing solid waste permitting, grants, and tipping fees to implement recently adopted Senate Bill 245, and to support implementation of the state's program, "Materials Management in Oregon: 2050 Vision and Framework for Action". The DEQ proposes the following changes to OAR 340, division numbers 083 and 097: (1) Increase the per-ton solid waste disposal permit and tipping fees to adequately fund implementation, including oversight of permitted solid waste disposal facilities and reuse, waste prevention and recovery, toxic reduction, product stewardship and other work to reduce impacts of materials; (2) Apply tipping fees and orphan site fees to construction/demolition and tire landfills; (3) Define a mechanism for reimbursing a portion of the tipping fee increase to distressed counties; and (4) Update solid waste planning and recycling (materials management) grant rules to expand allowed uses for grant funds; allow businesses, non-profits and other entities as well as local governments to receive grant awards; and to conform to other statutory changes. A public hearing on the Solid Waste Fee and Grants Rulemaking is scheduled for November 18, 2015 at the DEQ's headquarters in Portland, Oregon; the public may call into the hearing with questions and comments. Comments are due by November 23, 2015 at 4:00 pm and can be submitted online. 10/19/2015 

Neste's NEXBTL Renewable Diesel Powers City of Oakland's Vehicles

NesteThe City of Oakland, California began filling up its vehicles with Neste's NEXBTL renewable diesel at the beginning of October 2015 in order to reduce the emissions of their municipal fleet. NEXBTL can be manufactured from any organic biomass, such as vegetable oil and a variety of waste and residues. Neste Oil currently manufactures NEXBTL from twelve different raw materials. Reduced emissions resulting from the use of renewable diesel will allow the City of Oakland to decrease its carbon footprint and help meet ambitious Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction targets established by the City. Oakland operates 250 diesel-powered vehicles, which include street sweepers, dump trucks, tractors, construction equipment, and mowers. The City consumes about 230,000 gallons of renewable diesel per year. Earlier this year, the City of San Francisco announced it will switch all of its diesel fleet to renewable diesel by the end of this year. The City of Walnut Creek also switched its diesel powered municipal fleet to renewable diesel in August 2015. 10/16/2015

SURCP Releases New Biochar Report for Forest Restoration in Western US

Wilson Biochar AssociatesOregon-based Wilson Biochar Associates (WBA) has prepared an article for the South Umpqua Rural Community Partnership (SURCP) entitled, "Biochar for Forest Restoration in the Western United States". The paper by Kelpie Wilson examines the value of biochar for forest restoration, and proposes some economically viable methods for its production. Returning biochar made from vegetation maintenance and thinning operations to the forest can help rebuild sylvan soils depleted by decades of poor harvesting and exclusion of natural fire cycles. Excess biochar can then be sold locally to help offset biomass removal, soil reconstruction, and healthy forest maintenance costs. SURCP is a community-based non-profit dedicated to restoration ecology and sustainable Stewardship in Oregon's South Umpqua River Basin. SURCP received a grant award from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of $75,000 through the NRCS statewide Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program to support SURCP’s biochar project: "On-Farm Production and Use of Biochar for Composting with Manure." The two-year project will work with farmers and ranchers to transform two problem waste sources, woody debris and animal manure, into compost that will improve farm soils. SURCP has contracted with WBA to manage and direct the program. 10/16/2015

WRAP to Map Out Critical Raw Materials Recovery From Electrical Products

WRAPThe United Kingdom (UK) based Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) will partner with the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), Wuppertal Institute, European Recycling Platform (ERP UK Ltd), and the European Advanced Recycling Network (EARN) for a new project, which has received €2.1m Euros from European Union (EU) Life funding. The three and a half year project, Critical Raw Material Closed Loop Recovery (CRM Recovery), will explore commercial opportunities for harvesting critical raw materials and precious metals including gold, silver, and platinum group metals from everyday unwanted electronic products, and will be the first-of-its-kind to link collection methods with recovery success. These critical raw materials (CRMs) are crucial to many electrical products, and the increasing pressure on their supply is a growing economic concern for businesses and governments. However, WRAP research has shown that nearly 40% of electrical products are disposed to landfill. CRM Recovery aims to address these challenges by exploring viable alternative commercial streams that boost the economy, and sustainable solutions that reduce our reliance on the earth’s natural capital and the need for mining raw materials. 10/15/2015

Viridor Is Preferred Bidder on £700m Clyde Valley Residual Waste Project

ViridorViridor has been selected as preferred bidder for the £700 million Clyde Valley Residual Waste project in Scotland. The project is jointly run by five councils, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire, to procure a long term solution for treatment and disposal of waste. North Lanarkshire is the Lead Authority for the contract. Following a formal bid process which began in January 2013, Viridor has been selected to design, construct, finance and operate the facilities under a 25 year contract to treat waste which would otherwise go to landfill. The solution proposed by Viridor will process approximately 190,000 tonnes of residual waste per year providing services to a population of more than 845,000 people, helping reach national targets for recycling and landfill diversion by 2025. Viridor will transport the waste collected by each council to their primary treatment facility at Bargeddie, North Lanarkshire to remove recyclable material and prepare a refuse derived fuel (RDF). The RDF will be transported to Viridor’s Energy Recovery Facility at Dunbar, East Lothian, resulting in over 90% of the waste collected by the councils being diverted from landfill. 10/15/2015

University of Utah Researchers Create LEDs from Food and Beverage Waste

University of UtahTwo University of Utah researchers have found a way to create light emitting diodes (LEDs) from food and beverage waste. In addition to utilizing food and beverage waste that would otherwise decompose and be of no use, this development can also reduce potentially harmful waste from LEDs generally made from toxic elements. Most Christmas lights, televisions and flashlights are made with LEDs, and they are widely used for a variety of applications. LEDs can be produced by using quantum dots (QDs), tiny crystals that have luminescent properties, to produce light. QDs can be made with numerous materials, some of which are rare and expensive to synthesize, and potentially harmful to discard. Some research over the past 10 years has focused on using QDs made of carbon (CDs) to create LEDs instead. University of Utah Metallurgical Engineering Research Assistant Professor Prashant Sarswat and Professor Michael Free, over the past year and a half, have successfully turned food waste such as discarded pieces of tortilla into CDs, and subsequently, LEDs. The results were recently published in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry. 10/15/2015

Linde Group Opens Pilot Plant for Dry Reformer Synthesis Gas Production

The Linde GroupThe Linde Group has announced the official opening of its Linde Pilot Reformer research and development facility at Pullach near Munich. The facility's initial testing will be focused on a new dry reforming process for energy-efficient production of synthesis gas with industrial-scale use of carbon dioxide (CO2) as feedstock. The process was developed by Linde in cooperation with its partners BASF and hte (responsible for catalyst development), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology / KIT (responsible for simulations) and DECHEMA (supplier of materials). The pilot project has been awarded funding by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMW) of just under one EUR million. The synthesis gas can be used to produce valuable downstream products such as base chemicals or fuels such as dimethyl ether (DME). The DME produced through dry reforming offers an improved energy balance and lower CO2 emissions. If the dry reforming pilot proves successful, there are plans to commercialize the process when the funded project comes to an end in 2017 and build a reference plant for a Linde customer. 10/15/2015

AVA Cleanphos Pilot Will Recover Phosphorus from Sewage Sludge

AVA-CO2Swiss company AVA-CO2 is receiving support from the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt DBU (German Federal Environmental Foundation) to further develop a new process to extract phosphorus from HTC-coal produced from municipal sewage sludge at its AVA cleanphos pilot plant in Karlsruhe, Germany. The AVA cleanphos process is based on hydrothermal carbonization (HTC), and has already been successfully tested in AVA-CO2’s laboratories. It will now be tested at pilot scale to  demonstrate that recycling fertilizer with a high, plant-available nutrient content can be produced efficiently and cost-effectively from sewage sludge. For the industry, AVA cleanphos could be a breakthrough in phosphorus recovery, a requirement from an amendment to the Sewage Sludge Ordinance. The AVA cleanphos process first converts municipal sewage sludge into HTC-coal before the phosphate is isolated.  This creates two products of commercial interest – a valuable fertilizer and phosphorus-free HTC-coal, which could be used as a substitute for brown or black coal in the future and lead to substantial CO2 emissions savings. 10/12/2015

Monterey County Selects BHS to Furnish Multi-Line MRF

Bulk Handling SystemsThe Monterey Regional Waste Management District (MRWMD) in California has selected Oregon based Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) to design, manufacture, and install its new Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). The multi-line system is scheduled to open in September 2016 and will process more than 30 tons-per-hour (tph) of Single Stream materials, 40 tph of Mixed Waste and 40 tph of Construction and Demolition (C&D) materials. The system will feature two infeeds: one for C&D materials and one for either Single Stream or Mixed Waste. In addition to traditional commodities, this system will also be designed to recover organics, glass, wood, and aggregates. THE MRWMD serves an 853 square-mile area and nine member agencies in Western Coastal Monterey County. In 2012, it opened the country’s first SMARTFERM dry anaerobic digestion (AD) facility to convert organics into electricity and compost. 10/12/2015

Outotec Awarded Three Energy from Waste Contracts in UK and Canada

OutotecFinland based Outotec Oyj has been awarded three technology and service contracts totaling EUR 55 million by different renewable energy producers in the UK and Canada. One of the contracts is for a 55 MW thermal energy plant producing synthetic gas from refused-derived-fuel (RDF). Two other plants - 11 and 21 MWe - use Outotec's advanced staged gasification technology with waste heat recovery and gas cleaning trains to produce steam from RDF and waste wood for electric energy. In addition to engineering and technology licenses, Outotec will deliver the main process equipment as well as advisory services for installation, commissioning and start-up of the plants. For one of the customers, Outotec also provides comprehensive operation and maintenance services for the entire energy plant. After two years of preliminary work including the design process, Outotec's personnel will operate and maintain the plant for 10 years on a turnkey basis. 10/12/2015  

Covestro and Reverdia Partner for Plastics from Renewable Raw Materials

ReverdiaCovestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, and Reverdia have reached an agreement to jointly develop and promote thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) based on renewable raw materials. Covestro will employ Biosuccinium™ succinic acid from Reverdia for the production of its Desmopan® -brand TPU for use in a variety of applications, including in the footwear and consumer electronics industries. Biosuccinium™, produced at commercial scale since 2012 using Reverdia’s patented low-pH yeast technology, allows Covestro to capitalize on years of research. The company plans to expand its bio-based TPU production in Taiwan to industrial scale. 10/08/2015

Veolia to Manage Belgian Eco-Energy's New Biomass Power Plant in Ghent

VeoliaBelgian Eco-Energy (BEE) has awarded a 15-year contract to Veolia operate one of the largest biomass power plants in Europe, which will be built on the international port of Ghent. The new 100% biomass power plant will be equipped with a cogeneration system producing electricity and heat simultaneously - 215 MW of electricity and 100 MW of thermal energy. It will provide 2% of the total electricity production in Belgium, the equivalent consumption of 450,000 households, and will provide heating to 240,000 residents through a district heating network. Veolia will accompany BEE from the construction of the plant, which will begin in 2016. The proposed biomass plant will be fueled by wood chips and agro-residues, and each year will avoid the emission of nearly 450,000 CO2 equivalent metric tons compared to a similar natural gas facility. The project will help increase the share of renewable energies in the country's energy mix and contribute to reaching the 2020 European Union climate change target: a 20%[1] reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990. 10/08/2015

Infracapital Launches Investment Platform for Biomass and EfW Plants in UK

InfracapitalInfracapital has announced the launch of the Bioenergy Infrastructure Group (BIG), a platform established to invest in the construction of biomass and Energy from Waste (EfW) plants in the United Kingdom (UK). BIG launches with an agreement to construct a 21.5MW EfW plant at Ince Park, Cheshire, the UK’s largest resource recovery park. The plant, with a construction value of £87 million, has a 15 year feedstock contract in place to supply locally-sourced waste wood, and will provide enough electricity to power 40,000 homes once operational. The plant will benefit from 1.8 Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs), qualifying under the one year grace period for accredited projects, providing a 20 year inflation linked tariff. BIG and its backers are aiming to invest in other attractive biomass and EfW assets using its committed capital and potential further capital raises. Infracapital is the infrastructure investment arm of M&G Investments, Aurium Capital Markets LLP, Foresight Group LLP, and Helios UK BIG L.P. Cornerstone investor Infracapital has committed £160 million to take a 70% stake in the vehicle alongside a £33 million investment from Helios and co-investment from Aurium and Foresight. RBC Capital Markets acted as sole financial advisor on the offering. 10/06/2015

BioAmber Sarnia Producing Bio-Succinic Acid and Shipping to Customers

BioAmberBioAmber Inc has announced that its Sarnia joint venture with Mitsui & Co. Ltd has begun shipping bio-succinic acid to customers and is operating its manufacturing process at commercial scale, meeting a significant company milestone. BioAmber has confirmed the performance of its proprietary yeast in the production fermenters in Sarnia. The fermentation performance achieved is significantly above the initial targets set for 2015, and the yield and productivity levels already exceed the targets the plant was designed to hit longer term. The bio-succinic acid being produced is of higher quality than the product previously produced in the demonstration plant located in France. Initial shipments have started to customers so they can confirm the quality of the bio-succinic acid produced in the newly constructed Sarnia plant. Management expects the Sarnia plant to be in commercial operation later this month and to increase production volumes progressively to reach full capacity in 2017. 10/06/2015

Stora Enso's Sunila Mill in Finland Is Now Running Valmet LignoBoost Plant

ValmetFinland based Valmet has completed the handover process of the LignoBoost lignin separation plant at Stora Enso Biomaterial's Sunila mill. The lignin dryer was taken over by the Stora Enso team on September 15, 2015 as the last part of the process. The LignoBoost plant is integrated with the pulp mill to separate and collect lignin from the black liquor, a significant step in transforming the Sunila mill towards an innovative and customer focused biorefinery. Sakari Eloranta, Stora Enso Senior Vice President, Operations and Investment Projects: "Through the lignin extraction process we have replaced a great amount of natural gas with the dried lignin produced in the new LignoBoost plant, and by doing that reduced our carbon dioxide emissions. We are developing this new product and working together with our customers to start external sales." The plant has been running since January 2015 and production has been ramped up during the year. 10/06/2015  

United Kingdom's New National Infrastructure Commission to Address Energy

United KingdomThe government of the United Kingdom (UK) has announced a four-point plan to spur nation-wide infrastructure development, especially in housing, transportation, and energy. A cross-agency National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has been launched as an independent body that enables long term strategic decision making to build effective and efficient infrastructure. The NIC will start work immediately on a plan for greater connectivity of the Northern cities, large-scale investment in London’s public transport infrastructure, and ways to ensure investment in energy infrastructure. Strong national commitments to increased infrastructure development will facilitate growth in many sectors crucial to increasing market draw for the products of waste conversion. Extending electrical transmission lines into underserved rural areas provides interconnection and off-take agreement access for on-farm anaerobic digestion (AD) plants, while support for wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) advancements will provide funding for sewage-food waste co-digestion. New public transportation infrastructure in London will increase use of renewable fuels by easing biofuels supply constrictions, and encourage the switch from fossil to renewably fueled mass transport. Lord Andrew Adonis, a former Transport Secretary and member of the independent Armitt Commission, which recommended an independent National Infrastructure Commission in 2013, will chair the NIC until a permanent chair is appointed following the passage of legislation. 10/05/2015

Aeromexico Signs Agreement with MEXICO2 Carbon Trading Platform

AeromexicoMexico's global airline Aeromexico has announced a partnership with the country's leading independent carbon trading platform MEXICO2. The agreement is part of the commitment in recent Aeromexico's reorganization development "Fly Green" program launched in November 2013 to raise environmental awareness and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. MEXICO2 facilitates the purchase and sale of CERs and supports offsetting emissions for transparency of transactions in the voluntary carbon market. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), the investment in carbon credits supports the reuse of Mexico's natural resources and the sustainable development of its economy. The full amount of CER purchases will be used to acquire carbon credits from renewable energy and methane capture projects through MEXICO2. 10/05/2015

PUC Approves Pacific Biodiesel Contract with Hawaiian Electric

Pacific BiodieselPacific Biodiesel Technologies (PBT) has announced that the Hawaiian Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved their contract with Hawaiian Electric for supply of biodiesel for Oahu power generators. The two-year contract goes into effect in November 2015 for supply of a minimum of two million and up to three million gallons per year. The renewable fuel is slated for use primarily at the 110-megawatt Campbell Industrial Park generation facility and the Honolulu International Airport Emergency Power Facility, and could also be used at other Oahu power plants as needed. The biofuels will come from processed waste cooking oil and other local feedstocks. This past March, Hawaii Governor David Ige and Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui proclaimed March 18, 2015 as Pacific Biodiesel Day. 10/05/2015  

Google Partners with Ellen MacArthur Foundation to Eradicate Corporate Waste

GoogleGoogle has announced a new partnership with the United Kingdom (UK) based Ellen MacArthur Foundation, whose mission is to accelerate the transition to a regenerative “circular economy” -- an economy that eradicates waste through smart design. Google's partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation will help it take its waste reduction and sustainability programs to the next level. In a traditional "linear" economy, waste is rampant: finite natural resources are taken from the Earth, made into products, and ultimately disposed. A circular economy creates a more lasting, closed-loop system: it reduces the use of finite resources, and focuses on ways to continuously cycle materials back into the economy -- like renewable energy resources and highly reusable materials. Google's current waste reduction efforts span many areas of its business. Google will be working with the Foundation over the next few months to explore and shape a series of initiatives to embed circular economic principles into the fabric of Google’s infrastructure, operations, and culture. 10/02/2015

Ocean Conservancy Releases Report on Solutions to Plastic Waste in Oceans

Ocean ConservancyThe Ocean Conservancy has announced release of Stemming the Tide: Land-based strategies for a plastic-free ocean – a first-of-its-kind, solutions-oriented report that outlines a path toward reducing ocean plastic waste by 45 percent by 2025. The report was prepared in partnership with the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment, and starts with elimination of plastic waste leakage in five priority countries (China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand). The Stemming the Tide report is a signature initiative of the Trash Free Seas Alliance®, a unique forum launched by Ocean Conservancy in 2012 that brings together industry, science, and conservation leaders. The Alliance focuses on identifying opportunities for cross-sector solutions that drive action and foster innovation towards a healthy ocean free of trash. Among the areas of emphasis: developing infrastructure for economical conversion of plastic wastes back to beneficial resources. 10/02/2015

CEC Posts WebEx of Multiple EPIC Funding Solicitation Pre-App Workshop

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has posted the Pre-Application Workshop WebEx recording to the CEC website for the following three solicitations: GFO-15-306: Regional Energy Innovation Clusters, RFP-15-305: Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development (SEED) Initiative, and RFP-15-304: Connecting Emerging Energy Technologies to Market Needs and Opportunities. All three solicitations have common deadlines: September 25, 2015 for submission of written questions, and December 15, 2015 for full grant applications. Full details and documents are now posted to CEC’s  Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program web page. 10/02/2015  

Community Power's Biomax Walnut-Shell Biochar Receives IBI Certification

International Biochar InitiativeThe International Biochar Initiative (IBI) has announced that the Colorado company Community Power Corporation (CPC) has received IBI certification for its walnut-shell biochar through the IBI Biochar Certification Program. CPC, established in 1995, is a wholly owned subsidiary of SynTech Bioenergy, LLC, developing and vending modular bioenergy gasification systems. The walnut shell biochar has been being produced for over five years using CPC's BioMax gasifiers from nut processing residuals of Dixon Ridge Farms in Winters, California. The US Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 (EPA9) honored Russ Lester, founder of Dixon Ridge Farms, in 2012 as an Agricultural Champion for producing on-farm renewable energy for combined heat and power. To achieve IBI certification, Community Power Corporation submitted an application for BioMax Walnut-Shell Biochar that met all of the conditions of the IBI Biochar Certification Program, including passing all of the physicochemical testing requirements specified by the IBI Biochar Standards—the foundation for IBI Biochar Certification Program. Although several biochar products produced from softwood and hardwood feedstocks have been previously certified by IBI, Community Power Corporation’s BioMax Walnut-Shell Biochar is the first biochar produced from a nutshell feedstock to receive IBI biochar certification. 10/01/2015

Joule Achieves US EPA Registration for Ethanol from Recycled CO2

JouleMassachusetts based Joule Unlimited, Inc has announced that its fuel grade Sunflow®-E ethanol has been registered by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for commercial use in E10 and E15 gasoline blends. Joule Sunflow-E ethanol is chemically identical to its traditional counterparts, but differs in the way it is produced. Joule converts CO2 to ethanol directly in a continuous process, using engineered bacteria as living catalysts rather than biomass feedstocks. At full-scale commercialization, Joule ultimately targets productivity of up to 25,000 gallons of Sunflow-E ethanol per acre annually. Earlier this year Joule announced the successful third-party testing of Sunflow-E ethanol, confirming its ability to meet American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D4806 and German Institute for Standardization (DIN) EN 15376 standards.10/01/2015

Due 01/08/2016: Applications for Next Generation Pellet Stove Challenge

Alliance for Green HeatThe Alliance for Green Heat (AGH) has announced start of application acceptance for innovative biomass pellet fueled stove designs. This is Phase 1 of the international 2015/2016 Next Generation Pellet Stove Design Challenge organized by AGH and a wide group of partner organizations. Phase 2 of the project will include a 3-day workshop with a series of roundtable discussions, presentations, lab and testing workshops. The competition will culminate with a head-to-head showdown to be held at Brookhaven National Laboratory from April 6-8 2016 in Upton, New York. Applications are now being accepted and 6-8 finalists will be chosen by the Project Advisory Committee and AGH urges all developers interested in entering a stove or stove prototype to fill out the letter of interest as soon as possible. The full application is due on January 8, 2016. 10/01/2015

Due 10/21/2015: Applications to LBNL Cyclotron Road for 2nd Cohort Program

Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryLawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's (LBNL or Berkeley Lab) Cyclotron Road energy innovation program has opened registration for applications to participate as members of its second Cohort. Members of the Cohort "... will work side-by-side with other top energy innovators, engage with experts and cutting edge facilities at Berkeley Lab, and be surrounded by an unparalleled network of mentors, partners, and financiers." Acceptance into the program offers a personal stipend, travel allowance, and health benefits for up to two years; lab space and technical collaboration support from Berkeley Lab experts and facilities, and Cyclotron Road programming and mentorship. First Cohort innovators include Opus 12, a company converting CO2 emissions into chemicals and fuels. The program began accepting a “Stage 0” summary from prospective applicants last month. Full applications must be received by October 21st, 2015. 10/01/2015

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