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September 2011 News and Matters of Interest

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 Biomass and Biofuels Companies Also Benefit from USDA Grant to Universities

US Department of AgricultureThe United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) awarded more than $136 million to five University-led teams to support five years of research. Each team included advanced biofuels, biochemicals, bioenergy and biomass feedstock management companies that will directly benefit from the funding, and information on some of those teams has become available. The Washington State University grant will support the collaborative Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA). The consortium includes Weyerhaeuser to support the company's woody biomass feedstock supply chain development, and will bring $5 million to catalysis-to-butanol Oregon company Gevo, that secured a significant biofuel off-take agreement with the Air Force the same day. Colorado-based ZeaChem, whose demonstration facility is in Port of Morrow, near Boardman, Oregon, had partnered with both Washington State University and another award-winner, the University of Washington. ZeaChem's fermentation/gasification hybrid biomass-to-liquid fuel conversion platform excels at maximizing yield and minimizing CO2 release and is already benefiting from earlier USDA designation of the plant and surrounding region in a Biomass Crop Assistance Program funding. The University of Tennessee Center for Renewable Carbon's winning proposal included creation of the Southeast Partnership for Integrated Biomass Supply Systems (IBSS); among the collaborators is ArborGen of South Carolina, specializing in multi-species biocrop development. Iowa State University's CenUSA Bioenergy program will work with biocrop farmers in nine states. And in Louisiana, LSU's Ag Center Biofuels Program and the Audubon Sugar Institute leverages the oldest agricultural sugar production industry in the States, linking and supporting regional sugar mills. The USDA grants may go mainly to the Universities, but a significant amount of support is funneling down to Biomass/Biofuels company coffers. 09/30/2011

 

Renmatix Introduces Super-Critical Water Conversion of Biomass to Sugar

RenmatixThe Renmatix demonstration facility in Kennesaw, Georgia converts three dry tons of biomass per day to sugars with its proprietary PlantroseTM Process that uses super-critical water hydrolysis. In a hydrothermal reactor, water at about 400 degrees Centigrade pressurized to over 200 atmospheres deconstructs biomass at the molecular level, quickly solubilizing cellulosic sugars. Super-critical processing has been an industrial standard for many years (de-caffeinating coffee, for example), but the new Plantrose process optimizes the technique to treat biomass at a cost-effective industrial scale for production of fermentable cellulosic sugars. Renmatix process avoids use of harsh chemicals, is faster than conventional cellulosic sugar release methods and produces much of its own process energy. The new technology platform was unveiled during an industry roundtable to explore the importance of non-food, low cost industrial sugars to the emerging global biofuels and biochemicals economy. Moderator John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Renmatix board member commented, “Sugar has game-changing potential for the bio-based fuels and chemicals market. The Renmatix breakthrough enables access to affordable non-food based sugar on an industrial scale.” 09/30/2011

 

50 Million Tonnes of US Food Waste Per Year Impact Climate Change

CleanMetricsLife cycle assessment (LCA) firm CleanMetrics has released an analysis of US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA/ERS) 2009 food availability data, emphasizing the percentage, tonnage, and greenhouse gas emissions by category of food waste in the United States.The annual food waste estimate based on the data considered adds up to just about 50 million metric tonnes. The technical brief "The Climate Change Impacts of US Food Waste" extracts first the percentages of estimated loss associated with sixteen key food commodities, from meat and dairy to fats and oils, sweeteners, nuts and vegetables. The analysis shows that on average, 28% of these commonly consumed food types ended up as waste, mostly landfilled. CleanMetrics then adjusted the percentages to quantities delivered to retail, scaling USDA's per-capital waste estimates to the 2009 US population, arriving at about 50 million metric tonnes annually. Using its FoodCarbonScope LCA modeling software and food-related database to analyze the life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the report estimates that 123 million metric tones of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions are added annually from producing, transporting and landfilling only the avoidable fraction of food waste. Of this, nearly 80% of GHG emissions come from the initial production and processing, while landfilling results in less than 15% of total emissions. Given the Product Policy Institute's estimate of 906 MMT CO2e from US food provision for 2009, avoidable food waste contributes about 13% of our national food-related emissions. The study concludes in part, "There are clearly opportunities to both reduce emissions and reallocate some of the wasted agricultural production capacity to other uses such as growing feedstocks for next-generation biofuels ... for productive purposes, such as providing sufficient food and fuel for everyone, but emissions that do not serve a useful purpose are expenses that should be targeted for reduction." 09/30/2011

 

CalRecycle Schedules Workshop on Anaerobic Digestion Regulatory Issues

California Department of Resources Recycling and RecoveryThe California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) will host an informal workshop on October 18, 2011 to explore twelve key issues surrounding Title 14 and Title 27 draft regulatory revisions pertaining to anaerobic digestion (AD). Regulatory areas under scrutiny include Compostable Materials, Transfer / Processing and various permitting provisions. CalRecycle's draft Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) addressing AD facilities was explored in detail here in March 2011; the Final PEIR was certified June 22, 2011. A newly released Guidance Document for AD facility municipal environmental assessment and permitting was issued last month. The findings in the Final PEIR identify the key concerns and will inform the requisite regulatory changes. Issues to be discussed can be downloaded from the Notice and include the definition and regulatory disposition of "food waste", beneficial use standards for residuals, the green-waste / compost relationship, redundancy in agency purview, and inclusion of Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) treatment in publicly owned waste water treatment plants (POTWs). Stakeholder comment is encouraged; to provide input and for further information about the AD initiative and the October workshop, contact Ken Decio at 916-341-6313,. 09/30/2011

 

UK's NNFCC Reports Bioliquid Fuel Is Viable Alternative to Petro Heating Oil

National Centre for Biorenewable Energy, Fuels and MaterialsThe National Centre for Biorenewable Energy, Fuels and Materials (NNFCC) has released a report finding that the benefits of using bio-sourced liquid fuels for heating is an environmentally and economically viable alternative to using petroleum-sourced heating oils. The study was performed under commission from the United Kingdom's (UK) Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for Phase 2 of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The NNFCC notes that there are currently 1.4 million households in the UK using heating oil, and every year we get through 0.1 million tonnes of gas oil and 2.3 million tonnes of kerosene. The study considered "dedicated" or direct-fired heat generation, not combined heat and power (CHP) using pure biofuels renewable/fossil blends, researching the effectiveness, accessibility and capital costs. The report identified existing petroleum heating oil users as the primary market for use of liquid biofuel heating, especially those off-grid. A smaller secondary market potential was identified in new-build housing using converted boilers, new dedicated heat plants and possible district heating via connected networks around central boiler systems. "Due to the physical properties of bioliquids they cannot be simply dropped-in to conventional boilers; instead we can either convert existing boilers to use bioliquids or build completely new dedicated bioliquid heat plants," said Biomass Research Officer at the NNFCC and author of the report, Fiona McDermott. 09/29/2011

 

USDA $136MM Supports University-Led Next-Gen Biofuels Research Projects

US Department of AgricultureUS Department of Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced five grants from the agency's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) to next-generation biofuels research and development projects to public/private partners, providing more than $136 million in support over a five year period. Led by University teams in Washington, Louisiana, Tennessee and Iowa, research covers the full supply chain from biocrop development to production of high-energy liquid fuels from cellulosic biomass: (1) University of Washington – Assess and promote education, jobs, financing, construction and operation of multiple biocrop-to-biorefinery supply chains; (2) Washington State University – Through a consortium is called the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA), convert closed timber mills to biorefinery development centers, re-configure supply chain for provision of feedstock, develop regional aviation biojet fuel supply; (3) Iowa State University – Sustainable Production and Distribution of Bioenergy for the Central USA (CenUSA) nine-institution collaborative, to develop regional native grass / legume production system for feedstock supply to biorefineries, bio-char production for agriculture; (4) Louisiana State University Ag Center, Biofuels Institute – Link new feedstock supplies to existing refinery infrastructure, focusing on developing regular production and economical conversion of energy cane and sorghum; (5) University of Tennessee Center for Renewable Carbon - Create the Southeast Partnership for Integrated Biomass Supply Systems (IBSS) to develop economical woody biomass feedstock production systems for conversion of forest and mill residues and dedicated energy crops to butanol and biodiesel. AFRI is USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) primary competitive grant program established under the 2008 Farm Bill. 09/29/2011

  

Plastic/Aluminum Laminate Recovery Process Works for "Unrecyclables"

EnvalUnited Kingdom (UK) based Enval has announced that its process for recycling plastic/aluminum laminates has been judged environmentally and economically viable according to an assessment report just released by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP). The use of lightweight laminated packaging materials, such as pouches for beverage containers, has been increasing by more than 10% per year globally and is usually considered unrecyclable. The report presents detailed findings of research into the types of laminated packaging, how the materials might be recovered from the municipal waste stream, and a series of optimization trials at Enval's pilot plant to assess the company's microwave-induced pyrolysis technology for processing. The process outputs are high-quality aluminum flake and recovered oil and gaseous hydrocarbons ready for either energy generation or reforming to other commodities. A conservative estimate of 139,000 annual tonnes of laminated packaging in the UK contains about 13,500 tonnes of aluminum; when combined with energy recovery and co-located at a materials recovery facility (MRF), the WRAP report estimates that processing plants would repay investments in as little as four years. Enval leads an industrial consortium that includes Kraft Foods, who has partnered with Enval to finance the first commercial scale plant. 09/28/2011

 

LanzaTech JV Will Build Chinese Demo Plant to Convert Steel Mill Emissions

LanzaTechChina’s steel milling pioneer Shougang Group has signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with New Zealand's LanzaTech to construct a demonstration plant at one of its mills with the intent to quickly scale the JV demonstration plant to a fully commercial facility. LanzaTech's core fermentation technology converts carbon monoxide-rich gaseous industrial emissions to high-energy, low carbon liquid fuels and chemicals. The Shougang Group is seeking ways to cut greenhouse gas emission form their many steel production facilities; the company's subsidiary, Shougang TangMing, represents Shougang Group in the New Zealand market for importation of construction steel products. Shougang TangMing's President Nancy Dong was among the company's management team that signed the JV with LanzaTech Chief Executive Dr Jennifer Holmgren, saying “We will work with our partners, LanzaTech and Shougang Group, to help create a sustainable manufacturing future." LanzaTech now has operating offices in Aukland, the US and China, and projects in a variety of industrial sectors including steel, coal, petroleum refining and chemicals. Dr Holmgren comments, “China is a global leader in the commercialization of low carbon energy technology,” she says. “As an industry leader in clean steel technologies, the Shougang Group actively supports sustainable operating strategies for the production of environmentally friendly steel products.” 09/28/2011

 

Amyris and Michelin Collaborate on Renewable Isoprene Development

AmyrisCalifornia-based renewable fuel and chemical company Amyris has entered into a collaborative agreement with French-based Michelin to develop the company's No Compromise® renewable isoprene, the foundation chemical for production of synthetic and natural rubbers such as used in tires, adhesives, coatings and sealants. Amyris' utilizes their industrial synthetic biology platform to ferment sugar into isoprenoids, which is the initial focus on production of the 15-carbon molecule beta-farnesene. The same process with slightly different engineered yeast will produce the 5-carbon molecule isoprene. This foundation chemical has traditionally been made in petrochemical refineries as a by-product during thermal cracking of naptha to produce ethylene, or by other refinery synthesis processing. With the rapid rise in availability of shale gas, new sources of isoprene are becoming necessary. Michelin has committed to co-funding developmental and commercialization, including a non-exclusive 10-year renewable isoprene off-take agreement. The tire manufacturing and sales company has research and development centers in Asia, Europe and North America. Amyris initially developed its microbial engineering platform to produce artimisinic acid, a precursor of the highly effective anti-malarial drug artimisinin, and this year established a non-profit foundation to speed access to the critical therapy. 09/28/2011

 

ACEEE Releases National CHP Market Assessment - Cites Barriers, Uneven Growth

American Council for an Energy-Efficient EconomyThe American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) finds uneven growth in the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) market across the states as detailed in its report, "Challenges Facing Combined Heat and Power Today: A State-by-State Assessment." CHP systems, also known as "co-generation", make and use both thermal and electrical energy, providing increased energy efficiency and emissions reduction. Rather than being a specific technology, CHP is an approach to applying a wide variety of technologies in a manner that recovers and efficiently uses the heat produced during electricity generation, heat that is normally wasted. The report is based on first-hand interviews with national CHP systems companies and users, and identifies numerous challenges faced with CHP project implementation on a per-state basis. Not surprising in these times, the greatest barriers are financial in nature, yet specific regulatory hurdles in some states create avoidable problems that may be met with well-developed solutions from other regions. The ACEEE has for many years tracked CHP development and included a CHP chapter in its annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. The current report reaches beyond policy and regulation, considering among other factors the business practices of utilities and ideals of the agencies that oversee them, the variable market prices for regional energy supply and the availability and permissibility of fuels for CHP systems. The report concludes in part, "The public in general needs to be better educated about the benefits of CHP, and outreach to the sectors that are best suited for CHP should be an integral component of any CHP policy effort. CHP needs to be treated as a prioritized generation resource in order for developers and owners to be able to realize the full economic benefits of operating efficient CHP systems." The report may be downloaded for no cost with registration. 09/28/2011

 

COLBIOCEL Will Use Chemtex PROESA Process at Cellulosic Ethanol Facility

ChemtexColombiana de Biocombustibles Celulosicos (COLBICEL) will use Chemtex's proprietary PROESA production platform to convert sugar cane bagasse into 85,000 metric tons per year of cellulosic ethanol at a facility in Chitaraque, Columbia. Chemtex has signed a term sheet agreement with COLBICEL to provide a license for the PROESA process and associated engineering and technical services. Chemtex designed and constructed a pilot facility in Rivalta, Italy for its parent company Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi (M&G Group), and is building a 40,000 metric ton per year integrated biorefinery in Crescentino, Italy; the plant start-up is anticipated for the first half of 2012. The Chemtex PROESA processing utilizes enzymatic hydrolysis to cost-effectively reduce a wide variety of biomass to low-viscosity sugar intermediary, and proprietary simultaneous fermentation of both C5 and C6 sugars to beverage and fuel-grade ethanol, ASTM D6751 and EN14214 specification biodiesel and/or other bio-sourced chemicals, including ethylene, ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol. Chemtex plants integrate thermal conversion of bagasse residuals for plant heat and power. The company is currently collaborating with key US advanced biofuels companies including Amyris, Genomatica and Codexis. 09/27/2011

 

WSU Researcher Awarded $300K for Advanced Biofuels from Cellulosic Biomass

US Department of Defense, Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyAssistant Professor Bin Yang of Washington State University's Department of Biological Sciences will receive a $300,000 grant to expand on his research into co-production of ethanol and jet fuel from cellulosic biomass. The award comes from the US Department of Defense's (DOD) Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Young Faculty Award (YFA) program.  Bin Yang is one of 39 untenured young scientists selected under the YFA program with his submission of his research proposal for Jet Fuel Production from Biomass-Derived Lignin in Remote Locations. "Co-production of ethanol and jet fuel from biomass sources would significantly improve the total carbon use in biomass and make biomass conversion more economically viable,” Yang said. The YFA combines funding, mentoring and networking with industry and DOD early in a recipient’s career to help them in framing future research in the context of defense needs. “The YFA grants allow junior faculty members broad latitude to explore scientific advancement in a particular research area,” said Dr. Tayo Akinwande, YFA program manager. “This year’s recipients will conduct basic research in fields such as biology, electronics, energy and materials.” 09/27/2011

 

TexasAgriLife Field Day: Closed-Loop Shrimp for Food/BioCrop for Biofuels

Limited discharge recirculating system for shrimp culture at Mariculture Flour Bluff in Corpus Christi, Texas.Dr. Tzachi Samocha, a Texas AgriLife Research Center scientist, will discuss his team's shrimp production methodology during an October 4, 2011 Field Day tour of the Flour Bluff Mariculture Laboratory in Corpus Cristi. “We will be presenting and demonstrating new shrimp technologies that were many years in the making,” said Dr. Juan Landivar, center director. “They represent extraordinary progress in our efforts to revive the food and bait shrimp industries in Texas and the United States.” Dr. Samocha will explain the development and operation of two raceways for super-intensive shrimp production. Nutrient-rich shrimp fecal waste and bacteria are filtered from the raceways and circulated through algae tanks and constructed wetland beds of the salt-tolerant native plant Salicornia for production of biomass for biofuel. Researchers have been examining oil harvesting from both the algae and the Salicornia seeds, while the remainder of the plant after oil extraction can be added to the feed given to the shrimp. Dr. Samocha tells us, "… we may be able to demonstrate a higher yield than the one reported for our 2009 study (9.75 kg/m3) with low FCR and very good growth." The research program is actively seeking additional funding to continue the work beyond the end of 2011. 09/27/2011

 

BiogasCouncil Holds Sep 29th Webinar on Upcoming 1603 Tax Credit Deadline

American Biogas CouncilThe American Biogas Council (ABC) is presenting a webinar on "Meeting the 1603 Deadline: Strategies, Safe Harbor and More," Thursday, September 29, 2011 from 12:00 pm -1:30 pm ET to explore the Department of Energy’s Investment Tax Credit Grant (ITC"; Section 1603) Program. The 1603 Treasury Program allows property owners that would otherwise qualify for Internal Revenue Code Section 45 (production tax credit) or 48 (investment tax credit) to receive a cash grant from the U.S. Treasury in lieu of the credit, equaling 30% investment tax credit. December 31, 2011 is the last day to apply for cash grants. A petition was posted last week on the White House web site promoting the extension of the 1603 program; the ABC is actively seeking stakeholders to sign the petition. The ABC webinar (free to members) will explain the grant process and terminology, standards and qualifications. Moderator: Ted Niblock, general counsel and director of government affairs for Homeland Renewable Energy. Presenters: Amish Shah of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP; Ellen Neubauer, grants program manager, U.S. Department of the Treasury; and Catherine Lewis, North American business development manager for Entec Biogas USA/Reynolds Inc, who explains: "We have put together a comprehensive presentation to answer questions on deadlines, strategies, safe harbor, the design-build schedule, and more." If you believe 1603 has been a benefit to our industry, please consider signing it. 09/26/2011

 

PewCharitable Trusts Release Report on DoD and Clean Energy

Pew Charitable TrustsThe Pew Charitable Trusts has released a study of the US Department of Defense's (DoD) "Operational Energy Strategy" toward alternative energy, entitled "From Barracks to Battlefield: Clean Energy innovation and America's Armed Forces". The DoD's use of fuel in the past 50 years has increased from five gallons per soldier per day to more than 22 gallons. Pew finds that the DoD increased investments in clean energy 300% from 2006 to 2009, from $400 million to $1.2 billion, and forecasts spending of more than $10 billion annually by 2030. Fuel shipments for wars in Iran and Afghanistan have amounted to 80% of all supplies; DoD is now accelerating the deployment of alternative clean energy in three areas: vehicle efficiency, advanced biofuels and renewable energy / energy efficiency at all Military Bases. “As one of the largest energy consumers in the world, the Department of Defense has the ability to help shape America’s energy future,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Clean Energy Program. “DoD’s efforts to harness clean energy will save lives, save money and enhance the nation’s energy and economic future. Their work is also helping to spur the growth of the clean energy economy.” 09/26/2011

 

DOEApproves Cellulosic Ethanol Loan Guarantee for POET's Project LIBERTY

POETThe US Department of Energy has given its final $105 million loan guarantee approval to POET's 25 million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol project in Emmetsburg, Iowa. POET developed a 22 acre feedstock aggregation facility last year in conjunction with the USDA BCAP program, and began preliminary site work for the Project LIBERTY cellulosic ethanol plant this fall. 85 regional farmers participated in the BCAP program in 2010, delivering 56,000 tons of biomass feedstock to POET's stackyard. The new facility will be developed adjacent to and integrated with the infrastructure of POET's exiting Emmetsburg ethanol biorefinery. Biogas from LIBERTY will provide the cellulosic plant's own power and offset much of the grain ethanol plant's natural gas demand. POET is the single largest producer of ethanol globally, producing more than 1.7 billion gallons of ethanol and another 10 billion pounds of high-protein animal feed annually. The company now intends to integrate cellulosic conversion facilities into all 27 of its standard ethanol plants. 09/26/2011

 

FlexOC Renewables Selected for OC Landfill Gas to Energy Project

FlexEnergy, IncCalifornia based FlexEnergy, Inc's subsidiary Flex OC Renewables has been selected by Orange County to install and operate the Santiago Canyon Landfill Gas to Energy project. The Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to enter contract negotiations with Flex OC Renewables for installation and operation of four Flex PowerstationTM FP250 power generation modules for one megawatt (MWe) of renewable electricity. Methane-laden emissions from the closed landfill are now being flared, but the system must be upgraded to meet more stringent standards going into effect in 2013. The Flex unit thermally oxidizes emissions below nitrogen dioxide (NOx) formation temperatures but hot enough to control formation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon monoxide (CO). The Flex system can operate on methane concentrations as low as 1.8 Btu per cubic foot and requires no additional gas cleanup for fueling with contaminated landfill gas. Produced heat drives a high-efficiency turbine for power generation with total emissions well below standards. With the support of investors SAIL Capital partners, FlexEnergy has recently moved to its new 35,000 square foot complex near the landfill. 09/23/2011

 

SVSWAApproves Environmental Funding for Plasco Salinas Valley Project

Plasco Energy GroupThe Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority (SVSWA) has announced that its Board has approved funding for preparation of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Plasco Salinas Valley Waste-to-Energy Project. The plasma–driven waste conversion process would super heat post-recycling municipal solid waste, converting it to a fuel gas for power generation. The proposed project site is adjacent to SVSWA's Johnson Canyon Landfill. Preliminary engineering is underway by Plasco Energy Group of Ottawa, Canada, in support of the impact assessment required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The CEQA information gathering phase is intended to inform the agencies regarding future decisions to proceed with the project. Numerous opportunities for public input characterize CEQA and stakeholders will be kept current as public participation is encouraged. Commenting on vocal opposition balanced by strong support, Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue noted “It is interesting that those opposed to the project or the process are also opposed to gathering more information, and those in favor of exploring the technology are eager for the review process to begin.” For further information and regular project postings, visit SVSWA's main website. 09/23/2011

 

FulcrumBioenergy Files for IPO to Construct Sierra Biofuels Plant in Nevada

Fulcrum Bioenergy, IncThermal conversion technology specialist Fulcrum Bioenergy, Inc has filed a Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), offering a total of $115 million. No share price has been set. UBS Securities LLC will manage the offering based on the prospectus available in the filing; the registration statement has not yet become effective. The funds will be used to construct the Sierra Biofuels Plant, Fulcrum's first commercial-scale ethanol production facility in Storey County, Nevada. The firm's thermal conversion platform using third-party patented gasification coupled with catalytic conversion into biofuel is planned for integration into the $180 million, 10 million gallon per year facility planned for start-up in late 2013.  Fulcrum produces advanced biofuels from conversion of municipal solid waste (MSW) as feedstock. The company currently has long-term feedstock contracts sufficient to produce more than 700 million gallons of biofuel annually. With conversion rates approaching 70 gallons per ton of post recycling MSW, Fulcrum has an initial 3 year off-take agreement for all biofuel produced. 09/23/2011

 

EdinburghReceives £1.3MM Grant for Food Waste Collection Programme

Zero Waste ScotlandA grant of £1.3million from the Scottish Government's Food Waste Programme has been awarded by Zero Waste Scotland to the City of Edinburgh Council for staged roll-out of food waste collection to city households. The programme follows success of a trial which started in April to 20,000 homes; the program will now permanently extend that service to an additional 15,000 homes. In the first four months of the trial, residents had recycled more than 100 tonnes of food waste. With the grant the City intends to provide 140,000 households by March 2012 and to the majority of Edinburgh's 235,000 homes by 2015. Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Unavoidable food waste is an important resource for Scotland, as it can be used to create renewable energy, fertiliser – and ultimately jobs – from something that most of us currently just send to rot in landfill. Zero Waste Scotland has created our £4 million food waste programme to enable councils and others to realise this potential by collecting food waste for recycling from homes and businesses. With support from householders, together we can make a huge step towards zero waste in Scotland.” 09/23/2011 

 

UKOffice of Fair Trading Issues Guidance for Organic Waste Treatment

United Kingdom Office of Fair TradingThe United Kingdom (UK) Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has issued recommendations intended to encourage more efficient management and resource recovery from the country's treatment of organic wastes. The provisional guidance follows completion of a market study developed at the request of the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat), a non-ministerial government department with economic oversight of both water quality and sewage management for England and Wales. The OFT Market Study identified a number of key barriers to competition and efficiency in management of the organic waste produced annually, consisting of 90 million tonnes of agricultural waste, 16 million tonnes of residential and industrial food waste, and 1 to 20 million tonnes of sewage sludge. The quantities are based on data released earlier this year from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Chairman and Lib Dem peer Lord Redesdale of the industry's non-profit Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) welcomed the OFT's work, concluding that the new recommendations will dramatically increase the use of anaerobic digestion for waste conversion and resource recovery: "The Study recognises that competition both for sewage sludge as a feedstock for digestion is very limited, that water companies are largely not connected to the wider organic waste treatment market, and that changes have to be made to make water supply and treatment sustainable." 09/23/2011 

 

NexterraSigns CRADA with UBC to Advance Syngas Conditioning

Nexterra Systems Corp. Nexterra Systems Corp. has signed a collaborative research and development agreement (CRADA) with University of British Columbia (UBC) to advance syngas conditioning methodology based on Nexterra's biomass gasification system. The CRADA follows  last year's selection of Nexterra's system to provide combined heat and power (CHP) for the UBC's Point Grey, Vancouver campus. The collaborative will seek new, lower cost catalytic processes for syngas clean-up and upgrading, sharing research duties between the Vancouver campus and Nexterra's own research facilities in Kamloops, Canada. This is the first formal research initiative to come from the UBC/Nexterra "Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Project" (BRDP), and part of the broader UBC Sustainability Initiative that included installation and operational research of the biomass CHP gasifier. “This agreement is a critical first step toward developing research projects that leverage UBC’s strengths in clean energy research with Nexterra’s world-class expertise in biomass gasification,” said John Hepburn, UBC’s Vice President Research & International. “UBC’s Vancouver campus will be a living laboratory for this project, which will create research opportunities for UBC students and faculty while ultimately reinforcing British Columbia’s leadership in clean energy solutions.” 09/23/2011 

 

Due12/05/2011: Applications for Midwest Clean Energy Challenge

2012 Clean Energy ChallengeThe Clean Energy Trust (CET) has announced the 2012 Clean Energy Challenge, an annual business plan competition bringing funding and mentoring to promising Early Stage and Seed Stage businesses. Applications from businesses in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin will be accepted beginning November 1, 2011 through December 5, 2011. More than $200,000 in cash prizes will be awarded at the March 1, 2012 "bake-off" in Chicago, along with personalized business mentoring services. Applications may be submitted in five categories: renewable energy, low-carbon transportation, Smart Grid, energy efficiency and carbon abatement. All rules and judging criteria are available on the CET's main website. The Clean Energy Challenge was established by business and civic leaders to accelerate the pace of clean energy innovation in the Midwest. The CET is supported by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Joyce Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, the Small Business Administration, and donations from over 50 investors, corporations, universities and trade groups. Registration and submission forms are available on-line. Applications may be submitted online at http://cleanenergychallenge2012.istart.org. 11/02/2011 Update: The Clean Energy Trust has announced that applications are now being accepted from Midwestern region businesses toward the 2012 Clean Energy Challenge. The due date of 12/5/2011 remains the same. 09/23/2011

 

ElevanceFiles for $100 Million Initial Public Offering

Elevance Renewable Sciences, IncIllinois based bio-chemical company Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc has filed Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering (IPO) to raise $100 million. The initial per share value has not yet been set. Elevance produces commercial-scale specialty and intermediate chemicals from natural oils using its proprietary metathesis catalysis conversion platform, currently at third-party production facilities. The company is developing its first full-scale plant in Gresik, Indonesia, a $30 million, 185,000 metric tonne integrated biorefinery with their joint venture (JV) partner Wilmar International, specialists in palm and coconut processing. Elevance has acquired and is redeveloping the idle Delta Biofuels refinery in Natchez, Mississippi as its second integrated biorefinery, scaled to produce 280,000 metric tonnes annually and planned for operation in the second half of 2013. A third facility is in planning and intended for operation by 2014 for South America. Elevance's strategic partners include Cargill, Dow and Royal DSM, along with their Wilmar JV. 09/22/2011

 

ChromatinSigns MOU to Test Sorghum as Feedstock for Power Plants

Chromatin IncIllinois based biomass feedstock producer Chromatin Inc has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with subsidiaries of Constellation Energy to grow and harvest its proprietary SweetFuel strain of sorghum as feedstock for power plants. The energy crop optimizes biomass density while growing over 10 feet high in only three months, and with an energy density about 70% of coal. Chromatin has fields in El Centro, Imperial County and in the San Joaquin Valley, and staggers plantings to provide a continuous supply. The feedstock will be test-burned in two Central Valley power plants jointly owned by Constellation and the North American Power Group (NAPG). The 25 megawatt (MWe) Rio Bravo Fresno plant now burns agricultural residue and construction wood waste. NAPG notes that the 40 MWe Rio Bravo Poso plant in Bakersfield provides combined heat and power for electrical generation and enhanced oil field recovery; the facility currently is fueled using coal and petroleum coke before being converted to biomass. "This marks an important milestone toward our goal of creating a vertically integrated biomass supply chain that can help power generators like Constellation to rely more on renewable fuel sources that recycle greenhouse gases," said Daphne Preuss, Chromatin's CEO. 09/22/2011

 

PennState Researchers Use Salt Water to Produce Microbial H2 for Energy

Bruce Logan's bacterial hydrolysis cell with reverse electrodialysis stack. Credit: Bruce Logan, Penn StatePennsylvania State University'sKappe Professor of Environmental Engineering Bruce Logan has published new findings on microbial electrolytic production of hydrogen.The team used microbial action fed on nutrient rich wastewater coupled with the saline-based ionic difference (electric potential) between river and sea water to provide hydrogen to a fuel cell for electric generation. The resulting fuel cells ranged from 58% to 64% energy conversion efficiency while producing between 0.8 to 1.6 cubic meters of hydrogen for every cubic meter of liquid passed through the cell each day. The microbial electrolysis fuel cells operate by reverse-electrodialysis (RED) that extracts energy from the ionic differences, termed RED cells. Combining RED technology with exo-electrogenic bacteria that consume organic material and produce an electric current reduced the number of RED stacks to five membrane pairs. Only about one percent of the energy produced in the cell was needed to pump water through the system; in past research, outside power was necessary to maintain the flow. "The added voltage that we need is a lot less than the 1.8 volts necessary to hydrolyze water," said Logan. "Biodegradable liquids and cellulose waste are abundant and with no energy in and hydrogen out we can get rid of wastewater and by-products. This could be an inexhaustible source of energy." 09/22/2011

 

CaliforniaARB Schedules 2nd Mandatory Public LCFS Update Meeting

California Air Resources Board Low Carbon Fuel StandardThe California Air Resources Board (ARB) has announced the schedule for its second and last mandatory public update meeting on the progress of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Advisory Panel for the morning of Thursday, September 29, 2011 in Sacramento. Following an introductory overview, ARB staff will give a presentation on the Panel's progress toward review and development of the LCFS regulations, which became effective April 15, 2010; the Panel's first formal review report is due to the Board by January 1, 2012. A great many people are involved in this very complex regulatory review program which now is past the half way point toward setting regulatory implementation (see our Interim Guide to the LCFS, in case you missed it). The program has an on-line Comment Submittal Form to simplify public outreach. The meeting will also be webcast. For further information about the program and/or this meeting, contact Michelle Buffington, Air Pollution Specialist, Fuels Section at 916-324-0368, or by email at. 09/22/2011

 

Over458,000 Micro-Biogas Plants Installed in Asia and Africa Since 1992

SNV NetherlandsThe humanitarian non-profit international development organization SNV Netherlands has released data on biogas systems installed in underdeveloped countries through programmes that SNV supports. Since being established in 1965, SNV has provided assistance to 36 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Balkans, relying on a network of almost a thousand advisors.  Cumulative up to 2010, SNV has directed and supported installation of over 360.000 micro-generation biogas plants for improved rural sanitation and clean conversion of organic wastes to biogas for cooking and heating. Installations for the first half of 2011 in Asia and Africa total 36,539 systems, with the largest numbers resulting form the Biogas Support Programme (BSP) in neap and Vietnam's Biogas Programme. System per-country average investment costs (in USD) range from a low of $430 in Cambodia to a high of $1,339 in Rwanda. SNV's domestic biogas programmes are multi-stakeholder efforts intended to optimize capacities in each assisted country. At the invitation of Asian Development Bank, SNV is now leading the Energy for All initiative, with plans to install an additional one million biogas plants across the Asian region by 2015. 09/22/2011

 

Due10/13/2011: Pre-Qualification Application to NYSERDA for RPS Attributes

New York State Energy Research and Development AuthorityThe New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has released Request for Proposals RFP) No. 2389, seeking to purchase up to $150 million in Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Attributes associated with electricity generated on or after January 1, 2012 from eligible Bid Facilities that enter Commercial Operation between January 1, 2003 and on or before December 31, 2012. The RFP requires a two-step process: (1) an application package submission step that will prequalify bidders, and (2) a competitive Bid Proposal submission step. A detailed RFP Summary provides submission and contact details along with background and requirements. The RPS Order authorizing this RFP is available on the Commission's web page and is recommended reading for any prospective bidder. All documents including the Summary and numerous Appendices are accessed through the RPS 2389 main web page. Step 1 Application Packages must reach NYSERDA Thursday, October 13, 2011. A Bidder's Conference is scheduled for Monday, October 3, 2011; notification bid pre-qualification is Friday October 28, 2011 and the deadline for submission of bids from pre-approved bidders (Step 2) is set for November 16, 2011 with final winner notifications on or about December 16, 2011. Past solicitation information is also available on-line. Program questions should be directed to rps@nyserda.org (no phone calls). Contractual questions should be directed to Nancy Marucci, ext. 3335, e-mail. No communication intended to influence this procurement is permitted except by contacting Kevin Hale at (518) 862-1090, ext. 3266 or (Designated Contact). 09/22/2011

 

Neste'sProduction Capacity Now at 2 MTPA with Rotterdam Biodiesel Plant

Neste OilFinnish biofuel company Neste Oil has announced start-up of its fourth flexible-feedstock biodiesel and biofuel additive production plant, this time in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The plant was completed on-schedule and on-budget. With this plant's design capacity of 800,000 tonnes per annum (TPA), it brings Neste Oil's annual production capacity to 2 million tonnes.Neste's proprietary transesterification NExBTL platform can convert almost any vegetable oil or waste fat to engine-ready renewable diesel, which is currently being studied in a year-long third part road trial Neste's refining technologies include its NExTAME™ and NExETHERS™ processes for mixed ether fuel additives improve gasoline quality; NExOCTANE™ provides an alternative for MTBE. Any Neste plant can be modified to produce bio-jet fuel. Neste operates one renewable diesel plant in Singapore and two plants in Porvoo in Finland. "The Rotterdam plant is Neste Oil's fourth facility producing high-quality renewable diesel. With its start-up, our major EUR 1.5 billion investment program aimed at increasing our renewable diesel production capacity has entered its final stage. The successful completion of the program underlines our strong commitment to providing solutions that help meet the world's growing energy demand and need to reduce traffic-related emissions," said Neste Oil's President and CEO, Matti Lievonen. 09/21/2011

 

NTPIssued to Construct Turnkey 75MWe Biomass Plant in New Hampshire

The Babcock & Wilcox CompanyBabcock & Wilcox Construction Co., Inc., a unit of The Babcock & Wilcox Company ("B&W"), has received Notice to Proceed (NTP) with immediate construction of a 75 megawatt Berlin, New Hampshire biomass power plant; the contract is valued at $186 million. The large project is sited along the Androscoggin River on property formerly part of Fraser Paper's pulp mill that closed in 2006. A subsidiary Delta Power Services, LLC, a B&W company, will provide operations and maintenance services post-completion, in a separate six year, $19 million contract. The green project developers Starwood Energy Group Global and Cate Street Capital have now closed $275 million in financing for the project. The plant has a 20-year power purchase agreement with Public Service Company of New Hampshire, will receive Class I Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), is eligible for US Treasury's distressed area incentive New Market Tax Credits and for the Section 1603 Grant en Lieu of Investment Tax Credits. Berlin Station design complies with emissions standards, releasing 75% less NOx, 90% less mercury and 98% less SO2 than other solid fuel power facilities while converting about 750,000 tons of sustainably-source wood per year to energy. The plant is scheduled to begin operations in 2013. 09/21/2011

 

EcoVentures Group Secures Funding, Begins Precious Metals Recovery

Eco Ventures GroupTennessee based Eco Ventures Group has secured a firm letter of commitment for $15.3 million from a private funding group through a new strategic partnership. Funding is planned in  three traunches starting with about $6.5 million to be released September 22, 2011. The funding coincides with start of production of precious metals extraction by the company's joint venture (JV) partner Raptor Technology Group. Eco Ventures Group family of closely-integrated companies includes Eco Minerals Recovery Group and Eco Energy Group; its existing fuels development has concentrated on production of biodiesel from waste and seed crop oils. The JV with Raptor serves both sides of the Eco Ventures business. Raptor controls proprietary biofuels technology platforms utilize super-critical" processing to further waste biomass to liquid fuel and energy development; Raptor has secured long term feedstock agreements sufficient for full capacity production in the team's biodiesel plant in Groveland Florida. Raptor employs specialized chromatographic recognition and separation systems to extract rare and precious metals from concentrated ores. The extraction processing path is potentially applicable to waste sources as well as the concentrated ores being processed at the new production facility. 09/21/2011. 09/23/2011 Update: Eco Venture's strategic partner decided to convert the $15.3 million in financing from a loan to equity equal to 20% of the company.

 

CaliforniaARB Updates LCFS Carbon Intensity Tables, Alt Fuel Pathways

California Air resources Board Low Carbon Fuel StandardThe California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has updated carbon intensities (CIs) in the CI Lookup Table and other information regarding biofuel producers registered in the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Biofuel Producer Registration Program. The updates include addition of six new facilities to the LCFS Biofuel Producer Registration "Complete" list and six to the “Physical Pathway Pending” list. The updates add new fuel pathways to four previously registered facilities, move two facilities from previous “Physical Pathway Pending” list to the “Complete” list, and revise fuel pathways for two previously registered facilities. Also included are three facility ID corrections. The “Carbon Intensity Pending” list remains unchanged. Teru prepared an Interim Guide to the LCFS in August to help work through this maze. For further information, contact agency staff Susan Solarz at or (916) 323-2790; or Jing Yuan at or (916)322-8875. 09/20/2011

 

SARTAWill Host Utility Rate Seminar for Clean Tech Companies

Sacramento Area RegionalTechnology AllianceThe Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance (SARTA) will host a short seminar, "Navigating Utility Rate Structures: What Clean Tech Companies Need To Know", from 8:30 to 11:30 am, Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at Drexel University, One Capital Mall, Suite 260, Sacramento, California. The workshop is intended to demystify utility rates, allowing companies to take better advantage of the structure. Presenters from the major regional utilities will help attendees explore: one-part and two-part rates (demand and energy); time-of-use rates and how they emphasize the value of peak load reduction; special programs and incentives—for solar, conservation, electric vehicles, etc; how rates may evolve in the future; and how to stay current on rates and incentive programs. Registration is required and can be completed on-line; a modest fee is charged, and a SARTA member discount code is available. For further information, contact SARTA's Eric Ullrich at 530-219-3240;. Teru will attend. 09/20/2011

 

UKJV Wins £35MM Contract for 2 Sewage Sludge to Biogas AD Plants

Galliford TryThe joint venture (JV) between United Kingdom (UK) construction company Galliford Try and Imtech Process, a UK water and waste engineering firm, has been awarded a £35 million contract to develop two advanced anaerobic digestion (AD) plants for Anglian Water's wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) in Basildon and Ipswich. Both AD plants will produce biogas to generate electricity from sewage sludge processing along with nutrient-rich soils amendments. Galliford Try has completed previous projects for Anglian Water in Norfolk and Northamptonshire. Imtech Process provides engineering and delivery services for the water, waste, and renewable energy sector with experience in advanced AD and "practical experience in beneficially recycling Class A biosolids for agricultural use." Greg Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of Galliford Try, commented: “We are delighted to secure this additional business from an existing framework client. It builds on our track record in delivering both clean and waste water infrastructure projects as a leading infrastructure contractor to the water industry.” 09/20/2011

 

CANCELLED: Proposals for Zacatecas Mexico Landfill Gas Feasibility Study

United States Trade and Development AgencyThe US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has issued a Request for Qualifications and Proposals on behalf of the Municipal Government of Zacatecas for a Feasibility Study to determine landfill gas project viability in Zacatecas, Mexico. The study will determine the feasibility of developing a 3 megawatt (MWe) landfill gas collection and power generation pilot project, allowing the government to assess recoverable landfill gas resources, develop a preliminary conceptual design and draft the necessary contractual and legal document. The US firm selected will be paid in U.S dollars from a $278,000 grant to the Municipal Government of Zacatecas specifically for this project. USTDA's Information Resource Center (IRC) administers the RFP process; an electronic copy of the full RFP may be obtained on-line upon registration; refer to RFP #2011-51022A – Mexico: Zacatecas Landfill Gas Pilot Project Feasibility Study. Proposals are due September 28, 2011. Please contact the USTDA IRC department at or 703-875-4357 for process information. 09/20/2011. 09/28/2011 Update: This RFP was suspended today until further notice. All proposals will be returned unopened.

 

PurdueResearchers Dry Corn Ethanol for Biofuel with Tapioca

Purdue UniversityResearchers at Purdue University College of Engineering in association with Archer Daniels Midland have announced development of a very natural and environmentally friendly way to absorb the water from ethanol when making biofuel: Tapioca Pearls. Michael Ladisch, Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Biological Engineering, his team member Purdue research scientist Youngmi Kim, and the director of process research at Archer Daniels Midland, Ahmad Hilaly, have concluded that the shape and structure of tapioca pearls make them perfect for dewatering ethanol. Corn ethanol must be dehydrated by removal of 6% to 12% water to produce biofuel. The industry standard methods are absorption into corn grits, and/or use of silicon-based molecular sieves. Unevenly shaped grits contain fiber and proteins; molecular sieves degrade quickly. The spherical cassava grains of tapioca are 100% starch and can retain up to 34% more water and when worn out can be recycled to make more ethanol. Professor Ladisch, who is Chief Technology Officer for Mascoma, came up with the idea while watching his mother-in-law fix Thanksgiving dinner: "I started thinking, 'It's a starch. Might this work?'" Ladisch said. "Tapioca is very efficient, and it's all-natural," Ladisch said. "There are no disposal issues. It's much more environmentally friendly." 09/19/2011

 

AgrokorReceives €5 MM Loan for Croatian Waste to Biogas CHP Plant

Agrokor GroupCroatian firm Agrokor Grouphas announced that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved a €5 million loan to back development of Croatia's first combined heat and power anaerobic digestion biogas plant. The Agrokor facility in Gradec about 40 kilometers outside of the capital Zagreb will convert organic waste by-products from Agrokor’s own regional food processing to generate 1 megawatt of electricity (MWe) for sale to Croatia’s power grid and will also produce up to 1 MW of heat. Agrokor plans to develop a network of eastern European facilities approaching a total of 30 MWe generation capacity. The biogas project is financed under the Bank’s Agribusiness Sustainable Investment Facility, which has committed over €6.8 billion in over 440 projects across central and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States since 1991. "Investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as improving the diversity of energy supply is a priority for the EBRD. We are delighted to be part of this ground-breaking project for Croatia. It will demonstrate the commercial viability of biogas projects in the agribusiness sector and set high efficiency standards in this field, serving as an excellent example for both the agribusiness and renewables sector", said Zsuzsanna Hargitai, EBRD Director for Croatia. 09/19/2011

 

Saria Invests in PDM Group, PDM Opens 1st ReFood Waste Digester in UK

PDM GroupGerman-based Saria Industries has secured a majority equity interest in the United Kingdom's (UK) PDM Group after the two firms have worked in partnership for several years. The investment will enable PDM to expand its development of anaerobic digester (AD), biomass to energy, and rendering network in the UK with focus on the ReFood technologies. PDM's first ReFood waste food AD to biogas plant officially opened in Doncaster last week. The £12 million ReFood plant is designed to convert 45,000 tonnes annually of regionally produced food waste into 2.8 megawatts of renewable electricity and 40,000 tonnes of nutrient-rich soils amendment. ReFood is an ISO and DQS-certified company and already operates four AD plants in Germany supported by 17 collection centres. Collections are carried out from over 48,000 customer sites using a fleet of 370 dedicated vehicles. ReFood UK intends to replicate the national collection and processing network already established in Germany. Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband said: “It’s fantastic that I’m able to open a state-of-the-art renewable-energy venture right here in Doncaster. The ReFood plant demonstrates the huge potential that exists for turning food and other household waste into renewable energy, which can then be used to heat and power thousands of homes. Plants like this are important in many ways – they provide employment and play a vital role in delivering energy savings for homes and businesses.” 09/18/2011

 

MascomaCorporation Plans Initial Public Offering to Raise $100MM

Mascoma CorporationNew Hampshire-based Mascoma Corporation has filed a Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), seeking to raise up to $100 million in equity investments through an initial public offering (IPO). Primary underwriters are Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, and UBS Investment Bank. Mascoma is a renewable fuels company specializing in genetic engineering of bacteria and fungi for production of enzymes capable of breaking down cellulose. The company's patented Consolidated BioProcessing (CBP) technology platform uses the genetically-modified organisms (GMO) to convert the resulting fermentable sugars into a variety of biofuels and bio-sourced chemicals. Initially Mascoma plans to introduce its proprietary Mascoma Grain Technology (MGT) yeast strain into the existing corn ethanol industry. The company intends to expand and diversify, having already shown the flexibility of CBP through conversion into ethanol of corn stover, sugarcane bagasse, palm residue, softwood, miscanthus, switchgrass, paper sludge and sorghum. Mascoma is planning their first two hardwood-feedstock CBP facility for Kinross, Michigan (starting construction within three to six months) and in the Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada (construction scheduled to start within in 12 to 24 months). 09/18/2011

 

EPASubmits Biogenic CO2 Report to Science Advisory Board for Review

US Environmental Protection AgencyThe US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Atmospheric Programs has released a substantive report for peer review entitled "Accounting Framework for Biogenic CO2 Emissions from Stationary Sources". The 140-page assessment has been submitted to the EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) for formal review. The work considers scientific and technical issues that complicate accounting for emissions of biogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) and report addresses both on-site and off-site emissions factors, establishing boundaries to separate impact categories related to changes in five carbon pools. Determination of an appropriate baseline for biogenic CO2 emissions is explored, as are model differences necessary to account for emissions from a wide variety of biogenic feedstock, to include the "critical difference between waste and other biologically based material." Conclusions, in part, include, "The framework provides the critical link from the direct emissions at the stationary source to the offsite factors related to the carbon cycle in a scientifically and technically rigorous manner, through the development of a BAF. The use of the BAF to adjust the total onsite biogenic emissions at a stationary source may allow for a more accurate assessment than “gross emissions” or default “carbon neutrality,” because it acknowledges the role of the carbon cycle." For further information on the program or the report, contact Jennifer Jenkins () or Sara Ohrel () in EPA's Climate Change Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs. 09/18/2011

 

AlphabetEnergy Secures $12MM in Equity Funding for Waste Heat Conversion

Alphabet EnergySan Francisco based Alphabet Energy has increased their financial base in a Series E round of equity placement, raising $12 million with TPG Biotech, the life science venture investment arm of TPG leading the round. The California Clean Energy Fund's (CalCEF) Angel Fund provided support, joining increased equity investment by an early backer, Claremont Creek Ventures. Alphabet Energy was founded in 2009 to commercialize a novel waste heat recovery technology developed in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The low-grade silicon-based nanowire thermoelectric materials are designed to convert medium- and high-grade waste heat into electricity in the range from microwatts to megawatts, using industry standard semiconductor fabrication tools and facilities. When placed in a temperature gradient, thermoelectric materials generate solid-state electricity; Alphabet compares the process to "solar panels for heat". The company announced this past February that its successful completion of Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts for early development had lead to two SBIR Phase II contracts valued at $750,000 and $730,000 respectively to develop and deliver pilot waste-heat-to-electricity products to the Air Force and Army. Alphabet is currently accepting proposals for pilot site projects, seeking further partnerships with industries that access or produce large quantities of waste heat, as well as with semiconductor foundries. Paul Straub, Alphabet Board member and a director at Claremont Creek Ventures: “Alphabet’s approach enables recycling of wasted heat energy in a range of applications, each of which constitute enormous multi-billion dollar markets where conventional waste heat-recovery approaches, including thermoelectrics, have previously been limited by performance and economic considerations.” 09/17/2011

 

OPECProject Will Produce Green Chemicals from Food Waste

University of York Green Chemistry Centre of ExcellenceThe United Kingdom's University of York Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence has announced a multi-national project to develop and commercialize a new microwave-based process that can isolate valuable biochemicals from citrus processing wastes. The project has been christened the Orange Peel Exploitation Company (OPEC) and is a collaboration between York, the University of Sao Paulo Brazil, and the University of Cordoba, Spain. The OPEC will focus on production of ethanol, d-limonene, and "biochar", the mesoporous carbons that can be used as water purifiers, as well as other chemical commodities. The Centre's Professor James Clark says: “Waste orange peel is an excellent example of a wasted resource. In Brazil, the world’s largest producer of orange juice, half the orange fruit is left as waste once the juice has been recovered. This corresponds to three million tonnes a year of orange peel that can be used to produce chemicals, materials and fuels. The by-product of the juicing industry therefore has the potential to provide a range of compounds, offering a more profitable and environmentally valuable alternative to current waste use practices. We are seeking to do this by harnessing the chemical potential of food supply chain waste using green chemical technologies and use nature’s own functionalities to obtain sought-after properties in everyday products." Professor Clark was honored for his contributions to green chemistry this past June, receiving the Royal Society of Chemistry's "Environment" prize. 09/17/2011

 

BioAmberSelected for Bio-PBS Production Plant in Thailand

BioAmberMinnesota's bio-sourced succinic acid specialists BioAmber, Inc will partner with PTTMCC Biochem Company for a biosourced polybutylene succinate (Bio-PBS) plant in Thailand. Start of construction on the production facilities has been scheduled for 2012 in Map Ta Phut (Rayong) Thailand and is expected to start production in 2014. PTTMCC Biochem Company is a joint venture between Thailand-based PTT Chemicals and Mitsubishi Chemical. Succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol (another BioAmber product, using exclusively licensed DuPont technology) are the foundation chemicals for production of PBS. The team's Bio-PBS is a biodegradable biopolymer with high market potential and good Mitsubishi-owned patent protection. BioAmber's initial bio-succinic acid production facility will have a peak design capacity of 65,000 megatonnes (MT); plans are also underway for a 50,000 MT production plant for 1,4-butanediol on the same site. Shigeru Handa, General Manager of Mitsubishi Chemical’s Sustainable Resources Business Development Department and a member of the PTTMCC board of directors: “BioAmber operates the world’s only large-scale biobased succinic acid plant and is already Mitsubishi Chemical’s sole supplier of biobased succinic acid. BioAmber has proven the quality and cost of its biosuccinic acid and we have been working together for a number of months to further improve the technology. Partnering with BioAmber will allow PTTMCC to have competitive biosuccinic acid from a local source by 2014." 09/17/2011

 

Due11/03/2011: Proposals for High Value Biochemical Development

Technology Strategy BoardThe United Kingdom's (UK) Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is opening a competitive grants program to fund the development and commercialization of processes to manufacture bio-sourced chemicals. Up to £2.5m will be available through the Producing High Value Chemicals through Industrial Biotechnology program in support of UK-based feasibility studies, and research and development projects that emphasize collaborative research between industrial biotechnology developers, higher education, and the standard industrial chemical manufacturing sector. The TSB is a business-lead executive non-governmental public body established by the United Kingdom government in 2007. The competition is a collaborative effort between the UK and Norway. Up to £1 million will be available for UK parties in feasibility projects, which must be led by a UK SME and be collaborative. The projects should be at pilot scale, usually lasting six to nine months. In addition, up to £1.5 million will be available for UK parties in collaborative R&D projects, which must be led a by a UK business and should include an end-user. The projects should be at production scale and will usually last up to two years. Co-funding from the Research Councils may also be available for UK academic partners. The competition opens September 19 2011 and closes November 3, 2011. A briefing brochure is available for downloading; a registration-required briefing session for potential applicants will be held Tuesday morning, September 27 2011. 09/17/2011

 

OxfordCatalysts Wins Kirkpatrick Engineering Excellence Award

Oxford Catalysts GroupOxford Catalysts Group Plc (OCG), a United Kingdom based specialist in catalysis for synthetic oil production, has won the prestigious 2011 Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Award. Presented every other year since 1933, the global award has singled out innovators for commercializing the most noteworthy chemical engineering technology. OCG combines new high-activity catalysis with modular micro-channel Fischer-Tropsch (FT) and steam methane reforming (SMR) reactors to facilitate gas-to-liquid, biomass-to-liquid and coal-to-liquid reactions in small-scale conversion applications, allowing distributed production of biofuels. Previous award winners include Cargill Dow, Monsanto, Union Carbide, Linde and Air Products. Roy Lipski, CEO of Oxford Catalysts Group said, “We are particularly honoured to receive the Kirkpatrick Award and to join its extraordinary roster of past winners. This is further validation of the significant global relevance and appeal of our technology, its increasing recognition within industry and the commercial traction its gaining.” 09/16/2011

 

FlexEnergyApplauds CPUC's Re-Up of the Self-Generation Incentive Program

FlexEnergyClean power systems developer FlexEnergy, whose 250 kilowatt Flex Turbine and Flex Powerstation will qualify under the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) recently approved Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP; SB 412 of 2009), notes that biogas-fueled combined heat and power (CHP) applications can receive up to 60% of project costs or $2,500 per kilowatt in incentives. The CPUC approved the expanded SGIP on September 8, 2011 and is expected to start accepting project-related incentive applications through the major utilities later this fall. Although provisions for rate-payer fees in support of the program were only extended for one year, the SGIP will provide significant financial incentives for on-site CHP projects. FlexEnergy's CEO Joseph Perry stated, “The SGIP incentivizes customers to choose environmentally responsible energy technologies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and leave California’s air clean. FlexEnergy’s ultra-low emissions solutions are available today to serve customers seeking energy independence and a clean source of power.” FlexEnergy has just installed its first Flex Powerstation at the US Department of Defense's Fort Benning Army Base in Georgia for conversion of the Base's landfill gas to renewable power. The company presented a detailed description of their capabilities at this week's EPA Bioresources Alliance Symposium in Sacramento, California. 09/16/2011

 

NewTexas Law Will Simplify Emissions Permitting to Boost CHP Applications

Texas Commission on Environmental QualityTexas House Bill 3268, signed into law in June by Governor Rick Perry, required the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to simplify air quality emissions permitting for combined heat and power (CHP) systems. The law became effective upon signing and TCEQ began implementation September 1, 2011. Texas CHP applications rank among the top in the nation for this form of electricity generators. The non-profit Texas Combined Heat and Power Initiative (TXCHPI) notes that the bill requires regulators to develop regulations that recognize the environmental emissions reduction benefits of CHP when issuing air quality permits rather than comparing emissions directly to large-scale power plants with no secondary heat utilization. Paul Cauduro, Executive Director of the Texas Combined Heat and Power Initiative (TXCHPI), said, “CHP offers numerous benefits to installers, ERCOT and the electric grid, and public health. These benefits include reduced energy costs, transmission losses, air emissions and water consumption. The actions taken by Governor Perry and the Texas Legislature, if properly implemented, will increase job opportunities and will advance the installation of this effective, economical and environmentally-sensible energy option for Texas.” 09/16/2011

 

AliphaJet Demonstrates New Drop-in Jet Biofuel Production Technology

AliphaJetAliphaJet has announced successful demonstration of its catalytic de-oxygenation process for production of biojet fuel from oils and/or fatty acids from animals and plants. Samples of the biofuels were tested at Southwest Research Institute and met or exceeded D-1655 requirements, including net heat of combustion, freezing point, smoke point and sulfur levels. The process has already demonstrated drop-in gasoline and diesel production, along with capacity to produce other foundation chemicals usually sourced from petroleum. AliphaJet is a collaborative venture between biomass-to-ammonia thermal conversion company SynGest and catalysis specialists Unitel Technologies. Development of the catalytic de-oxygenation process development was led by Unitel's Dr. Ravi Randhava in collaboration with Dr. Paul Ratnasamy at the University of Louisville. Jack Oswald, CEO of AliphaJet and SynGest: “Our strategy fundamentally improves the economics of making 100% drop-in renewable jet biofuel. The breakthrough AliphaJet BoxCar™ catalytic de-oxygenation process removes 100% of the oxygen without the need for aggressive and expensive hydrotreating. Our approach is radically different and unlocks a new industry that can meet the U.S. Navy’s goal of replacing 50% of its liquid fuels with renewables by 2020.” 09/15/2011

 

CE-CERT Receives Grants to Advance Waste to Renewable Energy

University of California, Riverside, Bourns College of Engineering's Center for Environmental Research and TechnologyResearchers at the University of California (UC), Riverside, Bourns College of Engineering's Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) have received two grants to advance their highly efficient waste conversion technology. The California Energy Commission has extended previous funding by another $650,000 to further develop the CE-CERT's steam hydrogasification (SHG) technology, which can convert a broad array of biomass feedstock types to bio-sourced natural gas, transportation fuels of other commodities. The patented process uses high-pressure seam and heat to break down carbon-chain feedstock into methane, which can be catalytically converted to synthetic diesel. Funding should allow the CE-CERT to complete a process demonstration facility needed to provide data prior to scale-up at Riverside County's wastewater treatment plant. An additional grant of $100,000 has been awarded by the University of California Discovery Program to explore integration of the CE-CERT's process with food waste processing "eCorect" hydrothermal technology developed by Irvine-based Food Recycling Science, which stabilizes and concentrates the wet and quickly degrading wastes into a more concentrated form of biomass. The teams will now work to optimize the combined eCorect and SHG processes into a closed-loop system, and then use the University's computer modeling capabilities to compare economics of potential energy and fuels production pathways that the integration facilitates. 09/15/2011

 

GlobalBiofuel Information Tool Provides Map Based Overview of Biofuels

Center for International Forestry ResearchThe Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) has created and made available free of charge an on-line interactive map-based overview of biofuel development, the Global Biofuel Information Tool (GBIT). The beta-version geographic information system (GIS) application provides national biofuel production and consumption data in millions of litres per year, along with key financial investment and company profiles. Base data were developed from the International Energy Statistics database of the US Energy Information Administration. One layer shows the "balance", clearly indicating a deficit in US ethanol production to consumption, yet when combined with biodiesel the total represents an excess. Only "global south" investment data are represented at this time showing strength of overall financial support for biofuels in Malaysia and most of South America but lagging throughout the African continent. The European Commission sponsored the development of GBIT, to explore bioenergy, sustainability and trade-offs between the two, especially relating to implications for forests and people’s livelihoods. The Center for International Forestry Research is a nonprofit, global facility dedicated to advancing human well being, environmental conservation and equity, conducting research that informs equitable decision making about the use and management of forests in less-developed countries. CIFOR is one of 15 centres within the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). 09/14/2011

 

ACEEEExpands Program for Behavior and Human Dimensions

American Council for an Energy Efficient EconomyThe American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has announced a key addition to its staff and expansion of its assessment capacity with the selection of Fulbright recipient Susan Mazur-Stommen as the Director of Behavior and Human Dimensions. The thirty-one year old non-profit ACEEE has long provided clear research informing Energy Policy into national and international energy utilization, and advancing energy efficiency to improve the economy, increase energy security and provide better environmental protection. Dr. Mazur-Stommen is a practicing anthropologist who comes from the West Coast, where among other challenges she provided instruction in Community Design and Social Change a course she has said in her blog post provided "… a bit of a wallop upside the head to those who think one can “plan” or “legislate” humans into acting in a particular manner. I do believe that good planning and good legislation matter, but they need to be put into a context than also includes changing the messaging people are exposed to, as well as tweaking environmental cues that we respond to automatically and even somatically." Perhaps Dr. Mazur-Stommen can help us understand why we continue to pay to throw our precious resources away. 09/14/2011

 

Due10/03/2011: Comments to CDFA-CEC on California Agriculture Biofuel Issues

California Department of Food and AgricultureThe California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) is seeking public comment from the agriculture business and the biofuel industry on California agriculture biofuels issues. The program is part of the CEC's implementation of AB 118, the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, intended to "explore mutually beneficial opportunities for California’s agriculture businesses and biofuel producers as the state experiences the expected growth of biofuel production plants. Converting dairy farm biogas, food processing waste, orchard prunings and other agriculture waste residue to transportation fuels offer agriculture businesses an opportunity to reduce residue processing expenses. Purpose grown crops may provide other biofuel options. California biofuel production plants will contribute to diversifying transportation fuel options, improving our energy security, and helping the state fulfill a surging demand for low carbon fuels over the next ten years. A Joint California Agriculture Biofuel Forum will be held on September 22, 2011, and the agencies encourage stakeholders to submit comments by email to before and after the event by 4:00 pm on October 3, 2011. 09/14/2011

  

InternationalAlternative Fuel Technology Center Opens in San Antonio

International Anternative Fuel Technology CenterThe Texas based Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has announced the launch of its cross-disciplinary International Alternative Fuel Technology Center (IAFTC) to help its clients reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and drive forward state and federal mandates for alternative fuel production and reduced emissions standards. SwRI's 11 technical divisions provide a wide range of technical expertise and services, and the laboratories perform fluids processing and analysis safely and efficiently. Institute staff can provide alternative fuel formulation to required specification, biodiesel fuel analysis and evaluation, aviation fuels and hydrocarbon processing. "Through the IAFTC, Southwest Research Institute can do everything for the client from the initial concepts and development testing at the bench scale, through operational evaluation, commercialization and registration with the Environmental Protection Agency," said Robert Fanick, a manager in SwRI's Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division. "Many companies offer one or two aspects of alternative fuels research and development. But there are few companies that can offer the full spectrum of services that we can." 09/13/2011

 

EPAHosts Free Webinar on GHG Regs for Combined Heat and Power Systems

US Environmental Protection AgencyThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Combined Heat and Power Partnership program will be hosting a webinar this Thursday, September 15, 2011 to highlight new greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting regulations specifically for combined heat and power (CHP) systems, focusing on "GHG Requirements for CHP Systems.". The EPA's "Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule" requirements became effective January 2, 2011. The Tailoring Rule set GHG thresholds under the New Source Review Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V Operating Permit programs for new and existing industrial facilities. The webinar will address how the Rule's implementation impacts CHP system operators and project developers. The webinar will discuss issues presented in a December 10, 2010 training webinar on greenhouse gas permits, and the EPA recommends that attendees review the training webinar in advance. Information on the Clean Air Act Permitting for Greenhouse Gases is available at www.epa.gov/nsr/ghgpermitting.html. Speakers will include Juan Santiago, Group Leader, Operating Permits Group, EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards and Dave Svendsgaard, New Source Review Group, EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. The presentation is free but registration is required and can be completed on-line. 09/13/2011

 

CaliforniaAgriculture Biofuel Forum Scheduled for September 22, 2011

California Department of Food and AgricultureThe California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) will be holding a joint-agency public forum on agriculture business and the biofuel industry, and is seeking public input. The Joint California Agriculture Biofuel Forum will focus on: 1) understanding the key economic and policy drivers for agriculture and biofuel development; 2) panel discussions on important sector issues; 3) identifying the challenges and opportunities that intersect agriculture and biofuel development in California; and 4) understanding the realistic expectations of biofuels and biofuel feedstocks that will lead to commercialization. Converting dairy farm biogas, food processing waste, orchard prunings and other agriculture waste residue to transportation fuels offer agriculture businesses an opportunity to reduce residue processing expenses. Purpose grown crops may provide other biofuel options. California biofuel production plants will contribute to diversifying transportation fuel options, improving our energy security, and helping the state fulfill a surging demand for low carbon fuels over the next ten years. The meeting will be held on Thursday, September 22, 2011, starting at 9:00 am in the CFDA's 1200 N Street Auditorium in Sacramento. Remote attendance is available with instructions in the announcement; the agencies encourage stakeholders to submit comments before or after the meeting by October 3, 2011. 09/13/2011

  

CECAdopts 2011-2012 Investment Plan for Alternative and Renewable Fuels

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) last week unanimously adopted the state's third annual transportation energy Investment Plan (2011-2012) for the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The investment Plan is intended to shift the type of vehicles Californians drive and encourage use of fuel alternatives other than petroleum- sourced gas and diesel. The CEC was authorized to allocate about $100 million each year for seven years, under provisions of Assembly Bill 118 (Núñez, Chapter 750, Statutes of 2007), with funding coming from emissions, fuel and transport-related fees. Of this amount, the adopted Plan ear-marks about $24 million in support of biofuels development, including gasoline and diesel substitutes and renewable natural gas, another $5 million to expand the number of dispensers and retail outlets selling E85 -fuel made up of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.  An additional $3 million will help develop innovative technologies and advanced fuels, including ways to improve engine efficiencies, to develop new lightweight construction materials for vehicles, or to create biofuels from new high-productivity feedstocks such as algae. Additional program information is available on the CEC's new Drive" project web page. 09/11/2011

 

EPABioresources Alliance Symposium – September 13-14 in Sacramento

US Environmental Protection Agency - Region 9Region 9 of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will present the California Bioresources Alliance 6th Annual Symposium (formerly the "Pacific Southwest Organic Residuals Symposium") in Sacramento on September 13 and 14, 2011; Teru will cover the event. The symposium brings together organic residuals industry professionals, municipalities, regulators, legislators, researchers, financers, and other stakeholders to find the best management options for bioresources, including municipal solid waste, biosolids, food wastes, green wastes, animal wastes, and other organic residuals. This year's focus is on pricing issues for digester and other bioresources projects, balancing mobile and stationary source emissions and new technology developments. The Symposium Agenda shows how expert panels are designed around topical questions; Tuesday starts with a Pricing Overview and a discussion of Feed-in Tariff Issues and Barriers to Interconnection and closes by addressing Stationary and Mobile Source Issues through case studies and emissions comparisons. Wednesday picks up the Utilities' Viewpoints, continues with an overview of New Technologies, and finishes the Symposium with an organized tour of Cal-Denier's anaerobic digestion and electrical generation project. Go to the UC Davis Extension Symposium webpage to register. For more information, contact Lauren Fondahl, US EPA Region 9, at or (415) 972-3514. 09/11/2011

 

UKSeeks "Informal Evidence" from Stakeholders for Bio-Energy Strategy

United Kingdom Department for TransportThe United Kingdom's Department for Transport's September Newsletter has announced that they are assisting the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in seeking stakeholder views over the coming months on the development of a formal bioenergy strategy. The new approach will consider (a) the availability of sustainable feedstock to 2020 and beyond, (b) the potential impacts (economic and carbon) of using biomass in the energy sector against alternatives, and (c) the possibilities and implications of different uses of biomass feedstock in the energy sector to 2020 and beyond, taking into account wider governmental objectives such as cost effectiveness, carbon abatement potential, renewables targets and security of supply. The DECC leads the project; further information is available on the DECC's Bioenergy Strategy webpage, which notes that the strategy will also inform decisions on incentives for bio-energy such as the Renewables Obligation banding review. Comments may be emailed to. 09/11/2011

  

Gevo's2nd Off-Take Agreement Part of Strategic Alliance with Mansfield Oil

GevoColorado based isobutanol specialist company Gevo has entered a three-part strategic alliance with privately-held downstream oil firm Mansfield Oil Company (Mansfield). Under a five-year contract, Gevo will supply Mansfield with bio-sourced isobutanol for its own fuel blending use, while Mansfield will provide distribution of Gevo's products. In a second three year contract, a Mansfield subsidiary will provide supply chain logistics, customer service support, invoicing and billing services. Gevo’s proprietary integrated fermentation technology platform (GIFT®) consists of two elements: a proprietary yeast biocatalyst, which converts sugars derived from multiple renewable feedstocks into isobutanol, and a proprietary separation unit which is designed to bolt onto existing biofuels facilities. "We are impressed by Gevo's unique approach to isobutanol development and are confident they will remain the industry leader and a key partner for us," said Doug Haugh, executive vice president of Mansfield Oil Company. "Through this partnership, we are working to develop new fuels formulated with renewable isobutanol that expand the renewable content of the fuels we supply. This also addresses the performance requirements seen in the recreation and marina markets that we supply today." 09/09/2011

 

New Hampshire PUC Expands Program for Wood Pellet Central Heating Rebates

New Hampshire State Capitol BuildingThe New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has expanded their residential Bulk-Fuel Wood Pellet Central Boilers and Furnaces program to include central heating systems that are housed outdoors. The PUC had previously made two modifications to the program that lowered the overall efficiency of allowable conversion systems from 85% to 80%, and added systems requiring regular manual cleaning. Previously, only auto-cleaning modules were acceptable; new standards are designed to broaden the number of acceptable manufacturers and models and decrease systems cost. Existing rebate programs for 30% of the system costs up to $6,000 are now applicable to a greater number of lower-cost units to encourage lower income families to make the fuels switch. In an announcement by NH-based wood fuel and systems supply company WoodPellets.com, President and CEO John Strimling says the economic have never been better: “We’ve seen oil fluctuate wildly over the years, but over that same period, the cost of heating with wood pellets has proven to be much more stable. And with oil and propane companies demanding higher prices this year, consumers can save significant amounts by heating with pellets. It’s more reliable and more cost-effective.” 09/09/2011

 

SITA UK Gets Approval for Integrated Recycling / Waste to Energy and Fuel Plant

SITA UKThe integrated waste management firm SITA UK  has received approval from the Development Control (North) committee of the Bristol City Council to build an end-of-life plastics to diesel facility in Avonmouth, a port and suburb of Bristol, England, and to double the capacity of a previously approved recycling facility. The council currently operates the waste transfer station at Avonmouth and the two household waste recycling centres. SITA believes that by treating waste as a valuable resource from which by-products can be recovered as secondary materials or energy, the company can reach a point where the majority of waste materials produced are re-used, recycled or recovered for their energy content. The end-of-life plastics to diesel facility would produce around 4.2 million litres of specification diesel each year from 6,000 tonnes of end-of-life plastic, while the recycling facility would extract around 72,000 tonnes of recyclable plastic which would be sent for reprocessing. A gasification facility will also be built to deal with 100,000 tonnes per year of residual waste, and the expanded recycling centre would be able to handle 80,000 tonnes of recyclables. Gareth Phillips, Planning Manager at SITA UK, said: “Our plans to construct a Bristol Resource Recovery Park, that will extract energy and value from waste, and reduce the amount of rubbish that is sent to landfill, are now being advanced and will bring benefits to the environment and the local economy." SITA was awarded a £15 million five-year contract in April of this year for about one third of city's residual waste. The remaining two thirds goes to New Earth Solutions as part of the West of England Partnership contract. SITA had held the contract with the city for waste collection, street cleansing and winter maintenance since 2001. 09/09/2011

 

NewEarth Solutions Opens Solid Waste Treatment Facility in Avonmouth

New Earth SolutionsDorset-based New Earth Solutions Group Ltd has announced the formal opening of their largest waste treatment and resource recovery facility, located in Avonmouth near Bristol, England. The materials recovery facility (MRF) has been receiving and sorting municipal and industrial waste from the region since April of this year, and has a capacity of 200,000 tonnes per year of residual household waste. The plant integrates sorting and recycling with mechanical biological treatment and composting to thoroughly stabilize non-recyclable fractions; New Earth Solutions has already received permission for a 7.5 megawatt advanced thermal conversion plant to turn the refuse derived fuel to renewable electricity. The new facility will service New Earth’s residual waste management contract with West of England Partnership (WoEP), consisting of the Unitary Councils of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol City, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. Under the terms of the nine-year contract, the plant will treat in excess of 120,000 tonnes annually of residual household waste from the region. Peter Bryant, North Somerset Council’s executive member for environment and chair of the WoEP Joint Waste Committee, said: “I am delighted to see the progress being made to deliver this contract. It represents a major commitment by the partnership to sustainable waste management which will divert household waste from landfill, while at the same time recovering additional recyclables and enabling renewable energy generation. We are very pleased to have this innovative and impressive facility in our region.” 09/09/2011

  

PursuitDynamics to Install PDX ERS at 2nd Marquis Energy Ethanol Plant

Pursuit DynamicsUnited Kingdom based Pursuit Dynamics (PDX) has announced its second agreement with Marquis Energy for installation of its Ethanol Reactor System (PDX ERS), this time in Marquis' Necedah, Wisconsin plant, which produces 70 million gallon/year corn ethanol, 181,000 ton/year dry distiller's grain solute (DDGS), and 1.4 million gallon per year corn oil. Following operational validation, the companies will negotiate commercial terms. The PDX ERS is a supersonic steam injection system that creates and manages an atomization "shock wave" zone in the biofuels plant's input liquid prior to fermentation. The approach expands and activates starch at a lower temperature than conventional cooking, increasing enzyme efficiency. This homogenizes and disinfects the corn slurry and enzyme mix, using substantially less alpha amylase enzyme. PDX now has 3 systems installed and operating and another 11 under development globally, representing 1 billion gallons per year processing capacity. 09/08/2011

 

PrimusGreen Energy Expands Hillsborough Plant Drop-in Biofuels Capacity

Primus Green EnergyPrimus Green Energy has expanded its main facility in Hillsborough, New Jersey, allowing scale-up completion of its biomass gasification and syngas upgrading processing train for production of drop-in bio-gasoline fuel. The biofuel requires no engine modification and can use the existing petroleum-based gasoline distribution infrastructure. Plans are in progress for its first commercial facility in Pennsylvania, which is designed to process 40,000 tonnes of biomass annually for production of 3.2 million gallons per year of high-octane gasoline. Israeli Corporation's renewable energy investment branch, IC Green Energy (ICG) is a major equity investor. ”With a scalable process, technology and feedstock models and a sizable gasoline market, our opportunities for growth through additional plants and technology are virtually unlimited,” said Yom Tov Samia, Chairman, Primus Green Energy and President, IC Green Energy. “This is a unique, ground-floor opportunity for investors to participate in the commercialization of standard gasoline from biomass.” Primus also has a technology and engineering cooperation and teaming agreement with Lockheed Martin for development of bio-jet fuel. 09/08/2011

 

UKAll-Party Group Releases "Rubbish to Resource" Report

The Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group (APSRG), an "all-party" organization established to encourage non-partisan debate in the United Kingdom (UK), has released its new research report "Rubbish to Resource: Financing New Waste Infrastructure". After extensive interviews across all stakeholders, APSRG finds that the UK must invest about £8 billion in waste management infrastructure by 2020 increasing by 2030 to £15 billion if the country is to manage its waste sustainably and effectively, meeting and exceeding European Union (EU) and domestic landfill diversion targets. Among the findings: "Government should use the Green Investment Bank to devise and issue a guarantee product to de-risk the development of C&I waste capacity to encourage the development of merchant or joint local authority, and C&I waste facilities" and "Local authorities should explore taking on more off-take risk in order to expedite the delivery of hybrid and local authority waste infrastructure projects and deliver better value for money." Jamie Reed MP, Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA): 'It is a timely document that needs to be read and with its lessons understood not just by industry, local government, Parliament, and within Government itself at a national level." 09/08/2011

 

MicrobesGenerate Electricity While Cleaning Up Nuclear Waste

AgBioResearch microbiologists at Michigan State University have released their findings on research into how Geobacter bacteria can generate harvestable electricity while decontaminating nuclear waste. The microbe's ability to immobilize uranium has been demonstrated and well documented in cleanup of uranium mill tailings in Rifle, Colorado. Gemma Reguera's new work has identified the nano-scale hair-like "conducive pili" as the bacteria's structural defense against radioactive damage and means of electrical flow management that effectively electroplates the uranium and other toxic metals. With this information, the team genetically engineered a Geobacter strain with more nanowire pili, increasing both immobilization effectiveness and electricity generation. Dr. Riguera has filed patents, intending to pursue development of catalytic fuel cells capable of generating electricity while cleaning up radioactive waste. The research was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Science and the U.S. Department of Energy and has been published in the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 09/08/2011 

 

MagneGas to Supply Waste-Sourced Industrial Gas to Michigan Fabrication Plant

MagneGasFlorida-based plasma arc company MagneGas Corporation will start supplying its liquid waste-sourced MagneGasTM to Mayo Welding and Fabrication in Royal Oak, Michigan, through its strategic partner, Blue Water Industrial Products. The company's patented Plasma Arc Flow process gasifies liquid waste to produce a clean-burning hydrogen based fuel gas as an interchangeable alternative to natural gas and other fuels. The gas can be used for metal working, for heat and power applications and as transport fuel. Mayo, founded in 1938, operates tool and die, light fabrication and industrial equipment repair. "We have been thoroughly impressed with the MagneGas™ fuel -- it is the only metal working fuel we have ever seen cut as effective as a laser," stated Mayo President Dave Suratt. "We believe that MagneGas™ fuel represents the next phase in fabrication, and we are proud to begin transitioning all operations over to this clean-burning fuel, the industry's only green alternative." 09/07/2011

 

DiageoSubmits Plans for 3rd Scotch Distillery Bioenergy Plant

Diageo PLCPremium alcoholic drink company Diageo PLC announced expansion of their "sustainable scotch whisky" development with their third distillery-based bioenergy facility, upon submission of their planning application to Moray Council, Scotland. The new £6million plant is designed to convert draff, the spent grain left over from distilling whisky, into combined heat and power at the Glenlossie whisky distillery site near Elgin. The Glenlossie facility will burn 30,000 tonnes of draff per year, the by-product from around 12 million litres of Scotch whisky production. Diageo owns a network of 17 malt whisky distilleries on Speyside, producing a dependable supply of feedstock. Steam from the plant will supply Glenlossie and adjacent Mannochmore operations. Diageo invested in renewable energy for their new £40million Roseisle distillery opened in 2010, also for a new £65million bioenergy plant at their Cameronbridge distillery in Fife. Niall Stuart chief executive of Scottish Renewables, commented: “Renewable heat and small scale renewables have the potential to help all sorts of businesses generate new revenue or reduce costs while cutting carbon emissions.” 09/07/2011

 

E.ON,Wheelabrator Develop Sustainable Waste to Energy Plant At Kemsley Mill

Kemsley Mill, United KingdomDS Smith Paper, the United Kingdom's (UK) largest waste paper recycling and paper manufacturing company, has announced that E.ON and Wheelabrator will develop and operate a new Sustainable Energy Plant that will be fueled with non-recyclable waste. The planned waste conversion facility will be constructed at DS Smith Paper's Kemsley Mill, and will convert up to 550,000 tonnes of pre-treated waste per year that would have otherwise been landfilled. The converted waste will provide combined heat and power (CHP) to the Mill, which produces over 850,000 tonnes of 100% recycled content paper and pulp per year. DS Smith Paper has been granted a permit from the UK's Environmental Agency for the new sustainable energy plant after the company received unanimous approval from the Kent County Council this past April. "Using waste that can't practicably be recycled to help fuel the recycling of nearly a quarter of the paper recycled in the UK fits well with our long-term strategy to develop an environmentally sustainable business," said DS Smith Paper Commercial Director Will Faure-Walker. "As the country's largest recycler of waste paper, Kemsley Mill already has strong environmental credentials, with every tonne of paper recycled rather than sent to landfill saving the emission of 900kg (0.9 tonnes) of carbon dioxide. The proposed Sustainable Energy Plant will strengthen the recycling loop, further enhance our environmental performance and result in a 200,000-tonne net reduction in carbon dioxide emissions a year, equivalent to taking more than 90,000 cars off the road." Construction should begin in the spring of 2013, with planned completion by 2016. 09/06/2011 

 

PacificPyrolysis Accepts $4.5MM AU Support for Melbourne Biochar Plant 

Pacific Pyrolysis Pty LtdThe Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has announced that the Victorian Ministry for Energy and Resources (Agency) has offered conditional funding of $4.5 million AU to Pacific Pyrolysis Pty Ltd (PacPyro) under the Agency's Sustainable Energy Pilot Demonstration Program, implementing part of its Energy Technology Innovation Strategy. PacPyro has accepted the offer in support of their Carbon Negative Electricity Project planned for Melbourne and will now need to prove the availability of matching funds. The demonstration facility will convert 24 tonnes per day of organic waste into electricity and AgriCharTM biochar, using "slow pyrolysis" technology licensed from BEST Energy Technologies of Madison, Wisconsin. BEST's slow pyrolysis converts organic material at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen. Feedstock is dried and fed into a stirred, heated kiln, producing a combustible synthesis gas (syngas). Approximately 35% by weight of the dry feed material is converted to a high-carbon char material. AU's Carbon Farming Initiative recognizes biochar, allowing PacPyro to accrue and sell carbon credits and renewable energy certificates. PacPyro was recently acquired by WAG Limited, who announced last month their intent to raise $5 million for commercialization by development of strategic alliances with large international companies and institutions. 09/06/2011 

 

Due12/02/2011: Proposals to NSF for SBIR Program Phase I 

National Science FoundationThe National Science Foundation (NSF) requests proposals for its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Phase I. The 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." Of this year's SBIR round's four broad topics, two are applicable to the waste conversion industrial sector: (1) Biological and Chemical Technologies, which includes bioenergy, renewable fuels, energy supply and use, and bio-based chemicals; and (2) Nanotechnology, Advanced Materials, and Manufacturing, which includes materials for sustainability. $15 million is expected to be available, up to 100 awards are anticipated. An optional proposal workshop is scheduled for September 13, 2011 and may be attended in person or by WebEx.  Proposals may be submitted between November 2, 2011 and December 2, 2011. For more information and contacts, visit the SBIR program web page and refer to NSF 11-577. 09/06/2011 

 

Due 10/06/2011: Abstracts for PIER Emerging Technology Demonstrations 

Due12/22/2011: Final Proposals for PIER Emerging Technology Demonstrations 

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) through its Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program is proposals for the 2011 Emerging Technology Demonstration Grant Program, focusing on improving both electricity and natural gas energy efficiency for industrial, agricultural, water and wastewater, data centers, and customer-side energy storage applications and services. Emerging technologies are past the “proof- of-concept” stage and are ready to be demonstrated in an industrial setting. Successfully demonstrated technologies must also have a one to two year time frame to be commercially deployed. Proposals should indicate a clear understanding of the current state of the technology and market sector in California, and show how the proposed commercialization benefits utility ratepayers. $14 million expected to be available, while individual awards are not to exceed $2 million. Matching funds equivalent to 25% of the requested PIER funding are required. Abstracts are due October 6, 2011, which will be screened for eligibility to submit a complete proposal. Final proposals are due December 22, 2011. For more information, review the contract information available on the CEC's RFP website, and contact Crystal Presley-Willis at. Refer to Solicitation Number PON-11-501. 09/06/2011 

 

AustralianConsortium Focusing on Jet Fuel from Biomass Now Includes GE

GEGE has joined the Australian consortium for the development of biomass to aviation biofuel that was announced in July 2011. The consortium also includes Dynamotive Energy Systems Corporation with its patented fast pyrolysis and BioOil upgrading multi-technology platform, Renewable Oil Corporation, which has a licensing agreement with Dynamotive, the Future Farm Industries CRC with its "Energy Tree Cropping" initiative, and Virgin Australia in its drive to develop sustainable air flight. Pyrolysis of biomass produces a liquid BioOil; hydro-reforming upgrades the raw "green crude" oil for blending with other fuels or further refinement to transportation grade liquid hydrocarbon fuels. The Biochar/Agrichar has value for soil productivity enhancement and carbon sequestration. Through GE Australia, the consortium will focus on technical development and to-specification certification of jet fuel produced by pyrolytic conversion of biomass and hopes to have a pilot biofuel production unit operating in Australia by 2012. Ben Waters, Director of GE's Ecomagination, GE Australia and New Zealand said: "Innovation and creativity will play enormous roles as part of the transition to a low carbon future. We already invest a huge amount in the development of more efficient and alternative energy sources in the aviation industry and beyond, and we hope to bring a huge amount of knowledge to this partnership." 09/05/2011

 

HarvestPower Raises $1.25MM on New $2.25 MM Equity Funding Round

Harvest Power, IncWith $1 million of equity remaining for sale in this round, Harvest Power, Inc has filed SEC Form D for a total offering of $2.25 million. Harvest Power is a licensee of the German high-solids waste-to-energy anaerobic digestion process developed by BEKON Energy Technologies GmbH & Co. KG. The un-named investors are part of a strong team led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, and includes Waste Management (spring 2010). Harvest Power is a clean technology project developer based in Massachusetts, integrating "best of breed" systems for optimal conversion of high-solids organic wastes to renewable energy, compost/soils amendments, and Processed Engineered Fuels (PEF) recovered from the mixed wastes and ready for further conversion. Harvest operates a Bioenergy Center in London, Ontario, Canada, designed to process 65,000 tonnes of organics per year, and is currently in the planning and development stage for integration of high-solids AD into Waste Management's composting facility in Tullytown, Pennsylvania, and Fraser Richmond Soil and Fibre's composting operations in Richmond, Canada.09/05/2011

 

FirePrevention Fee Debates Now Include Proposed ABx1-24 and SBx1-7

State of California Capitol BuildingCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown has presented a proposal to the legislature to clean up the language in the State Responsibility Area (SRA) Fire Prevention Fund (ABx1-29) that he signed last month. His approval of the bill included a signing statement expressing concern that the language in the bill would result in a failure to achieve the General Fund savings anticipated by the recently approved state budget. Passage of ABx1-29 required the Board of Forestry (BoF) to adopt emergency regulations to establish a fire prevention fee for each structure on properties throughout the State Responsibility Area. The BoF introduced draft regulations that reduce ABx1-29 fire protection fees from $150 to $90 per structure in State Responsibility Areas. The Governor's proposed clean-up language is embodied in twin extraordinary session legislation, Assembly Bill x1-24 and Senate Bill x1-7, which would instead require fees (1) staring at $1/acre fee for the first 100 acres and decreasing for additional lands, not to exceed $3,000 for 10,000 or more acres owned, (2) not less than $175 for the building and $25 for each subsequent building or structure on designated SRA lands, collected annually by the Board of Equalization. There would be a $25 credit for property owners located in an established fire protection district. The proposed bills also remove certain exceptions that would have not allowed fee collection when sufficient fire protection funds were already determined to be sufficient for that year's needed protection, but would allow the BOF more leeway when determining the actual amount a property owner must pay, on a reviewed per-case basis. Setting aside necessary program administrative fees, the SRA Fund would be available to the BoF and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) for fire protection activities that benefit the owners of property within state responsibility areas, including grants to local agencies for hazard mitigation planning and implementation. Use of SRA Funds for fire protection was missing from ABx1-29. The bills would take effect immediately upon passage.09/05/2011

 

Jouleand Solazyme Named 2012 Tech Pioneers by World Economic Forum

World Economic ForumEach year, the World Economic Forum selects 25 industry-changing companies among hundreds nominated from around the globe as Technology Pioneers. Two leading bio-sourced fuels and chemicals companies are listed in the organization's report for the Class of 2012, Joule Unlimited and Solazyme. Technology Pioneers must meet the criteria: (1) True Innovation - recent development with significant investment in research and development; (2) High potential for long-term impact on business and/or society; (3) High potential future development and growth; (4) Product on the market with proven practical applications; (5) Visionary leadership driving the company toward its goals. Joule Unlimited turns to genetically modified microorganisms to change waste directly into biofuel "with a little help from the sun" approaching the problem by relying on engineered photosynthetic microbes that consume industrial emission sourced carbon dioxide to turn waste into drop-in fuel for conventional diesel engines at about US$ 50 a barrel. Solazyme uses an adaptation of standard industrial fermentation equipment with indirect photosynthesis to accelerate the oil-producing capabilities of micro-algae, capable of converting a wide variety of energy crops and biomass waste residues to engine ready drop-in fuels. The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.09/05/2011

 

Due10/31/2011: Comments on EPA Draft n-Butanol Toxicological Review

US Environmental Protection AgencyThe US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a 60-day public comment period and informational listening session for their draft toxicological review of n-Butanol, supporting information now included in their Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). EPA's IRIS program is a human health assessment program that evaluates quantitative and qualitative risk information on effects that may result from exposure to chemical substances found in the environment. Although it will not be considered binding policy, the draft allows public review and comment prior to a more formal expert panel external peer review. The full report developed by the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) is currently unavailable, but will hopefully be posted on-line soon. The foundation chemical n-Butanol and related isobutanol are biofuel components that show great promise for refining to drop-in transportation fuels and are among the core green chemistry products under development by some of the fastest-growing advanced biofuels companies. A call-in Listening Session has been scheduled for October 5, 2011 from 9am to 4pm eastern daylight time; register by September 28, 2011 to participate by contacting Stephanie Sarraino at Versar, Inc. at or by phone at 703-750-3000 extention 737, referencing the n-Butanol session. Comments may be filed in writing or electronically via http://www.regulations.gov, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2011-0671; assistance in filing is provided in the government printing office announcement. 09/04/2011

 

WhiteHouse Asks EPA to Defer Draft Ozone Rule Until 2013 Review Cycle

The White HousePresident Obama has requested that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson withdraw the draft rule regarding Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, recommending that the EPA wait until completion of the scientific review currently underway. The Clean Air Act is now four decades old; the draft rule is in response to a reassessment cycle that began in 2008 per Executive Orders (EO) 13563 and 12866. A new review of the most recent standards must be initiated in 2013, thus the current draft would require re-opening the Rulemaking process les than one year after completion. The White House scheduled a background conference call for September 2, 2011 to discuss the President's request and the details of the US record of protection for public health and the environment. In a letter to Administrator Jackson from the Executive Office of the President, Office of information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) advised that the draft rule was being returned to the EPA for reconsideration, and would not be approved for finalization at this time. EO 13563 emphasized that the US regulatory system "must promote predictability and reduce uncertainty", a goal President Obama felt would be jeopardized by untimely Ozone Standards implementation. 09/03/2011

 

TrilliumFiberFuels Receives 2nd SBIR Award in 2011 for New Marine Enzyme

Trillium FiberFuelsCorvallis, Oregon based biofuels pre-treatment specialists Trillium FiberFuels has now received their second Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant for "Xylose Isomerase from Marine Bacteria for Cellulosic Ethanol". This most recent SBIR award comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and like the EPA sponsored SBIR received in March, will support their innovative work in isolating natural enzymes capable of breaking down cellulosic materials. The 1-year, $150,000 NSF award came from development of an entirely new enzyme from a different organism than the first EPA grant; both grants qualify Trillium to compete for larger Phase II awards next year. Trillium is commercializing pre-treatment processing technologies based on novel natural enzymes that break down the recalcitrant wood sugar xylose into sugars that are fermentable into ethanol. Trillium's president Chris Beatty noted that the new award builds on the feasibility work sponsored by the US Department of Energy and will provide means to cost-effectively convert biomass feedstock including straw to liquid fuels. Mr. Beatty also complemented Dr. Stephen Giovannoni of Oregon State University, in whose lab the new microbe was initially isolated and gene sequenced. 09/03/2011

 

DTSCHosts Green Chemistry Symposium on Industry Practices in Product R&D

California Department of Toxic Substances Control Green Chemistry InitiativeCalifornia's Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) "Green Chemistry/" regulatory development program will present a free symposium on September 15, 2011 in Sacramento, convening a panel of consumer product manufacturing representatives. The twelve member panel will discuss and provide examples of industry practices using Alternatives Analysis in product research and development. In developing products, manufacturers must be able to draw from existing methods and tools to meet new consumer needs; regulatory bodies must understand these standard industry practices in order to formulate effective policies mandating assessment of green chemistry alternatives to more toxic chemicals. The agenda for the day-long event offers two sessions, the first delving into product safety and raw materials assessment, the second focused on research and development case studies. Among the presenters will be representatives from Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, DuPont, the Grocery Manufacturer's Association, Amway and the American Chemistry Council. The symposium is free and open to the public; however registration is required and available on-line. 09/03/2011

 

TEGand Alkane Win Bid for Welsh Food Waste AD Facility

TEG EnvironmentalUnited Kingdom energy firms TEG Environmental and Alkane Energy Plc have announced their successful bid for development of a 20,000 tonne per year food waste anaerobic digestion (AD) facility in North East Wales. The two companies will form the joint venture NEAT Biogas Ltd, which will contract with a consortium of three Welsh county councils, the North East Wales Hub or "Council Hub". The food waste will be converted to biogas to fuel the engines that will generate about 1 megawatt of electricity at premium Feed-in Tariff pricing. The digestate from the AD process will be sold for use as an agricultural amendment; the TEG Group subsidiary Natural Organic Fertiliser Company (NOFCO) will manage the placement of the fertilizer under a separate sub-contract. The Welsh government is contributing £1.4m towards the total cost of the project in Rhuallt, near St. Asaph. Alkane Energy provides AD systems and biogas upgrading while the TEG Group specializes in AD, in-vessel composting, and multi-tech integration. Together they will supply all systems to their NEAT Biogas Plc joint venture under contract to design, build and operate the facility. Chief Executive of TEG, Mick Fishwick said, "We are extremely pleased to have been awarded this prestigious long term contract by the North East Wales Hub and we look forward to working with the Hub and to constructing our first AD facility in Wales. It is also very pleasing to see our partnership with Alkane reach fruition and we look forward to working with Alkane in our new joint venture company." 09/01/2011

 

Honeywell'sUOP Starts Construction on Demo Integrated Biorefinery in Hawaii

UOP LLC, a Honeywell CompanyHoneywell's subsidiary UOP LLC has announced the start of construction of their biomass to liquid fuel integrated biorefinery in Kapolei, Hawaii. Co-located with the Tesoro petroleum refinery, the new UOP facility will demonstrate the viability of biomass conversion to renewable gasoline, biodiesel and bio-sourced jet fuel, test the fuels produced and evaluate the environmental footprint of the fuels and the process technology. UOP received a $25 million award from the US Department of Energy to assist the development of the Honeywell UPO Integrated Biorefinery, and furthers the goals of Hawaii's Clean Energy Initiative. Forest and agricultural residue will be converted to raw bio-oil using UOP's Rapid Thermal Processing (RTP); the bio-oil will then be upgraded to drop-in fuels. Upon successful demonstration, the integrated biorefinery design will be ready for commercial scale development to produce up to 50 million gallons of drop-in fuel per year. “Biomass is abundantly available today, and it is an important opportunity to consider as we seek alternatives that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and improve our environmental footprint,” said Jim Rekoske, vice president and general manager of Renewable Energy and Chemicals for Honeywell’s UOP. “Our Integrated Biorefinery will illustrate these benefits as well the potential that biorefineries have to enhance the local economy and provide new green jobs.” 09/01/2011

 

California'sAB 1178 on Origin of Solid Waste Pulled, Will Try Again Next Year California State Capitol BuildingAssembly Bill (AB) 1178 as proposed by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma would prohibit any California city or county from enacting an ordinance which restricts importation of solid waste to a privately held landfill based on that waste's "place of origin". The California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 (AB 939) provided that a jurisdiction had the right to determine solid waste management in its territory for the betterment of its citizenry, based upon an approved and current Integrated Waste Management Plan. AB 1178 was developed to address specific conflicts arising from Solano County's interpretation of the state Waste management Act. The 1984 passage of a Solano County initiative, Measure E, capped receipt of outside-of-county solid waste at 95,000 tons per year. Potrero Hills Landfill in Solano County is now owned by Waste Connections of Folsom, resulting from a 2008 court-ordered anti-trust divestiture; the site currently accepts around 500,000 tons of waste annually, much of which comes from San Francisco. Solano County is now considering enforcing the 1984 Measure E to curtail waste import and landfill expansion, in part responding to opposition led by the Sierra Club to the landfill expansion permitting. Supporters of AB 1178 feel that initiatives such as Measure E unfairly obstruct the flow of waste as commerce; opponents state the bill as written "interferes with judicial matters, usurps local authority and hinders local jurisdictions' solid waste planning activities." State and county counsel in 1992 cautioned that the initiative violated the U.S Commerce Clause and the Solano County Board of Supervisors decided then not to enforce the measure. Page 5 of the bill analysis notes that then-Attorney General Jerry Brown "… filed an amicus brief in the Measure E litigation explaining that if Measure E was enforced, the Potrero Hills Landfill would only be able to accept a very limited amount of out-of-county waste and the competitive benefits of the divesture required by the Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice will be lost." Opposition remains substantial, however; after the third reading on the Senate floor this week, the bill has been pulled by the author and scheduled for substantial rewording and re-introduced to the California Senate in 2012. 09/01/2011

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