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September 2012 News and Matters of Interest

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Due 10/08/2012: Comments to CEC on Combined Heat and Power Staff Report

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has issued a Request for Public Comments on a staff analysis of the state's potential for combined heat and power (CHP) projects. The report, A New Generation of Combined Heat and Power: Policy Planning for 2030, was developed by CEC staff from the compiled information from issuance of the 2012 Integrated Energy Policy Report, subsequent workshops, public comments, a consultant's Policy Analysis and 2011-2030 Market Assessment, and staff analyses developed earlier this year. Cogeneration systems that create usable heat and power, and tri-generation that includes capacity for cooling, utilize thermal energy that would otherwise be vented and lost during generation of electricity. The report finds that, "California’s CHP fleet has been decreasing in size over the past seven years. The Governor’s goal is to increase CHP capacity by 6,500 MW. That means maintaining the existing capacity of roughly 8,500 MW and adding to it for a total installed capacity of 15,000 MW. For reference, California’s projected coincidence peak is expected to be 75,000 MW in 2020. The QF Settlement’s 3,000 MW target, incorporated into the utility’s LTPP, will be composed of both existing and new CHP. The existing fleet will not all continue to operate; there will be retirements. This new capacity does not come close to the Governor’s goal." The report then provides recommendations and actions to better attain the state's CHP goals. Written comments on the staff paper to the Dockets Office (), identified as comments to Docket No. 12-IEP-1D and copied to the technical staff lead Bryan Neff () to be received by 5pm, October 8, 2012. 09/29/2012

Anaergia's WWTP Biogas to Fuel Cell Project Coming Online in California

Anaergia IncCanadian company Anaergia Inc. has announced that the company's wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) biogas to fuel cell power generation project is coming online in California. Anaergia Services, a division of Anaergia Inc., entered into a partnership with the City of San Jose to integrate zero emission fuel cells with anaerobic digesters (AD) at the City's WWTP for conversion of the organic wastes into combined heat and power (CHP). The project is the first biogas to fuel cell generating station operating under a power purchase agreement in California. The resulting 1.4 megawatts of electricity (MWe), and all recovered heat, are used to meet thermal demands and provide power for the WWTP as a key element in the City's Green Vision, adopted in 2007 to further an agenda of green jobs, reduced energy and emissions, increased renewable and sustainable energy development, "clean fleets", and many other green goals. Anaergia offers an array of AD solutions at various scales and optimized for various types of feedstock, with integrated feedstock pre-treatment and post-digestion gas and residuals management. The company's OmnivoreTM is a WWTP retrofit, integrating aerobic to anaerobic digestion and scaled for plants seeking increased AD with addition of high-strength food waste as feedstock. The TritonTM double ring AD configuration is for larger projects generating over 1 MWe, with an outer ring higher solids in raceway configuration coupled to the inner digester continuously stirred reactor tank (CSTR) for lower solids and slower digestion rate. The HeliosTM uses CSTR for both first and second stage digestion in separate vessels and is designed to address generation capacities from 350 kilowatts electric (kWe) to over 1 MWe. Anaergia also is nearing completion on an AD facility installed for the Inland Empire Utility Authority in Ontario, California, with a facility dedication ceremony now scheduled for October 12, 2012. 09/28/2012

Verified Carbon Standard to Release Validation and Verification Manual

Verified Carbon StandardThe Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) has announced in its September newsletter an anticipated October 4, 2012 release of the VCS Validation and Verification Manual complete with an on-line portal and concurrent with major updates to VCS program documents. At the same time, VCS has announced an agreement with Fundación Natura (FN) in Bogotá, Colombia to build a carbon market. The VCS Association is a collaborative effort for development and maintenance of global carbon benchmark standards focused on project-based, voluntary greenhouse gas emission reductions and removals. VCS is a greenhouse gas accounting program developed by The Climate Group, the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and a range of business, government, and non-government organizations. The VCS Project Database is a map-linked central storehouse of information on all projects validated to VCS criteria and all Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) issued under the program. As a waste conversion example in the US: the Green County (South Carolina) Landfill Gas Utilization Project registered mid-year 2009, and consists of landfill gas capture and use to generate 3.2 megawatts of renewable electricity with an estimated annual accreditation of over 145,000 VCUs. The current version of the standard, VCS Version 3, was released on March 8, 2011. Every VCU can be tracked from issuance to retirement in the database, allowing buyers to ensure every credit is real, additional, permanent, independently verified, uniquely numbered and fully traceable online. The validation rules under VCS are as robust as those of the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). In August, VCS issuance of individual Verified Carbon Units passed 100 million. 09/28/2012

USA Synthetic Fuel Corporation Secures $35MM in Debt Financing

USA Synthetic Fuel CorporationOhio based USA Synthetic Fuel Corporation (USASF) has announced receipt of $35 million in debt financing from the Canadian financial house Third Eye Capital, and an additional $11MM in common stock sales to its parent company Global Energy, Inc. Funding will primarily allow acquisition of a 50-yer solid hydrocarbon fuel supply for USASF's subsidiary Lima Energy Company for development of a mixed-solid-hydrocarbon to liquid fuel gasification and catalysis facility in Lima, Ohio. USASF will utilize Global Energy's E-GasTM steam reforming gasification platform developed by Dow Chemical for ConocoPhillips for proprietary fixed bed gasification, and base the conversion to liquid fuel primarily on coal gasification with co-conversion of waste-sourced and renewable solid hydrocarbon fuels as well. USASF also has briquetting technology to facilitate incorporation of bio-sourced feedstock. Products of the synthetic gas catalysis can range from synthetic diesel to jet fuel. Global Energy already operates two E-Gas systems, one in the US, one in the UK, providing hands-on process engineering expertise. The company’s Lima Energy Project became one of the first projects in the U.S. to receive the permits necessary to begin construction work on a solid hydrocarbon gasification facility. 09/28/2012

Mango Materials Wins 2012 Green Challenge for Waste Methane to BioPlastics

Mango MaterialsThe annual Green Challenge winner was announced by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, presenting an award of $630,000 at Tuesday night's New York gala to California-based Mango Materials. The Dutch Postcode lottery sustainability competition considers innovative business plans, and is open globally to companies presenting eco-friendly new products or services that cut carbon dioxide emissions and excel in design, user friendliness and quality. The Green Challenge sustainable business plan competition is part of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI); the Dutch Postcode Lottery program is a CGI "Commitment to Action" to boost green entrepreneurship. Mango Materials utilizes microbial conversion of methane (CH4) to polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), a non-toxic, completely biodegradable biopolymer similar to polyprolpylene used for manufacturing bioplastics. Methane-rich gas from landfills or anaerobic digesters may be economically converted to bioplastics, which then decompose again after disposal to create new methane to complete a closed resource use cycle. By co-locating Mango Materials processing plant at the source and directly piping the waste methane into the microbial processing systems, transport related impacts common to other PHB manufacturing methods may be reduced or eliminated. The company's CEO, Molly Morse, launched the firm in 2010 based on her doctoral research at Stanford into the decomposition of bioplastics. “Thanks to this generous prize, soon consumers will be able to buy goods made from biodegradable plastic for an affordable price,” Morse said. “And that’s going to be so much better for the environment. Our bioplastic is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional plastic, which piles up in nature and garbage dumps.” The company is currently producing research grade materials, and hopes to have trial samples available sometime next year. 09/27/2012

Celtic Renewables to Convert Tullibardine Whisky Stillage Waste to Biobutanol

Celtic RenewablesEdinburgh-based Celtic Renewables Ltd. has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Scottish whisky distillery Tullibardine to produce the advanced biofuel biobutanol from the by-products of whisky production. Celtic Renewables was formed to commercialize biobutanol production methods developed at the Biofuel Research Centre at Edinburgh Napier University by Professor Martin Tangney and his team. Currently, 97% of the Perthshire distillery's whisky by-products are disposed by land application, turned into animal feed, or discharged into the sea under license, with some being supplied to the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) in Teeside. Wastes include draff, the sugar rich kernels of barley which are soaked in water to facilitate the fermentation process, and pot ale, the yeasty liquid that is heated during distillation. Scotland’s distilleries currently produce around 600,000 tonnes of draff and 2 billion litres of pot ale. The CPI helps companies to prove and scale up processes to manufacture new products and create more sustainable, efficient, and economic industries of the future. Celtic intends to develop a pilot scale conversion facility at CPI scalable to around 10,000 litres per year. Because distilleries currently produce around three times more pot ale than draff, the company is also considering other sustainable sources of sugar-rich raw materials, such as the by-products from breweries or paper waste to help it convert the excess into biofuel. “If we were to use all the by-products from Scottish distilleries, it would still leave us with almost 1.5 billion litres of pot ale. We could make at least the same volume of fuels again by using alternative waste or residue material such as paper and brewery waste.”  09/27/2012

EnviTec Biogas Closes EUR 30MM Loan to Expand AD/Biogas Upgrading Plants

EnviTec BiogasGermany based EnviTec Biogas has announced that the company has placed an unsecured loan of EUR 30 million to expand anaerobic digestion and biogas upgrading plant operations. EnviTec more than doubled its plant capacity last year to around 45 megawatts electric (MWe) generation, and seeks to increase this to over 52 MWe by year's end 2012. The loan from Bremer Landesbank is structured to be payable at 3, 5, and 7 years with interest rates below 4% per annum. EnviTec and its subsidiaries cover the entire process of development and operation of the plants, providing customized and highly flexible designs that can be optimized to convert agricultural wastes and manures and/or purpose grown energy crops. The company also specializes in biogas upgrading, with its EnviThan biogas separation using SEPURAN® Green by Evonik, providing thorough separation of CO2 and water vapor by means of a highly selective hollow-fibre-membrane. The process increases the amount of high-energy methane from approx. 50 percent to up to 99 percent. “The note loan has given us access to mid-term capital at attractive conditions in a challenging funding environment and helps us to diversify our funding structure,” said Jörg Fischer, CFO of EnviTec Biogas AG. “We interpret the great interest shown by investors as a sign of confidence in our creditworthiness and our business model.” 09/27/2012

California Governor Signs Key Alternative Energy Legislation

California State FlagThe office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has issued a Legislative Update today advising of signings and vetoes, and most of the key energy related bills have been approved. Among the most important: the Governor signed the Energy Security Coordination Act of 2012 (SB 1409, Pavley), directing that the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) will serve as a liaison between the state and the U.S. Department of Defense to coordinate and collaborate on clean energy policy. OPR will work directly with state energy agencies, including the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission, to ensure the military is included in the development and implementation of state energy and environmental policy. Of primary importance for biomass projects: SB 1122, providing 250 megawatts of cumulative rated generating capacity from developers of bioenergy projects; the Governor added a signing message asking agencies to advise the Public Utilities Commission regarding biomass incineration projects proposed for areas that could be detrimental to local air quality. Assembly member Chesbro's AB 2196 was signed, grandfathering existing projects and developing standards for pipeline injection of biomethane from digesters, landfills or other renewable biofuel sources that among other points requires proof of specific environmental benefits to California. Signing of AB 1900 also impacts pipeline injection of biomethane, modifying eligibility toward the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) focusing in particular on monitoring and control toxic contaminants as health risks with that biogas. Pavley's SB 1268 extends energy efficiency funding mechanisms for local governments and public institutions, calling out support for projects that reduce peak electricity demand (such as on-site waste conversion for combined heat and power generation). SB 1332 impacts feed-in tariffs, favoring local generation that reduces both costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, Assembly member Perez was successful in adding his San Louis Obispo county to the CEC's grant eligibility list for Warren-Alquist Act funding for renewable energy resources. 09/27/2012

Maverick Biofuels and Enerjetik Plan Pilot Facility for Products from Solid Waste

Maverick BiofuelsNorth Carolina based Maverick Biofuels has announced entry into a joint development agreement with gasification specialists Enerjetik, LLC. The new partnership will develop a pilot scale facility in Denver, Colorado integrating Enerjetik's downdraft, steam reforming EJ2 gasification and syngas clean-up technologies with Maverick's catalysis to intermediary olefins. The principals of Enerjetik have well over a decade of experience in design, development and application of waste and biomass gasification, and have taken numerous prior models through licensing into full commercialization. The integrated process train is intended to demonstrate continuous feedstock-to-product operation, as a preliminary step toward production of mixed alcohols, aviation fuels and bio-sourced chemicals. Maverick expects the Denver facility to be fully operational by mid-2013 with the goal of converting 2.5 to 5 tons of solid waste per day into 200 to 400 gallons of an olefin-derived product. "Our production technologies allow us to convert a wide variety of solid waste feedstock into high-quality syngas that is perfect fit for Maverick’s technology," said Ken Klepper, President, CEO, and Founder of Enerjetik. “With the pilot facility we’ll be able to demonstrate the integration of our gasification technology with syngas conversion technology into a seamless end-to-end process. This is a very exciting opportunity for us." 09/26/2012

Outotec Will Use R&D Loan to Develop Minerals/Metal Recovery Technologies

OutotecFinland's multi-sector industrial development company Outotec Oyj has announced receipt of a EUR 45 million research and development (R&D) loan to finance the development of processing technologies for the recovery of minerals and other metals, and as well as industrial water treatment and energy related applications. The loan from the European Investment Bank has a repayment term of up to 11 years. The company intends to invest the funds over the next three years in research activities focusing on the development of sustainable technologies that enable Outotec's customers to maximize the recovery of minerals and minimize environmental impacts, while conserving energy, natural resources, and capital investments. In December of last year, Outotec acquired all rights and assets of the US firm Energy Products of Idaho (EPI), including the company's advanced fluidized bed gasification systems and processing methods. In February 2012, Outotec entered an agreement with London-based advanced Plasma Power (APP) to integrate the EPI gasifier with APP's plasma-driven waste conversion platform. Outotec maintains research and technology development facilities in both Finland and Germany. Mikko Puolakka, CFO of Outotec: "This R&D loan is highly appreciated as it is an important building block in the long-term funding of investments in research and development work. Forefront R&D operations are the key to retain the position of the leading metals processing technology supplier in the rapidly changing global market. This loan further strengthens Outotec's already solid financial position." 09/26/2012

Los Angeles County Seeks Regulatory Reform to Advance Waste Conversion

County of Los AngelesThe Los Angeles (LA) County Department of Public Works (DPW) has announced a "Yes" vote by the County's Board of Supervisors, approving the motion by District 4's Supervisor Don Knabe read into record last week in support of innovative waste conversion technologies. Knabe's motion requested that the Board direct the DPW in conjunction with the Chief Executive Officer to work with the County Sanitation Districts and other key stakeholders toward this goal. Specifically, the County will: (1) Pursue / support passage of State and Federal legislation and regulations to establish a clear pathway to encourage the development of conversion technologies, seek a clear definition of conversion technologies and ensure they quality for appropriate incentives for producing renewable energy, reducing landfill disposal, and producing low carbon fuels; (2) Support legislation to provide renewable energy status and to continue to provide diversion credits and other incentives for energy production at existing facilities in the County that generate energy from waste; (3) Outreach to State agencies and other stakeholders to share information on the technical performance and multi-faceted benefits of conversion technologies; and (4) Work with conversion technology companies to identify potential regulatory changes that are necessary to streamline the permitting process to allow conversion technology facilities to flourish in California, while complying with California’s strict environmental standards. Public Works Director Gail Farber: "Here in LA County there is tremendous support for more sustainable and progressive approaches to managing solid waste and it is crucial that current regulations be modernized to enable us, along with the County Sanitation Districts and other key stakeholders, to work with conversion technology companies to identify necessary regulatory changes to allow facilities to flourish in California while meeting the state’s strict environmental standards. This will enable the County to continue our progress to ensuring a healthy and sustainable waste-free future." 09/26/2012

Clinton Global Initiative Launches Foundation for Sustainable WasteResources

Foundation for Sustainable WasteResourcesThe Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) opened its 8th Annual Meeting in New York City by announcing of the launch of The Foundation for Sustainable WasteResources (FSWR), formed to address the growing health and environmental crisis caused by billions of tons of waste produced worldwide. The FSWR is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that brings an innovative, conceptual framework to issues related to waste management. Partners includes Esri, the leading GIS provider, and D-Waste, a subsidiary of EPEM and a global waste management consulting firm; the Foundation is an initiative of the Cason Family Foundation as an outgrowth of its Informal Waste Management Knowledge Hub. The foundation’s first effort will be to create an interactive map and data base of global waste sites & systems. In developing regions, the most prevalent form of waste management is open dumping, with an estimated 50 to 80 percent of municipal waste budgets directed toward collection and only a fraction directed toward disposal. To map out these sites, the FSWR will create an interactive global map of waste management systems that will identify key locations of significant amounts of waste around the world. Focusing on these mapped out areas, the foundation will then bring together stakeholders in the waste management sector, including waste pickers, developers and governments, to create solutions and begin converting waste into valuable resources. For further information regarding the FSWR, contact Veronica Cardenas () (310) 566-3623. 09/25/2012

ARiES Energy and Proton Power to Demo CHyP Multi-Fuel Pyrolysis System

ARiES EnergyThe Tennesee-based partnership of ARiES Energy and Proton Power has scheduled a demonstration on October 10, 2012 of Proton's scalable CHyP (Cellulose Hydrogen Power) system at their joint Lenoir, Tennessee headquarters. The workshop-style demonstration will include a discussion of the team's current regional projects with Ted Wampler Jr describing the developments underway at the Wampler Farm Sausage Company. Wampler's $575,000 CHyP system uses 1,200 degrees C pyrolysis to break down biomass in the absence of oxygen, producing a synthetic fuel gas composed of about 65 percent hydrogen, 30 percent carbon dioxide, and 5 percent carbon monoxide. Initially, the Wampler installation will convert switchgrass into electricity and biochar, reducing power costs at the processing plant while returning the char to regional farmers. Expansion of the sausage plant is planned and could then include heat recovery as well as conversion of site-generated processing residues. Tom Leondard of the Sevier County Waste Management Authority will present plans for waste / biomass conversion to bioenergy at the Authority's wastewater treatment plant and compositing operations. Sevier County composts much of the region's solid waste and intends to fuel the CHyP installation on this feedstock. ARiES Energy has broad renewable energy project development experience and is licensed to provide most of the marketing and project development for Proton Power, who will concentrate on systems design, development and manufacturing at their new 23,000 sq.ft. shop in Lenoir. If you are interested in attending ARiES' next CHyP Demonstration Day scheduled for October 10, 2012, please contact Mary Schafer Gill () to reserve your space. 09/25/2012

Canada's Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program Lauded

Forest Products Association of CanadaThe Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) has congratulated the Government of Canada for its successful $1 billion Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program (PPGTP), and for its continued commitment to the ongoing transformation of the forest products sector. The Canadian Forest Service has released a Report on Results three years into the program; 98 projects received funds from PPGTP to support 14,000 jobs, improve air quality, lower fossil fuel consumption, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions with some of the mills adding sufficient renewable electrical capacity to export green power to the grid. The FPAC notes that Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver has pledged “to support innovation and renewal in the forest sector”, demonstrated by the commitment of $105 million in the 2012 budget as reaffirmed by the Economic Action Plan 2012. Projects funded to date are expected to generate 1.66 million gigajoules (GJ) of renewable electricity and 4.4 million GJ of thermal energy per year from conversion of mill processing and forest management generated biomass residues, while reducing direct greenhouse gas emissions through improved energy efficiency and substitution of renewable for fossil fuel usage by 543,000 tonnes per year. This represents a 12% reduction in GHG over the entire Canadian pulp and paper industrial sector, from 2009 levels. David Lindsay the President and CEO of FPAC: “The investments from this program truly improved the environmental performance of Canada’s pulp and paper sector and had extraordinary social and economic benefits for forest communities as well. This was a shining example of smart government policy that continues to pay dividends today. Canada got it right. Canada used a strategic approach. The Canadian government found a considered way to support the transformation of the country’s forest products industry. The program has helped drive environmental improvements and allowed the Canadian industry to leverage its strong green credentials in the international marketplace.” 09/25/2012

York University Scientists Use Plants to Reclaim Rare Metals from Mining Wastes

York UniversityThe United Kingdom's (UK) York University has announced that Dr. James Clark and his researchers will lead an international "phyto-mining" project to use plants to reclaim rare and precious metals from mine tailings. The research team is comprised of scientists from York's Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence and the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP). Certain plants grown on mining wastes can "sponge up" platinum group metals (PGM) from the tailings, storing the nano-scale metal molecules in the plant's cells. Using precision thermal conversion methods, the plant biomass can become carbonized while maintain the residual metals in the resulting biochar. Dr. Clark has considerable experience using thermal conversion of wastes to create value added products, including a recent effort employing microwave-driven pyrolysis of orange processing wastes.  Known as hyper-accumulators, a wide variety of plants such as willows and mustard very rapidly uptake nutrients from the soil and store these in cells. Some of these species have developed a high level of resistance to otherwise toxic levels of specific metals, which then form store nano-scale clusters. Dr. Clark explains: “The trick is to control the decomposition of the plant in a way which keeps the metal in its nano-particulate or catalytically active form. Catalysis is being used more and more in industrial processes and particularly for emission control because of the demand for cleaners cars, so ‘phyto-mining’ could provide a sustainable supply of catalytically active metals." The $1.4 million PHYTOCAT project is funded in the UK through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and supported internationally by the G8 Research Councils Initiative on Multilateral Research Funding, with support from Yale University, the University of British Columbia and Massey University in New Zealand. 09/24/2012

Due 10/05/2012: Comments to CalRecycle on AB 341 Reporting, MRF Standards

California Department of Resources Recycling and RecoveryThe California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) held back-to-back workshops on September 19, 2012 to address different yet closely related elements of the Mandatory Commercial Recycling bill AB 341 and is now requesting public comments. CalRecycle has now posted presentations from both the morning session Update on AB 341 Report Development and the afternoon workshop exploring Material Recovery Facility Performance Standards. In both cases, scroll down the Notice page to the Documents section to access the presentations. In the morning's update, the focus as on "measurement" of state-wide recycling compliance; staff noted that there is no specific measurement system in statute, but that Policy impacts measurement. Front-end accounting options were discussed, but these did not address the need for recyclate destination documentation (see our comments submitted on this issue). The afternoon workshop considered options for developing MRF standards, comparing prescriptive to performance-based metrics, then addressed characterization and control of "post-recycling residuals", that fraction of the waste stream entering the MRF currently under scrutiny for conversion. CalRecycle continues to solicit stakeholder input; the workshop agendas provided ample room for comment during the day, and the agency also is asking that separate written comments be submitted by October 5, 2012. Those addressing Measurement should be emailed to John Sitts () (916) 341-6232. Comments concerning MRF Standards and characterization of residuals should be emailed to Nancy Carr () (916) 341-6216. 09/24/2012 Update: Teru submitted his comments on AB 341 Report Development, and has also submitted comments on Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) Performance Standards for AB 341 implementation.

Due 10/01/2012: Comments to CEC on EPIC 3-year Investment Plan

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) released a Workshop Notice last week and has now posted the draft First Triennial Investment Plan for the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Program, 2012 through 2014. The Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) under Rulemaking 11-10-003 designated the CEC and each of the three Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) as administrators, requiring coordinated investment plans be submitted by November 1, 2012. The primary and mandatory guiding principle of the EPIC is to provide ratepayer benefits, defined as promoting greater reliability, lower costs, and increased safety. The draft plan provides for $162 million per year in funding ($127.8MM from CEC, $33MM from the IOUs, and $0.8MM from the CPUC). Categories include Applied Research with $55MM/year from the CEC, defined as activities supporting pre-commercial technologies and approaches that are designed to solve specific problems in the electricity sector. Technology Demonstration and Deployment is proposed to receive $45MM/year from the CEC and $33MM/year from the IOUs, with a minimum of $9MM set aside for pre-commercial bioenergy technologies and strategies. An additional $15MM/year is designated for Market Facilitation. The CEC is seeking input on elements of the draft Plan under CEC purview, both at the workshop scheduled for September 27, 2012 and in writing until October 1, 2012. The CEC will consider adoption of the Plan later in October. The CPUC expects its Proceedings to run from December 2012 through April 2013, with a formal decision in May of next year. 09/22/2012

EPA Posts Last Week's Bioresources Alliance Symposium Presentations

US Environmental Protection AgencyOn September 11 and 12 of last week, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hosted the California Bioresources Alliance 7th Annual Symposium in Sacramento, California. Region 9 has now posted the presentations from the packed-house symposium. Around 80 attendees filled the CalEPA building conference represented organic residuals industry professionals, municipalities, regulators, legislators, researchers, financers, and other stakeholders involved with manures, biosolids, food wastes, green wastes, animal wastes, and other organic residuals in California. California Public Utilities Commission's Energy Division Director, Ed Randolph sought stakeholder input to define the industry's top priorities. Bob Gillette of Carollo Engineers summarized findings of a work-in-progress regarding economics of advanced wastewater treatment plants and co-digestion, while CalBio's Neil Black expanded on the theme of AD economics we explored in our pre-symposium interview. San Joaquin Valley APCD's Dave Warner lamented the need to such stringent AQ standards, while shining a light on recent successes with the message, "It can be done." Among those success stories, Clean World Partners and UC Davis explained their Sacramento-area food waste digesters, in preparation for an excellent site visit the second day of the symposium. Harvest Power and RealEnergy gave their respective perspectives on anaerobic digestion, while Patrick Mathews of the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority somehow managed to remain civil, considering the damage recently done to the Authority's plasma waste project by CalRecycle's administration. Placer County and TSS Consulting both gave encouraging accounts of community scale biomass conversion to energy. Further questions regarding this symposium, and thoughts for developing the 8th annual event next year, should be directed to Lauren Fondahl (), US EPA Region 9, (415) 972-3514. 09/21/2012

LA County Supervisor Knabe Calls for Increased Waste Conversion Support

County of Los AngelesLos Angeles County Fourth District Supervisor Don Knabe read in a motion at this week's Board of Supervisor's meeting for a vote next week, calling for a four-part County drive in support of clean, efficient conversion of waste to energy, fuels, and products (see 09/18/2012 transcript, pg 40-42). Supervisor Knabe pointed out to the Board that, "… Research conducted by the US EPA, CalRecycle, and our own Department of Public Works concluded that conversion technologies have the capability to reduce the amount of waste we send to our landfills, decreases air emissions and creates jobs. Conversion technologies are also capable of recovering a variety of marketable products and producing local renewable power and transportation fuels from materials that would otherwise be disposed of in landfills. For example, the solid waste currently sent to landfills by Los Angeles county residents and businesses each year could potentially produce over half a billion gallons of renewable biofuels." Knabe asked the Board to direct county Public Works to, (1) actively pursue and support the passage of state and federal legislation which would establish a clear pathway to encourage development of these technologies, including clarification of the definition of conversion technologies; (2)  support legislation to provide renewable energy status and to continue to provide diversion credits and other incentives; (3) outreach to the state agencies and other stakeholders to share information on technical performance and multifaceted benefits from these technologies; and (4) work with the conversion technologies companies to identify potential regulatory changes that are necessary to streamline the process to allow these technology facilities to flourish here in California while complying with California strict environmental standards. Knabe: “We must seize the opportunity and continue to lead in this effort, working diligently with State officials and legislators, other municipalities, scientists, industry representatives, and other key stakeholders to modernize State and Federal law and regulation to support, rather than discourage, these promising technologies." 09/21/2012

Due 01/17/2013: Proposals to HWMA for Anaerobic Digestion System

Humboldt Waste Management AuthorityThe Humboldt Waste Management Authority (HWMA) has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) soliciting professional design and installation services for the development through commissioning of a regional Anaerobic Digestion (AD) System including pre- and post-processing of organics. Services will also include preparation of the conceptual design for the balance of the facility, including receiving building, scales, site development, etc. The selected vendor will work with the Authority to determine appropriate biogas cleaning and upgrading technologies and methods. HWMA is a Joint Powers Authority responsible for waste management for Humboldt County (County) and the municipalities of Arcata, Blue Lake, Eureka, Ferndale, and Rio Dell; each member agency has committed waste delivery to HWMA's facilities. A Food Waste Diversion and Utilization Feasibility Study was completed in 2012, environmental assessment documentation for the Humboldt Regional Food Waste Digester Initial Study & Mitigated Negative Declaration was completed in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in January, 2011. The first stage of a food waste source separation pilot project has also been completed to explore collection logistics, and is currently being expanded. The Authority’s Waste Characterization Study published in March 2012, identified approximately 15,000 tons per year of organics generated countywide. The digester system should be sized to handle 3,000 to 10,000 tons per year (tpy) of organic materials. The organic materials are anticipated to include food scraps and food-contaminated paper from commercial sources, as well as whey, fish waste, shrimp processing waste, glycerin, and fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from industrial sources. Interested parties need to register with HWMA by September 26, and participate in a mandatory pre-proposal net meeting on September 27, 2012. Register by e-mail addressed to Juliette Bohn, Project Manager via email () with the words “Pre-Proposal Conference” in the subject line. Include the following information in the e-mail: Name of firm and of main contact, with address, phone number, and e-mail address of main contact. All questions should be addressed to Ms Bohn in writing by October 18, 2012. Complete proposals are due on or before January 17, 2013. 09/21/2012

Algae.Tec Plans to Build Biofuels Facility for German Airline Lufthansa

Algae.TecThe German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG (Lufthansa) and Australian biofuels company Algae.Tec have signed a collaborative agreement for construction of a large scale facility for production of aviation fuel. The plant will be sited in Europe near an industrial (eg. stackgas) carbon dioxide (CO2) source; a siting assessment is underway. Algae.Tec combines closed control of algae production within an engineered modular environment and efficient downstream biofuel processing. The technology platform centers on a containerized algal growth and harvesting system for production of algal oils, sugars and proteins while generating oxygen. Stackgas sources with high CO2 concentrations include power plants and energy intensive manufacturing facilities. Depending on the strain of algae used, water (for the needed hydrogen source) may be fresh and/or high in salinity; nutrient-rich wastewater can also be used. Algae.Tec said in a statement that "Lufthansa will arrange 100 percent funding for the project. Algae.Tec will receive license fees and profits from the project, which will be managed by Algae.Tec." As part of the agreement, Lufthansa commits to a long-term off-take agreement of at least 50 percent of the fuel produced at an agreed price. The airline announced earlier this month that tests of bio-synthetic aviation fuels in 1,187 scheduled flights have confirmed the suitability for routine airline operations. 09/20/2012

Global Bioenergies Ties for First as Most Innovative EU Biotech SME 2012

Global BioenergiesFrench biofuels company Global Bioenergies has tied for first place in the EuropaBio SME 2012 competition, one of Europe's most prestigious biotechnology sector programs for recognition of excellence. The European Association of Bioindustries  (EuropaBio) maintains a Small-Medium Size Enterprise (SME) Platform representing over 1,800 SME European biotechnology businesses. As we noted earlier this month, Global Bioenergies has been selected as one of the top five biotech firms in Europe; the tie for first represents "an exciting twist" in the annual competition. The company's proprietary technology platform focuses on production of isobutene, a gas spontaneously volatilizing during fermentation. This characteristic presents two major advantages resulting in lower production costs: (1) In contrast to most current bioproduction processes, the product, isobutene, does not accumulate in the reaction vessel. Consequently there is not product-related toxicity for the producing microorganism which would limit its productivity; (2) No distillation is required to extract the final product from the aqueous solution in the bio-reactor. EuropaBio notes that "Global Bioenergies was awarded the prestigious prize for their work in developing more efficient ways to convert renewable resources such as agricultural waste, sugar and starch into chemical key building blocks and drop-in fuels, drastically decreasing C02 emissions as well as generating new jobs in rural areas." 09/20/2012

SEKAB E-Technology Tests Verify Dyadic's Newest Cellulosic Biofuel Enzyme

SEKABThe Swedish biofuels and biochemicals company SEKAB E-Technology has announced completion of verification testing on Dyadic International's newest blend of cellulosic biofuel enzymes at SEKAB's full-scale bioethanol demonstration and testing facility at its headquarters in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. Florida based Dyadic International is a global biotechnology company that uses its patented and proprietary C1 fungal strain development technologies for the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of enzymes and other proteins for the bioenergy, bio-based chemical, biopharmaceutical and industrial enzyme industries. The company's most recent enzyme cocktail, named AlternaFuel® CMAX3TM enables efficient conversion of multiple forms of non-food biomass into fermentable sugars at broad pH and temperature ranges that can be used to produce biofuels, bio-based chemicals, biogas and other bio-based products. Jan Wery, Research Director at Dyadic Netherlands: “SEKAB has the expertise required to show if the results that we have seen on a lab scale also works on a larger (commercial) scale. Such experiments are essential to show our customers the maturity and scalability of our newly developed lignocellulosic enzymes. The enzyme industry is growing rapidly, partly because of the increasing demand for lignocellulosic biofuels and we work continuously to offer new, more efficient products at lower prices.” Dyadic Netherlands is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dyadic based in Wageningen, The Netherlands. The testing was part of the European Union 7th Framework's broadly collaborative "DISCO" program to develop more efficient and cost-effective enzyme tools to produce bioethanol from lignocellulosic biomass, and understand how these enzymes work. 09/20/2012

SNV Netherlands Rural Biogas Program 2012 Annual Grant Reports Available

SNV Netherlands development OrganisationThe Knowledge Consultant on Domestic Biogas for the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) , Mr. Fred Marree, has identified the many Monitoring and Evaluation reports now being published on their website, following our request for more technical design and operational details. The annual grant reports summarize funded rural biogas programs; the First Annual Progress Report (2012): Bhutan Biogas Project (BBP) is now available, having been submitted to the Asian Development Bank co-funding partner in March. The SNV, which earlier this month reported summary data indicating installation of over 46,000 rural biogas systems in Asia and Africa so far in 2012, initiates and oversees this Bhutan project among many programs for functional anaerobic digestion systems development and operation in a wide range of countries. The Bhutan report provides the detail, describing not only construction and operation but the entire planning and implementation of the rural training and installation program. SNV operates by partnering with a great number of international agency and foundation partners, including the United Nations Development Programme's "Energy Access for Poverty Reduction" in its work focused on development of the Biogas Support Programme in Nepal. SNV then collaborates on follow-up assessment of program effectiveness, as with the government of Cambodia in its National Biogas Program 2012 Survey. The 40-year old non-profit SNV Netherlands organization also includes SNV USA, to connect its global network to North American partners seeking innovative approaches to sustainable development. 09/20/2012

Dynamic Energy Acquires RFB Technology License for Processing Waste Tires

Dynamic Energy Alliance CorporationMemphis based Dynamic Energy Alliance Corporation (DEAC) has announced completion of acquisition by its subsidiary, Dynamic Energy IP. LLC, of an exclusive world-wide license and patenting rights for specialized waste tire processing capabilities from R.F.B., LLC (RFB). The acquisition process was initiated in June of this year. In exchange for stock shares, set fees, and residuals over a term up to 25 years, the Prairie Village, Kansas firm R.F.B. is licensing catalyst(s) and reactor technology relating to the recovery of high value organics from the processing of rubber and tires (the "RFB Technology"). The license allows DEAC to integrate the RFB technology into its under-development waste tire processing facilities in Ennis, Texas, extend to pending patents and trade secrets, and encompass DEAC's use of the technology for its own products and for plant design, and permit DEAC's conveyance of sub license rights to DEAC's future licensees, joint venture partners and others, for its Pyrol Black Energy Campus structure. The 15-acre integrated waste processing facility consists of three independently operating technologies referred to as Pyrol-A, Carbon-B and Petrol-C. DEAC will use these technologies to convert scrap tires primarily into 4 high-value, saleable products including pyrolysis oil, carbon black, a high BTU (butane like) gas and steel wire. Charles R. Cronin, Jr., Chairman of DEAC: "This acquisition is an important step for DEAC because it improves our waste tire pyrolysis process by changing the chemical reaction that's part of the de-vulcanization process used to convert the tires' rubber, and other waste rubber, into valuable products. A reactor technology included in the license will allow DEAC to recover additional high value organic compounds during tire processing, which management believes will increase the volume of oil and carbon black the Company will be able to extract from the tires. It will also enable us to convert waste tires at lower temperatures, allowing for lower energy and maintenance costs." 09/18/2012

Joule Partners with Audi to Accelerate Sunflow Biofuels Commercialization

Joule UnlimitedMassachusetts based Joule Unlimited has announced a strategic partnership with the major German car company Audi AG to accelerate development and commercialization of Joule's bioethanol and biodiesel fuels through Audi's programs of testing and verification. The announcement came just days after Joule commissioned its SunSprings demonstration facility in Hobbs, New Mexico. The agreement provides Audi with a "first mover" position fitting its stated objective to become a carbon-neutral personal transportation provider. Joule’s Helioculture™ platform directly and continuously converts sunlight and industrially-sourced carbon dioxide (CO2) laden emissions into infrastructure-ready fuels, including ethanol and hydrocarbons that serve as the essential chemical building blocks for diesel. The company’s system manages the process with productivities that are expected to be up to 100X greater than those of biomass-dependent methods; a typical SolarConverter® array will encompass 1,000 acres, enabling continuous production of fuels or chemicals. Each module of the SolarConverter® system contains Joule’s engineered microorganisms, non-potable water and micronutrients; waste CO2 is pumped in from an industrial emitter or pipeline and keeps the microorganisms in motion, maximizing exposure to sunlight to drive photosynthesis. The medium circulates through a separator that extracts the end product, operating continuously for up to 8 weeks before the module is flushed and re-inoculated on a staggered basis. Reiner Mangold, head of environmental product at AUDI AG: “We are very pleased to announce this strategic partnership with Joule, which offers genuine potential for CO2-neutral mobility. Joule and the fuels it is developing can ultimately enable sustainable mobility, as its highly-efficient process consumes waste CO2 emissions, avoids depletion of natural resources and doesn’t require agricultural feedstock or arable land. It is the ideal sustainable fuel platform for Audi to support.” 09/18/2012

 

Due 10/02/2012: Comments to ARB on Modified Text for California LCFS

California Low Carbon Fuel StandardThe California Air Resources Board (ARB) is seeking stakeholder comments on a Third Notice of Public Availability of Modified Text and Availability of Additional Documents and Information on California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The LCFS strike-out text allows comparison of current proposed regulatory language. Five recent documents formally added to the Rulemaking record are available from the ARB's LCFS Amendments program web page, and include two files exploring Stanford University's estimator for greenhouse gas emissions from oil production, and three ARB internal reference documents addressing aspects of the California-modified GREET model. The LCFS, a regulation to reduce the carbon intensity of fuels sold in California ten percent by 2020, is one of the measures adopted by the California Air Resources Board, pursuant to Health and Safety Code Sections 38500-38599 (AB 32) to reduce greenhouse gases in California. It is designed to help clean the air, protect the environment, and drive the development of clean, low-carbon fuels to improve California's energy security and energy independence. Written comments will only be accepted until October 2, 2012 on the modifications identified in this notice or the related supplemental materials, and may be submitted by postal mail or electronic mail to: Clerk of the Board, Air Resources Board, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, California 95814, or http://www.arb.ca.gov/lispub/comm/bclist.php. 09/18/2012

Missouri S&T Researchers Patent Extremophile Bacteria for Biofuels

Missouri University of Science and TechnologyMissouri University of Science and Technology (S&T) has announced that a team of researchers led by microbiologist Dr. Melanie Mormile have patented processes that could reduce the cost and the reliance on fossil fuels, while streamlining the process. Dr. Mormile and her team study extremophiles, organisms that thrive in extreme conditions, and have focused on the unique hydrogen-producing bacteria Halanaerobium hydrogeniformans that they found in the highly salty, highly alkaline syrup-thick waters at the bottom of Missouri's Soap Lake. One pathway for biofuel production involves pre-treating straw with an alkaline substance to remove lignin with limited formation of the harmful compounds, but the resulting slurry is highly alkaline and very salty. Before the discovery of this haloalkaliphilic bacterium, a neutralization step was required before the fermentation process could begin; with Dr. Mormile's bacterium, that step can be eliminated. Dr. Mormile: "We realize this isn't going to solve all the transportation fuel problems, but we'd like to see this develop into regionalized solutions. Farm communities could take agricultural waste, perform the alkaline pretreatment, feed it to an onsite reactor and produce hydrogen fuel directly for use on the farm." Dr. Mormile may be reached at ' ' or (573) 341-6346. 09/17/2012

New "Renewable Energy on Contaminated Lands" Web Tool for California

US Environmental Protection AgencyThe US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that a new web-based mapping tool with associated background data is now available that pinpoints contaminated and degraded properties in California suitable for renewable energy development. The new reference materials and Google Earth enabled siting tool was developed jointly with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and screens approximately 11,000 contaminated, degraded or cleaned up federal and state sites in California, such as brownfields, Superfund sites, and former mines. The tool provides aerial perspectives while overlaying streamlined information on the site’s clean energy development potential. Data are presented in Excel spreadsheet format for the 75 top screened priority sites for utility scale projects, the complete data set of contaminated lands and closed landfills in California, and the criteria used to screen sites as priority sites for utility scale renewable energy generation. In addition to site name, address and location, each site also has characteristics such as slope, renewable energy potential, distance to transmission lines and sub-stations, and cleanup status. The Renewable Energy Siting Tool is being released in support of the EPA’s national Repowering America’s Lands initiative. Debbie Raphael, Director of the State of California's Department of Toxic Substances Control: “California has long recognized the need to reuse underdeveloped sites and create renewable energy sources. This tool allows people to make informed decisions to do both and turn underused land into potential sources of renewable energy redevelopment.” For further information on the Renewable Energy Siting Tool or to submit suggestions for improvement, please contact Cara Peck ( ). 09/17/2012

CalRecycle Hosts 3rd Workshop on AB 341 - Mandatory Commercial Recycling

CalRecycleThe California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) notice for the third AB 341 workshop now includes a brief agenda in the Documents section. The two-hour workshop is to give stakeholders an "Update on Report Development (75% by 2020)" and will run from 10:00am to noon on September 19, 2012. This provides a morning session before CalRecycle's presentation of "Discussion of Concepts for Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) Performance Standards", from 1:30 to 4:00 (as Teru Talk published earlier this week). CalRecycle sought public comment in July of this year on AB 341; this third workshop will provide a review of the major issues raised in the comments received, and will focus on one key concern, that of Measurement. An emphasis on documenting segregation does not ensure compliance with the legal definition of Recycling: "… the process of collecting, sorting, cleansing, treating and reconstituting materials that would otherwise become solid waste, and returning them to the economic mainstream in the form of raw material for new, reused, or reconstituted products which meet the quality standards necessary to be used in the marketplace." California counts the amounts segregated, but does not yet require recycling brokers to document tonnage by destination; measurement of the last Reprocessing stage remains problematic, and indications are that most reprocessing occurs out of country. For your background: we filed both formal comments and developed a Focus Report on AB 341 and the agency's proposed implementation. 09/15/2012

Deinove Successful in One-Step Cellulosic Biomass Fermentation to Bioethanol

DeinoveFrench microbial research and development firm Deinove has announced success in developing its Deinococcus bacterial strain as an "all-in-one" bacterial factory for one-step digestion of cellulosic feedstock and fermentation to bioethanol, without addition of enzymes or other catalysts. Deinove's research and development activity is based on systematic exploration of the deinococci - a thermophyllic bacterial genus which has rarely been studied and never exploited commercially. The company's R&D team and its partners in the DEINOL program isolated and optimized a strain of Deinococcus bacteria able to generate ethanol from wheat-based biomass at an alcohol content of more than 3%. This successful milestone triggers the payment of 1.15 million Euros to DEINOVE by the French ministry of industry (OSEO, ISI - Industrial Strategic Innovation - program). The total amount paid to date by OSEO to DEINOVE and its partners is 4.5 million Euros out of a total 8.9 million Euros granted for this project. “Our results confirm the value of the DEINOVE technology for transforming biomass into biofuels and industrial products. DEINOVE’s teams and our partners are proud of this breakthrough. Deinococcus can degrade more than 80% of the plant biomass but can also potentially produce industrial quantities of bioethanol”, stated DEINOVE’s CEO Jacques Biton. He added: “We are now entering the pre-industrial phase of the DEINOL project.” 09/15/2012

Joule Commissions First SunSprings Demo Plant Converting CO2 to Biofuels

JouleMassachusetts based Joule Unlimited has announced full commissioning of its first commercial-scale demonstration facility in Hobbs, New Mexico. The SunSprings facility is a key step in commercialization of Joule's modular HeliocultureTM technology platform, utilizing highly-engineered microbial cultures and sunlight to convert industrial waste carbon dioxide (CO2) directly into Liquid Fuel from the SunTM. In February of this year, Joule selected Fluor Corporation to design and build the Hobbs facility as a showcase to prove the economics and scalability of its system. The operations will begin with production of Joule Sunflow-ETM bioethanol, seeking to replicate the scale up from its previous fuel production rates of between 8,000 (outdoors) and 15,000 (in lab) gallons per acre of microbial reactors. The company has room to increase the Hobbs facility by an additional 12,000 acres, with access to the industrial CO2 necessary to drive the process. Joule targets productivity of up to 25,000 gallons of Sunflow-E per acre annually, at costs as low as $1.28/gallon without subsidies. Joule will next begin production of Sunflow-DTM biodiesel, in a formulation capable of 50% or greater blend rates with standard petroleum diesel. Peter Erich, President of Joule Fuels: “Joule’s production platform is well suited to many regions around the world, where improving local energy security and environmental performance are critical goals. We are actively seeking sites and partners to deploy Joule Fuels plants in these regions, enabling localized production of high-volume, cost-competitive fuels in a sustainable process. This includes unique opportunities for off-take partners and input providers, including industrial CO2 emitters who can meet sustainability goals by directly converting their emissions into clean, renewable fuels.” 09/14/2012

WRAP Releases Development Guidance for Energy from Waste Facilities

Waste & Resources Action ProgrammeThe United Kingdom's Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has announced the release of a suite of inter-related guidelines for project developers and municipalities considering projects for recovery of energy from waste (EfW). In WRAP's parlance, EfW is quite inclusive, incorporating any form of conversion to energy (electricity and/or fuels) of post-recycling or unrecyclable material. Guidance includes a searchable feedstock to technology database, and three key web-based interfaces. The primary EfW Development Guidance addresses funding, feasibility and good practices, planning, permitting, feedstock, outputs, financial incentives and the European Union's Waste Incineration Directive. The second node, "Energy recovery - maximising the value of waste materials" explores the economics of EfW, from the perspectives of anaerobic digestion (AD) system operators, materials recovery facility (MRF) operators, and reprocessors. The section explains: "Our priority is to prevent waste occurring and to re-use and recycle resources, but an element of genuine waste, i.e. waste that cannot be re-used or recycled, will always exist. Creating energy from this residual waste, which would otherwise go to landfill, is a sensible and sustainable option." The third node is dedicated to all aspects of AD; in concert with the Carbon Trust, WRAP is delivering the Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration Programme; this section details the various support mechanisms available, considers standards for producing and using quality digestate, and again provides a searchable best practices matching tool. Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. 09/14/2012

Diageo Partners with Bullfrog to Run Manitoba Plant on Landfill Biomethane

Diageo BrandsUnited Kingdom based producer of wine, spirits, and beer Diageo has announced it will replace natural gas with landfill sourced biomethane to run its Crown Royal distillery in Gimli, Manitoba, Canada. Biomethane will reduce Gimli's carbon footprint by cutting CO2 emissions by more than 99%. Diageo's global carbon footprint focus has just been formally recognized by the Carbon Disclosure Project as the best performing beverage company in the world for climate change disclosure. For the Gimli distillery, switching to biomethane further provides a renewable energy solution for Diageo, by utilizing the biomethane-rich gas from the decay of organic matter in landfill sites. The Gimli initiative is an initial three-year partnership with provider Bullfrog Power, Canada's 100 percent green energy provider. Richard Dunne, Risk Director for Diageo: "Diageo is committed to increasing sustainability and reducing our environmental impact. This is an important milestone for the environmental goals of all Diageo facilities and further supports our integrated global approach towards reducing our carbon footprint. Our operations in Canada have access to some unique alternative energy infrastructure. Converting to biomethane in this one location reduces the global CO2 emissions of Diageo as a whole by 3.4 percent, a significant contribution to the company's global carbon strategy." 09/14/2012

New Scottish Plastics Loan Fund to Support Mixed Plastics Recycling

Zero Waste ScotlandZero Waste Scotland has announced the availability of the new Scottish Plastics Loan Fund (SPLF), which has £2.5 million available to support the development of new mixed plastics recycling and remanufacturing capacity in Scotland. The fund aims to support management and conversion of 50,000 tonnes of mixed plastics packaging annually diverted from landfill by 2015. Projects to develop mixed plastics processing capacity of over 15,000 tonnes per annum can find asset backed loans for plant development, machinery acquisition and/or site development. Project Eligibility Criteria are available on-line following completion of an initial registration form. The loan fund follows Zero Waste Scotland's survey and release of a detailed plastics recovery and reprocessing report this spring, "Developing the Evidence base for Plastics Recycling in Scotland." The report quantifies plastic waste generation by region, while also detailing plastic waste reprocessing capacity, documenting around 500,000 tonnes of plastic waste "arisings" per year. Although the collection infrastructure is adequate, the sorting and reprocessing capacity is not: Zero Waste Scotland estimates recyclate sorting and brokerage companies can manage only about 25,000 tonnes per year, while the in-country reprocessing capacity for manufacture of secondary raw material is estimated at about 50,000 tonnes. Finding as total plastics recycling rate of less than 17%, the report makes it clear that, "… collection, management and reprocessing activities all to be developed to increase plastic recycling levels in Scotland. These must be developed in parallel …There is significant value in optimising the integration of each part of the supply chain, to optimise the quantity and quality of materials available for reprocessing … Increasing the quality of materials collected will increase the potential for local (UK) recycling of materials." Questions about the SPFL process: contact Anna Cummins () or call 01786 433975; for questions about criteria, contact Tim Baldwin () or call 01786 433979. 09/14/2012

Biojet Partners with Tribes on $3B Multiple Biorefineries Development Project

Biojet InternationalCalifornia based Biojet International and the 57 Tribal member organization Council on Energy Resource Tribes (CERT) has announced a long term development agreement between CERT, Biojet, and the Indian-held firm Tartoosh Environmental for development of a series of biorefinery / bioenergy projects on Native American lands. Tartoosh Environmental serves as CERT's project leader for the Red Earth Star Alliance, the Tribal organization's vehicle for enabling project "Thunderbird." With an estimated build-out cost of around $3 billion over ten to 15 years, project "Thunderbird" is anticipated to use waste urban-sourced biomass and forest residuals, integrate agricultural development on around 750,000 acres for feedstock and animal feed, establish large-scale algal oil harvesting efforts and establish perhaps 5 major waste to energy facilities. Including the concurrent conversion of cheap and available natural gas to liquid fuels, the overall effort is expected to produce around 250 million gallons annually of renewable jet fuel and another 300 million gallons per year of synthetic het or diesel fuel. David Lester, CERT Executive Director, said “CERT exists and operates, as the federal courts have held, as an "Indian League of Nations" for its sovereign tribal members. CERT's goal is to help our sovereign Indian tribal members build sustainable, balanced and self-governed economies in accordance with each Indian tribe's vision and priority. Our 57 sovereign tribal members have absolute control over such valuable resources as oil, gas, coal, uranium, water and agricultural lands. We engage in every facet of their prudent management and development In fact, we possess 30% of the coal west of the Mississippi River; 40% of known national uranium reserves, 9% of known national oil and gas reserves and renewables from a land base of 56 million acres sufficient to power the United States for many years. We remain committed to charting new courses of development that serve the needs of our members.” 09/14/2012

CalRecycle Meetings Next Week Will Address Crucial Waste Conversion Issues

CalRecycleThe California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) will host two September meetings that include important waste conversion issues. The Notice for CalRecycle's regular Monthly Public Meeting on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 has been posted with a new agenda. To access the Agenda, scroll below the meeting description Documents. The first Action Item addresses revision of CR&R's permit for the Perris Transfer Station and Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), including addition of solid waste-fed Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facilities, biogas to compressed fuel systems, biofilters and ancillary improvements. Two agenda items address CalRecycle's waste tire grant application process for fiscal year 2012/2013. Last on Tuesday's agenda: a discussion of the 2012 Bioenergy Action Plan, presented by CalRecycle's conversion technology team lead Clark Williams. On Wednesday September 19, 2012 from 1:30 to 4:00 pm, CalRecycle is hosting "Discussion of Concepts for Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) Performance Standards", the first in a series of workshops exploring concepts for MRF performance standards: 1) Mandatory Commercial Recycling regarding AB 341's requirement that mixed waste processing recyclate recovery be comparable to recovery rates from source separation, and 2) Governor Brown's concept of developing a technology neutral approach to conversion technologies' management of MRF residuals. The Governor's Office requested that CalRecycle develop the "feedstock-driven, technology neutral" approach as a direct response to Director Mortensen's May 23, 2012 rescission of renewable energy pre-certification standing for the Plasco Salinas Valley Project. Proposed definitions related to mixed waste processing and post-recycled residuals will be discussed, as well as key issues and options for setting MRF residual performance standards in these two areas. Contact CalRecycle's Nancy Carr () with all questions, comments, and concerns. 09/13/2012

GESI Completes Study of Waste Wood Conversion to Energy in Alberta

Green Energy Solution IndustriesCanadian waste conversion company Green Energy Solution Industries, Inc. (GESI) has announced receipt of a final payment from the Canadian Government's Albert Energy Biorefining Commercialization and Market Development Program Grant awarded in 2011. The payment marks the successful close of a crucial grant program stage. The original grant project's Mission Statement: "To conduct a feasibility study and advance negotiations to develop and build a waste to energy facility in Alberta. Feedstocks to be considered include railway ties, bridge timbers, poles and lumber treated with creosote. The output from the destruction of these hazardous materials will be the production of electricity and/or biofuels at a capacity to be determined by the study." GESI completed the feasibility study for utilization of wood waste in Alberta, then was able to launch its business plan for the utilizing of waste rail ties for the creation of energy. GESI received a waste tie feedstock source, secured a project site and led in seeking funding for the build out of a full scale plant at the Alberta site. GESI partnered with the Magalia, Canada gasification company InREFco and initiated a $45 million financing round this past May, and is currently awaiting full project funding program. GESI is now a public company with administrative offices in Houston, Texas and operations in Alberta, Canada. 09/13/2012

ZeroPoint and Envirotherm Partner to Build Turn-Key Biomass Power Plants

ZeroPoint Clean TechNew York based gasification system company ZeroPoint Clean Tech, Inc has announced a partnership with the German thermal systems engineering firm Envirotherm GmbH, part of the Allied Technologies Group, to build standardized design, turn-key biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plants. The CHP will be fully delivered with performance warranties under provisions of engineering, procurement, and contracting (EPC) agreements. Two plants are currently operational in Europe and construction on the first of the next eight projects is expected to begin before year-end. The plants range in size from 2 to 20MW. The combined effort to create full EPC delivery of a standardized solution for biomass gasification plants includes relationships with world leading OEM vendors, project financiers, feedstock and recovered wood suppliers as well as with vendors of after-market services. John Gaus, ZeroPoint CEO: "We are excited about this important step forward in the biomass gasification market. To date many project developers have experienced difficulty in arriving at optimal technical solutions as well as aligning proper resources to reliably construct and commission operating projects. As a result, it is also difficult for small developers to achieve financing or for interested customers to get the CHP plant they desire. The combination of strong technical solutions, the ability to deliver distributed scale power plants and relationships with leading OEMs as well as sources of investment will propel this market. In particular, Envirotherm possesses deep domain expertise in gasification and is well poised to construct numerous replications of standardized plant designs in Europe and North America." 09/13/2012

Nexterra, GE, and UBC Celebrate Biomass Waste to CHP Plant Opening

NexterraVancouver-based Nexterra Systems Corp. has announced the opening of its commercial scale biomass gasification demonstration facility on the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus. The 2 megawatt electric (MWe) plus 3 MW thermal generation combined heat and power (CHP) plant utilizes GE's Jenbacher engines. The heat and power generation will be fueled with tree trimmings and wood chips diverted from local landfills, and converted to cleaned and upgraded synthetic gas (syngas). Nexterra's thermal conversion technology using advanced syngas conditioning systems was developed over the past four years by Nexterra with technical input from GE’s Gas Engines business. The University's new Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility (BRDF) will supply up to 12 percent of the UBC’s heat requirements, reduce natural gas consumption by 12 per cent and campus greenhouse gas emissions by 9 per cent. Prior to installing the gas engine at UBC, Nexterra successfully completed more than 5,000 hours of trials at its Product Development Center in Kamloops BC. Nexterra entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) about a year ago to continue development of its proprietary technology after construction had already begun on the BRDF. Funding support this project was provided by the Government of Canada (Natural Resources Canada and Western Economic Diversification Canada); the Province of British Columbia (BC Innovative Clean Energy Fund and the Ministry of Forests, Mines and Lands); Sustainable Development Technologies Canada (SDTC), the BC Bioenergy Network and FP Innovations. 0913/2012 Updated 09/17/2012

Due 10/18/2012: Proposals to SJVAPCD for Emission Reduction Projects

San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control DistrictThe San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) TAP12-01 for projects demonstrating new and innovative emission reduction technologies through the SJVAPCD’s Technology Advancement Program (TAP). Funding in the form of a grant agreement will be provided to selected applicants as reimbursement of goods and materials purchased or services provided by the project team. The latest funding cycle has $4 million available to fund 8 to 12 projects focusing on renewable energy, waste solutions, or mobile sources. Waste solutions projects focused on waste systems or technologies that minimize or eliminate emissions from existing waste management systems and waste-to-fuel systems, such as dairy digesters and other bio-fuel applications. This is the third cycle for the program. To date, the program has funded 11 active demonstration projects, including solar thermal agricultural water pumping, advanced hybrid vehicle technology, advanced composting processes, and clean dairy biogas systems. The current cycle is funded by the SJVAPCD with contributions by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through the Clean Air Technology Initiative. “We’ve had a very encouraging response to the previous two funding cycles so we know there’s a sizeable pool of interested applicants for this important incentive,” said Seyed Sadredin, the SJVAPCD’s executive director and air pollution control officer. The SJVAPCD has scheduled a non-mandatory pre-proposal workshop to answer questions about proposal requirements. The workshop will be held from 10:00 am to 11:30 am on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012 at the Fresno office (video teleconferenced to the Modesto and Bakersfield offices, as well as to EPA offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles). RSVP to the email address below if you will be attending. Interested parties can find out more about the TAP and the RFP process at the TAP website or by calling the grants department at (559) 230-6000. Technical questions about the RFP should be submitted in writing to  . Proposals will be accepted until 5:00 pm PDT. Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. 09/11/2012

ESA Report: Importance of Overseas Markets to UK Recycling

Environmental Services AssociationThe Environmental Services Association (ESA) of the United Kingdom (UK) has announced the release of a report entitled, "Overseas options: the importance of exports to UK recycling," which shows how the export of UK-collected recycling to overseas reprocessors has helped the UK achieve a near quadrupling of recycling rates in a decade. ESA members represent over 80% of the UK's waste management and secondary resources industry. The association closely tracks agency actions and policies impacting its industrial sector, and engaging in regulatory rulemakings. The ESA has been actively working with the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on development of a "Code of Practice" for materials recovery facility (MRF) owner/operators. The rulemaking is still open to debate and considered a crucial element of Defra's Resource Security Action Plan. Recently, issues of recycling industry transparence have been a hot topic; this report puts in perspective the importance of export of segregated recyclable materials, or "recyclates", to out-of-country facilities for end-of-cycle reprocessing, while clearly identifying illegal practices involving export of "raw" unsorted and/or hazardous wastes. ESA's assessment: "We want to see a thriving UK reprocessing sector and several of our members are building reprocessing facilities here in the UK. We support measures to offset high energy costs for those involved in the UK’s recycling supply chain, because ultimately they save much more carbon than they emit. But we don’t support restricting legal exports, or forcing them to be redirected to UK reprocessors - this would be bad for competition, for future innovation, and for costs." 09/10/2012

World Energy, Hydro Dynamics Team to Commercialize ShockWave Cavitation

Hydro DynamicsGeorgia based Hydro Dynamics Inc, has announced that a teaming agreement has been reached with Massachusetts' biodiesel firm World Energy through its subsidiary WMG Services, LLC to expand commercialization of Hydro Dynamic's ShockWave Power Biodiesel Reactor (SPR). World Energy began with US to-specification biodiesel supply services to state and federal fleets, expanded beyond U.S. biodiesel supply to significant trade to Europe, then opened offices in South America and Southeast Asia. The SPR can improve processes to reduce monoglycerides and reduce catalyst utilization, driving the transesterification reaction to completion in seconds using tightly controlled cavitation; the shockwaves released can be used for heating and/or mixing. The forced micro-cavitation enables effective conversion of more recalcitrant types of feedstock, meeting challenges presented by many food wastes and the greases collected from wastewater treatment plants. The compact in-line continuous operation reactors come in a range of flow rates from about 1 million to 150 million gallons per year, designed to the requirements of applications from renewable and petroleum sourced fuels and chemicals to the food processing industry. Hydro Dynamics now has over 400 million gallons of annual reactor capacity already installed. 09/09/2012

Lignol and Novozymes Complete Cellulosic Enzyme Optimization Trials

NovozymesBritish Columbia based Lignol Energy Corporation has announced that its collaboration with Novozymes has now completed optimization trials for production of cellulosic ethanol. The work involved optimization of process conditions for the use of Novozymes’ latest cellulase enzyme preparation, Cellic® CTec 3, with Lignol’s substrate, using Lignol’s 2,500 litre fermenters, and showing improvements in overall performance of up to 35%. Lignol's proprietary biorefining process consists of a pre-treatment step which utilizes a modified solvent based extraction to fractionate low-value biomass residuals into its principle components: cellulose, lignin, and hemicellulose. The cellulose and hemicellulose produced in the extraction process can be treated with enzymes in order to liberate sugars, which are then readily fermented into biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol. Lignol is also working with newly developed technologies for the conversion of cellulosic sugars to other advanced biofuels and biochemicals, enabling the biorefining platform to produce multiple products. Ross MacLachlan, President and CEO of Lignol: “The results from this collaborative project represent a substantial achievement due to the efficiency gains we have made over the last two years with our own process improvements and through the leadership of Novozymes in enzyme development. We plan to continue our collaboration with Novozymes to reach our goal of producing cellulosic ethanol at production costs competitive with gasoline and corn ethanol." 09/09/2012

DTSC Schedules Green Chemistry Workshop on Alternatives Analysis Guidelines

Green ChemistryThe California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has announced a two day Alternatives Analysis workshop scheduled for October 9 and 10, 2012 from 9 am to 4 am in the CalEPA Building, downtown Sacramento. The workshop will explore the tools, methodologies and frameworks available for developing less-toxic alternatives to chemicals and products currently on the market. The informal workshop is part of California's broad Green Chemistry Initiative, but is not part of the official Safe Consumer Products regulation rulemaking process; discussions, and comments will not be entered into that rulemaking docket. The workshop is free, but registration is required; a survey associated with registration asks participants to choose from among a list of seven Breakout Topics, including Hazards Evaluation, Exposure Evaluation, Product Performance and Process Engineering. Costs and Material Availability, Data Gaps, Life Cycle Considerations / Avoiding Shifting Risks, and Decision Making. Questions should be emailed to . 09/07/2012

CEC Seeks Public Input on Draft of EPIC's First Triennial Investment Plan

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has announced a workshop on September 27, 2012 to seek input on a draft of the first triennial investment plan for the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC; Docket #12-EPIC-01) Program covering 2012 through 2014. A previous round of workshops was held on August 9 and 10, 2012 and comments are available online. The portion of the EPIC Program administered by the Energy Commission will provide funding for applied research and development, technology demonstration and deployment, and market facilitation for clean energy technologies and approaches for the benefit of ratepayers of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, and Southern California Edison Company. EPIC elements overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will be addressed in a separate rulemaking process; the current schedule anticipates a CPUC decision adopting or modifying the investment plans in May 2013. CEC staff will consider input from this workshop together with other public comments it receives to revise the draft First Triennial Investment Plan for Funds Administered by the California Energy Commission for the Electric Program Investment Charge Program. In October, 2012, the Energy Commission plans to consider for adoption a revised draft. The workshop will be held at the California Energy Commission, 1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento, California 95814 on Thursday, September 27, 2012 starting at 10:00 am The workshop will also be web cast and the specific details of the web address will be available on the Energy Commission web site before the event. For additional questions contact Pam Doughman () or (916) 651-2934 or Erik Stokes () or (916) 327-1399. 09/07/2012

Patriot Bioenergy Plans to Develop Whitley, Kentucky Integrated Energy Park

Patriot Bioenergy CorporationKentucky based Patriot Bioenergy Corporation has announced that it has submitted a Letter of Intent to Whitley County, Kentucky officials to develop an integrated energy park for production of bioenergy, biofuels and bioproducts. Patriot Bioenergy intends to convert dedicated energy crops and cellulosic biomass into biofuels in a co-generation technology configuration producing heat and power that integrates natural gas sourced and bio-sourced energy. The company has teamed with energy beet developer Betaseed™ and will engage in field trials of newly-approved energy crops in Whitley and Pike Counties. A unique part of Patriot Energy's business model provides assistance to the coal industry by developing post-mining property for the growth of biomass feedstock and is finalizing collaborative agreements for integration trials of mining land reclamation and biocrop development with the University of the Cumberlands and the Kentucky-based non-profit, Green Forest Works. In conjunction with Patriot Bioenergy, the non-profit will install and manage short-rotation bioenergy tree plantings to create a more robust and diversified feedstock base for local energy systems. In addition, Green Forest Works will plant stands of high value native timber species on mined lands to encourage biodiversity, water quality improvement, and future economic gains from timber sales. Patriot BioEnergy, LLC, now Patriot Bioenergy Corporation, was formed in February 2009 to develop integrated energy projects for domestically-produced transportation fuel and electricity from biomass. 09/07/2012

Eco Hosts Open House to Showcase Plans for Dorset Renewable Energy Park

Eco Sustainable SolutionsThe United Kingdom based multi-tech energy company Eco Sustainable Solutions Ltd. (Eco) has announced a September 15, 2012 Open House to showcase plans for its proposed renewable energy park in Dorset. The estimated £36 million scheme will be one of the UK's largest energy parks. Eco already has received planning permission for a £14 million biomass generating station on its existing composting site at Parley near Christchurch. The proposed bioenergy plant will be fueled by 25,000 tonnes of waste wood, and should be operational in mid 2014 generating about 23,600 megawatts (MW) of electricity per year. Eco has also proposed a £7million biogas plant that will convert 45,000 tonnes of food waste and locally sourced energy crops by anaerobic digestion (AD), generating around 4.4 million cubic metres of biogas a year and intended for completion in 2015. The final part of the renewable energy park is a solar energy farm covering up to 125 acres of land. Details of the biomass, AD and solar farm schemes will go on show at a public open day at Eco's Chapel Lane site on Saturday, September 15, from 9am to 2pm. Trelawney Dampney, Eco's Managing Director: "We believe our renewable energy park will be one of the largest in the UK providing low carbon, clean and green energy from material such as food waste which would normally have gone to landfill. We are very keen to share our plans with residents and other interested parties as well as highlight some of our current activities. We look forward to welcoming as many people to our site on Saturday, September 15, as possible." 09/06/2012

Infinite Enzymes Awarded $450K SBIR Phase II for Plant-Based Enzymes

Infinite EnzymesArkansas based Infinite Enzymes has announced an award of $450,000 from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II program. The award is for production of low-cost enzymes capable of converting high-cellulose agricultural wastes and residues into fermentable sugars ready for conversion to biofuels, biochemicals and other bio-sourced products. Infinite Enzymes has developed a novel genetic technology for production of cellulase enzymes in the embryo (germ) of the corn kernel. Using transgenic corn as a “plant factory” for producing cellulase enzymes, the company can deliver high-quality, cost-competitive cellulase enzymes on a commercial scale at a fraction of capital and operating costs associated with existing enzyme production through microbial/fungal fermentation processes. The company was awarded an SBIR Phase I grant of $100,000 in August 2011; the Phase II grant will fund further product development and crop improvements, thus positioning Infinite Enzymes to commercialize its first products and pursue investments from strategic partners. Infinite Enzymes investment and strategic partners include Arkansas Science and Technology Authority (ASTA), BioDimensions, Inc. of Memphis, Tennessee, the Applied Biotech Organization, Arkansas State University (AState), Cereal Process Technologies, LLC, and the Memphis Bioworks Foundation. 09/06/2012

TEG and Alkane Funded for Dagenham Organic Waste Conversion Plant

TEG GroupUnited Kingdom's (UK) TEG Group plc has announced that significant funding has been secured to develop a 49,000 tonne per year organic waste conversion facility in the northeastern London borough of Dagenham. The £21 million food and green waste processing plant is the first to receive funding from the UK's Green Investment Bank with an investment of £2 million matched by private sector funding. The governmental funding comes from the UK's Waste Resources and Energy Investments (UKWREI) fund. This will be the first joint anaerobic digestion (AD) and in-vessel composting (IVC) plant to be built within the Greater London district and is expected to be operational in 2013. The highly integrated 1.4 megawatt electric (MWe) facility will be the first development on a 4.7 acre site on the Mayor of London's 60 acre London Sustainable Industries Park (LSIP), for which the Mayor has committed over £10m for site infrastructure development. Nottingham's Alkane Energy plc announced it has been awarded a subcontract award valued at about £1.6 million to provide the gas-to-power complement with an additional subcontract within TEG's £1.3m per annum 15 year overall site maintenance contract; this is the fourth major project for Alkane, who specialize in the integration of combined heat and power (CHP) aspects to provide a full gas-to-power solution. Regarding the Green Investment Bank's backing, Business Secretary Vince Cable commented: "This project represents the first waste investment in the run up to the establishment of the UK Green Investment Bank and sends a clear message to the market and to potential co-investors that we are committed to investing in the UK's green infrastructure." 09/05/2012

Caterpillar Investing $21MM in Blue Sphere for US Anaerobic Digestion Projects

Blue Sphere CorporationThe Maryland / Israel Development Center has called attention to a local Israeli report of a Caterpillar, Inc agreement to provide $21 million in financing to the Israeli anaerobic digestion (AD) specialist firm Blue Sphere Corporation for its first two projects in the United States. Blue Sphere will establish a US Subsidiary to manage development of the two AD projects for which the company already has signed power purchase agreements. Caterpillar will provide the electricity generation equipment and finance 70% of the projects, amounting to $14 million for the first $20 million project and $7 million for the second $10 million project. Blue Sphere has plans for an additional seven US projects. Last month, Blue Sphere signed a joint venture development agreement with the German biogas to electricity firm Biogas Nord AG. Blue Sphere founder and CEO Shlomi Palas said: "The joint venture agreement with Biogas Nord and the agreement in principle with Caterpillar are votes of confidence by two leading companies in their fields in Blue Sphere's capacity to acquire and manage these complex projects in the US. The production of electricity from biogas is the perfect solution for two major contemporary problems: the growing need for energy, and the need for proper handling of the unbelievable amount of waste being produced. The comparison with the income-producing real estate industry is in the sale of all the electricity we produce to utilities, which are considered as long-term tier-1 tenants." 09/05/2012

More than 46K Biogas Plants Installed in Asia and Africa in 1st Half of 2012

SNV NetherlandsThe philanthropic organization SNV Netherlands has released its September 2012 Newsletter, leading with a report of installation of more than 46,000 small-scale anaerobic digestion (AD) systems in rural Asia and Africa in the first half of 2012. SNV supports conversion of organics to provide renewable energy on a very localized, sector-specific basis, engaging communities and resulting in local ownership and operation of the developed AD systems. Some of SNV's longest running Biogas Support Programmes (BSP) in Nepal and Vietnam are on track to exceed the 2011 total of biogas system installations. The SNV Indonesia Domestic Biogas Programme managed by Hivos and the Kenya Domestic Biogas Programme have both reach a milestone of 5,000 biodigesters in about three years of implementation. Since the program's inception, countries supported by SNV's biogas project development funding and expertise have installed more than 475,000 AD-to-biogas plants. Financial support was provided by a wide spectrum of national and international organizations including the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS); German Development Bank (KfW) for Nepal and Bangladesh; World Wildlife Fund for Nepal; Blue Moon Fund for Lao PDR, Asian Development Bank for Vietnam and Bhutan; the World Bank for Nepal and Vietnam; Hivos for Indonesia, Cambodia and ABPP countries; People in Need for Cambodia; the Netherlands Finance Development Company (FMO) for Cambodia; and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) for Cambodia and Rwanda. 09/05/2012

Oregon DEQ Posts Conversion Technology Rulemaking Updates

State of OregonThe Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has posted a number of official decisions and opinions associated with the agency's August meeting and including a summary of that meeting. In response to specific questions during the meeting, ODEQ has provided background decisions that form the foundation of the current Conversion Technology Rulemaking. Among these: (1) a 1981 legal review and conclusion by then-Attorney General Frohnmayer that ODEQ "may prohibit landfills from receiving materials that are readily recyclable or reusable on the ground that landfilling is not the best available management practice for those materials," (2) Department of Justice (DOJ) documentation of the state's right to regulate waste management and to issue citations, including inappropriate disposal of materials that could otherwise be converted to energy or other commodities, (3) a 1994 DOJ legal advisory regarding when pyrolysis of plastics could be considered recycling, and (4) a 2002 DOJ clarification regarding whether certain recovery and remanufacturing practices constituted use of waste-derived materials, when the raw material had never actually entered the waste stream. The Update also includes concise, detailed and referenced comments from Committee Member Miller regarding use of conversion technologies to manage risks associated with bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE, or "mad cow disease"), concluding that such materials should be prohibited from being processed in anaerobic digesters. 09/04/2012

Codexis Negotiates Global Enzyme Development Rights for Biofuels with Shell

CodexisCalifornia based Codexis has announced negotiated global rights to develop and market its CodeXymeTM cellulase enzyme, developed under a previous 2006 Collaborative Research Agreement with Royal Dutch Shell (the "Shell Research Agreement"). As of August 31, Codexis now holds a non-exclusive world-wide license to develop, manufacture, use and sell the highly effective cellulase enzymes for production of biofuels (excluding Brazil). In return, Shell receives preferential pricing for purchase, and a royalty on Codexis' enzyme sales. Codexis and Shell have regularly modified their working relationship, and re-considered rights discussions in mid-July of this year; the company has commercialized its biocatalysts in the pharmaceutical industry and now can continue developing biocatalysts for use in producing advanced biofuels from the prior Shell Agreement. The company is also using its technology platform to pursue biocatalyst-enabled solutions in other bio-industrial markets, including carbon management, water treatment and chemicals. Shell remains subject to existing royalty obligations to Codexis for use of technology developed under the Shell Research Agreement that remains exclusively licensed to Shell. Codexis also remains eligible to receive a one-time $3.0 million milestone payment upon the first sale or use by Shell of such enzymes in the biofuels field in Brazil, or in other fields of use previously specified in the Amended and Restated License Agreement between Codexis and Shell. 09/04/2012

Millar Western to Construct $42MM Pulp Mill Effluent to Biogas Facility

Millar Western Forest Products Alberta, Canada's timber and pulp company Millar Western Forest Products Ltd. has announced its decision to construct an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant to convert the effluent from its Whitecourt pulp mill to bioenergy. One year ago, the company received an Alberta EcoTrust grant of $17.5 million from the Government of Alberta to integrate bioenergy development with its existing pulp mill effluent treatment. Millar Western's Whitecourt operations use bleached, chemi-thermo-mechanical pulping (BCTMP); the new AD facilities will be integrated with Whitecourt's existing aerobic wastewater treatment systems. After conditioning, the biogas will be used to fuel reciprocating engines, to generate 5.2 megawatts of renewable energy for use by the company’s pulp operations. All required regulatory approvals are now in place, allowing construction to begin this month and with start-up slated for late 2013. In 1992, Millar Western partnered with the Saskatchewan government to build the world's first successful zero-effluent market pulp mill. The Whitecourt pulp and woodlands operations are ISO 14001 and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified, and have met the FORESTCARE code of practice, one of North America's first and most enduring programs governing care of the forest, environment and communities. The company strives for Zero Waste operations, using virtually all woody residuals. Millar Western's family-owned group of Canadian companies has been in business for over a century. 09/03/2012

Global Bioenergies Is in Top 5 Most Innovative European Biotech SMEs

Blobal BioenergiesThe French headquarters of Global Bioenergies has announced its selection last month as one of the top five most innovative European small-to-medium enterprise (SME) biotechnology companies for 2012 by the EuropaBio organization. Global Bioenergies specializes in development of drop-in biofuels and biomaterials from waste and renewable feedstock, initially with a focus on production of isobutene but already expanding to diverse other sustainable products. Using genetically modified bacteria and/or yeast to create unique metabolic enzymes, the company converts the intermediate building block material such as acetone into isobutene. In July of last year, the firm partnered with the Polish company Synthos to develop renewable butadiene, a precursor to rubber production. In July of this year, the company opened Global Bioenergies USA in Iowa. The EuroBio award ceremony will be held on September 19th in the European Parliament by Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry & Entrepreneurship. Marc Delcourt, co-founder and CEO of Global Bioenergies, comments: “We are very honored by the choice of the expert panel of this prestigious biotechnology award, in particular because it was open to all European biotechnology companies acting in fields as diverse as pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, plant science, environment and industrial biology. We would like to thank EuropaBio for their recognition of our unique synthetic biology-based approach to convert renewable resources into light olefins, the core molecules of the petrochemical industry, and more generally for their support to the emerging industrial biology community.” 09/03/2012

Origin Oil Algae Harvester Set for Japanese Remediation and Biofuel Trials

Origin OilLos Angeles based Origin Oil has announced that its long-standing Japanese partner, the Research Institute of Tsukuba Bio-tech (RITB), has received significant funding from the Japanese government for algae-to-biofuels trials. Funding comes from Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and will be supplemented with private investment. Origin Oil and RITB entered a collaborative development agreement in 2009 intended to incorporate the California company's proprietary algal harvesting technology in an effort to develop aviation fuel. In the wake of the Fukushima Diichi disaster, the new funding will now support two initial one-acre algal growth and harvesting trials that incorporate assessment of algal strain capacity to aid in radiological contamination remediation. Recent advances by Japan's Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) indicate that a strain of microalgae can absorb radioactive cesium, removing almost 90% from contaminated water. Algae production thus has the unique potential to both provide renewable fuels and also help eliminate radioactive contamination. Riggs Eckelberry, OriginOil CEO: “We are delighted that our longtime collaborator, Doctor Maekawa, has succeeded in receiving major funding approval for these strategic algae initiatives. We intend to put all available resources to work to help him alleviate the energy and environmental crises afflicting the people of Japan.” 09/01/2012

MaxWest Completes 2nd Generation Biosolids Gasification System

MaxWestFlorida based thermal conversion systems developer MaxWest Environmental Systems has announced completion of its second generation MaxWest Biosolids Gasification System, designed to convert wastewater treatment solids, or "biosolids", into energy. The process begins with an augur-driven drying unit indirectly heated by a liquid filed jacket. The liquid is kept at a constant temperature using thermal energy from the gasifier's flue exhaust. Dewatered sewage sludge, or biosolids, are converted to synthesis gas in a starved-air gasification chamber, leaving about 5% inert mineralized residual. Syngas then is mixed with air and combusted in a tightly controlled thermal oxidizer, producing a low-contaminant flue gas ready for thermal energy recovery with transfer of the heat to either a thermal carrier fluid, to produce hot water or to make steam. The company's Sanford Florida facilities house the newly configured system, which increases processing throughput rate by 40% over the previous design. MaxWest has operated a fully commercial biosolids gasification to energy plant since 2009, processing over 23,000 tons of waste. "This new MaxWest design is a significant step forward in terms of thermal efficiency and reliability of biosolids gasification," said Steve Winchester, CEO at MaxWest Environmental Systems. "This technology improves the Sanford facility and provides a strong foundation for future projects for MaxWest." 09/01/2012

South Korean Researchers Convert Sewage Sludge to Biodiesel

American Chemical SocietyA South Korean bioenergy research team has published "Biodiesel Production from Sewage Sludge: New Paradigm for Mining Energy from Municipal Hazardous Material" in the August 20, 2012 edition of Environmental Science & Technology, a publication of the American Chemical Society. Members of the team represent South Korea's Research Institute of Industrial Science and Technology (RIST), and the Korea University Department of Environment Systems Engineering, Gyeonggi-do Province, Chung-Nam (CNU). From the abstract (available without charge): "This work demonstrates that the production of biodiesel using the lipids extracted from sewage sludge (SS) could be economically feasible because of the remarkably high yield of oil and low cost of this feedstock, as compared to conventional biodiesel feedstocks. The yield of oil from SS, 980 000 L ha–1 year–1, is superior to those from microalgal and soybean oils, 446 and 2200 L ha–1 year–1, respectively. According to the case study of South Korea, the price of the lipids extracted from SS was approximately $0.03 L–1 (USD), which is lower than those of all current biodiesel feedstocks. This work also highlights the insight of a novel methodology for transforming lipids containing high amounts of free fatty acids (FFAs) to biodiesel using a thermochemical process under ambient pressure in a continuous flow system. This allowed the combination of esterification of FFAs and transesterification of triglycerides into a single noncatalytic process, which led to a 98.5% ± 0.5% conversion efficiency to FAME (fatty acid methyl ester) within 1 min in a temperature range of 350–500 °C. The new process for converting the lipids extracted from SS shows high potential to achieve a major breakthrough in minimizing the cost of biodiesel production owing to its simplicity and technical advantages, as well as environmental benefits." Co-author Haakrho Yi, from Korean University is the designated point of contact at phone: 82-61-799-2707, fax: 82-61-792-0768, or e-mail:  . 09/01/2012

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