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Volume I, Issue 18 -  June 27, 2011 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú") 


Teru's Trash Talk 

To recover the goods from waste, we generally need to take the old goo apart before we put the recovered molecules back together into something new. That's Conversion. Some of the most advanced integrated biorefinery companies are beginning to use a hybrid of thermochemical and biochemical processing to accomplish that conversion. It's no simple task because it calls for a balancing act with diametrically opposing forces. It's all too easy to get entangled in the minutia of technical jargon in this field of waste conversion, as it is in the rest of Life. Sometimes it is best to let the really smart folks break very complex ideas down to common language:


"Biological processes occur well below the boiling point of water, while thermal processes are usually performed hundreds of degrees higher, which makes it hard to imagine how these processes can be combined. In fact, these differences in operating regimes represent one of the major advantages of hybrid processing. High temperatures readily break down biomass to substrates that can be fermented to desirable products." 

-Robert C. Brown, an Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering, the Gary and Donna Hoover Chair in Mechanical Engineering, and the Iowa Farm Bureau Director of the Bioeconomy Institute


Dr. Brown's been working with waste conversion forever it seems, teaching a long list of students how to get New Ideas ready for the real world marketplace. He orchestrates grad students' thermal / microbial Hybrid Processing work in the Biorenewables Research Laboratory on the Ames campus. Way to go, Doc Brown!


Hey Rube!


CalRecycle is in the final stages of full certification of their Program EIR for state-wide development of anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities to turn the organic fraction of waste into biogas, heat and power. Some companies and municipalities are already using the draft EIR as guidance for their own permitting and environmental certification. If you have ever had an interest in developing AD in California, NOW is the time to get familiar with CalRecycle's AD Initiative.


The Week's News 


ISU Grad Students Bridging the Gap with Hybrid Conversion Processing  Dr. Robert Brown's students are bridging the long-standing scientific abyss lying between biological processing and thermochemical processing in their Hybrid Processing Laboratory on the Ames campus of Iowa State University (ISU). 06/25/2011


BlueFire Completes Initial Site Work for Mississippi Waste to Ethanol Biorefinery  California-based BlueFire Renewables reports that their contractor Century Construction has completed site preparation for construction of their 19 million gallon per year waste to ethanol facility in Fulton, Mississippi. 06/25/2011


Xergi to Construct Biogas Plant in France for META-BIO Energies

The French fertilizer company META-BIO Energies has selected Xergi SAS, the French subsidiary of Danish firm Xergi, to design and construct a biogas plant that will convert multiple types of waste biomass to green energy and biomass residue for fertilizer. 06/24/2011


DECC Publishes National Energy Policy Statement, Microgeneration Strategy  The United Kingdom's (UK) Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has published their Energy National Policy Statement (NPS) for debate by Parliament, a complex set of documents including a Microgeneration Strategy designed to promote microgeneration and decentralized energy production. 06/24/2011


ROC Receives Exclusive Dynamotive License for Australia Per Joint Venture  Canadian-based thermal conversion company Dynamotive Energy Systems Corporation has agreed to an exclusive all-Australia license to Renewable Oil Corporation Pty Ltd (ROC) of Melbourne, Australia, and extended ROC's current license covering New Zealand and the pacific Islands until August of 2013. 06/23/2011


Canada's CCEMC Grants $15MM for Three Biomass Conversion Projects  The Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC) has selected three biomass thermal conversion projects to receive $5 million each in project development grants. 06/23/2011


Inbecon Study Supports North American Ag Waste Conversion to Ethanol  A technical feasibility study completed for Danish biorefinery company Inbecon has confirmed for them that "… North America's great abundance of corn stover and wheat straw is sufficiently concentrated in the prime grain-growing regions to make biomass collection practical and economical," says Benny Mai, General Manager, Inbecon. 06/23/2011


Thesis Chemistry and SMET Partner for Green Chemical Biorefineries  Canadian company Thesis Chemistry and Wisconsin-based SMET Construction Services are partnering to design and build commercial scale biorefineries for manufacturing green chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass feedstock. 06/22/2011


CalRecycle Releases Final MSW Anaerobic Digestion PEIR

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has released the Final Program Environmental Impact Report (SCH No. 2010042100) for "Statewide Anaerobic Digester Facilities for the Treatment of Municipal Organic Solid Waste". 06/22/2011


Domtar Partners with Wisconsin Energy for Biomass Energy Plant

The Domtar Paper Company mill in Rothschild, Wisconsin will be the site of a $250 million, 50 megawatt biomass power plant, after signing revised agreements with Wisconsin Electric Power Company (We Energies). 06/22/2011


Ontario Invests in Carcass Gasification to Energy

The Rural Economic Development (RED) Program of Ontario, Canada is supporting a plant to sterilize and recover energy from "dead stock", or animal carcasses, with an investment of $3,652,809. 06/21/2011


Addax Is Funded for Sierra Leone Integrated Sustainable Biorefinery

Addax Bioenergy has signed a €258 million loan agreement with a consortium of European and African development institutions for an integrated ethanol - bioenergy facility in Sierra Leone. 06/21/2011


DOE to Conduct Recycled Energy Tour of Successful Utah CHP Projects  The US Department of Energy's (DOE) Intermountain Clean Energy Application Center will conduct a tour  on July 13, 2011 of two successful recycled combined heat and power (CHP) projects in Utah. 06/21/2011


Hybrid Waste to Energy and Bioproducts "Energy Works" Facility Proposed in UK  United Kingdom (UK) developer C. Spencer Ltd has submitted plans to the Hull City Council for "Energy Works", a £150m integrated waste management, resource recovery, and renewable energy plant to be built next to the River Hull on the site of a former cocoa factory. 06/20/2011


CEC Awards $500K to UC Davis for Community-Integrated AD Project

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has awarded a $500,000 grant to the University of California (UC) Davis "West Village Energy Initiative" (WVEI) to support pre-construction engineering and post-construction monitoring for their community-integrated anaerobic digestion (AD) and bio-gas utilization project. 06/20/2011


Cambi Awarded Contract for Newcastle WWTP Biosolids Pretreatment  Norwegian thermal hydrolysis specialist Cambi has been awarded a contract to install its Thermal Hydrolysis Process (THP) for pre-treatment of biosolids at the Northumbrian Water's (NW) advanced wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) near Newcastle, United Kingdom. 06/20/2011


Biffa Opens 120,000 Tonnes/Year Food Waste to Energy AD Plant

United Kingdom (UK) waste management company Biffa has opened what may be the largest food waste anaerobic digestion (AD) facility in the United Kingdom, adjacent to its Poplars landfill in the West Midlands near Cannock, Staffordshire. 06/20/2011



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Teru Talk is an online publication of JDMT, Inc with the goal of opening the dialogue and providing current news and commentary on issues and successes associated with waste conversion to renewable energy, biofuels and other bio-based products for resource recovery.

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The Teru Talk Newsletter is published weekly or more or less frequently, primarily depending on what is going on in the world of waste conversion or ours.