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Volume I, Issue 19 -  July 5, 2011 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú") 


Teru's Trash Talk 

In many "Third World" areas and usually with the help of outside organizations, people are figuring out that a small in-ground anaerobic digester unit can provide them with cooking gas and fuel for water heating. Instead of flavoring their drinking water, the sewage and other waste biomass gets turned into something of value. The drawings of the systems are relatively simple: a plastic vessel of about 3 meters diameter, with a place to add food waste, vegetation and manure. Another opening allows removal the digested goo, eventually, for use as a sterilized fertilizer. A top tube lets the biomethane rise up; "Advance design" means letting the biogas fill a big plastic bag with a string around it, hung up in the barn rafter. Tightening the string squeezes the bag and sends more gas down to the stove. No more dung-cake dinner fires.


Boy, we've come a long way! Most of us Urbanites can still remember someone in our family burning the household trash out back in a steel drum with holes poked in it, (still one of the EPA's top dioxin producers, by the way). And, ah the marvels of that porcelain throne with the handle on the side … whoosh, and away it goes, where it stops … who cares, right?


We sure don't have to work very hard to forget the real costs of waste disposal, but we should try harder to remember the real benefits of converting what we don't want into something we need. But oh, think of all the red tape, here in the First World if you were to propose on-site biogas conversion for cooking dinner and heating water.  The first wave of market penetration for new technology shows up in Agency facilities supported by public funding; the second wave is adopted by Industry. The third wave is when the New Way makes it to our households. Perhaps our third wave needs to adopt Third World methods.


Hey Rube!


July has a number of Action Items coming due: Conversion technology related Qualifications to San Bernardino City by the 15th and also to the County of LA by the 28th; Project proposals to the City of Roseville, CA by the 26th; A novel "Issue Paper" proposal for the Climate Action Reserve on using wet-cell bioreactor techniques and/or in-situ composting for landfill gas capture; Opportunities to put in yer 2 cents to the CA Air Resources Board on Cap and Trade, and the EPA on RFS2 targets. With the start of the 2011-2011 fiscal year we'll see a new crop of allocation-based grants; stay tuned.


We're making Action Items easier for you to spot; we've started to post them in Current News as well as sorting them by due-date in Action Items. Now you've got fewer excuses.


The Week's Extra Reading 


Speaking of the EPA and its RFS, the fuel types terminology can get a little confusing, so we've added the EPA's definitions to our site.


The Week's News 


E.ON Commissions Biomass to Biomethane Facility in Merzig

German energy giant E.ON AG's Climate and Renewables division has commissioned their sixth biogas plant in Germany, this time in Merzig, the capital of the district Merzig-Wadern in Saarland, along the western border of Germany. 07/03/2011


California Clean Energy Future Workshop Scheduled

The Integrated Energy Policy Report Committee of the California Energy Commission will conduct a public informational meeting and workshop on July 6, 2011. 07/03/2011


Florida National Guard Goes Green with Springboard Biodiesel

Camp Blanding Joint Training Center is going green according to the Florida National Guard, producing biodiesel to fuel the maintenance vehicle fleet using a BioPro 190 system from Chico, California based Springboard Biodiesel. 07/02/2011


Upscaling Sustainable Biofuels Is Topic of 4th Plenary Meeting in Brussels The European Biofuels Technology Platform's (EBTP) 4th Stakeholder Plenary Meeting will be held at the Diamante Centre in Brussels on September 14-15, 2011. 07/02/2011


LanzaTech Emissions-to-Ethanol Process Is Focus of Project in India

Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) and IndianOil are discussing collaboration to bring New Zealand-based LanzaTech's commercial emissions fermentation to ethanol capabilities to India. 07/01/2011


Agrokor Starts Construction on 1 MWe Waste to Biogas Plant in Croatia Croatian firm Agrokor Group has signed a contract with Slovenian construction company G.H Holding to develop Agrokor Energija's first biogas to energy facility at Gradec near Vrbovec, northeast of the Croatian capital Zagreb. 07/01/2011


California ARB Chair Nichols Proposes 1-Year Delay in Cap-and-Trade In testimony during an informational hearing before the California Select Committee on Environment, Economy and Climate Change, Air Resources Board Chairperson Mary Nichols this week presented an overview of "AB 32 Market Mechanisms". 07/01/2011


Rare Earth Element Recycling and Recovery Has Substantial Potential A new life cycle assessment of rare earth elements (REE) by researchers at Yale University's Center for Industrial Ecology finds that the amount of such materials contained in the stock of in-use goods provides a substantial recoverable reservoir. 06/30/2011


Dupont Danesco to Build Iowa Corn Stover to Ethanol Biorefinery

Dupont Danesco Cellulosic Ethanol (DDCE) is moving forward with the purchase of land in Nevada, Iowa to develop its first commercial cellulosic ethanol production facility. 06/29/2011


Qteros, UMass Receive Patents for Ethanol-Producing Q Microbe Bioprocessing The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) and Qteros Inc, the institute's exclusive licensee, have received approval for Patent 7,943,363 B2 covering expanded bioprocessing methods for use of Clostridium phytofermentans or Q Microbe®. 06/29/2011


EPA Sets Timeline for Reconsideration of CISWI, Boiler MACT Rules

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a schedule for issuing updated air toxics standards for boilers and certain solid waste incinerators in accordance with the filing of a Motion for Abeyance by the American Forest and Paper Association and others with the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. 06/28/2011


UK University Partners with IIT for Ag Waste Conversion + Solar Plant in India  Aston University in the United Kingdom (UK) is partnering with the India Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi on a three year project to develop a 300 kilowatt hybrid biomass conversion / solar panel power plant for electricity, heat and steam production. 06/28/2011


South Carolina and Australia Universities Partner on Biofuels RD

South Carolina based Clemson University has agreed to collaborate with the University of Queensland (UQ), Australia to share research on conversion of biomass to fuel to jointly seek public and private funding, and to further the development and commercialization of ethanol and biodiesel. 06/28/2011 


Genencor Launches Accellerase® TRIO for Cellulosic Pre-Treatment

California-based Genencor has released Accellerase® TRIO, its most advanced package of enzymes for pre-treatment of cellulosic feedstock prior to fermentation. 06/27/2011


Edmonton Waste-to-Biofuels Research Lab and Pilot Plant Opens

A partnership between the City of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the non-profit Alberta Innovates, and Enerkem has resulted in the opening of a unique "plug-and-play" pilot plant and research laboratory for advancing the field of waste conversion to biofuels and biochemicals, a key element of the Edmonton Biofuels initiative. 06/27/2011


Solar Licensing Fees Fund Biogas Plant to Aid Lake Clean-Up

In Ohio, the local news reports that the City of Celina broke ground on the first phase of the Celina Renewable Energy Center on schedule on the northern 20 acres of the 60 acre tract purchased by the City this year adjacent to Grand Lake St. Mary's (GLSM), the City's drinking water source. 06/27/2011


The Week's Action Items


Due 07/26/2011: Eligible Renewable Energy Offers to Roseville Electric The City of Roseville Electric Department (Roseville Electric), has issued a Request for Offer (RFO) to procure eligible renewable energy resources from renewable energy generation facilities as defined by the California Renewable Energy Resources Act (SBX1-2). 06/29/2011


Due 07/28/2011: Quals to LA County (2 RFEIs) for Waste Conversion

The Los Angeles (LA) County Department of Public Works has released two Requests for Expression of Interest (RFEI) to those that might be interested in and able to provide services for waste conversion project development. 06/28/2011


Due 07/28/2011: Proposals for Issue Paper on Landfill Emissions Control The Climate Action Reserve has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop an issue paper addressing Bioreactors and In-situ Composting as two methods for the capture, control and utilization of biomethane released from decomposing organic waste in landfills. 07/03/2011


Due 08/11/2011: Comments to EPA Renewable Fuel Standard Volume Targets  The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released their proposed 2012 overall volume targets and percentage standards, and their proposed 2013 Biomass-based Diesel for the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). 06/30/2011


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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.