Teru Talk Newsletter with current news, action items, and some trash talk on matters of waste conversion for resource recovery.

Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Teru Talk Home

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume I, Issue 2 -  March 7, 2011 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "TerĂº") 
Teru's Trash Talk 
Mankind has been messing with FrankenBugs, well, forever. Microbial-sourced biofuels advances have caught our attention recently. Alltech's massive new algae operation opens in Kentucky, while others pursue different biofuels pathways by coaxing bacterial bio-butanol production. W2Energy is using their well-designed algae photo-bioreactor to grow naturally-occurring Clostridium acetobutylicum (different species, same genus as causes botulism), collecting a soup of bio-butanol, ethanol and acetone on the back end. Genomica's new Big Daddy (as of last month) Waste Management, has helped orchestrate a multi-million dollar cash influx, so they can build their first plant for FrankenBug to 1,4-Butanediol, a high-value precursor to n-butanol, and a lot of other non-petro foundation chemicals. Meanwhile, UC Berzerkeley (sorry) reports success in mushing E. coli bacteria genetics so they, too, can produce n-butanol.
Now, there may be fair questions remaining about whether we can corral the modified genetic organisms (GMOs) cut into a plant's inner workings (in my humble opinion, it's been too late to worry about THAT, for quite some time), but the difference is now that we've figured out some of those more nasty bugs actually can make the Bio-Fuel we need! Butanol appears to be more functional as a drop-in biofuel, needing little if any further refining, than most of the other biofuels we've been producing. And "bio-butanol" from algae and bacteria just seems so right: we feed 'em light and dirty air and dirty water, they ... ah ... secrete ... some seriously useful fluids. Bees make honey; Clostridium makes butanol ... with a little TLC. 


In the Way Cool category, check out Cyclone Power's external-heat driven engine. Sweeeet.

Hey Rube!

Our first newsletter (last week)  included the slew of court-forced EPA Rules releases, including their initiation of "Reconsideration" proceedings. Get prepared; there will be another round of stakeholder input sought, probably next month. Watch this space ... there's some real fun ahead ...


Along with the Rulemakings on what is Waste and what you can do with it (any suggestions?), we see rumblings in related critical EPA corners: their Science Advisory Board recently completed its reassessment of the National Science Academy’s reassessment of EPA’s reassessment of dioxin, and opened the door (briefly) for public comment. See this week’s News Item on the EPA’s Dioxin Reassessment, try to catch up some on the dialogue, and watch for an Action Item here, when the next round of flailing is to occur. Trust us: you’ll need the lead time.


And this is a sleeper: In January of this year, the EPA released a "tentative determination" for the second time to deny Sierra Club's petition for reconsideration of the Gasification Rule. Why should you care? Because "hydrocarbons is where you find 'em", and if you can find them by cleanly recovering them from our own oily, gooey waste, instead of having to go to to the Middle East with a bucket in one hand and a gun in the other, so much the better. Once again, the action is open for public comment, see this week’s Action Item.


The Week's News


Adama Tech Signs Romanian MSW Gasification Contract

Israeli brownfields-remediation company Adama Technologies is expanding into waste to energy, with signing of a final agreement for gasification of municipal solid waste (MSW) residuals in Romania. 03/06/2011


ADBA Proposes New Biomethane Carbon Credit Trading Platform

The United Kingdom (UK) based Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) has proposed adoption of a Biomethane Carbon Credit Trading Platform, as a complement to the Parliament’s soon-to-be implemented Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). 03/06/2011


EPA Holds Public Meetings on SAB Reassessment of Dioxin

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) has released their "Reanalysis of Key Issues Related to Dioxin Toxicity and Response to NAS Comments". 03/05/2011


Neste Oil Increases Use of Waste in Biodiesel Production

Finland’s Neste Oil announced that they are increasing the percentage of waste as raw material used to produce their biodiesel product, NExBTL®. 03/05/2011


RIT Researchers Develop Biodiesel from MicroAlgae and Wastewater Researchers at New York’s Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) have announced isolation of small amounts of golden-colored biodiesel produced by the micro-alga strain Scenedesmus, along with the valuable lipids they normally have been extracting. 03/05/2011


Nexterra Raises $15MM in Equity Financing

Canadian biomass gasification company Nexterra Systems Corporation has announced closing of a $15MM round of equity financing with investors Tandem Expansion Fund and ARC Financial. 03/05/2011

Cyclone Power Engine Receives 10th International Patent

Cyclone Power has now received its 10th international patent on its high-efficiency “steam engine” and its components, this time from Mexico. 03/04/2011


California Leads in US On-Farm Renewable Energy Use

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced results of a decade-long survey of on-farm implementation of renewable energy (RE) generation systems. 03/04/2011


ASU Releases Report on Direct Climate Effects of Perennial Bioenergy Crops  It’s not just about carbon offsets, researchers at Arizona State University (ASU) announce. Replacing annual plants with perennial biofuels crops like Miscanthus and switchgrass over large areas lengthens the growing cycle, and can cool the region by an average of about one degree. 03/03/2011


Canadian BioEnergy Centre Opens on University of New Brunswick Campus  The University of New Brunswick (UNB) has announced that their biomass testing laboratory has been opened on the campus of the Flemming Forestry Complex, in a well-attended ribbon-cutting ceremony. 03/03/2011


Genomatica Raises $45MM for Green Chemical Development

The San Diego based green chemistry company Genomatica has announced that it has raised an additional $45MM less than a month after signing a Joint Development agreement with Waste Management. 03/03/2011


TreeFree Biomass Solutions Joins Seattle's Innovation Center 

The McKinstry Innovation Center has brought seven emerging companies within their incubator service in the year since opening. 03/03/2011


UC Berkeley Researchers Modify Bacterium to Produce Butanol  University of California, Berkeley has announced that researchers have been successful in developing a genetically modified organism (GMO), modifying the bacterium E. coli to secrete nearly 10 times more n-butanol than other industrial microbe systems. 03/02/2011


Itochu Corporation Acquires 4% of Benefuel for Asian Biofuels Development  Illinois Based  Benefuel  Inc. has announced  that Japanese commerce giant Itochu Corporation has acquired a 4% interest, in order to utilize  Benefuel ’s proprietary bifunctional solid catalyst for Asian biofuels production. 03/02/2011

OSGC Selects City of Green Bay Site for MSW to Energy Facility
The tribally owned Oneida Seven Generations Corporation OSGC has acquired property in the City of Green Bay, Wisconsin, for a waste gasification to energy facility. 03/01/2011

IBI Releases Biochar Industry 2015 Vision Document  

The International Biochar Initiative (IBI) Board of Directors has released their report of what it will take to form a successful biochar industry by 2015, the result of a Board retreat sponsored by the Packard Foundation. 03/01/2011


The Week's Action Items


Due 03/14/2011: Comments on EPA’s Second Denial of Sierra Club’s Petition A notice published in the Federal Register on January 28, 2011 (76 FR 19, et seq.) informs the public that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied for the second time a Sierra Club request under RCRA section 7004, for a Petition for Reconsideration of the “Regulation of Oil-Bearing Hazardous Secondary Materials from the Petroleum Refining Industry Processed in a Gasification System to Produce Synthesis Gas” known as the Gasification Rule. 03/05/2011

Teru Talk Home 
The Dialogue at Teru Talk 
Current News at Teru Talk 
Teru Action Items 
About Teru 
TERU Focus Reports 
Articles at Teru Talk