You are receiving this email because you signed up at our web site or have an interest in our content. If you no longer wish to receive our emails, you may unsubscribe by clicking the link below.

 View this email in your browser.
If you received it from someone else,
subscribe so you can have your own.
Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter            Follow TeruTalk on Twitter  

Volume I, Issue 22 -  July 25, 2011 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú") 


Teru's Trash Talk 

Microbes have awfully small mouths and nibble away at the outside edges of their food. Most of the stuff we try to feed them comes in big, tough pieces. If we intend to get these bugs working double-time, we need to get their food scaled down to their mouth size. We need to find ways to dissolve the foodstuff, to grind it to a pulp or powder, to literally disintegrate it. We can also pry the chunks apart to open cracks and crevasses, so the microbe-beasties can work their way in and nibble from the inside. When we get their food-things cut down to their size, we increase the conversion rate and efficiency, leaving less residual. That's the essence of pre-treatment of feedstock prior to microbial conversion, something we hit on in last week's trash talk.


Thermo-chemical processes work about the same way: get the stuff you want to convert busted down enough, pulled apart enough, and the reactions find more surface area to work on. Gasifiers can more quickly and completely change solid and liquid feedstock to synthetic fuel gas when the input is homogenous and finely divided. Pyrolysis can act as a "molecular grinder" in front of a gasifier, tearing complex physical structures down to their simpler molecular components. Gasification then can break the heavy molecular chains from the pyrolyzer down to an even flow of carbon and hydrogen rich syngas.


Now we get to integrated biorefineries: Run that syngas through a mesh of metal catalysts and out drips liquid fuel, but try not to clog up the catalyst matrix with any chunks. Or … cool the syngas and bubble it through vats of microbes, and you can train them to convert that hydrocarbon source to short-chain alcohols, like ethanol and butanol. Pyrolyze, gasify, cool and catalyze or ferment, and you can turn just abut any kind of waste into renewable energy.


Size does matter, after all.


Hey Rube!


People and organizations that want to stop everything from being built anywhere find ways to get their minion deep inside the planning processes that, eventually, determine the Rules. Plenty of those critical planning processes are going on right now, right here in California with the Clean Energy Future, Green Chemistry, and Low Carbon Fuel Standard. National planning is under review; EPA alone must have half a dozen Rulemakings up for comment at any one time. Europe certainly has opened their process, especially with the Biofuels Technology Platform. This is a general call to "planning" arms: look around, pick your battles, and get engaged.


The Week's Extra Reading 


Our new article, Blueprint for California's Clean Energy Future , builds upon our submission earlier this month of formal comments addressing the California Clean Energy Future planning process.


The Week's News 


Ammonia Pre-Treatment Makes Cellulosic Biomass Five Times More Digestible  Collaborative research between the US Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and the Michigan State University's Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) has revealed that the molecular-level activity of ammonia pre-treatment loosens cellulosic structure of biomass and greatly facilitates hydrolysis. 07/23/2011


Iowa State's MycoMeal Process of Thin-Stillage Improves Ethanol Production  Iowa State University (ISU) researchers have moved "MycoMeal" from lab to pilot scale and the process works better. The research team is growing the fungus Rhizopus oligosporus on the wash-water left from standard ethanol fermentation with the MycoMeal process. 07/23/2011


Dow and Mitsui Forming JV for Brazilian Ethanol and Biopolymers

Dow Chemical Company and Mitsui & Co, Ltd., of Tokyo, Japan are forming a new joint venture (JV) with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop and supply sustainable bioproducts. 07/22/2011


Cathay Industrial Biotech Files for IPO to Expand Biobutanol Production  Chinese biobutanol producer Cathay Industrial Biotech Ltd has filed Form F-1 Registration Statement and preliminary prospectus with the US Securities Exchange Commission toward an Initial Public Offering of American Depository Shares (ADSs). 07/21/2011


Biochar Group Selected by Gates Foundation for Toilet Challenge

A multi-University, The Hertz Foundation Fellows-led team has been selected as one of eight grant recipients in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge" (RTTC). 07/21/2011


European Commission Recognizes Seven Biofuels Sustainability Programs  The European Commission has formally recognized seven programs providing sustainability criteria and certification for production of biofuels. 07/20/2011


BIOSYNERGY Project Releases Final Report

The collaborative BIOSYNERGY project has released its findings in a detailed brochure, Biorefinery Development for Europe. 07/20/2011


Los Angeles County Releases Q&A Summary for Waste Conversion RFEI  A Summary has been released of Questions & Answers (Q&A) associated the last month's Los Angeles County issuance of Requests for Expression of Interest (RFEI) to waste conversion technology providers, project developers and financiers. 07/20/2011


California Air Resource Board Hosts First LCFS Public Update Meeting  The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has released a Meeting Notice and Agenda for its first public update meeting for July 25, 2011 on the progress of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program's Advisory Panel. 07/19/2011


Eco-Solids Cellruptor Pre-Treatment of Food Waste for Conversion Looks Good  Organics pre-treatment technology specialist Eco-Solids International (ESI) is seeing early positive results in an extended research and development program lead by the UK's University of Southampton to assess effectiveness of their Cellruptor process for preparation of food waste prior to anaerobic digestion (AD). 07/18/2011


Marine Base Camp Lejeune Receives First Local Biodiesel Today

Marine base Camp Lejeune is receiving their first shipment of biodiesel today, coordinated by the North Carolina Eastern Region's Military Growth Task Force through a program called Fuel the Force. 07/18/2011


The Week's Action Items


Due 08/31/2011: Proposals to CARB for Industrial Sector GHG Benchmarking  The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has released a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking one or more firms for industrial sector assessments necessary to set greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions efficiency benchmarks under the State's 2010-adopted Cap & Trade program. 07/21/2011


Due 09/30/2011 and 10/25/2011: EOIs and FP7 Proposals to EIBI

Details are now available for submission of proposals to Energy Call FP7 released by the European Industrial Biofuels Initiative (EIBI). Non-binding Expressions of Interest (EOIs) are due September 30, 2011. 07/22/2011


Due Now to 04/30/2012: Biomass/Biogas to Energy Grant Apps to Illinois DCEO  The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is now accepting applications for the Biogas and Biomass to Energy Grant Program; applications will be accepted through April 30, 2012 or until grant funds are expended. 07/18/2011



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


Featured Events:




© Copyright 2011 Teru Talk by JDMT, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.

Please do not reply to this email because the mail box is not monitored and we might miss it. If you wish to contact us, please click here:

Contact Us

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.