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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter            Follow TeruTalk on Twitter  

Volume I, Issue 24 -  August 8, 2011 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú") 


Teru's Trash Talk 

What is sustainable and how do we get it?


Ahhh … there's the rub. To get from the concept of sustainability to the implementation of sustainable activities, we need to compare against something, usually the status quo. We need to develop better, more sustainable, ways to manage what we are trying to accomplish. We need to establish Best Management Practices, fondly referred to as BMPs.


Now, a BMP for erosion control may be a well-placed straw wattle, while a BMP for forest practices may relate to the amount of duff and down timber left on the forest floor. Waste Management BMPs include an aspect of timing: things tend to rot rather obnoxiously if left in a pile for more than three days.

Gather all those BMPs together and you have a Best Practices Manual, something to read, to follow, and against which to weigh proposed activities. Figure out what the priorities are, and you should be able to compile sets of reasonable Standards. Right now, all around the planet, everyone is trying to develop Sustainability Standards for transport fuels, mostly for biomass-sourced fuels or biofuels. We may all be coming up with different command and control approaches, but the United Nations comparison of the 23-or-so biofuel sustainability schemes show that all aim for a longer, more sustainable perspective on how the world fuel market operates. We may not agree on how, but we agree that there must be a better way.

The US EPA says, "The traditional definition of sustainability calls for policies and strategies that meet society’s present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs … Sustainable development reflects not the trade-off between business and the environment but the synergy between them."


Can Good Business and Environmentalism exist synergistically?

It must.


Hey Rube!


Speaking of Sustainable Biofuel Schemes, California is not to be out-done (surprise!). The Air Resources Board is about half way through the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and is seeking stakeholder (that's everybody) input. Read our "Interim Guide to the LCFS" (see link below), come up with your own take on how sustainable fuels should play out economically and environmentally and … tell 'em.


The Week's Extra Reading 


Teru submitted comments to the ARB on LCFS Sustainability Principles 4, 5, 6, and 7 last Friday, and has just finished an article that you will want to see, Interim Guide to the LCFS, Making Sense of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Teru is a member of the California LCFS Sustainability Workgroup.


The Week's News 


Tool Predicts Final Emissions Toxicity Variations from Biofuel Production Methods  A computational chemist at the University of Copenhagen has developed a mathematical model that helps predict the fate of biofuel molecules once they enter the atmosphere. 08/06/2011


University of Miami Scientists Track Ethanol BioFuel Emissions in the Atmosphere  Scientists at the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, University of Miami have developed methods to track individual molecules of vehicular emissions in the air by the unique isotopic carbon signatures. 08/06/2011


Glycerine-Fueled CHP Module Delivered for 28-Home Eco-Complex in UK  The first commercial module of a glycerine-fired combined heat and power (CHP) system has been delivered by Aquafuel Research to 28 "eco-homes" in Essex, United Kingdom (UK). 08/06/2011


HECO Signs Agreement with Pacific Biodiesel for 250K GPY Biodiesel Supply  Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) has signed a 3-year contract with renewal options with Pacific Biodiesel, Inc to supply of 250,000 gallons per year (GPY) of biodiesel. 08/06/2011


Oneida's Waste Conversion to Energy Project Passes First Environmental Hurdle  The US Department of Energy (DOE) has found that there will be no significant negative impacts for the waste conversion for energy recovery project proposed by the tribally-chartered and owned Oneida Seven Generations Corporation. 08/05/2011


United Nations FAO Releases Compilation of Biofuels Sustainability Initiatives  The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) "Bioenergy and Food Security Criteria and Indicators (BEFSCI)" project has developed and released a detailed Compilation of Bioenergy Sustainability Initiatives associated with the production of biofuels or of specific biofuel feedstocks. 08/05/2011


Amyris Partners with Kuraray for Bio-Polymer Development

California-based bioproducts company Amyris Inc. has signed a collaboration agreement with Japanese polymer chemistry specialists Kuraray Co. Ltd to develop petroleum-replacement uses for Amyris' renewable hydrocarbon building block product BiofeneTM. 08/05/2011


PowerHouse Intends to Acquire Pyromex' Thermal Conversion Technology   United Kingdom based PowerHouse Energy Group plc, licensee and 30% equity holder in Swiss company Pyromex Holdings AG, has announced their intent to acquire the remaining equity interest in Pyromex in a structured buy-out. 08/04/2011


EESI Holds Briefing on Defense Department's Renewable Energy Usage  The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) in collaboration with E3G and Operation Free staged a briefing last week in Washington DC entitled, "More Fight, Less Fuel: The Defense Department's Deployment of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy." 08/03/2011


MagneGas JV to Build $29.8MM Liquid Waste to Syngas Plant in China  Florida-based plasma company MagneGas Corporation's joint venture with Chinese firm DDI Industry International, MagneGas Technology Beijing Company Ltd., signed a letter of intent ("LOI") with Nanjing City Industrial Park for construction of a $29.8 million fuel gas production center in Nanjing City within the next two years. 08/03/2011


Future Biogas Evaluates PDX Pre-Treatment for New UK Biogas Plant

The German anaerobic digestion firm Future Biogas has entered into an agreement with Pursuit Dynamics (PDX) to use their supersonic vaporization / shockwave technology for pre-treatment of dedicated energy crop biomass. 08/02/2011


WRAP Compares Cost of Alternative Waste Treatment Options in New Report  The United Kingdom's (UK) Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has released their 2011 Gate Fees report, this year focused on Comparing the Cost of Alternative Waste Treatment Options. 08/02/2011


Researchers Develop New Catalyst for Single-Step Bio-Ethanol to Isobutene  US Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Washington State University (WSU) researchers have developed a new catalyst material for single-step conversion of biomass sourced ethanol to isobutene, a high-octane fuel additive also critical for manufacturing many green chemicals (biochemicals). 08/02/2011


Sustainable Development Technology Canada Funds Clean Tech Projects  The non-profit foundation Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) has announced 17 companies that will be receiving funding for clean technology development. 08/01/2011


VärmlandsMetanol Selects Uhde for Swedish Biomass-to-Methanol Plant  Uhde, a ThyssenKrupp company specializing in the PRENFLO gasification process, has been selected by VärmlandsMetanol AB as technology supplier and turnkey engineering, contracting and procurement (EPC) contractor for a planned 100,000 annual tonnes fuel grade methanol plant in Hagsfors, in the forest-rich Värmlands region of Sweden. 08/01/2011


Enerkem Closes Another Financing Round for $29 Million

Canadian waste-to-fuels company Enerkem has completed another round of equity and debt financing totaling C$29 million. 08/01/2011


The Week's Action Items


Due 08/15/2011: Stakeholder Comments to ARB LCFS Workplan Version 2  The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has requested public comment toward a key document of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), the Version 2 Workplan developed by the LCFS Advisory Panel. 08/05/2011 

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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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