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

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Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume I, Issue 3 -  March 14, 2011 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú") 
Teru's Trash Talk 

As we developed this week’s news item for the Japanese tangerine-goop-to-ethanol plant, the Real News came in: massive earthquakes, monster tsunami waves of destruction. Teru Talk tracks around 30 Conversion Technology operations in Japan, a country far ahead in their recognition of the value of NOT throwing precious resources in a hole in the ground, and then paying to keep them there. In fact, the Tokyo region didn’t even use a landfill when we visited in 2007; literally everything was recovered. Now, there will be vast amounts of rubble and crud to be cleaned up, and a horrendous amount of human suffering and loss that can’t simply be “converted”. Our thoughts and hopes for healing go out to the courageous, beautiful people of Japan in this time of terrible loss.


In the United Kingdom, lots going on: DECC announces the world’s first Renewable Heat Incentive, ADBA’s proposal for a bio-methane carbon credit trading platform, and Viridor gets the OK to proceed with their MRF-integrated WtE development.


In the States, UCLA professor Liao gets the nod this week, for his part in not one, but TWO break-throughs, with one of his labs turning protein to biofuel, another accomplishing direct microbial biomass-to-isobutanol conversion. Taming the FrankenBugs…


And in that Way Cool category: Ohio State’ Agricultural Research & Development Center has figured out how to coax waste glycerin into becoming bio-polyol, the stuff that makes renewable poly-foam.


Hey Rube!


Let’s get real here for a moment. Right now, there are literally hundreds of thousands of folks suffering mightily in the aftermath of one of the strongest earthquakes ever experienced. OK, so we can’t help everyone, yet we are a Community, and our work and lives focus a lot “on matters of waste conversion for resource recovery.” Japan has led the fray, implementing common sense and demonstrating ultra-clean conversion technologic when much of the US continues to watch, cringe, waste and … wait.


I suggest some focused Community outreach. Go through your contacts, see who you know that works and lives in Japan, who might be impacted by the devastation, and let them know you are, at the very least, thinking of them. See if there is something you can do, some small thing that might help get things moving back to some semblance of order and business. Use whatever means you can: tweet em’, for goodness sake, if nothing else gets through. We will go through our own contacts, check on the status of each Conversion related development, and follow up with you to make sure we keep in mind how real and personal this tragedy is, half a world away.


You can make donations too, but we aren't collecting them here.


The Week's News


Envergent Selected for Malaysian Palm-oil Biomass Waste Conversion  Illinois based Envergent Technologies, a joint venture between Honeywell’s UOP and Ensyn Corp, has announced selection of their rapid thermal processing (RTP) technology for conversion of biomass wastes from Malaysian palm oil processing. 03/13/2011


Bhutan Becomes SNV’s 8th Country for Rural Biogas Production

The SNV Netherlands Development Organisation has announced “Blue Flames for Bhutan”, their eighth effort in Asia to oversee development of rural biogas installations to convert manure and biomass into clean-burning cooking gas, in order to reduce the negative health and environmental impacts of wood cooking fire usage. 03/13/2011


Japanese Tangerine Residue Waste-to-Ethanol Plant Completed

The Japan for Sustainability (JFS) organization has announced that testing has been completed at a pilot plant for manufacturing bioethanol fuel from the residue from tangerine juice production. 03/11/2011


Viridor Signs WtE Partnership Agreement with Oxfordshire County UK  United Kingdom (UK) based Viridor has announced execution of a 25 year Public/Private Partnership (PPP) contract with Oxfordshire County to treat the County’s residual waste. 03/11/2011


United Kingdom Launches World’s First Renewable Heat Incentive

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is described as the first financial incentive of its kind to support United Kingdom's (UK) emerging technologies and businesses with the goal of revolutionizing the way heat is generated and used. 03/11/2011


OARDC Research Turns Waste Glycerin to Bio-Polyol for Poly Foam 

Ohio State University’s Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) has announced an agreement with Mansfield-based Poly-Green Technologies to supply OARDC’s patent-pending product bio-polyol. 03/10/2011


Raptor Signs Biodiesel Plant Fabrication Agreement with Eco Ventures  Florida-based Raptor Technologies Group has announced an agreement for fabrication of their third biodiesel facility. 03/10/2011


Plasco Makes Progress on Two Waste to Energy Projects

Canadian company Plasco Energy Group is engaged in environmental reviews focused on their waste conversion technology in both Ottawa, Canada and in the Salinas Valley of California in the United States. 03/09/2011


KiOR Signs Renewable Fuel Supply Agreement with Hunt Refining

Advanced biofuels developer KiOR has announced execution of an off-take agreement with Hunt Refining Company to supply renewable gasoline, diesel blendstocks, and fuel oil produced at their first commercial facility being located in Columbus, Mississippi. 03/09/2011


Sapphire Energy Enters Algae Research Collaboration with Monsanto  The San Diego-based company Sapphire Energy has announced that they have entered a ten-year research collaboration agreement with Monsanto to build upon Sapphire’s “transgenic” algal engineering for biofuels production. 03/08/2011


Solazyme Executive Elected to RSB Steering Committee

Solazyme has announced that Cameron Byers, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Fuels and Chemicals, has been elected to serve on the Steering Committee of the international Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB). 03/08/2011


VERBIO Receives OK from German Government for 2nd Biogas Plant  German company VERBIO AG has received governmental approval to proceed with development of a multi-feedstock biogas plant. In the second VERBIO biorefinery of this kind, “verbiogas” will be refined to specification and injected into the regional natural gas supply infrastructure. 03/08/2011


UCLA and ORNL Microbes Make Isobutanol from Cellulose

In a research first, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers, collaborating with the Bioenergy Research Center of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), have succeeded in remaking Clostridium cellulolyticum so it eats cellulose and directly secretes isobutanol. 03/08/2011


Maverick Biofuels Receives SBIR for Syngas to Biofuel Reactor

Maverick Biofuels has received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation for the development of a catalytic syngas to liquid biofuel reactor system. 03/07/2011


UCLA Researchers Demonstrate Conversion of Proteins to Biofuels

Making biofuel from protein rather than sugars, lipids and cellulose offers a biofuels pathway using far more abundant natural resources, according to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. 03/07/2011


The Week's Action Items


Due 06/30/2011: Applications for DOE Advanced Clean Energy Fellowships US Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu has announced funding for the Department of Energy’s “Fellowship Programs to Support Innovative Research and Ensure U.S. Leadership in Clean Energy.” 03/11/2011

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