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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter              Follow TeruTalk on Twitter

Volume I, Issue 33, October 10, 2011
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú") 

Teru's Trash Talk

Almost every community has more stuff thrown away every day than it can afford to manage. From what I've seen, communities in Japan get closest in their approach to Zero Waste with government enforcement and ensured by well-ensconced social mores against NOT reusing and recycling every last scrap. Standard practice bottle-and-can recycling doesn't often make a community money; in fact it generally costs more than it brings in. That said, recycling is still among the best things we as a People can do as a means of social sanity. About half of the remaining "post-recycling" garbage that goes to the dump is so nasty, because thrown-out food is so "putrescible" … I suppose if stuff didn't rot so easily, a lot less would get tossed (but then it isn't food).


All over the globe communities are doing the math and figuring out it is cheaper to gather up the food scraps and feed that rich mulch to microbes in exchange for methane to make electricity, heat, fuel and chemicals. And Surprise! If you add food waste to animal poop in an anaerobic digester, those microbes are happier, work faster and make more biogas, all while cleaning up our manure and sewage better. The United Kingdom has made up their collective mind that Food Waste Co-Digestion is the way to go. London keeps ramping up the thousands of households in their food waste collection program. Scotland's got their own version now of Zero Waste and it depends largely on effective food waste conversion (I love what they're doing with Whisky left-overs). Not to be outdone, Wales now sports their first major AD plant.


We rattle on about Food vs Fuel, all while we throw away more foodstuff than we eat. Talk about low-hanging fruit: we've got the collection infrastructure with a slight variation on the containers distributed; we've got the know-how and the facilities with our Big City wastewater treatment plants. We know now how to un-package, how to pre-treat. We can train the bugs to make far more than just methane. We already have figured out how to clean up, dry out, reform and refine the biogas. And now we understand how to turn that gas into just about any other hydrocarbon-based product we might need. Guess we better pass out the buckets and get busy; this is one of the few "clean up the environment" things we can do to these days that makes more money than it costs.

Hey Rube!

Sometimes it seems that the Business of Government is primarily to protect us from ourselves. It doesn't help any that lawmakers are measured by the number of bills they introduce. California's Governor Jerry Brown, who is apparently Reading Every Bill lain on his desk, vetoed one recently with the comment, "Not every human problem deserves a law." When our lawmakers' staff (who actually run the government's legislative branch) are zealously spewing out proposed legislation, take a tip from Jerry: look over your representative's broad shoulders and see how many of those bills should simply be Round-Filed. And say so.

The Week's News

CEC Energy Innovation Small Grants Include Biopower and Biofuels Projects The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded twelve grants totaling $985,490 from the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) division's Energy Innovation Small Grants (EISG) program, including two grants of $95,000 each supporting research and development of biomass energy and fuels processing sub-systems. 10/08/2011


EPA Forms Biogenic CO2 Emissions Panel and Schedules First Public Meeting The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) has formed an ad hoc Panel to review the draft Accounting Framework for Biogenic CO2 Emissions from Stationary Sources submitted by the Office of Atmospheric Programs (OAP) in September 2011. 10/08/2011


First Reserve Makes €300 Million Strategic Investment in Abengoa

International firm Abengoa has announced an equity investment of €300 million (about USD 398 million) by First Reserve Corporation (FRC). FRC will initially receive over 17 million Class B unlisted shares of new equity for an investment of €17.5 per share, plus a position on the Board and rights to purchase additional shares over time. 10/08/2011


BioCee Signs License Agreement for Verenium Bio-Desulfurization Technology  Minnesota based BioCee Inc. has signed a commercial agreement with San Diego based Verenium Corporation to purchase assets and license the biocatalyst specialist firm's proprietary organisms and bio-desulfurization technology. 10/07/2011


UK's Institute of Food Research Launches Biorefinery Centre

The Institute of Food Research (IFR) in the United Kingdom has announced the launch of a Biorefinery Centre focused on producing low-carbon footprint transport biofuel in collaboration with Lotus Engineering and other partners. 10/07/2011


Clean Energy Trust Adds $100K Challenge Grand Prize

  Update to our News about the Clean Energy Challenge last month: the Clean Energy Trust (CET) has added a Grand Prize of $100,000 to this year's Challenge, expanding it to include the top student business concept. 10/07/2011


Cyclone's Clean Tech Engine Receives Patents in 10 European Countries Florida's all-fuel clean tech engine specialist Cyclone Power Technologies has received  patents protecting its proprietary reciprocating Rankine cycle engine in ten European countries. 10/06/2011


Biotechnology Company Dyadic Raises $3MM in Convertible Private Placement Dyadic International has announced completion of convertible private placement notes bringing in $3 million for use as working capital including research, development and new product placements. 10/06/2011


Greenleaf Biofuels Secures Full Biodiesel Facility Funding

Connecticut based Greenleaf Biofuels has secured full funding necessary for completing its 10 million gallon per year multiple feedstock biodiesel production facility. 10/06/2011


Shanks Energen JV Opens Food Waste-to-Biogas AD Plant in Scotland The Energen Biogas joint venture (JV) with Shanks Waste Management has officially opened a 60,000 tonne per year anaerobic digestion (AD) facility in Cumbernauld, near Glasgow, Scotland. 10/05/2011


ArborGen Teams with University of Florida on Loblolly Pine for Biofuel Project South Carolina based ArborGen will participate on a University of Florida led research team focused on advancing pine-sourced biofuels. 10/05/2011


ThermoEnergy, ProfiNutrients, Multiform Harvest Partner for Nutrient Recovery Massachusetts company ThermoEnergy have announced a partnership with Netherlands based ProfiNutrient BV for marketing ThermoEnergy's controlled atmosphere separation technology (CAST) ammonia recovery process (ARPTM) in Europe. 10/05/2011


Toyota Lab Develops New High-Production Cellulosic Ethanol Yeast

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) showcased new technology at its Toyota Biotechnology and Afforestation Laboratory in Miyoshi City in the Aichi prefecture, including the development of a new yeast strain for fermentation of biofuel from cellulosic feedstock. 10/04/2011


ISU Researchers Use Fast Pyrolysis to Convert Biomass to Sugar for Biofuels Dr. Robert Brown's engineering laboratory at Iowa State University (ISU) has announced optimization of a thermal conversion technology called Fast Pyrolysis to break down cellulosic feedstock like straw and corn silage to inexpensively turn biomass into what he calls "pyrolytic molasses." 10/04/2011


Gevo Will Supply Alcohol-to-Jet Fuel to US Air Force for Testing

Colorado-based Gevo has been awarded a contract by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to supply biofuel for a US Air Force (USAF) program of jet engine testing and flight feasibility demonstration. 10/04/2011


Anaerobic Ammonium Oxidation Converts Urine to Rocket Fuel Researchers at the Water and Wetlands Institute of Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands report success in determining the molecular mechanism called anammox (anaerobic ammonium oxidation) that converts ammonia to hydrazine, a compound used as rocket fuel, N2H4. 10/03/2011


International Team Identifies Heat Tolerant Fungi for Biofuels Production An international team of scientists has anounced collaborative results comparing two temperature tolerant (thermophyllic) fungi whose enzymes very efficiently break down cellulose and hemi-cellulose to fermentable simple sugars in elevated temperatures common to industrial biofuels production practices, from 40º to 75º Centigrade. 10/03/2011


Toilet Bike NEO Operates Using On-Board Waste to Biogas AD System Japan's number one toilet maker TOTO has designed a toilet-motorcycle hybrid called Toilet Bike "NEO" that runs entirely on biogas. 10/03/2011

The Week's Action Items

Due 10/25/2011: LOI for USDA Sustainable Bioenergy AFRI Grant

Due 12/15/2011: Proposals for Sustainable Bioenergy AFRI Grant

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) requests proposals for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Sustainable Bioenergy (Sol# USDA-NIFA-AFRI-003536). 10/04/2011


Due 11/17/2011: Proposals to NYSERDA for Biofuels & Bioproducts Development The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has released a Request for Proposals (RFP; reference PON# 2331) "to facilitate the development of innovative and environmentally responsible biomass feedstock technologies and bioproducts, including biofuels, bioproducts used for heat or power production, biochemicals and other bioproducts." 10/04/2011  

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Featured Events:

2011CHP Combined Heat and Power Conference & Trade Show  
October 17-19, 2011
Houston, Texas

Sacramento Clean Tech Showcase 
Clean Tech Showcase
October 24, 2011
Sacramento, California

Global Clean Energy Congress & Exhibition 
Global Clean Energy Congress & Exhibition
November 1-3, 2011
Calgary, Alberta, Canada



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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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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.