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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume I, Issue 35, October 24, 2011 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

A lot has happened to California waste management oversight over the last, oh, 22 years since the passage of the Integrated Waste Management Act. Since 2003, maybe, a lot of us have been saying that much of those regs need a good going over. Watch closely now, because the Working Brains in the state agency are now at the task and clearly making progress. A statewide Program Enviromental Impact Assessment for anaerobic digestion is on the way and before the PEIR tome is even completely Legal, a whole lot of municipalities are finding it very Useful. Now, staff has lain out a dozen Issues they believe need to be reconsidered for changes the underlying Regs, areas that in many cases have been burrs under the state-wide waste management saddle since the Act blossomed. Over the next month or so, core staff has got the tweezers and the magnifying glass busy, teasing out those untenable Gorgon’s knots. It’s a lesson for everyone: the mess we have gotten our collective selves into isn’t simple, but it IS fixable. We just have to check our precepts, pick up our tools, and get started.


So, speaking of precepts, let’s check a few of the more interesting corners we’ve painted ourselves into. For example: Is “recycling” still Good and Clean when we bundle up the stuff we pick outta the trash and then ship it off the continent? Why is it OK to require all sorts of quality controls on Composting, but ignore the same organics when the only handling applied is to grind it up? Or, why CAN’T we make Food Waste Soup and add it to digesters, if the World now knows it accomplishes better biogas production? And … If the gritty crud that comes off the conveyor belts in a Materials Recovery Facility STILL contains 50%+ organics as well as reclaimable glass, plastic and even precious metal, why is it still headed straight for the Landfill? Try this: What is wrong with permitting a waste conversion “process” that recovers useful goods and is Clearly Not Disposal, within a permitting category called Processing? Tangled and conflicting regulations, Rules that we have all built, or perhaps allowed to be built for us, layer upon layer with surely excellent intentions but not enough common sense. Time for a thorough House Cleaning. 

Hey Rube!

The Sacramento Clean Tech Showcase is taking place on Monday (that's today!), October 24, 2011 at Sacramento State University. Teru will be one of the featured speakers for the "Renewable Biofuels" session. Tickets are available at the door if you don't have yours.

The Week's News

Pacific Ethanol Contracted to Run ZeaChem’s Oregon Biorefinery

California company Pacific Ethanol has announced a contract between the firm’s Management Services subsidiary (Pacific Services) and Colorado based ZeaChem to provide operations, maintenance and accounting services for the firm’s 250,000 gallon per year advanced biofuel refinery in Boardman, Oregon. 10/23/2011


Amyris Signs MOU with Brazilian ETH Bioenergia for Biofene Production  California’s Amyris, Inc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Brazilian biofuel and biochemical producer ETH Bioenergia, a subsidiary of Odebrecht S.A., with the intent to form a joint venture (JV) for production of Amyris’ Biofene®.  10/23/2011


University Researchers Characterize High-Lignin Biomass Feedstock Pyrolysis  Researchers from the Department of Horticulture and the Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, and the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts have published their work on the identification and characterization of compounds produced during pyrolysis of high-lignin biomass feedstock10/23/2011


Korean Award Honors Waste to Bioenergy Research

National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) Professor Wen-Teng Wu has been honored with a Research Exchange Award from the Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering (KSBB) for his work promoting international collaboration among Asian countries for biotechnology development. 10/21/2011


Neste Oil Wins Top 2011 International BioFuels Technology Award for Jet Fuel  Finland’s Neste Oil has received first place at the International Biofuels 2011 Awards as Biofuels Technology of the Year, recognizing the company’s successful development of the NExBTL aviation fuel platform. 10/21/2011


Ferrum College Starts Construction on Waste Biomass Boiler for New CHP Facility  Virginia’s Ferrum College has begun construction on a biomass boiler for its new biomass fueled combined heat and power (CHP) facility, called the English Biomass Energy and Research Complex (designed by the Richmond, Virginia firm English Boiler and Tube, Inc). 10/21/2011


CalRecycle Plans Cleanup of Waste Management Regulations

At an informal afternoon workshop following the department’s October 18, 2011 monthly meeting, Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle ) staff presented a suite of twelve key Issues regarding inadequacies and conflicts within the State’s Title 14 and Title 27 regulatory areas, along with potential approaches for developing draft changes to address the conflicts. 10/21/2011


Cyclone Power Successfully Tests All-Fuel Waste Heat Engine

A major step toward commercialization has been announced by Florida-based Cyclone Power Technologies, with successful testing of the firm’s all-fuel Waste Heat Engine WHE-25 in partnership with Phoenix Power Group LLC. 10/20/2011


AB 341 Moves Proposed Regs for Mandatory Commercial Recycling to CalRecycle On the second day of the California Air Resources Board (ARB) public hearing scheduled for October 20 and 21, 2011, staff of the ARB and the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) will provide the ARB with an update on how requirements of Assembly Bill (AB) 341 will now fit with the ARB’s implementation of AB 32. 10/19/2011


California DFA Schedules Inedible Material (Food Waste) Disposal Workshop  The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Meat, Poultry and Egg Safety Branch (MPES) will meet on October 27, 2011 to discuss the current regulatory framework related to handling meat-based food waste and kitchen grease. 10/19/2011


Abengoa to Construct $120MM Integrated Biorefinery in Uruguay

The international sustainable development company Abengoa will construct a US $120 million integrated biorefinery for Alcoholes del Uruguay (ALUR) in the Department of Paysandú, Uruguay. 10/18/2011


BenchMark Energy Corporation to Acquire 49% of Energy Partners

Newly formed Texas renewable energy company BenchMark Energy Corporation has announced an agreement to acquire 49% of Indiana-based Energy Partners LLC with an option to purchase the remaining 51%. 10/18/2011


Maersk Line and US Navy to Use Emsys to Test Marine Biofuels Emissions  Maersk Line, has selected Virginia-based W.R. System’s Emsys™ laser-based emissions monitoring system (EMS) in its collaboration with the US Navy to test emissions of marine biofuels for long-term use. 10/18/2011


Envergent and Green Fuel Nordic Sign MOU for Biomass to Biofuels in Finland Envergent Technologies LLC has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Finland’s Green Fuel Nordic Oy to collaborate on conversion of forest biomass residues to liquid fuel. 10/17/2011

The Week's Action Items

Due 11/30/2011: Proposals to Maryland for Renewable Energy from Animal Waste Maryland’s Department of General Services (DGS) has announced release of  request for proposal (RFP) #001IT818620 to generate renewable energy from animal waste as part of the state’s Clean Bay Power project, an effort to increase renewable energy while reducing nutrient run-off into the Chesapeake Bay. 10/17/2011



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Featured Events:

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.