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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume I, Issue 42, December 12, 2011 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Here's a shaker: We, the Human species, are Energy Addicts. Not necessarily Oil addicts, just any ol' Energy will do. And we're not about to change, just clamor for more as our numbers rise. The "smarter" we get and the more sophisticated the Third World becomes, the faster the demand for energy will increase. Are we running outta oil? Probably; well, most certainly, sooner or later. Should we all just up and change over to fracked natural gas? Clean Coal? Nuclear? Green Energy? Not likely to happen, and certainly not overnight. The truth is, we probably need a little of everything we can get our hands on just to feed this Energy Addiction, 'cause the Energy DTs are nothing we want to see on a global basis. All that whining and groveling …but like anything else addictive, it isn't the fault of the substance, it's how we use it.


So let's just focus on Waste Conversion and how well we can make more electricity, fuels, and chemicals from the stuff we've been throwing away. As with everything we do, we can do it clean, or we can do it down and dirty. Is a Gasifier nasty? Well, if you don't keep the temperatures right and forget to attend to the residence time, the feedstock breaks down into stuff you really don't want to cope with. Anaerobic Digestion? Hey, we're now training absolutely Deadly Bugs to ferment sugar straight into drop-in fuels, and I'll guarantee that we'd better keep the pipes clean on those systems. How about Composting? Yeah, it has its own problems too when done poorly. We're in a learning curve, and it takes time to go from a rock and bailing wire to moon-shots. Now, I coaxed a jeep out of the panhandle of Texas with a well-shaped rock and a length of clothes-hanger wire, so don't knock the simple tools. Try it, modify it, try it again, and each time strive to make the thing work cleaner, leaner, more efficiently. ISO 9001 calls it "Continual Improvement."


An example? Let's pick on Incineration (everyone else does). In its simplest form, Incineration means you light a match, step back and let 'er roar, "rendering to ash," but even incineration can be be done cleanly. By comparison, there's Conversion, requiring that you add two key steps: (1) first you make a system that allow you to interrupt the process to test the intermediary products before final use, and then (2) you sample the char, goo, gas or whatever and re-adjust the system to make cleaner end-product. But remember - it's not just having a cool tool: it's how well you operate it.

Hey Rube!

We in the US of A may not be Member States of the European Union (yet), but we can certainly look over their collective shoulder, add our two cents, and maybe learn a thing or two in the process. Numerous open EU programs run concurrently, and the EU Commission is always calling for comments. Yes, sometimes you may need to be Continental, but most of those very transparent "programmes" don't say "No Americans Allowed". If you are working on BioChar and the UK is making up BioChar standards, it just makes sense that you should watch what's going on. Teru Talk takes the position we ALL need to be engaged, and we try to serve up the "Programmes" needing our input, US, UK, EU or wherever.

The Week's News

Tox21 Robot Ready to Screen 10,000 Chemicals for Health and Green Chemistry  Understanding chemical toxicity in pursuit of "Green Chemistry" moves forward with the announcement that Tox21 is beginning to test 10,000 chemicals with a high-speed robotic screening system for potential toxicity, including consumer products, food additives, chemicals found in industrial processes, and human and veterinary drugs. 12/11/2011


Mascoma, Valero JV for Hardwood Cellulosic Ethanol Facility in Michigan New Hampshire-based Mascoma Corporation has announced definitive agreements with independent oil refiner and ethanol producer Valero Energy Corporation to develop and operate a 20 million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol facility in Kinross, Michigan. 12/11/2011


Biffa and Wetherspoon Pubs to Expand Food Waste Recycling Trials

United Kingdom (UK) waste management company Biffa has announced expansion of a long-standing partnership with one of the largest of the country's restaurant and pub companies, JD Wetherspoon (JDW), to conduct food waste connection and recycling trials. 12/11/2011


California ARB Releases Final Draft LCFS 2011 Program Review Report California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has released the Final Draft of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard 2011 Program Review Report, which was submitted to the ARB as mandated by Section 95489 of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulations. 12/08/2011


Rainier Biogas Dairy Manure AD Plant Schedules Groundbreaking

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for the Rainier Biogas Dairy Manure Digester Project on December 12, 2011 at the Ritter Dairy just outside Enumclaw, King County, Washington. 12/08/2011


MagneGas Expands Presence to Michigan for Syngas Production and Operations Florida based MagneGas Corporation announced expansion of production and operations into Michigan with lease of an industrial complex in Rochester Hills for installation of a large 300 kWh MagneGas refinery by January 2012. 12/08/2011


AeroThermal's Autoclave-to-AAD Project Approved for Devon County Waste On November 30, 2011, the Devon County Council granted planning approval for AAD (South West) Ltd, a subsidiary of British engineering firm AeroThermal Group (ATG), to develop a non-hazardous commercial and industrial (C&I) Waste conversion facility in Lee Moor, South Devon. 12/08/2011


Spanish Researcher Extracts PHAs for Bioplastics from Olive Skin Residues The Spanish olive oil Denomination of Origin (DO) Sierra de Sigura has announced that Jesus Zorilla, a researcher assisting the DO's regulatory board, has successfully extracted the bioplastic precursor polymer polyhydroxy alcanoate (PHA) from oil mill olive skin residues in collaboration with the lab of the 10 Potosi S.A. olive oil mill. 12/05/2011


UN's FAO Releases "Energy Smart Food" Issue Paper

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has published an Issue Paper entitled, "Energy Smart Food for People and Climate", utilizing detailed analyses of per-country and global food production demand for energy, emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG) and economics. 12/05/2011

The Week's Action Items

Due 12/23/2011: Comments on CEC's 2011 Integrated Energy Policy Report The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released a preliminary draft of its 2011 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) for public comment (docket number 11-IEP-1A). The CEC adopts an IEPR every two years with an update every other year. 12/06/2011


Due 12/23/2011: Comments to ARB on Changes to Carbon Intensity Lookup Tables The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has released a Notice of Availability with the details of the most recent text modifications for the Carbon Intensity (CI) Lookup Tables as a continuation of the Rulemaking governing the implementation of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). 12/08/2011


Due 12/30/2011: Comments to CEC on Renewable Energy Challenges in CA The California Energy Commission (CEC) is exploring implications of Governor Brown's signing and subsequent passage in April 2011 of legislative mandates that dramatically increase goals for renewable energy development in California, and requiring electric utilities to purchase at least 33% from renewable generators by 2020. 12/08/2011


Due 02/28/2012: Proposals for Implementation of EIBI Bioenergy Demonstrations  The European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative (EIBI) continues close collaboration with the European Commission and Member States. Two Calls have been released by the collaborative on topics to advance the EIBI's 7th Framework Programme (FP7) goals. 12/11/2011


Due 04/03/2012: Proposals for EIBI Commercial Lignocellulosic Ethanol Demo  The European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative (EIBI) continues close collaboration with the European Commission and Member States. Two Calls have been released by the collaborative on topics to advance the EIBI's 7th Framework Programme (FP7) goals. 12/11/2011



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© 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.

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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.