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 6 -  April 4, 2011 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú") 
Teru's Trash Talk 

Don’t look now and for goodness sake, don’t say anything about it …but maybe we’re seeing something of a Spring not only in the weather, but in our Waste Conversion industry. Money seems to be shaking loose of its catatonic state …and it is the large corporations that are aggressive, not the fancy hedge houses. Big Waste Management, Big Air Transport, Big Petroleum … getting a little pushy out there, sinking a few million here, another bundle there, cornering small companies with exciting new technologic twists. “You can make fuel from …what?”


Clean and economical conversion of mixed and wildly contaminated municipal “waste” into various commodities may, or may not, be something you consider “renewable”, but I’d bet that it is “sustainable”. There doesn’t seem to be anybody really getting serious about not throwing stuff away. Zero Waste still means, mostly, figuring out what to do with stuff after someone has tossed it in the Can. Yep, we need to extend Manufacturer Responsibility. We need to rethink Packaging. We always need somebody else to take charge, so we can continue buying and tossing, buying and tossing. I’m Ready to Change …as long as I’m not Inconvenienced.


So until I see people carrying tomatoes to the check-out counter in their stretched out apron, instead of putting ‘em in one of those handy film-plastic baggies, I’ll still be rooting for plastics conversion. Until you get your burger and fries on a banana leaf instead of in a greasy paper bag, I’ll be boosting for sending that biogenic fraction to make thermal energy. Until we take buckets of restaurant food waste home with us instead of Doggie Bags with just the good stuff, I want to see food waste going into anaerobic digesters, making biomethane.


Just one more thing: When I go, I don’t want a burial, and I don’t want to be cremated. I want to be gasified.


Hey Rube!


There are apparently about 15,000 patents sitting idle in our National Labs, developed on our taxpayer dollars, and held onto by our federal government. This ludicrous situation somehow came to the attention of the Obama administration, and Somebody Up There decided to Do something about it: enter program from stage right, “ America’s Next Top Energy Innovator”.


Sell the rights to those little patented idea gems for a pittance ($1,000 instead of the usual $10,000 to $15,000), and make it a whole lot easier to work with the Labs, too. Take a look at our DOE news item. Sometime next month, a whole trunk full of those energy-related patents are going to be up for grabs until December. Better get in line…


The Week's News


NY’s North Hempstead Ready for Waste Grease to Biodiesel Program  The Town Council of North Hempstead in New York (NY) has announced plans to collect restaurant cooking grease and make biodiesel. 04/03/2011


Construction Begins on First THÖNI NATURGAS Plant in UK

THÖNI and Agrigen Ltd. have signed an agreement for the first “Naturgas” biogas plant in the United Kingdom (UK). 04/03/2011


Two New Patents Approved on ARC’s GDiesel Production

Nevada  based Advanced Refining Concepts (ARC) has announced the US Patent and Trademark Office approval of two new patents that strengthen their production of GDiesel. 04/02/2011


Coffee Grounds to Biodiesel Precursor Methyl Ester in One (Easier) Step   The Royal Chemistry Society (RCS) has announced a breakthrough in production of methyl esters, precursors for biodiesel, from spent coffee grounds. 04/02/2011


Scotland’s Stirling Council Turning Food Waste to Biogas

Mansfield, UK based Monsal Limited has announced their processing train of enzymatic hydrolysis to anaerobic digestion (AD) is now turning 26,000 homes' worth of food waste that had previously been landfilled to biogas. 04/02/2011


Ethanol Plant’s Waste Water Gets a Reprieve

Ethanol facilities generate waste, too. R3 Fusion has announced delivery of their first ethanol recovery system to a 50 million gallon per year ethanol plant. 04/01/2011


Synthesis Energy Receives $83.8MM Chinese Funding

Houston-based Synthesis Energy has announced an investment agreement with China Energy Industry Holding Group Co., Limited (" China Energy") for US $83.8 million. 04/01/2011


DOE Eases Patent and National Lab Access

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced launch of a new program designed to dramatically lower the cost of acquiring federal patent rights. 03/31/2011


Weltec Begins Construction on Biopower Plant in Hessia

German company Weltec Biopower has begun construction on a large biogas to grid project in the new nation of Hessia, established in 2007. 03/30/2011


Pilot Waste to Energy Project in Romania Receives Construction Funding   TransGlobal Assets has announced provision of $500,000 to its joint venture partner, India-base Helios Inc. for construction of a 250 kilowatt electric (kWe) biomass waste pilot project for the Romanian municipality of Acatari. 03/30/2011


SNV World Completes Preliminary Design for Remote Peruvian Biogas Project   The Netherlands humanitarian organization SNV World has announced completion of preliminary design for community biogas generation systems as part of a feasibility study for the isolated community of Santa Rosillo in the Peruvian Amazon. 03/30/2011


Neste Oil Secures R&D Funding for Renewable Fuel Development

Scandinavian Neste Oil has announced an agreement with Nordic Investment Bank for a €50 million loan to fund further research on extending the range of renewable raw materials used in producing biodiesel. 03/28/2011


The Week's Action Items


Due 05/03/2011: DOE Funding Applications for Advanced Biofuels Projects   The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced they are accepting applications for up to $12 million in funding available over the next three to four years to assist as many as five laboratory or small pilot-scale projects that support the development of advanced biofuels. 04/03/2011


Due 05/20/2011: Applications for Study for Renewables on Contaminated Sites   The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced their 2011 Request for Applications for the agency’s initiative, RE-Powering America’s Land: Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land and Mine Sites. 03/28/2011


Due 05/26/2011: Proposals for Clean Energy Technologies in New York State   The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) invites Round 1 proposals for projects that research, develop, demonstrate or commercialize innovative technologies that provide an energy benefit to a Clean Energy Technology manufacturing process in New York State. 03/28/2011


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