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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume II, Issue 16, April 16, 2012 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Garbology, the study of humans (and sub-humans) by poking through their trash, probably began in earnest around 1987 at the University of Arizona with the work of Professor William Rathje's dump excavations; by now this is a subject covered in college and even K through 12. The field gets a refreshing new Keynote Speaker in Edward Humes, with publication this month of his new tome, Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash. The run-ups are appearing in everything from the Wall Street Journal to the Sierra Club newsletter (even here, friends, in Trash Talk!) and with good reason: Mr. Humes gathers up recent "what's In our garbage" studies and trashes the EPA's annual approach to Municipal Solid Waste in the United States.


Turns out, the EPA's been telling us we toss a bit over 4 pounds of refuse each a day and basing federal policy on that amount, when more thorough Science coming out of Columbia University's Earth & Environmental Engineering program by Garbologist Nick Themelis shows it's more like 7 pounds each, for an astounding 102 tons of trash per person, per lifetime.


Humes has put into national and global context, the trashy but true details of Professor Themelis and BioCycle's most recent (October 2010) State of Garbage in America study. In Hume's weekend essay in the WSJ, he reflects on the news that Trash has become America's leading export, with mountains of our resources constantly leaving the country in shipping containers of used beer cans, plastics, paper and cardboard and electronics. In Mr. Humes' Sierra Club note, he reflects on Themelis' deeper worries: "Among myriad problems created by the incorrect data, he frets, is the false impression that current waste-reduction strategies are working. He argues that the United States needs to follow Europe's lead: The Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden have all but eliminated landfills by combining strong recycling programs with a new generation of low-emission waste-to-energy plants."

Hey Rube!

Cowpower is British Columbia’s non-profit that supports on-farm anaerobic digestion by getting people to sign up for a voluntary 4 cent per kilowatt-hour surcharge, and this great new "crowd funding" idea is working, seriously. But lighten up: In the 1st edition of the Cowpower Newsletter in March, readers were asked to come up with a new sexy name, something other than the "Cowpower Newsletter". Teru suggested "MOOS you Can Use".  


We made it through the grueling cut to become one of the Eight Finalists: "The Reader’s Digestate", "MOOS You Can Use"; "The Digester's Read"; "The Cowpower Current"; "The Gasette Monthly"; "Moo Inject Monthly"; "Moosletter Monthly; and "The Grazing Gazette". In the April edition, Cowpower now asks, "So, which one should we choose? Please email your favorite to   or tweet it to @cowpowerbc by April 30th. Not only could you help us pick the winning name, but if selected, you could win a Cowpower gift package."  


Let Cowpower know Teru Talk readers are watching. Just think of it: Teru Talk names the Cowpower Newsletter! (Uh - wonder what's in the gift bag?)  

The Week's News

Clean World Partners Debuts Food Waste to Energy Plant in Sacramento

Sacramento-based Clean World Partners has  scheduled a public unveiling  at its North Natomas anaerobic digestion (AD) facility for April 19, 2012 that began operations just last month. 04/15/2012


Aston University Funded for Biomass & Waste Conversion to Biofuels Research

The United Kingdom's (UK) Aston University has announced that its Bioenergy Research Group (BERG) has been awarded €510,000 as part of a €10.84m biofuels research project under the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). 04/14/2012


Greenleaf Power Secures 10-year 45 MWe PPA with Imperial Irrigation District

The Imperial Irrigation District (IID) in southern California has announced approval of a ten year power purchase agreement with Greenleaf Power, the new owners of Desert View Power, California's largest biomass plant. 04/14/2012


NASA Invites Journalists to OMEGA Project Show & Tell in San Francisco

The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), Ames Research Center is staging a one-hour guided tour of its Offshore Membrane Enclosure for Growing Algae (OMEGA) project demonstration on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. 04/14/2012


Harvest Power Raises $110MM in Series C Financing Round

Massachusetts based dry fermentation specialist Harvest Power has announced a successful Series C financing round, raising $110 million out of a total offering of $125 million. 04/14/2012


CalRecycle Schedules Urban Organics Residuals Digestion Forum

California's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has announced an all-day forum, "Digesting Urban Organics Residuals: A Forum on Technology, Economics & Permitting", for May 30, 2012 in the Byron Sher Auditorium, CalEPA building, Sacramento. 04/13/2012


Cyclone Power's Chinese Licensee Completes Prototype Engine, Starts Testing

Florida based Cyclone Power Technologies has announced that its Chinese licensee, Great Wall Alternative Power Systems Ltd., has completed fabrication of its first prototype engine, based on Cyclone’s WHE-25 design external-sourced waste heat driven rankine-cycle engine. 04/13/2012


IBI Final Biochar Guidelines Are Available for Review

The International Biochar Initiative (IBI) has made available its final version of the "Standardized Product Definition and Product Testing Guidelines for Biochar That Is Used in Soil", incorporating all received comments (including Teru's) and legal vetting. 04/12/2012


Arisdyne Receives Approval of 2nd Key Biomass Pre-treatment Patent

Ohio-based Arisdyne Systems Inc. has announced approval of a second patent for its methods and equipment used to improve the yield of alcohol that can be produced from a given quantity of feedstock by fermentation. 04/12/2012


CRIBE Invests $6MM for Domtar Mill Wood Waste to Bio-Oil Project

Ontario, Canada based Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE) has announced its investment of $6 million in support of a a new approach to converting waste wood to bio-oil. 04/11/2012


Humboldt County Starts Food Waste Pilot, Prepares AD Facility RFP

The Humboldt Waste Management Authority (HWMA) in northern California   is launching a food waste collection pilot program this week, according to a local press interview with HWMA's project manager Juliette Bohn and CalRecycle's Jacques Franco. 04/11/2012


Elevance, XiMo Advance Bio-sourced Oil to Bio-Product Metathesis

The Illinois-based company Elevance has announced that its partnership with Swiss-based specialty catalyst development firm XiMo AG has resulted in significant advancement of Elevance's biorefinery platform. 04/11/2012


CEC Releases Revised Notice of Awards for Hybrid Generation, DG and CCHP

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released a revised Notice of Proposed Award (NOPA) for proposals submitted to the Program Opportunity Notice (PON-11-507) for Hybrid Generation and Fuel-flexible Distributed Generation (DG), Combined Heat and Power (CHP), and Combined Cooling, Heat and Power (CCHP). 04/10/2012


USDA Grants $5MM to Western Plains Energy for Biogas Plant

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved a $5 million grant to Western Plains Energy, LLC (WPE) to support construction of an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at WPE's ethanol facility in Gove County, Kansas. 04/10/2012

The Week's Action Items

Due 05/01/2012:Pre-Application for SBIR/STTR 2012 Funding Opportunity

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has announced its 2012 Funding Opportunity Notice (DE-FOA-0000715) for Phase I, Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. 04/10/2012


Due 06/07/2012: Letter of Intent to ETI for UK Energy from Waste Demo Plant

The United Kingdom's Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has announced release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking partners for design and construction of an integrated gasification and gas cleanup Energy from Waste (EfW) demonstration plant. 04/13/2012



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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.