You are receiving this email because you signed up at our web site or have an interest in our content. If you no longer wish to receive our emails, you may unsubscribe by clicking the link at the end of this email.

View  this email in your browser.
If you received it from someone else,
subscribe so you can have your own.
Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume II, Issue 20, May 14, 2012 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

I'd like to pick on somebody new today… I know! Since its Plant-a-Garden time, how about we pick on the companies that grind up wood into mulch, put it in a bag, and sell it as Compost? Compost, well-made rich degraded organic material that has reached equilibrium in its balance of carbon and nitrogen and has been "cured" to kill off all the nasties, is a very good thing. Yet properly processed Compost is one thing, and minimally processed Mulch is quite another, and there doesn’t seem to be a good line between the two, especially when sold in bags to inattentive would-be gardeners. Is that a problem? Well, yeah, and here's how the story goes: microbes eat organics, and leave behind good stuff for building up soil and planting our veggies. It takes moisture and it takes the right balance of carbon molecules and nitrogen molecules to really get a good Organics Feast going. But it also takes time, and if you hurry the process too much, like stuffing that ground-up woody mulch in a bag before the microbial conversion team is done, you get "unfinished compost", or organics that continue to degrade on the way to your garden. Still, this shouldn't be a problem, right? Wrong.

Now, just suppose that company uses Poop to add the nutrients to the woody carbon, manure with all those curious and sometimes deadly poop-microbe thingies still in it. That's excellent, if managed right. Compost, done right, kills off all those "pathogens". Done wrong, the Poop Supplier simply is out-sourcing management of their beasties to us, in our homes and gardens. And there's another cruel trick that accompanies poor processing of poop-rich, ground-up wood. You see, after the voracious bacterial beasties have their Day on the Heap, Fungus gets a turn. Fungus tends to like a drier pile than the other microbial break-down crew members. But a funny thing happens when THEY get hurried along, forced to dry too fast, and sealed in plastic. They continue to eat, and they do the Spore thing: they quick-like put up myriad almost-mushrooms, and make a few gazillion Spore Babies in that bag, waiting … for silly, cheap Customers (like me) who will buy what LOOKS like mature, finished Compost. And take it home. And cut the bag open. And spend the next few happy hours on our knees planting veggies in the garden patch, with our hands and faces right down in that interesting almost-compost. Buyer Beware.

Hey Rube!

Keep an eye on the Canadians these days, specifically those focused on how to salvage their flagging Timber industry. After a decade or so of down prices and minimal maintenance, Big Problems are showing up, blowing up mills, and doing in good souls (our condolences, to our northern neighbors). But some of those plants Get It. They figure, if they can ship timber out by rail, they can ship biofuels and bioproducts. They’ve already got the supply chain established, and have big investments in iron and wires. The transition from timber only to multi-product has already taken place, for many mills that make both paper and boards. Now, the leaders are raising money and integrating Conversion, eating up all the mill residues and turning liabilities into assets. Who knows? Perhaps the old god Timber might have to take a back seat to biofuels … or at the very least, share the log deck.

The Week's News

Iowa Energy Center Awards 3 Grants for Thermal Biomass Conversion

Iowa State University's Iowa Energy Center has announced the award of three grants to university research teams, all focused on the thermochemical conversion of biomass to biofuels and biochemicals. 05/13/2012

DOE Biofuels Pathway Analysis Favors Fast Pyrolysis for Green Gasoline

Last month, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Biomass Program released a little-heralded presentation entitled "Biofuel Design Cases", following its presentation to the office's Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDi). 05/11/2012

Emerald Biofuels Licenses Honeywell Green Diesel for New Louisiana Plant

Illinois based Emerald Biofuels LLC has agreed to license Honeywell's Eni Ecofining biodiesel production technology for its new 85 million gallon per year drop-in biodiesel plant, "Emerald One." 05/11/2012

EdeniQ Secures $30MM+ to Advance Biomass Pre-Treatment for Biofuels

California's biomass feedstock pre-treatment specialist EdeniQ has announced a successful funding round, securing over $30 million in combined equity and debt financing. 05/11/2012

California Energy Commission Approves RPS Guidebook Changes

The California Energy Commission unanimously voted to adopt the Lead Commissioner Carla Peterman's proposed changes to the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Eligibility Guidebook and to the Overall Guidebook during its Business Meeting on May 9, 2012. 05/11/2012

BioTork & NCERC Succeed in Breeding New Xylose-Converting Yeast

Florida-based BioTork LLC has announced that the first stage of practical research has successfully used adaptive evolution techniques to optimize a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) genetically modified yeast strain to ferment the C5 sugar D-xylose at high rates. 05/08/2012

Brazilian Researchers Convert Biodiesel Refinery Waste to Commodity

A collaborative research team from several Brazilian universities has released a pre-publication paper in the journal Biotechnology for Biofuels describing successful microbial conversion of the complex wastes of biodiesel refining to form high-value products. 05/08/2012

Alter NRG Converts Waste to Syngas to Replace Fuel Oil in Coen Boilers

The Canadian company Alter NRG Corp, owners of the Westinghouse Plasma technology, has announced successful completion of syngas testing with Coen Company Inc., a global leader in design and manufacture of combustion systems. 05/08/2012

Xebec Completes Successful Testing for High N2 and O2 Removal from Biogas

Canadian gas upgrading and purification specialist Xebec Adsorption Inc announced successful completion of initial phase testing for the removal of high concentrations of nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2) from both landfill and wastewater treatment biogas. 05/08/2012

US Forest Service PNW Station Debuts Forest Research Podcast Service

Anyone seeking to better understand modern national forest research and management in the western US has a new information source. The Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW Station) has launched "PNW Ecotone", a podcast series supported with on-line images, a full transcript and background materials. 05/07/2012

Fibrek Mill Signs PPA with Hydro-Québec for 33.23 MWe Bioenergy

The Canadian pulp and paper company Fibrek has announced entering a new renewable power purchase agreement with Hydro-Québec Distribution for sale of 33.23 megawatts of bioenergy, generated at its Saint-Félicien mill. 05/07/2012

IEP Partners with Government of Haiti for 30 MWe Waste-to-Energy

Pennsylvania-based International Electric Power LLC (IEP) has entered into a public-private partnership for municipal waste management and energy recovery with the government of Haiti called Project Phoenix. 05/07/2012

Follow TeruTalk on Twitter
Find Teru Talk on Google+ Like Teru Talk on Facebook!

Teru Talk Home

Current News at Teru Talk
Teru Action Items
TERU Focus Reports

Articles at Teru Talk

Recommended Reading:
The Brilliance of Bioenergy: In Business and Practice
The Brilliance of Bioenergy:
In Business and Practice
by Ralph Sims
 Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes
Garbology: Our
Dirty Love Affair
with Trash
by Edward Humes
Featured Events:

© Copyright 2012 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.

Please do not reply to this email because the mail box is not monitored and we might miss it. If you wish to contact us, please click here:

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.