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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume II, Issue 30, July 23, 2012 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

California Law says:

Recycling = Collect > Clean > Treat > Reconstitute > Raw Materials.

Consider the last half of that process, and what it takes to complete the Cycle from being a waste, to being a raw material ready for the marketplace. Almost everything should be able to be Recycled back into being something useful, if it is just handle it right. This raises different questions: What is "Post-Recycling Residual", what's left, and why, and aren't there clean ways to make use of THAT, instead of just dumping it?

One example is post-recycling Plastic waste. New sensors and auto-sorting systems mean almost every kind of plastic can be separated, ground up, and turned into little plastic pellets. Collected plastics that get that  far can be reconstituted with a bit of heat and pressure right back into that same sort of useful plastic again. Over and over, carefully recovered plastics can be remade, same-to-same. Yet once different polymers have been mixed and melted or end up as fine gritty granules, the best sorters and sensors out there won't easily separate that stuff by type. If the nearest reconstituting plant means releasing 3,000 miles of transport emissions just to make another throw-away plastic container, maybe that pathway isn't a Highest and Best Use, and it doesn't make the grade. Either way, the results are Post-Recycling Residuals that are going to need a lot more work to "reconstitute".

There are choices. It is possible to take apart and reconstitute that mixed Post-Recycling Residual Plastic at the molecular level, separating the vapors and reforming them into discrete chemicals that are "Ready for the Marketplace". The new systems are out there, but they are darn hard to commercialize and permit, at least in California, and plants with thermal depolymerization, pyrolysis, and gasification capabilities are few and far between. Another possibility is packing it off to a state-of-the art Waste to Energy plant, and use those high-energy molecules to make heat to drive electricity generation. Great fuel and a heck of a lot cleaner to work with than coal. But by far, the most commonly used approach for dealing with Post-Recycling Residuals is to let 'em go to the landfill.  

Hey Rube!

Keep an eye on where California's new AB 341 mandatory commercial recycling program meets the Air Resources Board's (ARB) on-going regulatory process for assigning carbon intensity values (CIs) to refineries that can make Low Carbon Fuels. The Rules say LCFS pathways need to be analyzed using Life Cycle Analyses (LCA), tallying up all the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from "well to wheel". When the feedstock is Waste separated for Recycling and the end-product is a Low Carbon Fuel, it is still necessary to account for the impacts of all the steps in between. It doesn't help to not count GHGs generated from trucking those recycled materials to the refinery. If the entire pathway isn't subject to monitoring, how can the ARB and CalRecycle complete the LCA and come up with a credible CI for the fuel produced?

The Week's News

Imtech Receives EUR 620MM Contract for Warsaw Sustainable Adventure Park

Netherlands based Imtech NV has signed a EUR 620 million contract for development of a sustainable theme park in Warsaw, Poland. 07/20/2012

Clariant Opens Germany's Largest Cellulosic Ethanol Plant in Straubing

Swiss chemicals company Clariant announced the inauguration today of its EUR 28 million cellulosic biomass to biofuel plant at the Bavarian BioCampus in Straubing. 07/20/2012

US Navy and California Celebrate Clean Energy for the Great Green Fleet

The California Energy Commission (CEC) joined state business leaders and the US Navy to celebrate Sacramento Navy Week today on the steps of the Capitol. 07/19/2012

California Starts Reallocation on Qualified Energy Conservation Bond Funding

The California Debt Limit Allocation Committee (CDLAC) begins reallocation of Qualified Energy Conservation Bond (QECB) funding this week, where allocations have not been utilized. 07/19/2012

University of Wisconsin Researchers Receive Biofuels Patent

The University of Wisconsin (UW), Stevens Point campus has announced that researchers at the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology (WIST) have been granted a patent using an aqueous solvent to separate biomass into pure fractions of lignin and cellulose. 07/19/2012

MVV Energie AG Secures EUR 200 Million for UK Energy from Waste Plant

Germany based MVV Energie AG has announced that the KfW IPEX-Bank and the Swedish Svenska Handelsbanken will provide financing of approximately EUR 200 million for construction of an energy-from-waste (EfW) facility in Plymouth, Southeast England, United Kingdom. 07/18/2012

DOE Launches Energy Technology Cost and Performance Database

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the addition of a new public database providing cost and performance estimates for electric generation, advanced vehicles and renewable fuel technologies. 07/18/2012

Dyadic Demonstrates Performance of New Biofuels Enzyme

Florida-based Dyadic International has unveiled its latest biofuels enzyme advancement, AlternaFuel® CMAX3™.07/18/2012

European Commission Launches Bio-Based Industries Consultation

The European Commission initiated a new public consultation last week called, "Bio-based industries: Towards a Public-Private Partnership under Horizon 2020." 07/18/2012

Update: CalRecycle 5-Yr Permit Review Workshop Agenda Available 

In our 07/15/2012 news, we reported that the CalRecycle 5-year Permit Review Workshop scheduled for July 24, 2012 would cover AB 341's changes to the reporting process. The Workshop Agenda has now been posted. 07/17/2012

ESA Releases Best Management Practices for Landfill Gas Capture and Use

The Environmental Services Association (ESA), trade association for the United Kingdom's (UK) waste and secondary resources management services, has announced a new code of practice designed to increase renewable electricity production from landfill gas at landfills. 07/17/2012

General Motors Tests MagneGas Waste-Sourced Metal-Working Fuel

Florida-based MagneGas has announced that General Motors (GM) is testing the company's metal-working fuel at GM's Grand Blanc Weld & Tool Center in Flint, Michigan. 07/17/2012

Codexis Restarts Enzyme Biocatalyst Negotiations with Royal Shell

Codexis now announced entering a 45 day Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with Royal Dutch Shell that could grant Codexis world-wide licensing and sales rights in the biofuels field. 07/17/2012

USFS Forest Products Lab Opens NanoCellulose Pilot Plant

The US Forest Service's (USFS) Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) in Madison, Wisconsin is celebrating the Grand Opening of its $1.7 million NanoCellulose Pilot Plant on July 25, 2012. 07/17/2012

Protabit Awarded NSF SBIR Phase I for Cellulase Enzyme Development

Protabit LLC, a Pasadena spin-off from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), has announced its selection by the National Science Foundation for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant of about $150,000. 07/16/2012

Soma Selects GE Waukesha Engines for Cambodian Rice Hull to Energy Project

GE has announced that the Cambodian industrial leader Soma Group has selected GE's Waukesha VHP Series gas engine systems for a new biomass to energy project using rice hulls as feedstock. 07/16/2012 

The Week's Action Items

Due 09/28/2012: Applications to Connecticut Clean Energy for CHP Projects

The Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) announced release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking to assist in development of combined heat and power (CHP) projects. 07/20/2012

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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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