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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume II, Issue 43, October 22, 2012 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Heat is a terrible thing to waste. I don't care what sort of fuel you use to make power or what you do with that generated electrical energy. If you're not using the thermal energy, you're throwing away about half of what you make. You can make hot air, hot water, or maybe steam. You can heat a burrito in tin-foil on the car engine manifold (really) while you drive. You can do the Refrigerator Magic thing and use the heat to make cold. You can dry out wet stuff, always a favorite of mine, and you can even make more electricity, pushing that left-over heat through other kinds of generators. There are entire industries set up just to develop Waste Heat projects, but most of the time project developers don't think past the initial Big Deal of making electricity. Not using the available heat is a little like saving the dollar bills and throwing away the pocket change. Have you added that up lately?

When you do something that makes electricity AND uses the excess heat, that's called "combined heat and power" (CHP) and there are more and more governmental incentives to encourage this brand of common sense. There are plenty of federal efforts to promote CHP here in the US, while many states credit the energy efficiency that CHP can accomplish. There is a well-established, albeit very complex, Renewable Heat Incentive program in the United Kingdom (UK) that is currently under refinement, including expansion of a Microgeneration scheme for residential CHP and special perks for using the heat from the treatment, recycling, and energy generated from waste.

A common example globally: manure digesters make biogas that runs an engine to power; the engine jacket and exhaust heat keep the digester perking along at the right temperature for happy microbes. Granted, colder parts of the world seem to figure out how to use excess heat better than those of us in less frosty climes. In Montana this year, the US Forest Service is working with communities to heat and power the first in a series of hospitals using wood fuel pellets made from bug-killed evergreen trees.

You have to wonder why more thermal plants don't take a Baltic hint and set up steam lines under the streets to heat their neighborhoods. Planning in that kind of heat use is cheaper than retrofits when plants, and cities, are first being built. When times are tight enough to warrant holding onto that excess heat "change", there usually aren't enough bucks to cover the added expense. Part of the problem is siting: a Thermal Plant usually isn't where there's a close-by need for heating and cooling. And part of it is just not really caring about that loose change to be saved by coupling the engines for heat recovery. Given this global economy, we're betting that CHP small change is about to get a whole lot more popular.

Hey Rube!

Look over those UK shoulders at the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive program changes, and then maybe submit your own comments. Open programs like that let the rest of us see the really good ideas, the sorta bad ones, and even the "wish-we-hadn't done that" examples. Check out the Montana CHP project and then dig into other Federally-assisted waste heat recovery and use scenarios and support programs. See if your own state or country kicks a bit of utility fees back to you for incorporating waste heat reuse. The CHP tools are there for all scales of projects from homes to hospitals, farms to cities. Print shirts: "Save the Heat!"  

The Week's News

Biodico and Navy Sign Renewable Energy and Fuel Optimization Agreement

California based Biodico, Inc (formerly Biodiesel Industries) has announced signing a new agreement with the US Navy for joint development and evaluation of renewable energy, fuels, and products for use on US Department of Defense (DoD) facilities. 10/21/2012

German Environment Ministry Releases GreenTech Made in Germany Atlas 3.0

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment has announced the release an atlas of German providers of environmental technologies called the “GreenTech made in Germany 3.0", updating earlier versions in 2007 and 2009. 10/21/2012

San Juan County, Washington Considers Gasification at Solid Waste Facility

San Juan County, Washington, closed acceptance of submissions to its Request for Proposals for San Juan Island municipal solid waste (MSW) services and operations on October 1, 2012 and has now posted all documents received from the two interested parties. 10/21/2012 

LCFS Considers Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels Benchmark Studies

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Sustainability Workgroup continues to hold meetings to develop a work plan of sustainability provisions for use in implementing the LCFS regulation. 10/19/2012

Olinda Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project Opens with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Broadrock Renewables LLC has announced a ribbon cutting ceremony today hosted in partnership with the County of Orange to inaugurate the new 32.5 MW landfill gas-to-energy generating facility at the County’s Olinda Alpha Landfill in Brea, California. 10/19/2012

European Commission Gives Stamp of Approval to UK's Green Investment Bank

The European Commission (EC) has announced approval of the United Kingdom's (UK) Green Investment Bank (GIB), finding the new funding mechanism to be in line with European Union "state aid" rules. 10/18/2012 

European Commission Proposes to Limit Global Land Conversion for Biofuels

The European Commission (EC) has released notice of a proposal intended to reduce the climate impacts of biofuel production. 10/17/2012

RTI International Building Energy Technology Development Facility for Biofuels

North Carolina based RTI International has announced start of construction on a 3,000 square ft energy technology development facility on the firm's Research Triangle Park campus. 10/17/2012

Raízen Group Selects Iogen for Brazilian Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

Canadian cellulosic ethanol developer Iogen Corporation has announced its selection by Brazilian sugarcane ethanol giant Raízen Group as the core technology for a commercial scale cellulosic ethanol production facility, and committed in initial investment to develop a commercial cellulosic ethanol plant in Brazil. 10/16/2012

Rayonier Mill Secures PPA with Florida Public Utilities for Biomass Power

Rayonier Performance Fibers, LLC has reached a 10-year, 22.5 megawatt electric power purchase agreement (PPA) with Florida Public Utilities Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation. 10/15/2012

US Forest Service and Montana Hospital Partner on Bioenergy Project

The US Forest Service has announced a partnership with Mineral Community Hospital in Superior, Montana to develop and supply feedstock for a biomass fueled combined heat and power (CHP) project at the hospital. 10/15/2012

LanzaTech to Convert Petronas' Waste CO2 into Sustainable Chemicals

New Zealand based LanzaTech has announced a development and commercialization agreement with the Malaysian national oil company Petronas to produce sustainable chemicals from emissions-sourced carbon dioxide (CO2) and natural gas. 10/15/2012

The Week's Action Items

Due 12/03/2012: Midwest Applications for 2013 Clean Energy Challenge

The Clean Energy Trust has announced that it is now accepting applications for the 2013 Clean Energy Challenge for researchers, students, and entrepreneurs headquartered in the Midwestern United States. 10/17/2012

Due 12/07/2012: Comments to DECC's Renewable Heat Incentive Consultations

The United Kingdom's (UK) Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is seeking comments on revisions planned for the country's Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) launched in March 2011. 10/19/2012

Due 12/28/2012: Comments on Scotland's Recyclate Quality Action Plan

The Scottish Government has released a consultation paper on its proposed Recyclate Quality Action Plan and is seeking stakeholder comment by December 28, 2012. 10/16/2012

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Featured Events:

SCWMF Annual Conference & Exhibit -
SCWMF Annual
Conference & Exhibit

Pomona, California
November 7, 2012

 2nd Annual Waste Conversion Congress - West Coast
Waste Conversion Congress
West Coast

Long Beach, CA Nov 28-29, 2012

Recommended Reading:

"Waste-to-Energy, Second Edition: Technologies
and Project Implementation" by Marc J Rogoff and Francois Screve

Municipal Solid Waste to Energy Conversion Processes: Economic, Technical, and Renewable Comparisons by Gary C Young

"Municipal Solid Waste to Energy Conversion Processes: Economic, Technical, and Renewable Comparisons" by Gary C Young


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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.