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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume II, Issue 49, December 3, 2012 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "TerĂº")  

Teru's Trash Talk

This last month of the year is a time when we all take a big deep breath, make a few last-minute calls and planning meetings, and try to focus on how to hit the ground running right after the New Year. It is also a time we can dispense with some of this year's baggage, learn from the tough lessons and maybe even smile a bit that some evidence of progress is apparent. That's the way of it: some things good, some things bad, some whose cost and value have yet to be determined. For our own societal sanity and security, we need to consider the balances.

For the World of Waste Conversion, we can smile at the growing global recognition that intercepting discards and turning them back into raw materials locally makes more sense than brokering waste overseas. Knowing how much of those resources are shuffled off, and to what end, is the only way we can begin to really understand the flow; you can't manage what you don't count. Watch always for the Highest and Best Use. But like looking for what's been swept under that proverbial rug, when we really ask those tough questions, we best be ready to deal with the answers as there is no Easy Button.

There's light showing through cracks in project permitting as a result of refocusing on regional greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint assessment. The tool of Life Cycle Assessment says we can balance impacts caused by putting in a clean conversion system over here if it is off-setting the greater damage being caused by the older systems over there. Trade-offs are becoming important. Cautiously, Teru Talk is watching how this plays out with California's new Cap & Trade program: Big Polluters help pay for cleaner systems developments. Yet there's no good in wrecking our major industries to benefit the minor ones; any new costs on the balance sheet need to be very critically questioned.

The US Department of Defense has muscled its way to the forefront, promoting all sorts of waste and biomass conversion to energy and especially into non-petroleum fuels. The behemoth machine of the military burns fuel like a firestorm; turning down the tap connected to embattled mid-eastern oilfields just makes sense on so many levels. Like with the Space Program, direct application of deeply funded Science with a Purpose allows for great leaps in our understanding, and in general commercialization. We're now seeing sustainable fuels development come out of the labs, pilots, and demos, and into full scale high volume production; the dollars per gallon may be high, but blood spilt costs far more. Yet remember: this is an energy policy of "All of the Above"; progress we make in waste to fuels, we'll pay for elsewhere.

Gloomy perspectives? Not when we consider the stagnation we're clearly emerging from, for this Waste Conversion for Resource Recovery sector as with just about all other parts of our economy. There's bound to be some burnt batches, but at least we're Cooking (with biofuel)!

Hey Rube!

As Teru Talk watches the flow of start-up funding, we constantly see the National Science Foundation as the source that helps push Good Ideas of Waste Conversion through the early trials and into commercial production. Take a good look at this week's NSF Action Item: the 2013 Small Business Tech Transfer (STTR) solicitation is now open; a Letter of Intent is due the 8th of January with Final Proposals due up to the 6th of February. Gotta play to win.

The Week's News

Resolute Forest Products to Build Industrial Wood Pellet Plant

Quebec based Resolute Forest Products has announced plans to develop an industrial wood pellet manufacturing facility to use residual wood wastes from its Thunder Bay, Ontario sawmill. 12/02/2012

Weltec Biopower Contracts to Build 500 kWe Biogas Plant in France

German company Weltech Biopower has announced signing a contract for a "cooperative agricultural biogas plant" with the French company Methaneo to develop a 500 kilowatt electric (kWe) anaerobic digestion (AD) facility in Saint-Varent, western France. 12/01/2012

Vision Plasma, WTEC in Teaming Discussions on Sludge Conversion

Nevada based Vision Plasma Systems, Inc has provided details of teaming discussions with Waste to Energy Canada (WTEC), integrating Vision Plasma's Arc Master I energy production systems with WTEC's modular waste conversion capabilities. 2/01/2012

OriginOil Licenses Technology for Canadian Oil Sands Waste Conversion

Los Angeles based algae production and waste conversion systems developer OriginOil has announced the second key licensing agreement for its Clean Frac systems, this time targeting waste treatment and resource recovery in the Canadian oil sands market. 12/01/2012

Carbon Sciences to Develop Small-Scale Gas-to-Liquid Fuel Plants

California based Carbon Sciences, Inc has announced its decision to develop "mini-GTL" plants, modular units that can convert relatively small volume streams of waste / stranded natural gas into liquid (GTL) fuels. 12/01/2012

Ameresco's Butte County Landfill Gas to Energy Plant Grand Opening

Massachusetts based Ameresco, Inc has announced a December 5, 2012 ribbon cutting ceremony at the company's new Butte County, California landfill gas to energy plant. 11/29/2012

UK's DECC Launches Energy Bill, Delivers Annual Energy Strategy

Edward Davey, Secretary of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in the United Kingdom, delivers the annual Statement on Energy Policy to Parliament today. 11/29/2012

CleanWorld Schedules Inaugural Open House for 2nd Sacramento Biodigester

California based CleanWorld has announced an open house to celebrate launch of its 2nd organic waste recycling center in the Sacramento region, established in conjunction with the Sacramento South Area Transfer Station. 11/28/2012

GreenAngel Energy Seeks $100K Private Placement

Canadian investment company GreenAngel Energy Corp has announced the launch of a non-brokered private placement to accredited investors to raise a maximum of $100,000 from the issuance of one million units at a price of $0.10 per unit. 11/28/2012 

FortisBC Begins Operation of Landfill Biogas Upgrade Plant for Grid Injection

The Canadian utility FortisBC has announced that raw biogas extracted from the Salmon Arm Landfill will be upgraded and injected into the local natural gas distribution system as the first such project in British Columbia. 11/26/2012

Asian Development Bank Signs $800MM in Loans for Chinese Waste to Energy

The Asian Development Bank has announced four loans of around $200 million each to support waste to energy (WtE) projects in the People's Republic of China (PRC) to subsidiaries of China Everbright International Ltd. 11/26/2012  

The Week's Action Items

Due 01/08/2013: Letter of Intent to NSF for STTR FY-2013 Solicitation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released the Fiscal Year 2013 Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) solicitation, this year focused on Accelerating Sustainability using Enabling Technologies (ASET). 11/29/2012

Due 01/22/2013: Comments on WAPA-DOE Draft Recommendations

The Western Area Power Administration (WAPA or Western) has released a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register of draft recommendations of the WAPA/DOE Joint Outreach Team (JOT) for review and comment by WAPA’s customers, Tribes, stakeholders, and the public at large. 12/02/2012

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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


© 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.

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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.