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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume II, Issue 52, December 24, 2012 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Reuse and Recycle!Christmas is a good time to consider the Angels among us. By all accounts, Angels are generally benevolent but some have been classically short on patience. We can witness this first hand with regard to matters of waste conversion, observing both the desire to make things better, and the actions taken when that Angelic patience wears thin.

In the City/County of the Angels, otherwise known as Los Angeles, California, patience for waiting for authority figures to figure out waste conversion has just about run dry. After all, much of the actual decision-making remains at the local level, despite long-standing attempts to divest municipalities of their control. Yes, yes … the State still have a say, and the Feds certainly can weigh in heavily when their attention is attracted to some particularly onerous (or lucrative) Happening, but most of the regs push the responsibility for implementation back onto the local governance. For Los Angeles, a realm as large and populous as most mid-eastern states and indeed larger than a number of European countries, managing its own waste just comes naturally.

First, there's this Bizness of a "Waste Management Hierarchy": just what IS important? The County flipped the state's idea on its head, focused the bulk of their New Waste Management Paradigm to Waste Prevention, then Reuse, then Recycling … and added Recovery / Composting above waste to energy and the Last Resort, disposal. And if that In-Your-Face move wasn't enough, the County adopted their own definitions for "Conversion Technologies" and "Recovery" and the County Board of Sups directed the Public Works Department to light all burners and proceed with mainstreaming Waste Conversion.

Meanwhile, California's current version of a state-level waste management oversight agency CalRecycle continues to stumble over implementing its own laws. How hard can it be to read the state law: "Recycling = Collect, Sort, Clean, Pre-treat, and Reprocess to Raw Materials"? When you don't know where, to what degree or even IF the last couple steps in that process actually occur, how do you know if you are Recycling?. And to "Reprocess", you need Waste Conversion.

The Leaders of Los Angeles get it, and they aren't alone. Neighbor state Oregon's well along the path to redefining Waste in terms of overall "Materials Management", including a whole Rulemaking regarding conversion technologies. The concept of a circular "materials economy", where every scrap of waste is turned right back around locally into raw materials is also one of the Hottest Topic in the United Kingdom right now.

Los Angeles is practicing the Zen of municipal management: envisioning a challenge as already met, as having been accomplished and now waiting for the next stage, solves many presumed problems. How do you implement Waste Conversion in California? There! It's done.

Hey Rube!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to each and every one!

The Week's News

European Commission Names 23 Projects for €1.2 billion in NER300 Funding

The European Commission (EC) has announced over €1.2 billion funding to 23 "highly innovative" renewable energy projects selected from the first call for proposals to be financed by the New Entrant's Reserve (NER) of the European Union Emissions Trading System. 12/22/2012

AEC Releases Cellulosic Biofuels Industry Progress 2012-2013 Report

The Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC) has announced the release of a report on active cellulosic ethanol projects in the United States, the Cellulosic Biofuels Industry Progress Report 2012-2013. 12/22/2012

VTT Wins EARTO Innovation Award for Processing Biomass to Bio-Oil + CHP

The European Association for Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO) has presented an innovation award to the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland for its breakthrough in processing biomass to both Bio-Oil and Combined Heat and Power (CHP). 12/20/2012

Fortum, City of Stockholm to Develop Biomass Combined Heat and PowerPlant

Finland's diversified energy company Fortum has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Fortum Värme will partner with the City of Stockholm to develop a new EUR 500 million biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Värtan, Stockholm, upgrading Värme's existing facilities. 12/20/2012

European Biofuels Technology Platform Schedules 5th Plenary Meeting

The European Biofuels Technology Platform (EBTP) has announced its 5th Stakeholder Plenary Meeting (SPM5), to be held at the Diamante Conference Centre in Brussels on February 6-7, 2013. 12/19/2012

Neste Oil to Produce Renewable Aviation Fuel for EU Funded ITAKA Project

Finland based Neste Oil has announced its participation in the 36-month European Union (EU) funded "Initiative Towards Sustainable Kerosene for Aviation" (ITAKA) project. 12/19/2012

NYSERDA $1MM Incentive Helps Launch Matt Brewing Biogas-to-Power Project

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced a partnership with F.X. Matt Brewing Company and the National Grid designed to commission an anaerobic digestion (AD) combined heat and power (CHP) system. 12/19/2012

MagneGas and Sustainable Green Sign $1MM Fuel Distribution Agreement

Florida based plasma waste to fuel specialist MagneGas has announced a two-year cutting fuel gas pre-purchase agreement with Washington based Sustainable Green Corporation (SGC), who will become the exclusive distributor of the hydrogen-rich gas in the Pacific Northwest. 12/19/2012

UK Solidifies Renewable Obligation for Biomass and Solar Energy

The United Kingdom (UK) Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced finalization of rates for biomass and solar generated renewable energy, under the Renewables Obligation (RO) for utilities power purchase agreements. 12/18/2012

USDA Awards $349,695 to MSU for Next Generation Biofuels Research

Michigan State University's (MSU) Agriculture Technology program has received an award of $349,695 from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop next generation biofuels. 12/18/2012

GCS to Operate Pinellas Energy from Waste Plant in Tampa Florida

Based in New York, Green Conversion Systems (GCS) has announced the acquisition of an Operating Agreement for the Pinellas Energy from Waste (EfW) Facility in Tampa, Florida. 12/17/2012

Ottawa City Council and Mayor Approve Plasco Waste to Energy Project

Plasma waste conversion company Plasco Energy Group reports that the City Council of Ottawa, Canada "overwhelmingly endorses" plasma gasification of the city's waste, after signing a 20 year contract with provisions for extensions. 12/17/2012

ADB Will Loan $74MM for Community Scale Biogas Plants in Vietnam

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced that it will provide a loan of $74 million to fund installation of thousands of domestic biogas plants across Vietnam to turn rural waste, a growing source of environmental damage, into energy and fertilizer. 12/17/2012

Australian CleanTech Program Grants $6.2MM for Animal Waste Biogas Project

The Australian office of the Minister for Industry and Innovation, Climate Change and Energy Efficiency has announced an award of $6.2 million from the Government's Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program to AJ Bush & Sons for its rendering plant in the Bromelton State Development Area. 12/17/2012

The Week's Action Items

Due 01/04/2013: Comments to CEC on Draft Renewable Energy Planning Grants

Update: Due date for comments has been extended to January 4, 2013. 12/20/2012

Due 01/13/2013: Concept Paper to DOE to Improve Bio-Oil Conversion

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the release of a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to address challenges identified during the December 2011 workshop, “Conversion Technologies for Advanced Biofuels” (CTAB) and from a prior Request for Information (RFI) in November 2012. 12/17/2012

Due 02/15/2013: Comments on Massachusetts Draft Solid Waste Master Plan

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (Mass DEP) is seeking public comment on the state administration's draft Solid Waste Master Plan, specifically regarding modifications to the current moratorium on municipal solid waste incineration. 12/20/2012

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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.