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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume II, Issue 6, February 6, 2012 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Is Sugar the latest evil substance or the new Gold? Any sugar it seems, whether it's in the form of sucrose (table sugar), fructose (fruit sugar) or xylose (wood sugar), and whether it has five of six carbohydrate molecules (C5 or C6). Sugar is such a potent "fuel" that there's talk of regulating its consumption, like alcohol or tobacco. Our bodies, after all, are just conversion systems that rip apart those molecules and turn them into energy … and store them as fat (ahhh, there's the rub). Once you have that golden substance Sugar, you can rearrange those carbohydrate chunks into biofuels (ethanol, methanol, n-butanol) and chemicals (acetate, all sorts of substitutes for the usual petro-sourced stuff). Once you've got Sugar, you've also got Food for any number of bio-electro-chemical systems, including, of course, our own. And we even know how to teach sugar-eating microbes to directly excrete drop-in fuels. Go, Sugar!


Almost any biomass can be whacked hard enough to knock its components apart into C5 and or C6 sugars, and there's really nothing better to use than waste organics that would otherwise cost for disposal. Hit that waste and residual wood with 800 to 1000 degree water under pressure ("super-critical water") and it just flies apart; sometimes you may want to add a Special Sauce of the new enzymes that are becoming economically available these days. Clean out the bugs and grit, run that waste biomass soup over the right metal catalysts and stir well, and out comes Stuff We Can Use.


The Sugar Economy has been around a long time, but that value chain is getting a major boost right now from our dire need for biofuels and biochemicals. Whole industries have risen and fallen as the tides of that sugar market have shifted among companies, and among countries. Sugar is Gold. And now, the "powers that be" start this talk of an Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and SUGAR agency, to once again protect us from ourselves. Gee, I wonder if the two market wars might be related.

Hey Rube!

Those Canadians, eh? They can show the US a thing or two about how to kick-start the recovery of their Bio-Economy. British Columbia is surging ahead with highly integrated and well-thought-out plans. Ontario's support base for early biofuel and bioproducts companies is also functioning well. We're tracking what our northern neighbors are up to, and if you have an itch to get back to work NOW, so should you.

The Week's News

BioNitrogen Secures LOI for 300K Short Tons per Year of Urea

Last August, Hidenet Secure Architectures Inc changed its name to BioNitrogen Corp after acquiring BIO-SNG Technologies International Corp. Just seven months later, the company has announced a letter of intent (LOI) with Iowa based United Suppliers Inc for its purchase of up to 300,000 short tons annually of granular (prilled) urea, a high-nitrogen (46%) fertilizer. 02/05/2012


Enerkem Files for Initial Public Offering

Montreal's waste-to-biofuels company Enerkem has announced filing a Form F-1 for an initial public offering (IPO) with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 02/05/2012


UK Health Agency to Fund New MSW Incinerator Study

The United Kingdom Health Protection Agency (HPA) will fund a new assessment of the localized public health impacts of well-run municipal waste incinerators (MWIs) from April of this year until March 2014. 02/04/2012


Dynamic Fuels, Mansfield Oil Enter Advanced Biodiesel Distribution Agreement Oklahoma-based Syntroleum Corporation has announced that Dynamic Fuels LLC, its 50/50 joint venture with Tyson Foods Inc., have entered into a strategic marketing alliance, commercial off-take and supply chain management agreements with Mansfield Oil Company. 02/04/2012


CEC Schedules Combined Heat and Power Workshop for February 16th

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has scheduled a public workshop on combined heat and power (CHP) for February 16, 2012. 02/03/2012


UPM Plans Industry Scale Wood Pulp Waste to Biodiesel Biorefinery

Finland's UPM has announced plans to invest about EUR 150 million in the development of an industrial-scale biorefinery on the company's Kaukas mill site for conversion of mill wastes and forest residues into its proprietary UPM BioVerno transport fuel. 02/03/2012


UK's CPI Introduces New Platform for Development of Small-Scale AD Systems The United Kingdom's (UK) six-year-old Center for Process Innovation (CPI) has announced a new collaborative project, the Small Scale Anaerobic Digestion Technology (SSAD-TECH) platform, to develop and prove efficacy of rural and small business scale anaerobic digestion modules. 02/03/2012


British Columbia Invests $700K in Waste Wood to Bioproducts Development

British Columbia (B.C.), Canada's Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation has announced provision of $700,000 to the private non-profit forest research institute FPInnovations to assess B.C.'s bio-economy status and available options for expansion, and to identify economically viable access to wood fiber for new projects. 02/02/2012


Surrey's "ENERGYShift" Plan Includes Food Waste to Fleet Biofuel

Mayor Watts of Surrey, the second largest city in British Columbia, Canada, is leading a community dialogue today seeking public participation in finalization of the City's new ENERGYShift plan to move toward localized, sustainable and efficient energy programs. 02/02/2012


Primoris, Synergy Sign Agreement for Two Puerto Rico Waste to Energy Projects Two Texas-based companies, Primoris Renewables and Synergy Renewables, have signed a cooperative agreement to develop two gasification waste conversion projects in Puerto Rico. 02/02/2012


Pellet Fuels Institute Takes 1st Step to Standards Roll-Out

The Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI) and the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) have announced lab and auditor accreditation as the first step in implementation of new industry-driven, third-party verified standards for densified biomass fuel in North America. 02/01/2012


WTEC to Provide Modular Waste Gasification System in Yukon Territory

Waste to Energy Canada announced success late last month in winning a competitive bid to provide waste management services to the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation community of Old Crow in the Canadian Territory of Yukon. 02/01/2012


DOE Starts 2nd "America's Next Top Energy Innovator" Challenge

US Department of Energy (DOE) Steven Chu has announced the second round of the "America's Next Top Energy Innovator" program, part of the continuing implementation of the administration's Startup America Initiative. 02/01/2012


NIB Finances 140 MWe Biomass Gasification Plant in Vaasa, Finland

Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) has agreed to provide a 7 year, EUR 18 million financing package to Vaskiluodon Voima Oy to support construction of a 140 megawatt (MWe) biomass gasification facility integrated with an existing coal combustion power plant. 01/31/2012


Tetra Tech Awarded $18.6MM USAID Contract for Colombian Clean Energy Pasadena, California based Tetra Tech, Inc has been awarded an $18.6 million contract from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to support Colombian clean energy development. 01/31/2012


Royal Borough Selects Covanta to Treat Wastes and Residual Organics

United Kingdom's Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has signed a 25-year contract with Covanta Energy Ltd for waste treatment, with operations to start in April of this year. 01/30/2012

The Week's Action Items

Due 02/10/2012: Abstract Submissions for 2012 US Biochar Conference

The United States Biochar Initiative (USBI) has issued a call for papers for the 2012 US Biochar Conference in Sonoma, California. 01/30/2012


Due 03/29/2012: Pre-Proposals to ESTCP for Innovative Energy Demonstrations The Department of Defense's (DoD) Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) has announced a request for proposals (RFP) for demonstration of installation energy technologies. 02/03/2012


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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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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.