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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume II, Issue 9, February 27, 2012 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "TerĂº")  

Teru's Trash Talk

It is the nature of Commerce that a supply chain is necessary to economically and efficiently get commodities from source to final market. Water flows to the user when the plumbing goes from the street main to the house tap; a supply chain system is needed to get ripe tomatoes from the field through the stores to the hamburger. Sure, you can buy tomatoes from the farmer, and you can grow your own Better Boys at home, but for actual Commerce to make an impact in a region, the supply chain needs to be in place. It stands to reason this is true for the Bio-Sourced Economy, and conversely, that where no real supply chain exists, that economy is going to be piece-meal at best. When we see an agreement between a feedstock aggregator or harvester and companies that can convert that feedstock to a commodity, we are looking at the first link in the supply chain. When a conversion company gets an off-take agreement in place to use, say, 100,000 gallons of bio-sourced aviation fuel, we can recognize source to process to use, commerce along one path of the supply chain.


Enter here the socio-economic consideration of "waste" as a source. Keeping our streets free of mounds of rotting garbage certainly has a value; the movement of waste from the curb to a recycling and resource recovery facility reduces the collateral damage of unmanaged waste. Sorting that waste into recyclables reduces the cost to society in many ways, yet still tends to have a real cost, since the dollars garnered from sale of plastic, glass and metal seldom are enough to pay for the rest of the management.


There is a strong negative value to society and the environment when our forests catastrophically catch fire because too much fuel is present. Avoiding forest fires and cleaning up bug-killed deadwood certainly costs, but reduces fire danger and generates biomass. There's value to be placed on a ton of wood gathered, chipped and hauled out of a forest; the chips have more value at the door of the biorefinery than they did on the forest floor, and biomass value again increases as fuel for the biorefinery.


Supply chains have to be in place to convert feedstock like biomass to gasoline alternatives like biofuels. Each link needs a real company to hand off the goods, continue the flow of Commerce, and add value along the way: with each refinement, the Supply Chain becomes a more effective Value Chain. We are now seeing bio-technology effectively and repeatedly figure out how to connect the source to the market. With so many supply chains being configured, entire commerce networks are beginning to take shape.


The most valuable form of a completed Value Chain starts when a source is causing significant social and environmental damage, or "cost", like fuel over-loading in the forest, under-utilized tons of agricultural residue or burgeoning mountains of municipal waste, and adding value at each step, turns that huge liability into a high-priced Commodity asset.

Hey Rube!

As you review the news from this past week, think about how each crucial agreement is a link in the Value Chain. Think about how Market Demand tugs on the far end of that chain, and how what you buy impacts that market demand. Then go ye out each day, and find ways to give the Bio-Economy Value Chain a good steady pull.

The Week's News

CEC Schedules Workshop on Renewable Energy Research Funded Through PIER  The California Energy Commission (CEC) will conduct a workshop on February 29, 2012 on renewable energy research funded under the agency's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program to present and discuss achievement. 02/26/2012


Provincial Government of Canada Backs Waste Fish Oil to Biodiesel Research

The Provincial Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, announced that the Canadian Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture has awarded a grant of $89,100 to continue research of waste fish oil to biodiesel research and development. 02/25/2012


Arisdyne's Controlled Flow Cavitation System Licensed by United Ethanol

Ohio-based pre-treatment systems specialist Arisdyne has announced that United Ethanol has agreed to license and acquire the company's patented Controlled Flow Cavitation (CFCTM) equipment. 02/25/2012


ZeaChem Signs Drop-In Fuel Development Contract

Colorado-based ZeaChem has announced that it has completed negotiations and signed a developmental contract with the US Department of Agriculture to receive $12 million of the $40 million grant awarded last September to Washington State University (WSU). 02/24/2012


UK Researchers Advance Biofilm to Fuel Cell Electricity with Bugs from Space

A research team at Newcastle University (NU) in the United Kingdom has announced that bacteria typically found 30 kilometers above the earth are highly efficient electricity generators. 02/24/2012


GE Jenbacher Engines Will Power China's Largest Landfill Gas to Energy Project General Electric (GE) has announced it is preparing to ship seven J420 Jenbacher engines to Laogang Renewable Energy Company in Shanghai Municipality, China. 02/24/2012


CalCEF, ACORE and EPRI Lead 21st Century Renewable Energy Forum

The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) announced its participation in the first of a series of forums this week to outline the path of U.S. renewable energy in the 21st century. 02/24/2012


Alberta Canada Supports Biochar Testing and Commercialization

The Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification in Alberta, Canada has announced federal funding of $900,000 to Lakeland College's Centre for Sustainable Innovation. 02/23/2012


Novozymes Unveils Low-Cost / High Volume Cellic® CTec3 Enzyme

In a bid to again drop the cost of enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass, the Dutch headquartered pretreatment specialist Novozymes has announced the commercial availability of a new enzyme for production of advanced biofuels from agricultural wastes and residues. 02/23/2012


Mt Poso Cogeneration Plant Completes Coal-to-Biomass Fuel Switch

Macpherson Energy Company and DTE Energy Services, co-owners of the Mt. Poso Cogeneration Plant in Kern County east of Bakersfield, California have announced that the previously coal-fired plant is now completely fueled by biomass. 02/23/2012


Ameresco and Philadelphia Water Dept Partner for Wastewater to Biogas Plant

Massachusetts based Amaresco has announced an agreement with the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Water Department (PWD) to design, build and maintain a 5.6 megawatt, $47.5 million wastewater-to-biogas plant, named the Northeast Water Pollution Control Plant (NEWPCP) Biogas Project. 02/22/2012


Out of Ashes BioEnergy Introducing Turtleback Biochar at BC Farmers Market

British Columbia (BC) based commercial horticultural services company Out of Ashes BioEnergy Inc has announced availability of its new organic soil enhancement product Turtleback® Biochar, product of thermal conversion of local sawmill wood-waste and brush piles that otherwise would be burned. 02/22/2012


APP to Deliver Waste-Sourced Syngas to National Grid Pipeline

London-based Advanced Plasma Power (APP) has announced a project partnership with developer Progressive Energy to deliver plasma-generated waste-sourced synthetic fuel gas to National Grid's pipeline for distribution. 02/22/2012


Forest Carbon Partners Launch Anticipates California's Offset Market

New Forests Inc. has announced the launch of Forest Carbon Partners, an investment vehicle for private forestry project financing and development designed for California's soon to be realized carbon offset market. 02/21/2012


UK Carpet Recycling for Reuse and Energy Recovery on the Increase

The non-profit association Carpet Recycling United Kingdom (CRUK) has released a short report counting last year's achievements and identifying carpet recycling and recovery efforts for 2012. 02/20/2012


Commercial-Scale Biodiesel Production Uses Enzymatic Transesterification

Florida-based has let Teru Talk know that commercialization of an enzymatic transesterification process has reached another milestone with availability of the Precision E2500 module. 02/20/2012 

The Week's Action Items

Due 03/12/2012: Abstracts for American Academy of Sciences IC EST2012

The American Academy of Sciences (AAS) has released its 2012 Call for Abstracts, a Call for Exhibits and the opening of advanced registration for its 6th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology (IC EST2012), scheduled for June 25-29, 2012 in Houston, Texas. 02/21/2012


Due 05/08/2012: Applications for the 2012 Cleantech Open

The volunteer-run Cleantech Open has announced the launch of its 6th annual Accelerator and Competition, and scheduled a launch party at the NASA AMES facility in Mountain View, California on March 23, 2012. 02/23/2012


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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.