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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 1, January 7, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "TerĂº")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Cautious optimism, that's the approach that seems warranted right now. World 'round, some are starting to recognize that our industries and our governments have been throwing our precious waste-sourced resources away and stripping the most accessible raw materials right out from under our manufacturing capacity. The big Materials Recovery Facilities are great at gathering everything into one big pile and even at sorting some of it out into lots of little piles, but actually following through with Conversion to Raw Materials? Not so much, not when you can't push a permit through, so away go the goodies to anybody who will buy 'em. We've got the modular tools; we certainly have the trash. Now we need to let MRFs handle the last steps in turning Waste back into Not Waste via reprocessing.

In the UK, the recycling industry IS the "Reprocessing" industry and their Resource Association has been working with the UK government on MRF Performance Standards. They want to spotlight shoddy records keeping, under-par recyclate cleaning, and unnecessary materials exporting. Where in-country waste conversion can happen, it is being promoted and supported by the agencies and industries alike. This is a far cry from not too long ago when we were hearing the babble of Recycling instead of Waste Conversion. Whatever it takes to turn discards back into the raw materials ready for remanufacturing, THAT is what gets the vote.

Whether we're making great new fuel out of cruddy old waste plastic, bio-sourced chemicals out of wheat straw, or biogas from supermarket overstocks, a big part of the Hat Trick is that it can happen Locally, and that saves transport miles while cutting greenhouse gases. Everything's about the Climate, it seems, so things that clearly cut emissions get top billing. Then there's this attention to Life Cycle Assessment, where you just can't myopically judge without considering all steps in a process. When you do that, it becomes quite clear that you should be putting in clean new processing Over Here that replaces dirty old processing Over There. Local waste conversion to usable goods sure beats paying to store that same discarded stuff in a hole in the ground, or shipping it half way around the world just so somebody can make another plastic picture frame.

Waste Plastic, and Waste Food: two kinds of discards that usually end up in the dump are also two of the easier types of crud and goo to reprocess right at the MRF into fuel, electricity, and other commodities. By this time next year, we're gonna see some very smart folks in the larger municipalities latch onto this "low hanging fruit" for clean, economical waste conversion. There ya go: our first prediction for 2013!

Hey Rube!

Keep one eye on New York's new Clean Energy Proof-of-Concept Centers. The NYSERDA is shelling out $15 million over five years to establish three highly collaborative Centers aimed at extracting Good Ideas out of the citizenry and pushing those clean energy efforts out into the marketplace. After five years, the Centers are supposed to keep themselves funded. If you've got the ante, betting on those upstarts to get to start-up might not be a bad play.

The Week's Extra Reading

The California Energy Commission requested stakeholder input regarding a proposed renewable energy planning grant solicitation to be issued soon. Teru submitted his comments last Friday. Take a look.

The Week's News

UK's Southern Water Is Installing CHP Plant to Convert Biogas at Sandown

The water and wastewater utility Southern Water has announced that it is installing a combined heat and power (CHP) facility at its Sandown Wastewater Treatment Works (SWTW) to convert biogas created during the treatment process to electricity and heat. 01/06/2013

Klean Industries, Dow Chemical Collaborate on Waste Plastics to Oil,Chemicals

Vancouver based Klean Industries has announced its extension of a three year collaboration with Dow Chemical Company to further develop recovery of energy, oil and chemicals from waste plastics. 01/06/2013

Sweetwater Energy Secures Long-Term Supply Agreement with Ace Ethanol

Rochester, New York based cellulosic sugar producer Sweetwater Energy has announced signing a long-term supply agreement of up to 16 years with the Wisconsin headquartered corn ethanol production company Ace Ethanol. 01/06/2013

UK Resource Association Reports on Cost of Recyclate Contamination

The Resource Association, the United Kingdom's professional advocacy body for the reprocessing and recycling industries, released a report in December documenting the cost of poor quality, inconsistent separation of recyclable goods from the municipal waste stream in the country's materials recovery facilities (MRF). 01/05/2013

NYSERDA Awards $15MM to Fund 3 Clean Energy Proof of Concept Centers

The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced an award totaling $15 million to establish three Proof-of-Concept Centers as "idea incubators" dedicated to assisting scientists and inventors develop and commercialize high-tech, clean energy inventions. 01/05/2013

DNV, Ginkgo BioWorks Succeed in Developing Microbial CO2 to Electrofuels

Norwegian independent risk management company Det Norske Veritas (DNV) Research & Innovation has announced that its collaboration with Boston's Ginkgo BioWorks has succeeded in converting carbon dioxide to liquid fuels using the energy of microbial decomposition. 01/05/2013

JBI Raises $4MM to Continue Execution of Plastic2Oil® Business Plan

New York based JBI, Inc (JBI), developer of the proprietary Plastic2Oil® thermal waste conversion process, has announced a successful Series B funding round valued at over $4 million, upon placement of over 1 million shares of convertible preferred stock. 01/04/2013

US DOE Awards $10MM to Five Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced award of more than $10 million to five collaborative projects in California, Washington, Maryland, and Texas to further the development of promising biofuels and bio-based product technologies. 01/04/2013

Alter NRG Shareholders Approve $11MM Private Placement

Canadian plasma company Alter NRG Corp. has announced that a private placement of over 34 million shares to four investors has been approved by the majority of its shareholders, securing commitments for about $11 million. 01/03/2013

Imtech Selected as a Technology Partner for London's RE:FIT Framework

Royal Imtech N.V., one of Europe's technical service providers, has announced that the company has been selected as a technology partner for the RE:FIT initiative of the Greater London Authority (GLA), participation that brings a wealth of systems installation orders valued at over EUR 42 million. 01/03/2013

Germany Will Assist Ukraine to Develop Biofuels Pilot Projects

In an announcement released by Worldwide News Ukraine, Germany will assist in Ukrainian biofuels production in 2013 by developing biofuels pilot projects. 01/02/2013

U of Virginia School of Medicine Maps Out 3-D Enzyme that Produces Cellulose

Researchers at the University of Virginia, School of Medicine have published a paper in this month's edition of the journal "Nature" about a three-dimensional (3-D) enzyme that produces cellulose. 12/31/2012

Green Fuel Nordic Secures Major Backing for Biorefinery in Finland

The biorefinery development firm Green Fuel Nordic (GFN) has announced that the Olvi Foundation has committed to invest in the company's initial biorefinery project slated for the Iisalmi Soinlahti region of Finland. 12/31/2012

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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


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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.