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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 17, April 29, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

A "Waste" by any other name - whether slop from the urban dumpster, residue from agricultural fields, or brush and branches from a timber slash pile - is still a wasted resource if buried or burnt. Yet each of these sources has its own cadre of oversight agencies, and different agencies have to make up different Rules so their fiefdoms remain discrete. From the business end of the waste conversion supply chain, however, this makes legal access to quantities of feedstock for waste conversion all the more cumbersome. You want wood chips? Talk to these guys. You want to use straw? That's somebody else. And that "biogenic fraction" you can separate out of municipal solid waste? Yeah, that opens an entirely different can o' worms.

Some of this makes sense. Forests absolutely MUST have litter on the floor for the critters and the regrowth. If you scalp all the stems of the rice plants down to the dirt, you just end up having to add some other form of carbon back to the soil to keep it fertile. The same idea doesn't hold for City Trash. Of the three sectors, using ALL the municipal waste as feedstock for conversion to heat, power, fuels, chemicals, and other commodities makes the most sense. Unless you've always owned landfills, of course, and NEED that constant flow of garbage to stay in business. But hey, even the landfill guys have figured out that they can convert waste to gold; that 'waste stream' is starting to look more and more like feedstock instead of fill.

Everyone agrees by now that some moderate amount of agricultural residual and forest litter can and probably should be removed from the fields and forests because it does as much damage to leave too much in place as to take too much away. Determining just how much is OK is tough, but doable. If you are trying to convert ag and forest residuals to fuel, that careful guess of how much can be removed over time becomes the key to gaining access, to figuring out the scale of facility input, and to certifying your output as a Sustainable Biofuel.

Back to the Urban Waste: how do we determine what is Sustainable about reprocessing trash? You'd think that ANY amount of clean conversion of waste-sourced feedstock to useful stuff should be certifiable as sustainable. Au contraire: it has to GET from where it is to where you want to convert it, and the further the transport distance, the more emissions are generated. Then there's the question of Highest and Best Use: should we turn that manure into biogas, or cure it and bag it for the petunias? Is it better to feed a state-of-the-art Big Burner and make bou coup electricity, or bake it into "syngas" and turn that into goods? Now remember, we are trying to convert ALL that waste … in Los Angeles, for example, that amounts to a mere 40,000 tons of new garbage to cope with each day, every day. Our bet: we need to use every kind of clean Conversion Technology we can get our hands on, but build the Reprocessing Infrastructure for that conversion locally, as close to where the trash is generated as possible.

Hey Rube!

When companies apply to state and federal agencies for grants from Public Funds, those proposals are Public. Of course, that doesn't mean that getting to see them is simple. You generally have to figure out who collects the paperwork and specifically ASK to review the documents. Take the time to ask; it's your money, and you also just might find Business there.

The Week's News

Maui County Selects Anaergia for Mixed Waste Conversion to Energy Project

The County of Maui, Hawaii, has announced the selection of Anaergia Services, California subsidiary of the Canadian firm Anaergia Inc., to develop a mixed waste anaerobic digestion (AD) system for the Integrated Waste Conversion and Energy Project (IWCEP) at the Central Maui Landfill in Puunene. 04/27/2013

GMP Cow Power Program Approved by Vermont Board for State-Wide Use

In Vermont, the regional utility Green Mountain Power (GMP) has announced that its Central Vermont Public Service renewable energy program GMP Cow Power has received approval for state-wide availability from the Vermont Public Service Board (VPSB). 04/27/2013

Royal DSM Selects Belgian Researcher for 2013 Science & Technology Award

The Dutch company Royal DSM has announced selection and presentation of the company's Science and Technology Award Europe 2013 to Dr. Stijn van de Vyver for his PhD research at the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, the Netherlands (KU Leuven). 04/27/2013

Saint-Gobain to Use Biogas for Glass Melting at Innovation Center Pilot Plant

The international glass container manufacturing company Verallia Deutschland, a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain Oberland AG, has announced plans to produce and utilize biogas fuel in its Bad Wurzach glass container production facility in southern Germany. 04/26/2013

Cornell Research Shows Biochar Reduces N2O Emissions from Ag Soils by55%

Cornell University has reported on just-published research into the positive air quality impact of incorporating biochar into agricultural soils. 04/26/2013

Heliae Introduces Volaris Waste Carbon Dioxide + Sunlight Algae Platform

Arizona based Heliae Development LLC has announced introduction of its Volaris microalgae production system following five years of development and commercial validation. 04/25/2013

USDA Renews Waste to Energy and GHG Reduction Agreement with Dairies

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that Secretary Thomas Vilsack signed an agreement with US dairy producers that extends a 2009 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to accelerate the adoption of innovative waste-to-energy projects and energy efficiency improvements on U.S. dairy farms. 04/25/2013

WMW Offers Free Webinar on Waste Gasification to Transport Fuels

PennWell's Waste Management World (WMW) has announced a webinar entitled, "Accelerating Biofuels: Waste Gasification to Aviation and Transport Fuels in the UK and US/Canada." 04/25/2013

Emerson Process Chosen for CHO-Power's Morcenx Waste Conversion Facility

The global firm Emerson Process Management has announced that it has been selected to provide all process controls for the Morcenx, France waste conversion facility owned and operated by CHO-Power, a subsidiary of the EuroPlasma Group. 04/24/2013

CBG Portland Requests AQ Permit Modification for Biogas Pipeline Injection

Oregon based anaerobic digestion (AD) company CBG Portland LLC (formerly Columbia Biogas LLC) has applied to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) for a modification to its air quality permit (ACDP 26-9820-ST-01) to reflect a change in the design of a food waste digester proposed for development in Portland. 04/24/2013

UC Davis Issues Status Review of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard

The Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS), University of California (UC), Davis has announced the publication of its Spring 2013 Status Review of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), the second in a series of status reports. 04/23/2013

DOE Awards $18MM to Four New Biorefinery Pilots for Drop-In Biofuels

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced awards totaling almost $18 million to four companies developing advanced drop-in transport biofuel refineries. 04/23/2013

Joule and Harvest Power Recognized as 2013 Bloomberg New Energy Pioneers

Bloomberg New Energy Finance has announced its 2013 New Energy Pioneers awards, recognizing ten game-changing companies in the fields of clean energy technology and innovation. 04/23/2013

Johnny Rockets and DAR PRO Solutions Convert Fry Grease into Biodiesel

The California based Johnny Rockets restaurant chain has announced a partnership with DAR PRO Solutions to recycle used fryer grease from all 29 of its corporate-owned restaurants. 04/22/2013

Basque Research Plans 10-Year Program Review and Overhaul

The web-based service Basque Research has announced that its program will undergo a significant review and overhaul after providing a decade of outreach for scientific and technologic research for the Basque country. 04/22/2013

Royal Borough Launches Recyclebank Food Waste Rewards Program

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has announced the launch of the United Kingdom's (UK) first program that rewards citizens and their communities for separating and recycling food waste from the municipal garbage. 04/22/2013


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Featured Events:
8th Annual
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18-19, 2013
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.