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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 18, May 6, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

May Day!! May Day!! (…just wanted to get your attention…)

News this week seemed more complicated than usual. Some of that complexity we can put off to the usual multi-layered Agency fal-de-ral, such as trying to figure out when proposals and comments are actually due, and to whom. Bear with the long postings; we've tried to make sure our readers can actually DO something with the information. Perhaps it is just the nature of our world; what with the double-speak and hard sell, we all need degrees as detectives to find the goods.

The UN's delving into recovery of rare and precious metals from waste was pretty clear, especially their suggestion as to how we can "fix" recycling; know what Discarded Products contain the metals we're after, and select for those. Yet their conclusions lacked common sense. Every gadget these days has been made with some amount of bolognium, whatsium, silver and gold and we just can't separate Everything by product. Perhaps the UNEP needs to think of this as a Mining problem. We know we can test to see how much precious metal remains in that gritty residual left once all the cans and bottles have been removed at the MRF. Where there's maybe a tenth of a gram every ten to twenty tons, we can process that crud as an ore instead of trundling it the back door to become landfill cover.

New York has hit on a winner of an idea, releasing a solicitation for a Transition program that jibes with what we've learned by tracking waste conversion companies as they attempt to get from Idea to Product. New Technology is dandy, but unless somebody with a head for Business gets involved, there is only a slim chance it'll get funded and commercialized any time soon. The NYSERDA's planning to teach experienced Business Execs about the tools of the Clean Tech trade, then cut them loose on this struggling industrial sector with the admonition, "Go Make Business!"

Instances of Business Sense being brought to bear on good technology are becoming more common, thank goodness. It’s one indication that these tools for converting waste to products are now becoming part of the input-process-output cycle we live in, where one man's trash … gets the attention of Business as much as Science. Example: great progress has been made on breaking down woody stuff into fermentable and digestible sugars; now, we're finding these methods being integrated into regional infrastructures for making and delivering electricity, heat, fuels, chemicals, and agricultural commodities. The tools are ready; what are we waiting for? Well … it stands to reason that the Brains that figure out Cellulosic Pre-Treatment may be a bit shy when it comes to the cut-throat Wheeling and Dealing needed for successful commercialization. Like the rest of our Society, this Waste Conversion sector also requires a Team approach.

Hey Rube!

Senate Bill 1122, now law, is a key part of California's attempts to boost the community-scale conversion of Biomass wastes and residuals into Energy, Fuels, and other commodities. The Public Utilities Commission is chewing on options for implementation, headed for formal Rulemakings later this year. It is time to pay attention to this one to watch the proceedings closely and to periodically weigh in with your own perspective.

The Week's News

Rentech Enters Global Pellet Production and Supply Market

California based Rentech Inc. has announced the $112 million purchase of Georgia-based Fulghum Fibres, and intends to acquire two shuttered Ontario, Canada wood fiber processing mills. 05/05/2013

European n-CHITOPACK Project Converts Shrimp Waste to Food Packaging

The collaborative project n-CHITOPACK has reported on its efforts to isolate and commercialize chitin nanocrystals (also known as chitin nanofibrils, or CN) from marine food wastes such as shrimp and crab shells. 05/04/2013

CPUC Seeks Comments on SB 1122 Small-Scale Bioenergy Report

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) conducted a public workshop on May 2, 2013 to receive stakeholder input on a draft study by Black & Veatch (B&V) titled, “Small-scale Bioenergy: Resource Potential, Costs, and Feed-in Tariff Iimplementation Assessment,” first released on April 9, 2013. 05/03/2013

Vermont Tech Breaks Ground for Waste Biomass Anaerobic Digester Facility

The Vermont Journalism Trust's news service VT Digger has reported on the ground-breaking ceremony held May 1, 2013 for the Central Vermont Recovered Biomass Facility (CVRBF), located on the Vermont Technical College (VTC) campus in Randolph. 05/03/2013

Russian Pyrolysis Developer Technokomplex Starts US Distribution

Commercial for more than eight years in Russia, Bulgaria, and Turkey, the pyrolysis systems manufacturer Technokomplex has announced the onset of sales and distribution in North America. 05/02/2013

New UNEP Reports Focus on Rare Metals Recovery from Waste

The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) has released two new publications by its International Resource Panel (IRP) that are focused on the need and methods for increasing recovery rare and precious metals from waste. 05/02/2013

Canergy Selects Chemtex and Beta Renewables for Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

California based Canergy LLC has announced selection of Chemtex and Beta Renewables for development of a mixed cellulosic ethanol and advanced sugarcane-sucrose ethanol biorefinery in southern California. 05/02/2013

Clariant's 2012 Sustainability Report Addresses Cellulosic Ethanol Pilot Plant

Headquartered in Munich, Germany, Clariant Corporation has announced the publication of its Sustainability Report 2012. 04/29/2013

CEC Announces Proposed Awardees for RE and Conservation Planning Grants

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has posted the Notice of Proposed Awards (NPOA 4/25/2013) for the Renewable Energy and Conservation Planning Grant solicitation (PON 12-402). 04/29/2013

Peel Granted Planning Approval for North Selby Food Waste AD CHP Project

Manchester, United Kingdom based Peel Environmental has announced that it has received planning approval from the City of York Council to proceed with design and development of an anaerobic digestion (AD) combined heat and power (CHP) and horticultural glasshouse facility. 04/29/2013

The Week's Action Items

Due 06/19/2013: Proposals to NYSERDA for Clean Tech for Executives Program

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has released a Program Opportunity Notice (PON) 2730 seeking proposals to develop a multi-year Clean Tech Transition for Experienced Executives program to educate experienced executives interested in seeking opportunities in clean technology (clean tech) and renewable energy industries. 05/01/2013

Due 06/20/2013: Applications to DOE for Tribal RE, Energy Efficiency Funding

The US Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE/EERE) has announced a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0000853) for Tribal Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Deployment Assistance under the agency's Tribal Energy Program. 05/02/2013

Due 06/27/2013: Applications to DOE for Tribal Community-Scale Clean Energy

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced new renewable energy development funding open to Indian Tribes, Tribal Energy Resource Development Organizations and Tribal Consortia. 05/02/2013

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Featured Events:
8th Annual
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Sacramento, California
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.