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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 19, May 13, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Community-scale waste conversion: that's the idea that one size doesn't fit all and cleaning up our mess where we make it makes sense. We're working on the concept that turning our own crud into benefit for our own neighborhood is just right on so many levels. Of course, not all "communities" are the same size: if you live in Snowflake, Arizona, you probably know most of your neighbors and can tell if Joe dumps his dead refrigerator off the side of the side road. Not true, if your homestead is tucked into a corner of the fine community of Whittier, California. It stands to reason that the technologies needed to cleanly convert a community's post-recycling residual waste into the raw materials for new goods should vary dramatically in through-put rate, as well.

Part of this equation relies on whatever collection mechanisms are already in place to manage those wastes and residuals. The well-organized and subsidized trash truck routings of Whittier are a far cry in scale from what is needed to pick up and manage the trash around Eager and Snowflake, so any waste conversion system that must depend on the left-overs after the cans and bottles have been gleaned needs to think carefully about how big of a unit to install. The same is true if what you want to convert are the agricultural left-overs, the straw and nut-shells, rotten produce, and buggy lettuce. You can't afford to truck that mucky crud very far, not with gas and diesel prices so high, and especially not, given this mandate to Stop Trashing Our Air, otherwise known as the requirement to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that dominates current rulemakings.

Around the beautiful Lake Tahoe Basin in northern California, keeping the brush and pine-needles cleaned up around the homes isn't just the proper neighborhood esthetic, it is absolutely crucial. The annual tonnage of raked-up pine needles is dumbfounding. Add to that the carefully directed thinnings to keep the surrounding forests as fire-safe as possible, and your "community scale" amounts of clean biomass become an unmanageable mountain all their own with few sane management options. After a mere decade of attempts, it seems the Tahoe Community will get a break: the County Supervisors, the environmental watch-dogs and the industrial sectors have come to an agreement. Right next to the local Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) where the trash trucks bring the rubbish will be built a "community scale" gasifier to bake the woody debris that would have otherwise been put to the torch. Instead of humongous plumes of GHGs, they'll be cranking out 2 megawatts of electricity.

Could the gasifier handle other kinds of fuel? Yup. Isn't all that potential feedstock separated at the MRF just going to the dump anyway? Of course, but that wasn't the agreement that got this project through, the stewardship plan that brought consensus among opposing parties. If you want to put the unit in, stick to using the pine needles and slash that would have just gone up in smoke. Hey: it fits this Community, and it’s a good start.

Hey Rube!

Monumental changes are in progress for the US Forest Service's New Forest Plan. The new Plan ensures that communities have a say in the stewardship of the forests around them. The public comment period has been extended on the proposed directives for implementation of the Plan; so read up, weigh in.

The Week's News

Edgeley Green Power Receives Council Approval for £20MM Bioenergy Plant

The United Kingdom (UK) based Edgeley Green Power has announced receipt of approval to proceed with development of a biofuel power station on a one-acre site adjacent to the existing Shoreham Power Station on Fishersgate Terminal, Shoreham Port in Southwick, southern England. 05/10/2013

CEC Awards $1.75MM for Biomass to Fuel Cell Demo at Blue Lake Rancheria

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has announced approval of 21 Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) awards and 13 Energy Innovation Small Grants (EISG) totaling $14.5 million. 05/10/2013

Sierra Institute in Plumas County Is Awarded $300K CEC PIER Grant

The Sierra Institute for Community and Environment of Taylorsville (Plumas County) will receive $300,000 to support a two-year effort to develop a renewable energy and energy efficiency action plan, and to make locally-sourced biomass available for public heating system upgrades. 05/10/2013

RSB Services Hosts Webinar on Selling Renewable Biofuels into the UK Market

RSB Services Foundation, the implementation arm of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels, has announced a free webinar that it will co-host on May 21, 2013 with the certification firm SCS Global Services. 05/09/2013

WRAP Funds NNFCC and CNG to Assess Farm Waste to Biogas Networks

The York-based company NNFCC has announced that the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has provided funding to assess the feasibility of establishing farm waste to biogas networks in the United Kingdom (UK) by using a group of Cheshire farmers as a test case. 05/09/2013

CEC Approves $100MM "Alt Fuels" Program Investment Plan for 2013-2014

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has announced approval of the Investment Plan for the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVT, the "Alt Fuels" program) for fiscal year 2013-2014 during its May 8, 2013 Business Meeting. 05/09/2013

NIB Finances New Biomass Combined Heat and Power Plant in Sweden

The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) has announced an agreement to provide EUR 20 million financing for the development of a combined heat and power (CHP) biomass fueled plant at Tallholmen, in the City of Vimmerby, Sweden. 05/08/2013

Cyclone Power Offered Support for Ohio Production Line Expansion

Florida-based Cyclone Power Technologies reports that a meeting with local, state, and federal representatives in Carroll, Ohio has resulted in a significant offer of support for the company's plans to expand its engine production operations. 05/08/2013

Vieste Selects Abengoa to Build $110MM Waste to Energy Plant in Arizona

The Spanish firm Abengoa has announced that it has been selected by Chicago-based energy developer Vieste, LLC to design, build, and operate a facility for municipal solid waste (MSW) to materials and energy in Glendale, Arizona. 05/07/2013

Placer County Approves 2MW Cabin Creek Biomass Facility Near Truckee

In Teru's own California backyard, the Placer County Board of Supervisors conducted a public hearing on May 7, 2013 and unanimously approved the proposed Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and certified the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR SCH# 2011122032) for the Cabin Creek Biomass Facility. 05/07/2013

USDA's Value-Added Producer Grant Winners Include Waste Conversion

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that its Rural Development program has selected a total of 110 proposals for Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) awards. 05/07/2013

ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative Funds 55 Projects Across Canada

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced selection of 55 proposals for support through its ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative, which was introduced in Budget 2011, and is being led by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). 05/07/2013

European Intelli-Flue Project Focuses on Domestic Wood Heating Solution

The Basque non-profit research and development center IK4-Ikerlan has announced that the Intelli-Flue project has succeeded in designing a low-cost retrofit for residential and small business conventional wood stoves. 05/06/2013

USFS Seeks Additional Comments on New Forest Plan Rule Directives

The US Forest Service (USFS) has announced an extension of the public comment period to solicit additional input regarding the proposed directives for implementing the new Forest Planning Rule. 05/06/2013

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Featured Events:
8th Annual
CBA Symposium

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.