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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 21, May 28, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

European companies are coming into America and Canada to set up wood pellet plants just to ship those pellets back to Europe. Why? Simple: they want to swap out their coal plants for biomass plants, and don't want to strip their forests bare. Do we really have that much extra wood lying around? Apparently so, if you have enough money to buy the land, secure long-term supply contracts for the biomass feedstock, build and operate the plants (yes, that's plural), rebuild an eastern seaboard deep-water port and own all the ships that it takes to ship tons of pellet fuel back overseas. Not a small-change venture, but hey, they want to be able to keep breathing their air.

In the Wild West, some with very different ideas about Resource Use are working together, determining the "what and where" of excess biomass. Two weeks ago, we reported on Placer County, California's approval of a 2 megawatt "community scale" biomass plant, based on an agreement to use only the "forest trash" of pine needles and fire reduction cleanup and heeding the caution not to practice "forest mining" for the feedstock. The conclusion: use the Waste, not the Virgin Materials. That Rule carries over no matter the scale. This week, we started implementation of the Four Forests Restoration Initiative (4FRI) in Arizona's expansive national forests, on essentially the same principle of "just the excess biomass, please."

If it is OK to cleanly convert a Little Waste to heat, power, and other goodies, logic says cleanly converting a Whole Lot of Waste to replace virgin material for feedstock is not such a bad idea either. We finally have all sorts of conversion technologies to match up with that grand diversity of crud we constantly throw away. We can cleanly turn sewage sludge and cow poop, food waste and ag residue, used tires and those laminated aluminum/plastic baggies, and even the toxic-laden emissions from our factories into heat and power, chemicals, and commodities. In fact, we need So Much New Stuff. Where in the world can we get that much waste, that much Biomass? Right under our communal noses.

Hey Rube!

Agencies globally are staying quite busy developing and implementing programs to define just how their communities can go about lowering the damage we do to this planet. A worthy goal: but that ol' Detail Devil deserves our close and constant attention. As an example: at this week's Cal Air Resources Board's Low Carbon Fuel Standard workshop on options for incentives to "curtail program costs", it was no big surprise that most of the audience represented Big Oil, come to voice corporate opinion that any program or process that threatens to replace Crude is, well, almost Un-American. Bad, that is, until Big Oil owns these new "alternative fuel" tools. Sit down, if you agree. If not, you'd best stand up and say something.

The Week's News

NOTE: A recent problem has developed with Internet Explorer 9's ability to follow a link directly to its location on a page. If you are using other web browsers, there doesn't seem to be a problem. We are hoping this will clear up in future IE9 updates. Sometimes the magic works.


Benefuel Teams with Flint Hills Resources for US Biorefinery Development

Chicago based Benefuel Inc. has announced entering into an agreement for biorefinery development in the United States with Kansas based Flint Hills Resources LLC (FHR), a subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc and a shareholder in Benefuel. 05/27/2013

US DOE Awards Technical Assistance to Tribes for Bioenergy Projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced selection of five Native American tribal institutions for receipt of technical assistance through the department's Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Program for renewable energy project development and installation. 05/27/2013

Oregon DEQ Plastics Recovery Assessment Project Includes Pyrolysis

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has begun a Plastics Recovery Assessment Project, partnering with METRO, the elected regional government for the Portland metropolitan area. 05/25/2013

New Paper on Viable Production of Diesel from Non-Recyclable Waste Plastics

A detailed paper by John Bordynuik, CTO of JBI, Inc. addressing the company's patent pending Plastic2Oil process is now available in the newly released Proceedings of the 21st Annual North American Waste-to-Energy Conference (NAWTEC) last month in Fort Meyer, Florida. 05/25/2013

Enval Wins at "Finance for the Future" for Plastic Laminate Recovery

Based in Cambridge, Enval Ltd. has announced its selection as winner in the "Inspiring New Ideas" award category, in the United Kingdom's (UK) Financing for the Future competition. 05/25/2013

California ARB and OEHHA Submit Final Biomethane Report to CPUC

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) have announced completion of the co-authored staff report, "Recommendations to the California Public Utilities Commission Regarding Health Protective Standards for the Injection of Biogas into the Common Carrier Pipeline." 05/22/2013

EuropaBio Launches Video Series on BioTech Solutions for EU BioEconomy

The European Association of Bioindustries (EuropaBio) has announced the launch a collection of short films (videos) presenting Stories from the Biobased Economy, "in response to calls for tangible examples where biobased industries are working together to build new value chains across Europe. 05/21/2013

Agrivert Opens Wallingford AD Plant to Covert Food Waste to Energy

Based in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, Agrivert Ltd. has announced the official opening of its £10 million, 45,000 tonne per year Wallingford anaerobic digestion (AD) facility. 05/21/2013

Work to Begin Under 1st Four Forest Restoration Initiative Contract

The US Forest Service has announced that work under the first stewardship contract issued through the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) will begin in early June. 05/20/2013

Green Energy Renewable Solutions and Cirque Energy II, LLC Merge

Massachusetts based Green Energy Renewable Solutions Inc. (GESI) has announced a merger with Michigan based Cirque Energy II, LLC. 05/20/2013

The St. Joe Company and Green Circle Bio Energy Sign Wood Pellet LOI

Florida based The St. Joe Company has announced signing a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Green Circle Bio Energy, Inc. to encourage economic development opportunities for Florida’s Northwest region and to work toward making the Port of Port St. Joe operational. 05/20/2013

The Week's Action Items

Due 06/14/2013: Comments to CEC on Challenges to Biomethane Procurement

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released Notice of a staff workshop to assess the challenges that limit biomethane procurement in California and the potential solutions, and to solicit public input. 05/21/2013

Due 06/14/2013: Comments to California ARB on LCFS Incentive Alternatives

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has proposed amendments to provide cost containment provisions within the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulation, and seeks stakeholder input. 05/25/2013

Due 06/24/2013: Proposals to Minnesota Commerce Dept for CHP Study

The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources, has published notice of a Request for Proposals under the state's Conservation Applied Research and Development Grant Program (CARD Grant RFP FY2013-02). 05/22/2013

Due 07/18/2013: Qualifications for City of Surrey Waste to Biofuel Facility

The City of Surrey, British Colombia, Canada, has announced the release of a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for development of an 80,000 metric tonne per year organic waste and residual processing facility for production of advanced biofuels. 05/27/2013

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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.