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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 25, June 24, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Last week we made the bold statement that We Now Have Options with cool clean techy things that can turn crud into goodies. Let's check out a few that have shown up so far in June. Making power: the big engine folks like Cummins and GE are supplying tried and true generators to brainy up-start companies like Ad Astra and PHG to run on their waste-sourced fuels. Making heat is cool, too, just ask the people at the Alliance for Green Heat; there's a new generation of high efficiency wood stoves hitting the market that can heat your home or business a lot cleaner and cheaper, on a fraction of the pellets. Then there's Cyclone Power and GE's "Clean Cycle", perfecting ways to turn any sort of heat right back into very useful energy.

This is a trend to watch these days: Make Fuels and Chemicals. Why turn a truckload of biomass into $10 to $15 of power when you can make $100 to $150 worth of sugar, acid, polymers, or fuel. Here's part of the puzzle; you have to use or sell heat and power, as you make them, while you can store the fuels and chemicals for another day. You do both if you turn food waste, sewage and fats, and oils and grease into methane-rich biogas. You can use some now to make electricity to run the facility and store the rest for later use. Calysta's got a nice new twist; turn that same biomethane into high-value lactic acid, something NatureWorks needs for its Ingeo bioplastics. Speaking of plastics: with the proper touch like that being developed by JBI, you can "unbake the cake" of waste plastics back into the chemicals from whence it came.

Companies are perfecting ways to break those long cellulose molecules in wood down into shorter sugar chains, and you apparently can make just about anything outta sugar. For one Canadian company, it's the dietary Xylitol sugar they want, and they are looking for biorefineries that can use their left-overs. In France, GBE's figured out that if you turn sugar into a high-value isobutene gas, you don't have nearly the problem separating the goods from what's left.

Yeah, but what about the stuff still left after all that Wizardry? Well, if you bake that residual and catch the gas, you can still make power. Then there's my current favorite from New Zealand that sucks up emissions from industry and grows microbes that can turn even that pollutant into fuel. Siemens Metals has decided LanzaTech actually does know what they are doing, and is partnering with them to fit those CO2-to-Fuel tools into their own client's steel mills, world-wide.

You might have heard that Oslo is running out of trash and having to import garbage to feed their conversion systems. Lessons to be learned from the grand scheme of the Circular Economy: if you still make "waste" you'd better learn how to Own It.

Hey Rube!

And speaking of Owning Your Waste: that's the theme for the California Air Board and CalRecycle as they work to make use of every scrap of stuff we throw away while cutting greenhouse gases across the state's Waste Management Sector. Dig in, review, and comment on their draft plans (see the action item below). You may not completely agree, but you have to admit it's nice to see the agencies playing so nice together.

The Week's Extra Reading

See Teru's comments  to the California Energy Commission on the 2013 Progress-to-Plan for the Bioenergy Action Plan, and regarding the status of bioenergy development in the state.

The Week's News

NOTE: If you are using IE10 and our website isn't loading as smoothly as you would like, or you click on a link to go to a certain news item and the page jumps to another item, just change to "compatibility view" and all will be well.


USFS Awards $2.5MM in Grants for 10 Woody Biomass to Energy Projects

Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell has announced ten grants totaling about $2.5 million to small businesses and community groups for development of woody biomass energy projects. 06/22/2013

LanzaTech and Siemens Metals Partner for Steel Mill CO2 to Bioethanol

New Zealand based LanzaTech has entered into a ten-year world-wide partnership with the Metals division of Siemens for development and marketing of its technology platform. 06/21/2013

Enerkem Raises CAD $50MM for Gasification of Municipal Solid Waste

Montreal based Enerkem has announced securing $50 million Canadian in its most recent round of financing, bringing 2013 investments to $87 million. 06/21/2013

Pöyry Releases White Paper on Potential Significance of Using Biocoal in Asia

The Finnish engineering company Pöyry has announced release of a white paper, "Biocoal – Bioenergy Game Changer in Asia?" at the Centre for Management Technology (CMT) Biomass Pellets Trade & Power conference in Seoul, September 9-10, 2013. 06/20/2013

Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions Awards $1.3MM for Novel Biomass Uses

Canadian public/private corporation Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions (AI Bio) has announced release of awards totaling $1.3 million to six Canadian applied research teams for advanced and novel uses of residual biomass. 06/20/2013

New Earth Solutions Starts Power Export from Avonmouth RDF Plant

United Kingdom (UK) based NEAT Technology Group Limited has announced that it has begun export of electricity on contract to the regional grid from its refuse-derived fuel (RDF) facility in Avonmouth. 06/20/2013

GE Jenbacher Engines Generate Power from First Sub-Saharan Biogas Plant

GE has announced that its authorized Jenbacher engine distributor, the United Kingdom based project developer Clarke Energy, will install GE engine units on an anaerobic digestion (AD) project owned by Tropical Power for production of combined heat and power. 06/20/2013

Global Bioenergies Ready to Begin Industrial Isobutene Production Scale-Up

Based in France with an office in Ames, Iowa, Global Bioenergies (GBE) has announced successful pilot plant trials, and has scheduled scale-up to industrial production of isobutene beginning in July 2013. 06/19/2013

Xylitol Canada Successfully Completes Wood Sugar Extraction Demo

Based in Toronto, Xylitol Canada has announced completion of a three-month pilot-scale program to demonstrate its energy efficient, low cost methods for extraction of the wood sugar xylose from which the dietary sugar xylitol is made. 06/19/2013

CEC and US DOE Collaborate for Energy Research and Demo Projects

The California Energy Commission (CEC) announced that it has established a framework for collaboration on energy research and demonstration projects by entering into a "first-ever" Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E). 06/18/2013

SARTA Launches AgStart Program to Accelerate Ag Technology Ventures

The Sacramento Regional Technology Alliance (SARTA) has announced the launch of AgStart, SARTA's newest industry-cluster-focused program, which will accelerate the growth of companies developing and bringing to market innovative sustainable agricultural technologies. 06/18/2013

Calysta and NatureWorks Agree on Joint Biomethane-to-Chemical R

California based Calysta Energy has announced entering into a multi-year collaboration with international bio-sourced polymer development company NatureWorks LLC, a Minnesota-based subsidiary of Cargill. 06/18/2013

The Week's Action Items

Due 07/05/2013: Advisor Applications to EPA for MSW Landfill Stds Review

The US Environmental protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it is accepting self-nominations from small businesses to become advisors to a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel for the development of a proposed rulemaking and potential revision of New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. 06/21/2013

Due 07/12/2013: Comments on California's AB 32 Waste Mgt Sector Plan

As Teru Talk reported last week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) held a public workshop yesterday to present a draft framework for a Waste Management Sector Plan as required by the 2008 Scoping Plan. 06/19/2013

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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.