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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 34, August 26, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

The grating sound of chain saws and a chipping rig collapsed our morning calm the other day as our neighbor's hired crew began removing low hanging branches and dead oak trees from his property. That sound is going to get a lot more common for a while, given the number, size, and voracity of the US The sun sets on the Rim Fire near Buck Meadows, California, August 22, 2013. Courtesy of REUTERS/Max Whittaker.western region's wildfires. Last night's news said the Forest Service was tapped out of money allocated to fight the nation's conflagrations and has begun drawing down recreation funds and any other bucket of money available. California's Rim Fire alone has torched well over 134 thousand acres with only 7% containment, and crossed over the northwest boundary into Yosemite National Park. Billions of tons of biomass gone up in "biogenic carbon" smoke. Wouldn't it make sense to lower the fire risk in the first place?

I just have to wonder what our lives, our economies, our air quality would be like if we took what is now burning up, and turned it into heat, electricity, liquid fuel, and foundation chemicals. But the story falls on deaf ears: proposals for projects making clean and economically viable use of forest biomass are met with a different kind of resource drain, that of never-ending court battles over the potential loss of biological diversity, over the well-orchestrated public terror of "mining our forests" to feed the bottomless maw (jaws or throat of a voracious animal) of the Bioenergy Industry. What do you think the Rim Fire is doing to the regional biodiversity?

We can measure toxins that come out of a Biomass Facility stack, and often, if we can detect those toxins, the plant is already in violation because there is no known safe amount. Incomplete combustion of wood can make some pretty nasty stuff. Now tell me what is happening to our regional and even our global air quality from the wildfires that continue to "manage" the vegetation (and everything else in their path) just as Nature intended. The smoke from the Rim Fire in California has already reached Idaho.

Aren't we as a People smarter than that? Apparently not, comes the obvious answer. Why? Since we can count the toxins coming out of that stack, our agencies can make and enforce rules on stack emissions. We can figure out how to jump up and down on the companies that (heaven forbid) try to make a buck at their Bioenergy business; we cannot fathom the path to prevention of, or the impacts that result from a 134,000 acre wood-fueled furnace. All we can do is pray, put all the money we've got into a pile and throw everything we can muster at the mess, then count the damage after the fact.

While the fire season continues, while the smoke and the obvious loss remains on the evening news as (pardon the bad but intentional pun) a "hot topic", re-think your position regarding forest preservation, risk reduction, resource utilization, and where we put our all-to-scarce public funds. Watch for the next time somebody wants to make business out of Biomass, and consider countering the constant outcry by calling up your representatives and putting your own voice behind support for Sane Use of Forest Biomass. It could be your forest that is next to burn.

Hey Rube!

There really is such a thing as "sustainable forest biomass harvesting" and we really should demand that this applies to risk reduction and forest health vegetation management …just as long as it actually gets done.

September Events

Not one or even two, but three relevant events are coming up next month. Not even Teru can get to all of them, but they all look good.

Biomass Pellets Trade & Power Summit, Sept 09-12, 2013

The Biomass Pellets Trade & Power Summit in Seoul on the 09-12 September, will set the stage for deep analysis of pellet trade patterns, feedstock uncertainties, sourcing strategy, sustainability initiatives, and pricing dynamics in the North East Asian biomass value chain.

Waste Conversion Technology Conference & Trade Show, Sept 15-17, 2013

The 6th Annual Waste Conversion Technology Conference & Trade Show (formerly the Waste-to-Fuels Conference) will be held on September 15-17, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina in San Diego, California.

8th Annual California Bioresources Alliance Symposium, Sept 18-19, 2013

The eighth annual California Bioresources Alliance Symposium will be held on September 18-19, 2013 from 9 a.m.- 5 the Cal/EPA Building, 1001 I Street, Sacramento.

This Week's Top Story

America First and Washington County, Maryland Partner for Waste-to-Energy

West Virginia based America First, Inc. (AFI) presented a proposal to the Washington County, Maryland, Board of Commissioners at its August 6, 2013 meeting that would transform the County's landfill into a waste-to-renewable energy facility. 0819/2013

The Week's News

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


Optinol Can Produce Non-GMO Bio-Butanol at Cost Parity with Ethanol

San Francisco based startup Optinol has announced completion of cost parity feasibility assessments, concluding that the company's native-strain fermentation pathway can produce bio-butanol from a wide variety of sugars for the same relative cost as ethanol fermentation. 08/23/2013

Synagro to Start Construction on Large Scale Composting Plant in Florida

Headquartered in Maryland, Synagro has announced the impending start of construction on a $4.3 million multi-feedstock composting facility in  southwest Florida. 08/23/2013

GCEI Partners with Nova Renew to Develop Plastics to Fuel Pyrolysis Plant

Global Clean Energy, Inc (GCEI) has announced a partnering agreement reached with the plastics to fuel company Nova ReNew, Inc for the development and financing of a plastics to fuel plant that uses pyrolysis technology. 08/23/2013

Linde to Build Waste CO2 Purification and Liquefaction Plant in Saudi Arabia

Headquartered in Germany, the Linde Group has been awarded a contract to build a massive facility for recovery, purification, and liquefaction of the raw carbon dioxide (CO2) gaseous by-product of two ethylene glycol production facilities. 08/22/2013

DECC Releases New Biomass Sustainability Criteria for Energy Generation

The United Kingdom's (UK) Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has announced the release of tough new sustainability criteria for biomass energy generation. 08/22/2013

NextFuels Will Focus Liquefaction Process on Palm Waste to Green Crude

California based NextFuels LLC has announced that it will initially focus use of its liquefaction process on conversion of Malaysian palm-oil residuals into "green crude." 08/21/2013

Biofpr Publishes Review of EU and US Lignocellulosic Biofuel Initiatives

Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining (Biofpr), a journal of the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI), has announced free access to the article "Review of US and EU initiatives toward development, demonstration, and commercialization of lignocellulosic biofuels." 08/21/2013

Scotland Is First Nation to Commit to Zero-Waste Circular Economy 100

The Government of Scotland has announced that it is the first nation to formally join the Circular Economy 100 (CE100) programme launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. 08/21/2013

Covanta Acquires New Jersey Waste to Energy Plant from Foster Wheeler

Covanta Holding Corporation has announced that it has completed acquisition of the 1,050 ton per day Camden Resource Recovery Facility (CRRF) in the company's headquarters state of New Jersey from a subsidiary of the Swiss engineering company Foster Wheeler AG. 08/20/2013

EEA Publishes Assessment of European Union's Bioenergy Potential

Based in Denmark, the European Environmental Agency (EEA) has announced the availability of a new report, "EU bioenergy potential from a resource-efficiency perspective." 08/20/2013

Edeniq and PacificAg Integrate Cellulosic Processing into Corn Ethanol Plants

California based Edeniq has announced entering into an exclusive five-year agreement with Oregon based PacificAg to help integrate cellulosic biofuels processing capacity into existing corn ethanol fermentation plants. 0819/2013

WRAP Cymru Launches Small-Scale Reprocessing and Re-Use Grant Program

WRAP Cymru , the Welch arm of the United Kingdom's Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), has announced a newly-funded grant program to support localization of recyclate reprocessing. 29 2044 8090. 0819/2013

The Week's Action Items

Due 09/20/2013: Applications to BIC for Ontario Bioeconomy Initiative Support

The Canadian Biomass Innovation Centre (BIC) has announced it is now accepting applications for support for the Northern Ontario Bioeconomy Initiatives. 08/20/2013

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Featured Events:

Biomass Pellets Trade & Power

 6th Annual Waste Conversion Technology Conference & Trade Show
8th Annual
CBA Symposium

Sacramento, California
18-19, 2013
II European Emission Trading Summit

Recommended Reading:

Waste to energy conversion technology
Waste to energy conversion technology (Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy 2013)


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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.