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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 35, September 3, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

It's hard to talk trash when the world is either on fire, under fire, or both. But hey, trash is the Lowest Common Denominator - whatever our status, wherever we live, the truth prevails: Humans Waste. Whatever the headlines read, wherever the cameras roll, we can see broken stuff, discarded stuff, wasted stuff. After all the smoke clears, the damage reports are filed and the local folks try to resume their lives, along comes the dozer and another hole gets filled.

At the top of Everybody's Official Waste Management Hierarchy is "Reduce Waste": just stop making so much trash in the first place. That's not exactly anybody's priority, however, when the bombs are falling, or the forests are burning. But the same basic plea applies: let's try not to destroy and discard so much stuff in the first place, and see if maybe we can figure out how NOT to waste the planet's resources so darn fast. Next on that Hierarchy is "Reuse", just as tough to do with broken concrete and shattered glass as for burnt forest snags and seared soil. Building roads and levees lets us Recycle rubble; nature has its own way for Recycling forest mineral ash, after a few decades, but there's not much humans can do to recycle favorite stretches of old growth trees once they are reduced to smoldering ash. With both these kinds of Waste, about all we can do is plant new trees, and build new communities.

Perhaps Trash can help. There's this idea that, like cell phones and laptop computers, the surge toward distributed energy self-sufficiency will happen almost overnight. That scares the crud out of the entrenched fuel and utility companies, and rightly so. There probably is not enough time left for those dinosaurs to actually own the emerging technologies before their customers make their own electricity, heat, and fuel. You have to ask however, just what there could possibly be around us that is abundant enough and cheap enough to run everything, for everyone. Well, it won't be just one thing: there's sun for daytime generation, and windy days spin turbines. Algae grow fast and poop out fuel oil; microbes can make fuel out of thin (smoggy) air. And … trash is everywhere.

We yammer on about the Circular Economy, when really what we are talking about is the Circle of Life. Humans have always redirected the path of that bigger cycle; we just can accomplish things a lot faster these days. While technology certainly allows faster and more cost-effective self-destruction, technology can and does provide new ways to push this human race back within the boundaries of common sense. Of all the capabilities now at our "disposal", conversion of the stuff we throw away back into the stuff we need should rank high on everyone's global Circle of Life Hierarchy.

Hey Rube!

The Rim Fire which extends into the western reaches of Yosemite National Park has qualified as California's fourth largest wildfire, having scorched 230 thousand acres and still growing. The interagency "all-risk" incident information service InciWeb's Rim Fire report for today shows that the blaze has consumed the entire southern shore of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and continues to move into the Park. With 60% contained, the current date estimated for full containment is given as September 20th. A new US Forest Service article, The Best Defense - Restoration of the Land explains that "properly managed forests – those free of underbrush and ladder fuels – serve as the best defense against the ravaging effects of wildfire, especially in an era of longer and more severe fire seasons associated with climate change."

Upcoming Event Information

The latest agenda for the 8th annual California Bioresources Alliance Symposium: A Call to Action has just been released. The symposium will take place on September 18-19 at the Cal/EPA Building in Sacramento, and will focus on recent California legislation addressing bioresources and the Bioenergy Action Plan, ways to address biogas challenges faced by dairies, wastewater plants, and forestry products residuals handlers, facility siting issues, and use of bioresources for mine reclamation. Conference attendees will also tour the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District’s Biosolids Recycling Facility. Each year, the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant processes 26,000 dry tons of biosolids, 30 percent of which is beneficially recycled at the BRF.

This Week's Top Story

Australian $9MM Pilot Plant to Turn Waste Carbon Emissions into Bricks

The Priority Research Centre for Energy at Australia's University of Newcastle has announced it will build a pilot plant for mineral carbonation  to capture the waste carbon in industrial emissions for "geosequestration" as a solid carbonate rock. 08/29/2013

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.


Canadian Model Forest Network Releases Community Bioenergy Guide

The Canadian Model Forest Network (CMFN) has released a guide to community bioenergy designed to help local community leaders, businesses, and non-profit associations assess energy options of using woody biomass. 09/02/2013

Neste Oil and Raisioagro Research Use of Straw for Biofuel Feedstock

Neste Oil has announced a partnership with international agricultural commodities trader Raisioagro to assess the potential for use of straw as feedstock for their NExBTL biofuel. 09/02/2013 

Canadian Plastics Association Sponsors Marine Waste Plastics-to-Fuel Project

The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) has announced sponsorship of the British Columbia based Upcycle the Gyres Society (UpGyres, or UGS) for its proof of concept pilot project to collect ocean-borne waste plastic and convert it to clean fuel. 08/29/2013.

RENAC TREE Project to Hold Renewable Energy Training for African Leaders

The German company Renewables Academy (RENAC) has announced its third major project for building international renewable energy development capacity, part of the Transfer Renewable Energy & Efficiency (TREE) project, to expand upon training of African decision makers in use of renewable energy. 08/29/2013

BioNitrogen Gets Hardee County Planning Approval for Biomass-to-Urea Plant

Florida-based BioNitrogen Holdings Corporation has received unanimous approval from the Hardee County Planning and Zoning Commission for the company's biomass-to-urea fertilizer production plant, one year after signing the crucial feedstock supply agreement. 08/29/2013

Covanta Secures 20-Year New York City MSW Supply Contract for EfW

New Jersey headquartered Covanta Energy has announced a new 20-year term municipal solid waste (MSW) supply contract with New York City Department of Sanitation with two 5-year extension options for the City. 08/29/2013

Oregon EQC Approves Final Conversion Technology and AD Rules

The Oregon Environmental Quality Council (EQC) unanimously approved the final Conversion Technology Rules (agenda item H) during last week's regular meeting, accepting numerous changes detailed in the staff report and addendum presented by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). 08/27/2013

Marion City Council in Iowa Approves Fiberight's MSW Conversion Facility

During its August 22, 2013 meeting, the City Council of Marion, Iowa, approved a Resource Recovery Agreement (Resolution 23332), which gives Fiberight, LLC permission to build a solid waste recycling facility in an industrial area behind the City’s Public Services Center. 08/27/2013

Cool Planet's 1st 10MM Gallon Biorefinery Will Be Located in Louisiana

California based Cool Planet Energy Systems has announced selection of Alexandria, Louisiana as the location for the company's first showcase biorefinery. 08/26/2013

NPG Energy Selects Weltech Biopower for 2.4MWe Biogas Plant in Belgium

Germany based Weltech Biopower has announced that the Belgian investor and project developer NPG Energy has selected Weltech to develop a 2.4 megawatt (MWe) biogas plant in the Limburg District of Belgium. 08/26/2013

The Week's Action Items

Due 09/19/2013: Comments to California ARB on Alt Diesel Regulations

The staff of the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has announced the third public workshop for Thursday, September 5 2013 to explore the upcoming rulemaking on alternative diesel fuels (ADF). 08/26/2013

Due 10/11/2013: Expression of Interest for Mumbai MSW Processing & Disposal

The Municipal Corporation for Greater Mumbai (MCGM), India, has issued a global tender seeking Expressions of Interest for development of a "Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Processing & Disposal Facility." 08/31/2013

Due 10/25/2013: Applications to CEC for Alt Fuels and Technology Centers

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is requesting proposals to develop "new centers or expand existing centers for alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technology." 08/27/2013

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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.