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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 42, October 21, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Wasted Water - we touched lightly on the subject in last week's Trash Talk - is not something we usually think about that we throw away, that we could instead recover and turn back into a resource instead of a liability. Yet for a lot of the world, water is at least as precious as food, and far more valuable than fuel or electricity. Could we in the Highly Civilized areas ever see water as gold? Well, we all know the old song about when you finally will miss it …

And boy, how we waste water! If we're not jigglin' the handle on the commode, we're forgetting to flip to the Rainy Day setting in our automated sprinkler system. Water waste around the homestead is one thing; wasting water in business is something very different. Vast lakes full of water get traded for fractions of pennies on the dollar, and of course what doesn't really cost you, isn’t worth conserving. The City of Sacramento still has 57,000 unmetered water services within its boundaries. Heck, it's hardly worth counting - and what you don't count, you can't manage.

Here's an interesting "business" perspective: your own work may not use much water; it may not even be a "line item" in your budget, yet if those guys you buy stuff from need a lot of water that THEY can't get, you go outta business anyway. So it's your Supply Chain that you need to pay attention to, not your monthly water bill. Anyone that resells foodstuff is in this fix, but so are the compost producer, the garden supply store and nursery, the neighborhood landscape maintenance business, and that corner lemonade stand that earned your kid the money for Camp last summer.

And it's not just letting the hose water run down the driveway. One of the crazy ways we throw away water is with the restaurant's table scraps and the supermarket's rotten bananas: food waste is usually well over 50%, sometimes as high as 80% water. Yet away it goes like we have Water to Waste and all we see is the departing trash truck, not the constantly-sinking underground puddle (or "aquifer") our wells draw from.

We all hear the Emergency Preparedness warning about storing water in case of a disaster. What if there isn't even enough water to store, long before that earthquake strikes? Silly thought? Some smart folks are predicting that the Great Central Valley of California, our international bread-basket, is due to dry up within the decade. You're probably right; they are probably wrong. Maybe.

Hey Rube!

 Just step back from the ledges for a moment and think about where all the stuff you depend upon comes from. Think about what it takes to fill that supply line, so you can depend on getting what you need, when you need it. Think beyond brown grass and shorter showers to consider entire crops lost, rivers losing their fisheries, whole regions drying up. Now do the math, and make an educated guess at what Water is really worth.

The Week's Extra Reading

Teru recently attended the CIFAR Conference XXXII on Managing Energy, Water and By-products for Profitability in Food and Beverage Processing. Here is his report . Also take a look at the final agenda with links to the presentations.

This Week's Top Story

Enterra's New Technology Converts Waste Food Nutrients into Healthy Food

Enterra Feed Corporation, a Vancouver-based company, has announced an innovative new technology that transforms nutrient-rich, clean food waste into high-quality, natural protein, oils, and fertilizer that help grow healthy animals and plants. 10/17/2013

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.


Stanford Researchers Generate Electricity from Sewage Using Wired Microbes

Stanford University has announced that an interdisciplinary research team has created a "microbial battery" driven by naturally occurring bacteria that have evolved to produce electricity as they digest plant and animal waste. 10/20/2013

Renewable Energy Plant at the Village of Ridgewood WWTP Fully Operational

A public-private partnership in the Village of Ridgewood, New Jersey has celebrated the Grand Opening of its renewable energy project at the Village's wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). 10/20/2013

Chempolis and ONGC Team for Cellulosic Ethanol Biorefineries in India

Finland based Chempolis Ltd has announced signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), India's leading oil and gas exploration company, to team up for the production of cellulosic ethanol and biochemicals from non-food biomass. 10/18/2013

LanzaTech Partners With Korea's SK Innovation for Green Chemical R

Korea based SK innovation and LanzaTech have announced an agreement to develop a new process technology for the production of 1,3 butadiene, a platform chemical used in many high growth industries globally. 10/17/2013

Cool Planet Announces Launch of Cool Terra™ Biochar Soil Amendment

Colorado based Cool Planet Energy Systems has announced the launch of their biochar soil amendment product “Cool Terra™” for commercial agricultural trials. 10/17/2013

Greenleaf Power Acquires St-Félicien Cogénération Power Plant in Quebec

California based Greenleaf Power, LLC announced that it has finalized the purchase of the St-Félicien Cogénération Power Plant located in St-Félicien, Quebec, Canada, approximately 300 miles north of Montréal. 10/17/2013 

Sweetwater Energy JVs with Naturally Scientific to Convert CO2 to Sugar

New York based Sweetwater Energy, Inc. has announced a 50/50 joint venture with Naturally Scientific to produce sugar from waste carbon dioxide (CO2). 10/15/2013

Community-Scale Wood Bioenergy Workshop Series, Field Tour Scheduled

The Woody Biomass Utilization Group at the University of California, Berkeley has scheduled a series of 2013 3e workshops on Community-scale Wood Bioenergy coupled with a half day field tour highlighting innovative approaches to the regional woody biomass supply chain. 10/15/2013


Darling Intl to Acquire Vion Ingredients to Expand Food Waste Solutions

Texas based Darling International Inc, a rendering, recycling, and recovery solutions provider to the nation's food industry, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire shares of Netherlands based Vion Ingredients, a division of Vion Holding N.V. (Vion Food Group), for approximately €1.6 billion. 10/14/2013

CCEMC Provides Over $46 Million to Support 8 Renewable Energy Projects

The Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation in Alberta, Canada has announced a commitment of more than $46 million in funding for eight renewable energy projects. 10/14/2013

The Week's Action Items

Due 12/06/2013: CEC PIER Applications for Renewable Energy RD&D Projects

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released Program Opportunity Notice PON-13-502 for Joint Renewable Energy and Advanced Generation, and Energy-Related Environmental Research, Development and Demonstration. 10/18/2013


Due 01/15/2014: Renewable Energy Applications to SEF for 0% Financing

The Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) has announced the introduction of its new Sustainable Energy Finance program, which will be available to non-profit and governmental entities to complete energy efficiency or renewable energy projects in the areas served by the electric grid managed by PJM Interconnection. 10/14/2013

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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.