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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 5, February 4, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "TerĂº")  

Teru's Trash Talk

What curious creatures we Humans are. We've been listening to the Petroleum Industry moan, "Awww, there ain't no Commercial Cellulosic Biofuel, Nowhere!" The operative word here is "commercial"; you need off-take agreements to attract the funding and need funding to go fully commercial. The military has shown that with the proper grease to the skids, they can come up with the needed quantities of biofuel. The oil companies are the same institutionalized industrial bullies that are now buying up those same biofuels technologies at fire-sale prices. It's the push-pull game we've watched as the old school Recycling and Landfill guys scream about Conversion Technologies. Nothing new here.

One line in a Reuters' news piece explaining Brazil's public response to biofuels caught my eye this week: "Drivers of Brazil's flex-fuel cars, which can run on pure ethanol, gasoline or any mix of both, tend to switch between the two whenever price fluctuations make one or the other cheaper."

Any new market player readjusts that market, and corn prices are what many focus on to show the horrors of an ethanol industry that depends on Food to make Fuel. That's almost too easy; just use a feedstock you can't eat. Hey! What about converting the American Tsunami of Trash? You just need to make sure you have the right tools in your kit; there seems to be plenty of potential feedstock material constantly entering the waste flow.

The old school US industries spit and hiss, while European engineering and waste management conglomerates gather in the tools as fast as they can. Conglomerates in Sweden and Finland are making sure they've got their complement of pre-treatment Enzymatics and Hydro-pulping, Anaerobic Digestion, Pyrolysis and Gasification, and Biogas Clean-up and Upgrading capabilities. Germany is teaching other countries how to contract the Fatherland's expertise for waste conversion. China is constantly hunting partnerships and securing capacity to turn waste into goods for a profit. One big Chinese bank has recently decided to develop 800 rural biogas plants "to celebrate their anniversary." Canada is "institutionalizing" the process with the provincial governments nudging together all the requisite parts into their own version of a Circular Economy. Our Petro Monopoly meanwhile is betting on fracking and oil shale and spending millions to stomp on anything that might bring on good old American Competition.

It always comes back to the Money. If you have to manage something that costs you dearly on an on-going basis and you can figure out a way to turn that liability into an asset, you get a double economic bump for the better. If you constantly pay for something that you can make cleaner and cheaper, that's what you should do. But if you are the Big Guys getting paid by the ton to manage waste, you push back on anything that distracts. If you're the Bullies that get Government subsidies to sell dirty fuel to folks who have always bought it, you certainly don't want some smarty finding a way to make that cash flow dry up, be it in the public good or not. Not, at least, until you own the new technologies.

Hey Rube!

Everyone cringes when another form needs to be filled out, when another "report" has to be filed. Yet there are also opportunities scattered among those dubious obligations. In the Plus category are the chances we have to speak up, to file Comments to the agencies and institutions that run the Game. We've all fought long and hard to have a say in how that Game is constructed and it has been the Stakeholders who have demanded a way to have input, but when it comes to taking time for "maintenance" our attention is usually less than stunning. When an agency says, "Here's what we're planning to do to you; whaddaya think?" that's your queue to read the stuff, think it through, and respond. And that, dear readers, is a lot of the reason why Teru Talk posts Action Items.

The Week's News

JBEI Shows Ionic Liquid Pre-Treatment Converts Mixed Biomass to Sugars

The US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has announced results of a study undertaken by the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), showing that ionic liquids can effectively convert mixed biomass feedstock to fermentable sugars. 02/02/2013

Alter NRG Plasma System Commissioned in Chinese Waste to Fuels Plant

The Canadian plasma specialist Alter NRG Corp. has announced that a Westinghouse Plasma gasification system it sold to Wuhan Kaidi Holding Investment Company, Ltd. (Kaidi) in 2010 has now been successfully commissioned in Wuhan, China for the conversion of waste to beneficial biodiesel and liquid transportation fuels. 02/02/2013

Green Fuels Installs FuelMatic Biodiesel Processing Plant in Bali

United Kingdom based Green Fuels has announced that it has installed and commissioned a turnkey FuelMatic GSX 3 (3,000 litre/day) modular biodiesel processing system in the island nation of Bali. 02/01/2013

Outotec Receives Order for Thermal System for US Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

The Finland-headquartered multi-faceted engineering and development company Outotec Oyi has announced receipt of an order for an Energy Products of Idaho (EPI) thermal conversion system to power a 95 million liter cellulosic ethanol plant in the United States. 01/31/2013

Neo Energy to Bring Food Waste Conversion to Massachusetts BioPark

The New Hampshire based anaerobic digestion company Neo Energy LLC moved a step closer to adding food waste to biogas capacity to the SouthCoast Life Science and Technology Park in Fall River, Massachusetts, according to local coverage of last week's Fall River Redevelopment Authority meeting. 01/31/2013

RENAC Launches 2nd Renewables Training Program to Serve South Africa

The German company Renewables Academy (RENAC) has announced the year's second major project for building international renewable energy development capacity, this time initiating the Transfer Renewable Energy & Efficiency (TREE) project to train South African policy makers in agencies and industry. 01/31/2013

Hang Seng Bank Will Build 800 Biogas Plants in Mainland China

China based Hang Seng Bank has announced that i it will build 800 biogas producing underground anaerobic digestion plants in mainland China in commemoration of its 80th anniversary. 01/30/2013

RENAC Hosts Seminars on Bioenergy for Russian Agencies and Industries

The Germany based company Renewables Academy (RENAC) has announced that it will be hosting a series of five day training sessions in Russia designed to introduce both political and industry decision makers to bioenergy and in particular, anaerobic digestion for production of biogas. 01/30/2013

Linde Licenses Carbo-V Gasification Technology to Forest BtL Oy

Germany based gas management and engineering company Linde Engineering Dresden GmbH has signed an agreement with the Finnish company Forest BtL Oy, licensing its biomass gasification technology Carbo-V® for implementation in a new Biomass–to-Liquid (BtL) plant in Kemi, Northern Finland. 01/30/2013

PUC Approves H-Power PPA between HECO and City & County of Honolulu

The Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) has announced that the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has approved a revised renewable energy power purchase agreement (PPA) between the City & County of Honolulu and the utility. 01/30/2013

ENER-G Launches Four New Landfill Gas to Power Projects

United Kingdom (UK) based ENER-G Group announced last Friday that its subsidiary ENER-G Natural Power has partnered with Seneca Global Energy for three UK landfill gas to power projects, and then on Monday announced a contract with sister company Biogas Technology for the team's second landfill gas to power project in Mexico. 01/29/2013

Wasabi Will Build 1st Kalina Cycle® Waste Heat to Power Plant in China

Australia based Wasabi Energy Ltd. has announced that Shanghai Shenghe New Energy Resources Science and Technology (SSNE) has signed an engineering, procurement, and construction agreement with the Sinopec Hainan Refining & Chemical Co., Ltd. for a 4.0 MW Kalina Cycle® power plant. 01/29/2013

The Week's Action Items

Due 02/15/2013:Concept to DOE for Biomass Feedstock Logistics System Grant

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the release of Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0000836) for Advanced Biomass Feedstock Logistics Systems II, following on a November 2012 Request for Information (DE-FOA-0000791). 01/29/2013

Due 02/28/2013: Comments on Revised UK Quality Protocol of Biomethane

The United Kingdom's (UK) Environment Agency (EA) has announced the release of a revised draft document, Quality Protocol for Biomethane, an environmental risk assessment for biomethane, and an explanation of the revisions made to the draft protocol released last year. 02/01/2013

Due 03/08/2013: Comments to California's Cap-and-Trade Investment Plan

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has announced it will host three regional workshops addressing the development of an investment plan for the auction proceeds from the Cap-and-Trade program to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs). 02/01/2013

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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.