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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 51, December 23, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  
 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at Teru Talk!

Teru's Trash Talk

If we do this waste conversion thing right, nobody will even notice. That seems to be this year's lesson for finding the safest and surest path forward, just not the most glamorous. If you've got a widget that does what it is supposed to do, find a place where you can make that magic work and get busy. Perhaps we've been playing this all wrong, calling attention to how brand new and shiny we are when really all we want to do is convert that most plentiful of resources, Trash, back into the things we need. Looking down the Yellow Brick Road, we can almost see that place and time when the tools and the know-how we have can simply be absorbed into the marketplace.

There's been some evidence in 2013 that this is occurring. Take anaerobic digestion (AD), as an example: well-designed AD systems are turning the liability of food waste into the valuable product biogas, whether as stand-alone reactors or as modifications to existing sewage treatment plants. That main system acceptance opens the door for processing finesse: if you are going to spend the time and money to develop a biogas plant, find someone who can help with input pre-treatment and back-end refining. Enzymatics, cavitation, electrolysis, heat, and pressure can all play their part in breaking down the tougher organics, and this expands the range of acceptable feedstock. Biogas upgrading has also seen many new entrants, including pipeline quality gas production and catalysis to chemicals and liquid fuels. More front and back end processing diversity translates to a more stable and cheaper input supply, more biogas output per buck spent and ton converted, and higher value for the finished product. The rapid growth this past year of companies, technologies, and methods providing front and back-end processing finesse is our best example of an opening, receptive marketplace.

But there's that perpetual problem: how to let folks know what you are doing. You still must use some sort of advertising to get the attention of the marketplace. Doing business without marketing, so the saying goes, is like winking in the dark. But the best marketing will always be doing instead of talking; you need a successful "reference project" where people can come see the thing work. Around the globe, it is the financial ability and political willingness of a region's government to support reference installations that effectively jump-starts Clean Tech, and this is especially true for waste conversion to energy, fuels, and other commodities. It just stands to reason that there must be as much attention paid to securing proper Policy in support of early projects as there is focus on new technologies and methods, as we communally try to close that loop of the Circular Economy.

Hey Rube!

Legislative attempts to make sense of turning low value residuals and wastes into high value commodities have resulted in some reasonably solid new laws. Yet the battle is only partially won, as there are plenty of good folks out there who would like the non-disruptive status quo. Unless we advocates of sane Waste Conversion attend to the proper implementation of those new legal frameworks, each effort will be dismantled and sidelined. In California, the Air and Waste Management agencies are charged in 2014 with implementing better climate-friendly resource recovery for compliance with AB 32 / AB 341, while our Energy agencies do the same with small-scale conversion of biomass to heat, power and fuels, in rolling out SB 1122. This latter action has reached another milestone, which we have covered in this week's news. Read on - and have a very warm and happy Holiday Season!

This Week's Top Story

Greenbelt Resources Selected to Provide Waste-to-Ethanol System in Australia

California based Greenbelt Resources Corporation has announced its selection by Standard Ethanol Pty. Ltd., an Australian company, to design and deliver a complete, commercial-scale advanced biofuel system for converting wheat feedstock to ethanol and organic fertilizer. 12/16/2013

The Week's News

NIB Invests in Danish Crown's New Energy and Water Efficient Slaughterhouse

The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) has announced its investment in Denmark company Danish Crown A/S by approving a new loan agreement with a 10-year maturity, totaling DKK 340 million (EUR 46 million) for the construction of a cattle slaughterhouse in Holsted, Denmark. 12/20/2013

BAC Comments on CPUC Implementation Plan of Bioenergy Feed-in Tariff

The Bioenergy Association of California (BAC) has formally filed opening comments to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regarding agency staff's proposal for implementation of Senate Bill (SB) 1122 (Rubio, 2012). 12/20/2013

Pacific Ethanol and Sweetwater Energy Partner to Produce Cellulosic Ethanol

New York based Sweetwater Energy, Inc and Sacramento company Pacific Ethanol, Inc have announced an agreement to supply customized industrial sugars for the production of cellulosic ethanol. 12/19/2013

Global Clean Energy Advances AD Development at Seneca AgBio Energy Park

Texas based Global Clean Energy, Inc (GCE) and California company Full Circle Renewables, LLC are moving ahead to develop an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facility at the Seneca AgBio Energy Park located on the former Seneca Army Storage Depot in Romulus, New York. 12/18/2013

Renewable Energy Group Agrees to Acquire Syntroleum Corporation

Renewable Energy Group, Inc (REG) has announced entering into an asset purchase agreement with Syntroleum Corporation in which REG would acquire substantially all of the assets and assume substantially all of the material liabilities of Syntroleum. 12/18/2013

Calysta Completes $3 Million Financing for Methane to Chemicals and Fuels

California based Calysta Energy™ Inc has announced completion of a Series A financing round totaling $3 million to advance development of biological routes to high value industrial chemicals and fuels based on methane as a feedstock. 12/16/2013

NIB Finances UPM-Kymmene's Renewable Diesel Refinery in Finland

Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) has announced signing a EUR 50 million loan agreement with UPM-Kymmene Corp. to construct the world’s first industrial biorefinery producing wood-based renewable diesel in Lappeenranta, Finland. 12/16/2013

The Week's Action Items 

Due 02/27/2014: Scholarship Applications to Iberdrola USA Foundation

Based in Spain, the Iberdrola USA Foundation in conjunction with Fundacion Iberdrola has announced that it is now accepting applications for scholarships for master's studies in energy and/or the environment at the University of Rochester and the University of Maine for the 2014/2015 academic year. 12/19/2013

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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.