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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume III, Issue 7, February 18, 2013 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

During that fracas about Plasco and the Salinas Valley being shut down in their attempts at sane waste conversion by California's purported waste management agency a few months back, the Governor's Office got involved just enough to say they wanted a "feedstock driven, technology neutral" approach to clean waste conversion. Right on point: it shouldn't matter WHAT sort of equipment is used to convert a particular kind of disposed crud back into a useful non-waste raw material, any more than it should matter what kind of an engine drives a fuel-efficient, low emissions vehicle down our highways. Show us that you can do it cleanly; we're all on board, right? Well.....

Let's go a step further. If you run an advanced Materials Recovery Facility (say it with me: "MRF First!") these days you can still end up with a whole lot of stuff you can't sell, but stuff you CAN turn back into raw materials. You find something that turns the unsellable, non-recycled waste plastic to fuel and raw polymers. You get these other vessels that pre-treat and digest that entire gooey organic fraction and make biogas you can use to run your waste collection trucks. And you choose one of those pyrolysis units that pressure-cook the greenwaste into heat and fuel to serve the main operations. Forget about whether the conversion thingies are this type of technology or that type of process, and simply concentrate on accomplishing as clean and as energy/resource efficient an operation as possible. Focus on the feedstock and the effectiveness, not on the technology.

Truth is, in a relatively short time we have collectively gone from having only a dozen or so vendors to choose from for any one type of waste conversion technology to seeing company after company come above radar and into the marketplace. It is the nature of marketing that each one shows up just a bit different than its competitor. This lets the customer with the MRF get picky, but if the Agency continues to focus on the techy-thing instead of the feedstock and efficiency, they're choosing to herd an ever-increasing number of slightly different breeds of cats instead of seeing if the furry critters can actually catch rats.

Hey Rube!

The buzz words today are "Pre-Treatment and Optimization" and no matter what waste conversion to biofuels and energy project you might be contemplating, if you are not already figuring out ways to increase the number of kinds of feedstock and the quantities of products, you're about to be side-lined. There are enough companies out there that have accomplished the first round of conversion to now see some very bright folks concentrating on "making it better." The sub-titles include words like "cavitation" and "hydro-pulping", "ionic liquids" and of course a Baker's Choice of Enzymes to munch, crunch, and beat that feedstock into something the rest of your processing system can use easier, cheaper, better. Don't even get me started on all the cool Sensors to be added to the MRF lines now. If I've heard right, these new Electro-optical Air-knife Multi-density what's-its can separate out bee's knees from buttons and bows. Once you've got a clean pile of only one kind of Stuff, you can focus on running it through a particular type of conversion system tuned to just that feedstock.

The Week's Extra Reading

California's Assembly Bill (AB) 341 adds a requirement for Commercial Waste Recycling in the state, and establishes a detailed new Policy Goal "encouraging" 75% diversion from landfill by 2020.  Be sure to take a look at our new article " Providing a Road Map to Implementing AB 341 " by guest author Dominic Meo III, P.E..

The Week's News

EnviTec Starts Site Work for Construction of Biogas Plant in Czech Republic

EnviTec Biogas has announced the start of construction of a 527 kilowatt electric (kWe) anaerobic digestion (AD) facility for generation of biogas from renewable raw materials such as maize silage, grass silage, sorghum, grain, and liquid cattle manure. 02/16/2013

B&W Selected for Viridor's Waste to Energy Plant in Peterborough, UK

The Babcock & Wilcox Company has announced that its Denmark based subsidiary Babcock & Wilcox Vølund A/S (B&W Vølund) and consortium partner Interserve Plc. were awarded a contract worth approximately $100 million to design and build Viridor's waste-to-energy plant in Peterborough, United Kingdom (UK). 02/16/2013

Lignol Increases Equity Investment in Australian Renewable Fuels

Canadian biofuels and products company Lignol Energy Corporation (LEC) has announced a substantial increase of its current investment in Australian Renewable Fuels Ltd. (ARW) by participating in the company's current Private Placement and Rights Offering financing round. 02/15/2013

CPUC Takes First Step to Adopt Biomethane Rules for Pipeline Injection

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced that it has formally opened a Rulemaking as the first step in adopting standards and requirements for biomethane to be utilized by utilities. 02/14/2013

Global Bioenergies Receives EUR 1.17MM in 2nd Payment from Partner Synthos

French based Global Bioenergies has announced receipt of a second payment of 1.17 million Euros from its equity partner the Polish rubber manufacturing firm Syntho, with whom the company recently completed successful biosourced butadiene production. 02/14/2013

SMUD Receives $1.8MM CEC Grant to Demo Argonne National Lab Process

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has announced awards of more than $17 million to advance "green transportation" projects, including a grant of $1,819,166 to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). 02/14/2013

New Process Developed to Produce Hydrogen from Bio-Oil

The University of the Basque Country in Northern Spain has announced research results from a PhD thesis by chemical engineer Aingeru Remiro-Eguskia that is focused on an alternative method of generating hydrogen (H2) from pyrolytically produced bio-oil. 02/13/2013

Carpet Recycling UK Announces 2012 Recycling & Energy Recovery Results

The United Kingdom's (UK) industrial association Carpet Recycling UK (CRUK) has released its February newsletter and has provided detailed results of the country's recovery efforts in 2012, indicating a 30% increase in diversion of carpet waste from landfills over the previous year. 02/13/2013

ENER-G Acquires 75% Equity Partnership in Rudox for CHP Development

The United Kingdom based ENER-G Holdings Plc has announced an equity investment of 75% in the New Jersey firm Rudox Engine & Equipment Company, forming ENER-G Rudox Inc to design, develop, manufacture, and install co-generation modules for provision of combined heat and power (CHP). 02/12/2013

FOGFUELS and City of Atlanta Partner for B100 Biodiesel Production and Use

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the advanced biofuels company FOGFUELS has announced entering a formal partnership with the City of Atlanta to convert aggregated fats, oils and greases (FOG) into engine ready B100 biodiesel to power the region's school busses, city vehicles, and machinery. 02/12/2013


Agencies and Industry Launch Bioenergy Association of California

The Bioenergy Association of California (BAC) has announced its official launch to take place on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 in Sacramento. 2/11/2013

TransAct Energy Completes Business Plan for Waste to Products JDA

Texas based TransAct Energy Corp. has announced completion of the first steps in a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) the company entered into last year with Bruce Hutchon of the United Kingdom, and Utopial Limited and Halfuel Limitedand, his group of private chemical technology companies. 02/11/2013

EBTP Sees Bright Future for Advanced Biofuels in Europe

The European Biofuels Technology Platform (EBTP) has provided a synopsis and posted many of the presentations from last week's Fifth Stakeholder Plenary Meeting (SPM5) of the EBTP at the Diamant Conference Centre in Brussels. 02/11/2013

FPInnovations Signs Bioeconomy MOU with Natural Resources Canada

The Canadian non-profit forest research organization FPInnovations has announced signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Natural Resources Canada's CanmetENERGY laboratory, formalizing the long-standing collaborative efforts of the research teams from both organizations. 02/11/2013

The Week's Action Items

Due 04/05/2013: Renewable Energy Project Proposals for Necker Island

Maryland based Reznick Think Energy (RTE), the Carbon War Room, and Colorado based Homer Energy have announced release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) to provide renewable energy and energy services for Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, home of Sir Richard Branson. 02/13/2013

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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.