Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume IV, Issue 13, March 31, 2014 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Tis Spring, and I've got Gnats - or at least, my compost bin does. I'm the proud parent of 1.3 million tiny flitting scavengers who have claimed the warm and moldering mound in that black plastic gizmo that turns my discarded people food back into plant food. With this crazy weather, nothing is happening on time so just before the moment when the local Soldier Flies - my Wee Beasties - move in to start their 2014 Grub Colony, it's the Gnats.

Things could be worse. Last spring it was the Slugs (ugh!) and later in the summer that food waste smörgåsbord with its myriad bugs attracted a family of skunks (thus the serious wire cage around the whole shebang). Meanwhile, our 32 gallon standard issue trash can fills less and less each week; by the time we pull out the recyclables and the organics, there really isn't much left. This is a good thing, all this recycling and resource recovery - but the Gnats are here to remind me why happy clean people everywhere have depended on Others to do away with all their nasty Waste for such a long time. This business of being personally responsible for our own resources can be burdensome. And it can attract Gnats and Slugs and Skunks (Oh, My!)

Oh, but the tomatoes and the peppers! There simply isn't any store-bought mulch stuff I can buy that coaxes plant growth like that intense black mulch that comes outta my compost bin. It's Alive! It's Alive! And it grows veggies to beat the band. Yes, my home-grown compost never really "finishes off" like the professionals can accomplish, and last year's seeds are likely to send up an army of volunteer almost-identifiable sprouts in about a month. But the phoebe parents will teach their babies the art of aerobatics as they snatch the gnats mid-flight, the robins will level off the populations of sow bugs and ear-wigs I inadvertently encourage, and soon the ground will just vibrate with red-worm hoards. The seeds I saved from last year's harvest got planted in salvaged plastic food containers just after Thanksgiving and are a few inches tall by now. But 'round here, we have to expect at least one snap freeze late in April (or maybe May), so my baby plants will remain in their pots under cover. The snap peas and onions don't mind the weather; they have been in for a month and are doing just fine, thanks. Everything else is holding its almost-a-garden breath.

Here's a quandary: as our Waste Conversion sector perfects its tools, the systems for conversion of crud back into goods are getting smaller and cheaper - such is the pattern of Progress for all techy things, it seems. I've been wondering about setting up our own biogas maker - there's plenty of designs on-line to copy - and maybe helping heat our house water or at least fueling my bar-b-que. I'd feed it our food waste and finely chopped yard clippings, maybe hit up a local rancher occasionally for another truck load of fresh horse apples. In go the organics; out comes Biogas Fuel and, eventually, a different kind of mulch stuff for the garden. Sounds pretty cool, and it is the new Right Thing to Do. But I'd probably miss the gnats.

Hey Rube!

OK, let's get serious here for a moment. It's all too easy to miss the starting shot when the Race finally gets under way. The whole wide world seems just so - tangled - that we can get too distracted to remember what we've been waiting for. But a lot of us have been treading water, watching those outside swells, waiting for Waste Conversion to get its fair due and for Business to take off. Our bet? This is the Year. Gird your grid and get ready, it's time to get to work.

This Week's Top Story

Fiberight Gets Economic Support from Iowa City to Construct MRF for Biofuels

Maryland-based Fiberight LLC has announced that the Marion City Council in Iowa agreed at its March 20, 2014 meeting to provide the firm with an economic-development incentive worth up to $850,000 to help it build its 50,000-square-foot materials recovery facility (MRF). 03/29/2014

The Week's News

BioNitrogen Commits to $9MM Allocation From Florida Investment Program

Florida company BioNitrogen Holdings Corp has announced that it has signed a term sheet for a $9 million investment supported by the Florida New Markets Capital Investment Program (NMTC). 03/29/2014

US EPA Proposes Additions to List of Categorical Non-Waste Fuels

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to add three materials to the list of categorical non-waste fuels: 03/29/2014

Map Updated for Operational AD Sites in UK, AD Quality Protocol Released

Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facility development is advancing rapidly in the United Kingdom (UK). The UK Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP) has just released a substantially updated interactive map with accompanying data to identify and track all forms of AD development. 03/28/2014

LanzaTech’s $60MM Series D Round Led by Mitsui Investment

Lanzatech has announced a $60 million Series D funding round led by Mitsui & Co. with a $20M investment. 03/26/2014

Cool Planet and OWS Team for Storm Water Treatment Technologies

Colorado based Cool Planet Energy Systems has announced signing a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with California company Organic Waste Solutions, LLC (OWS) to address California’s storm water runoff regulations and improve water quality. 03/26/2014

Dyadic Secures New US Patent on Cellulosic Biomass Hydrolysis Enzymes

Florida based Dyadic International, Inc has announced that it has been issued US Patent No. 8,673,618 entitled, "Construction of highly efficient cellulase compositions for enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose" by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). 03/25/2014

Global Bioenergies Secures Australian Patents for Biomass to Isobutene

French company Global Bioenergies has announced that the Australian Intellectual Property Office has granted two patents that protect key steps of its process for converting renewable resources into isobutene. 03/25/2014

ACOA Funds CelluFuel for Woody Biomass to Diesel Pilot Plant in Nova Scotia

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) has announced funding for the startup of CelluFuel’s pilot plant with an initial capacity of 1.3 million litres of diesel per year to transform otherwise low-value wood fiber into renewable fuel for the refinery market. 03/25/2014

WM, Ventech, NRG, and Velocys JV for Smaller-Scale Gas-to-Liquids Facilities

Waste Management, Inc (WM), Ventech Engineers International LLC, NRG Energy, Inc, and Velocys plc have announced the formation of a joint venture (JV) to produce renewable fuels and chemicals from biogas and natural gas using smaller-scale gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology. 03/24/2014

MagneGas Unveils Mobile Liquid Biomass Solution

MagneGas Corporation announced its new mobile liquid biomass solution today at the 7th Annual International Biomass Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida. 03/24/2014

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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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