Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume IV, Issue 20, May 19, 2014 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Instant information isn't fast enough these days. Letter-writing has become a lost art, emails give way to texting and even the 140 characters of a Tweet often seem too wordy. The rate of change is accelerating and the noise of the data storm we struggle within is reaching a crescendo. And from all this, we try to extract and assimilate meaningful information. We want answers and we want 'em now - but when Truth isn't conveniently available on a moment's notice, we make do with whatever explanation comes along in time.

Ask somebody, anybody how they are: "Oh, just fine, I suppose" and with that expected reply you are on your way. A dentist asks his patient how that old tooth is holding up, and the answer with a flinch is "OK, today." Our old jalopy is making a new grinding clatter and our mechanic smiles and says "No problem." Is it any wonder then that when we attempt to glean crucial details of a new technology by asking the vendor how their system works, we get those same assurances and platitudes? Not lying, exactly - just saying what you wanted to hear.

A community spends months, often years gathering the courage and funds to attempt a new approach to waste management, to see if perhaps there are New Tools that can cleanly divert their local discards away from disposal and toward resource recovery. The community puts out a Request for Proposals (those in the know call them RFPs) and receives back what? If they are lucky, they get six to ten responses. Cursory examination tells them that three of the systems are too large, and two are too small. But the last vendor absolutely assures them that their approach is Just Right. OK: we must have spent enough time and money on this by now.

A friend can keep an eye on a friend over the years. A good doctor knows he needs his patient's history to really tell what's going on. A top mechanic will want to see that jalopy's maintenance record. The swarm of web-enabled information that gives us news of everything everywhere now also allows us to peer into the past of the key people, the international companies, technologic platforms, and the resource recovery projects they deploy. Everyone now has the unique and often quite disturbing ability to look back down the timeline and to reconstruct the past. It's all out there, if you can winnow the wheat from the chaff.

As with all powerful tools, we can see clear evidence of rampant abuse of this New and Improved window on our lives, misuse by our governments, by the large corporate sales machines, and sometimes most violating, person-to-person identify theft. Yet like so many things, we also now have the ability to use these powerful tools for societal good. Whatever station you hold in life, it is much harder to hide these days and that can be both good and bad.

Hey Rube!

The problem is no longer a lack of pertinent information, but that far, far too much detail is readily available at any one time, about anything and everything. A good tool to apply to this quandary is the "database" - and today's versions are almost unrecognizable compared to what constituted data management software just a decade ago. Teru Talk attempts to filter that flood and organize the detail for the long view, and we are busily checking out these new fangled database gismos to help organizing about 3,000 global waste conversion related profiles that we currently maintain. If you speak Database and can give us a leg up, please say so …

This Week's Top Story

FLI Energy Breaks Ground on Fraddon Anaerobic Digestion Plant

The United Kingdom (UK) based non-profit Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) reports that FLI Energy has begun construction of the Fraddon biogas plant, a biomethane to grid anaerobic digestion (AD) project located in Fraddon, Cornwall. 05/15/2014

The Week's News

Vander Haak Dairy in Washington State Wins Renewable Energy Award

Vander Haak Dairy, the first dairy to install a digester in Washington State (2004), has received the Outstanding Achievement in Renewable Energy Award from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy as part of its 3rd Annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards. 05/15/2014

Licensing Offered for Catalyst for Low Temperature Combustion of Methane

Dr. Radoslaw Rudz, head of the Innovation team at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, has notified Teru Talk that research into development of a catalyst for low temperature combustion of low-heat value methane is now being offered for technology transfer and licensing for commercial application. 05/15/2014

Asia Biomass Office Reports on Successful Trials for Bio-Coke Production

The Asia Biomass Energy Promotion Office, part of Japan's New Energy Foundation, has announced that successful collaboration between Kinki University and Osaka Gas Engineering can now scale up commercial production of "Bio-Coke", a new form of solid fuel produced from Malaysian oil palm residual wastes. 05/14/2014

AEE Has 40 Answers to EPA Carbon Rules, Including Waste Conversion

The US non-profit organization Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) has released the open-access report "Advanced Energy Technologies for Greenhouse Gas Reduction" to provides details on the use, application, and benefits of 40 specific advanced energy technologies and services. 05/14/2014

UK DECC Seeks Comments on Governmental Support for Renewable Energy

The United Kingdom (UK) Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has issued a call for stakeholder Consultations intended to ensure proper return of value and long-term maintenance of the government's investment in support of renewable energy. 05/14/2014

TERI Proposes Sustainable Development Agenda for New Indian Government

As the entire country of India prepares for a change in leadership, the New Delhi based non-profit organization The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has offered a concise 10-page proposed agenda for the incoming administration, entitled "The Cost of Developmental Inaction." 05/13/2014

Alliance for Green Heat Reviews Comments to EPA's NSPS for Wood Stoves

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is revising New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) that apply to combustion of wood and wood-derived fuels. 05/12/2014

The Week's Action Items

Due 05/27/2014: Proposals to Minnesota for CHP Stakeholder Process

The Minnesota Department of Commerce’s (Commerce) has issued Requests for Proposals (RFPs) in the area of combined heat and power (CHP) in order to focus on more specific policy details and recommendations. 05/12/2014

Due 06/10/2014: Phase 1 SBIR Proposals to National Science Foundation

Due 06/11/2014: Phase 1 STTR Proposals to National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has begun accepting Phase 1 proposals toward the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small  Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. 05/13/2014

Due 07/07/2014: Applications to USDA for Rural Renewable Energy Grants

Due 07/31/2014: Applications to USDA for Loan Guarantees

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) has published a Notice of Funding Availability (NOPA) and is now accepting applications for financial assistance for grants, guaranteed loans, and combined grants and loans for the development and construction of renewable energy systems and for energy efficiency improvement projects. 05/12/2014

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Recommended Reading:

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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