Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume IV, Issue 38, September 22, 2014 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Two important interrelated Federal announcements came out on September 19th, one that caught everyone's attention and one that hardly anyone outside of the Southwestern US heard about. The first was the morning press briefing by the USDA, the Navy, and the Department of Energy that under the newly reauthorized Defense Production Act, contracts have been awarded to three drop-in biofuels production companies. The second was a big Thank You from a national forest supervisor to the surrounding communities, for steadfastly supporting the Forest Service in implementing the New Forest Plan for integrated forest restoration. Biofuels are great, but neither announcement focused on waste conversion, so what's the fuss for us?

The three biofuels plants all depend upon waste and residuals for feedstock. Each technical process has been fine-tuned to convert resources otherwise destined for disposal, into what Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack called "something that is extraordinarily valuable". Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus noted that there have always been nay-sayers, every time we have changed from one major fuel source to another - wind to coal, coal to oil, oil to nuclear - and every time the nay-sayers have been wrong. Out-going Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy Dan Poneman quoted Churchill as demanding that we diversity our fuel types. He noted that in the US today, 11% of the country's energy is renewable, and of that, 1/2 is biomass-sourced. Poneman said we have added a new source, as exemplified by the three contracts: Fulcrum Bioenergy's conversion of municipal solid waste, Emerald Biofuels advanced conversion of waste fats, oils and grease, and Red Rock Biofuels conversion of Oregon's forest sourced woody biomass - all into military-specification fuels.

So what about this conversion of "forest-sourced woody biomass" that nay-sayers have decrying for decades? Beginning in 2010, the Forest Service has been host to over 20 Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration programs (CFLR), a grand US Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiative to link communities, industries, local and state agencies, and the federal land managers in a process that could improve the environment, the forest health and the regional economies.

Teru Talk has followed the Four Forests Restoration Initiative (4FRI) as a new Forest Plan was authorized, as wildland fire and thinning practices changed, and as contracts were let for conversion of the biomass extracted under the new Plan was extracted. From the start, the 4FRI sought to link increased use of wildfire as a management tool with economical conversion of extracted woody biomass. But massive land management reform needs on-going public support. It is largely to this high level of community backing, patience, and direct support for the 4FRI program at all levels that Kaibab National Forest Supervisor is now giving credit where credit is due.

Hey Rube!

DOE's Dan Poneman commends the interagency collaboration and agrees that it is all about partnership. He puts a sharper point on the need however, in saying that this can be "… not just about talk, not just about writing words on a page - that this must be moving America forward in a direction that will make us safer, more prosperous and more secure." Listen to all the arguments, check out the collaborative efforts in your region and take part - but keep in mind that the Nay-Sayers are wrong, again, and that underneath the Wonder of Biofuels, it is the careful acquisition and conversion of waste as feedstock that makes this whole New Source economical.

This Week's Top Story

DoD Authorizes Defense Act Awards for Production of 100 MGY of Biofuels

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has completed the award process for three new contracts under the Defense Production Act Title III for the production of over 100 million gallons per year (MGY) of drop-in, military compatible biofuels. 09/21/2014

The Week's News

Community Support Aids 2014 Restoration Efforts in Kaibab National Forest

The Kaibab National Forest has had a successful summer managing wildland fires, thanks to the commitment of its employees to the important work of forest restoration and to the ongoing support from the communities of northern Arizona. 09/21/2014

ReEnergy Celebrates Restart of Ashland Maine 39 MWe Bioenergy Plant

ReEnergy Holdings LLC will be celebrating the restart of its Ashland, Maine, 39 megawatt biomass to electricity plant on for October 2, 2014 between 10 am and 2 pm, which has stood idle since  March of 2011. 09/19/2014

FCC Environment Will Convert Wigan Council's Residual Waste to RDF

United Kingdom based FCC Environment has signed a 25 year residual waste contract with Wigan Council to divert an estimated 90% of the borough’s non-recyclable waste from landfill. 09/18/2014

Canada’s Clean50 Names This Year's Sustainability Champions

For the fourth year, Canada’s Clean50 organization has selected 50 outstanding leaders across 16 categories of Sustainability, 10 "Emerging Leaders" from across Canada ranging in age from 15 to their early 30s, and 15 innovative projects. 09/18/2014

New Generation Power Announces 34.5 Megawatt Biomass Project in Japan

Chicago-based New Generation Power International (NGPI) and Japanese company Nippon Energy Solution, Inc (NES) will develop three 11.5 Megawatt (MW) wood biomass plants in Japan. 09/17/2014

DONG Energy and Horsens Bioenergie Inaugurate New Danish Biogas Plant

The mayor of Horsens, Denmark cut the ribbon at the inauguration ceremony for a new biogas plant on September 10, 2014, following four years of work and dialog with local and national authorities and the community. 09/17/2014

ElectraTherm Green Machines Generate Power from Wood Waste in Oregon

Nevada based ElectraTherm, Inc has commissioned its second Green Machine 4400 at an integrated wood products mill in Wallowa, Oregon. 09/17/2014

US DOE Expands Initiative to Increase Clean Energy Manufacturing

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced expansions of its Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative in support of the American manufacturing sector and a new initiative to support the administration’s goal of doubling energy productivity by 2030. 09/17/2014

Pacific Ethanol Contracts to Sell CO2 From Its Columbia Plant in Boardman

California based Pacific Ethanol Inc has announced its agreement with Kodiak Carbonic, LLC to sell CO2 from the Pacific Ethanol Columbia plant located in Boardman, Oregon. 09/16/2014

2G CENERGY Supplies Biogas CHP System to Yuengling Brewery

Florida based 2G CENERGY Power Systems Technologies Inc has installed a Biogas Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Energy Conversion System at Yuengling®, the Nation's oldest brewery. 09/16/2014

ESA Launching First Biowaste Strategy - Circular Organics

The United Kingdom (UK) based Environmental Services Association (ESA), the voice of the UK’s waste and resource management industry, is launching its first biowaste strategy, ‘Circular Organics: Biowaste in a Circular Economy’, at this year’s RWM Show. 09/15/2014

Mtech Awards $2.3MM to 18 Research Partnerships to Commercialize Tech

The Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program, an initiative of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) at the University of Maryland (UM), has awarded $2.3 million to 18 project teams comprised of University and private company researchers, primarily start-up companies. 09/15/2014

Celtic Renewables Wins Motor Industry Award for Whisky Draff to BioButanol

Scottish company Celtic Renewables Ltd has been recognized by the motor industry, winning a top honor at the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership's (LowCVP) annual Low Carbon Champions awards. 09/15/2014

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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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