Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume IV, Issue 41, October 13, 2014 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

The primary challenge facing us these days is how to economically sustain growth while increasing resource efficiency and decreasing environmental impact; it's a balancing act.

In our all-too-human activities, we fight to balance Reason and Good Judgment against Convenience and Expediency. We find everywhere the scars of our Throw Away Society nurtured by a couple generations of carelessness and assumed excess, from disposable diapers to food and product packaging. Resources come to us, we make use of what we can get our hands on, and once done, discard "waste" back into the environment. All that is starting to change out of a desperate need to slow the rush to scarcity of materials.

The long-standing Waste Management axiom has dictated Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and only then Dispose, and by now, most folks can get their head around the concept. We certainly must do what we can to not allow materials to become "waste" in the first place. Waste prevention begins with taking more care when storing veggies in the fridge, to fixing a toaster instead of buying another, to choosing not to encase products in umpteen layers of plastic packaging. Reuse comes about when we find a way to repurpose something once it has served an initial role. This can be as simple as turning food containers into gardening supplies, or as complex as turning worn-out hardwood gymnasium flooring into colorful, high-value counter-tops, out of date billboard vinyl into swimming pool covers, frayed fire hose to bumper guards.

Society thought it understood what Recycling was, but it is much more than cans and bottles. Too often, we've been trading a Good Feeling for shipping environmental problems out of country. Yet without the local infrastructure needed to convert those "recyclates" back into useful materials, the only other choice has been the local dump.

Globally, the Waste Management Hierarchy has shifted to recognize that one way or another, Recovery must be attempted before final disposal. In the US, the new policy positions Energy Recovery immediately after Recycling and before Disposal, but this falls short. EPA defines Energy Recovery from waste as "…the conversion of non-recyclable waste materials into useable heat, electricity, or fuel …" The European Directive broadens this to all Recovery options. Considering the value of foundation chemicals and of waste-sourced raw materials like rare and precious metals contained in electronic waste, we opt for the more inclusive language.

Investing in a clean, diverse, and localized Resource Recovery infrastructure lets recyclers find local processors. Regional and community based processing provides local jobs, cuts transport emissions, and increases the availability of raw materials for the manufacturing sector. Waste conversion for resource recovery improves both resource and energy security, and closes the loop of our Circular Waste Economy. Now it balances.

Hey Rube!

The European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Service has just released a concise, comprehensive Strategy for "Driving the Circular Economy" (see news item below). Go through their 7-point Plan, and see how many different Resource Recovery keystones we touch on with the tools and techniques highlighted in this week's news. Impressive, folks: keep up the good work!

This Week's Top Story

GE and PurposeEnergy to Recycle Industrial Wastewater and Generate Energy

GE and PurposeEnergy Inc have announced their collaboration to combine GE’s new anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) technology and PurposeEnergy’s Tribrid-Bioreactor™ as a solution to reuse industrial wastewater while also turning waste into energy. 10/06/2014

The Week's News

ACC Report Assesses Economic Potential of Plastics to Oil Conversion

Wide-scale deployment of emerging pyrolysis technology that converts used, non-recycled plastics into oil could generate up to $9 billion in annual U.S. economic output and create upwards of 40,000 domestic jobs, according to a report just released by the American Chemistry Council (ACC). 10/10/2014

DOE Allocates $13.4 Million to Develop Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $13.4 million for five projects to develop advanced biofuels and bioproducts to help drive down the cost of producing gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel from biomass. 10/10/2014

Community Fuels Awarded $4.1MM Grant to Upgrade California Biorefinery

American Biodiesel, Inc doing business as Community Fuels has been awarded a $4,183,421 grant by the California Energy Commission (CEC) to support installation of new equipment to increase efficiencies and expand the range of low carbon feedstocks that can be processed at its existing Port of Stockton advanced biorefinery. 10/10/2014

BlueFire Renewables Contracts China Company for Cellulosic Ethanol Facility

California based BlueFire Renewables, Inc has announced that it finalized and signed a new Master Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for its planned cellulosic ethanol facility in Fulton, Mississippi. 10/10/2014

Sierra Energy Seeks Support for a Chase Bank Mission Main Street Grant

Sierra Energy has circulated a request for voting support to stay in the running for the Chase Bank grant program. 10/09/2014

ESA Supports FEAD Circular Economy Strategy for Waste Management

The European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD) presented its Strategy “Driving the Circular Economy”, in Brussels on October 7, 2014. 10/09/2014

Webinar Will Focus on Environmental Permitting for Bioenergy Facilities

The American Biogas Council (ABC) and the Bioenergy Association of California (BAC) are jointly hosting a webinar on October 15, 2014 to explore the key first phase of bioenergy project development is permitting. 10/09/2014

AECOM Awarded Contract for Newtown Creek Renewable Natural Gas Project

Los Angeles based AECOM Technology Corporation has announced that it has been awarded a design-build contract from National Grid, in partnership with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, to provide engineering, procurement, and construction services for the Newtown Creek Renewable Natural Gas Project in New York City. 10/08/2014

IBI Approves Policy Revisions in Version 2.0 of the IBI Biochar Standards

The International Biochar Initiative (IBI) has announced that its membership has approved significant proposed policy changes for Version 2.0 of the IBI Biochar Standards. 10/08/2014

LanzaTech Named Global Cleantech North American Company of the Year

LanzaTech has announced it was named to the prestigious 2014 Global Cleantech 100, produced by Cleantech Group, and was awarded North American Company of the Year as the highest-ranked company on the list from the region. 10/07/2014

Liquid Light Designated Rising Star of the Year in 2014 Global Cleantech 100

New Jersey based Liquid Light Corporation announced that it has been honored as the “Rising Star of the Year” in the 2014 Global Cleantech 100 list produced by the Cleantech Group, a leading global research and advisory firm. 10/07/2014

Neste Jacobs Is EPCM for Neste Oil's Biopropane Plant at Rotterdam Refinery

Technology, engineering and project management company Neste Jacobs has been chosen as the EPCM contractor to design and implement the new biopropane production process at Neste Oil’s Rotterdam refinery. 10/06/2014

The Week's Action Items

Due 11/06/2014: Feasibility Study Proposals for Biomass Energy Facility

The Camptonville Community Partnership (CCP), grant administrator for the Yuba Watershed Protection & Fire Safe Council (YWP&FSC), has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for preparation of a Comprehensive Feasibility Study for a Biomass Power or Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Facility in Camptonville, California. 10/10/2014

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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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