Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume IV, Issue 45, November 10, 2014 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú") 

Teru's Trash Talk

This week, Biomass is the buzz. It seems that everyone is doing something with the stuff. We've got a major Utility interested in gasifying Biomass, banks and agencies are including Biomass project development for funding, and a whole woodpile of folks are figuring out new ways to take wood apart and separate out all the useful gases, liquids, and solids.  

Everything on the planet ends up in Biomass. Sunlight, water, air and dirt provide the building blocks and nature does the bio-conversion. Over and over again, this biorefinery process builds up plants and tears them down, sticks the foundation chemicals together then takes them apart for reuse and resource recovery. Surface materials get recycled fastest, but even deep-lain rock can make its fiery way up, out and eventually into Biomass. The biggest blocks are Carbon and Nitrogen but there are no chemicals that completely avoid all-encompassing Biomass.

All living things are Biomass, and depend on Biomass to be Biomass. Cows, salamanders and humans all do their biorefining bit, recycling and re-recycling products of the global Biomass cornucopia. Even if we choose to do nothing, Biomass still inexorably comes together and falls apart, builds up and disintegrates. If everything everywhere ends up in Biomass, it only stands to reason that anything we need can be made from biomass, one way or another. As the news this week shows, bright folks are learning to do lots of different kinds of Biomass Magic with this most prevalent of feedstocks.

Bio-Power, Bio-Fuels, Bio-Products …even "Biosuccinium" claims its rightful due. From building the World's Largest Biomass Power Plant to actually turning carbon dioxide gas molecules into Biomass for food, Humans are taking a cue from nature and finding new way to tease the energy, the chemicals, and the value, out of the lowly log. Three Cheers for Biomass!

Hey Rube!

OK, enough frivolity. Once again, it seems our dear California agencies need to be slapped upside the head. This time, we find two state empires catching flack.

First, the State Auditor's Office took a good look at how CalRecycle has been running the Broken Bottle Bill (sic). Who knew that there was something so wrong with what we've been calling Recycling all these years (We did! We did!). But a hundred million dollar bet made and lost each year, three out of the last four years? We've provided a gentle guide to the Audit and made a couple of our own suggestions. Read our new Focus Report (link below), and see if you can think of a good Fix.

Then there's the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and its well-intended but ultra-complicated Carbon and Climate programs. Last week CARB held a workshop on Low Carbon Transportation Greenhouse Gas Reduction Investments considering allocation of $200 million in cap-and-trade dollars and $25 million in the Air Quality Improvement Fund. It seems CARB would prefer to spend that money on electric cars and the hydrogen highway rather than following solid guidance and pushing for more Biomass to Compost, Biomass to Fuel. See the article from the California Compost Coalition for a breakdown of the wonderful potential and the high likelihood of mis-steps. Review CARB's decisions and send them your own thoughts. Come January 1, 2015 the Cap-and-Trade program goes in high gear and the re-authorized Low Carbon Fuel Standard's next implementation phase won't be far behind.

This Week's Extra Reading

New TERU Focus Report: Auditor's Office Rips CalRecycle looks at the new state audit of CalRecycle's Beverage Container Recycling Program and its $100MM annual deficit.

This Week's Top Story

Abengoa to Develop World's Largest Biomass Power Plant in Belgium

Abengoa has announced being selected by the electricity and gas company, Belgian Eco Energy (BEE), to develop the largest commercial biomass power plant in the world in Ghent, Belgium. 11/07/2014

The Week's News

Himark BioGas Granted Canadian Patent for Mixed Waste Processing System

Alberta based Himark BioGas International (Himark BioGas) has announced that it has been issued a patent by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office that covers apparatus, methods and systems for processing waste. 11/07/2014

Reverdia's Biosuccinium™ Earns USDA Certified Biobased Product Label

Netherlands-based Reverdia has announced that it has received approval from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to label its biomass-based succinic acid, sold under the brand name as Biosuccinium™, as a Certified Biobased Product. 11/06/2014

Cyclone Power Receives $135K PO to Provide Hydrocarbon Extractor System

Florida based Cyclone Power Technologies, Inc has announced receiving a $135,000 purchase order from Alabama company Republic Energy LLC for the development and components of a hydrocarbon extractor system, which is used to extract fuels from biomass. 11/05/2014

GIB Approves Funding for AmeyCespa's Integrated Waste to Energy Plant

The United Kingdom (UK) Green Investment Bank (GIB) has announced its £33m investment into the Allerton Waste Recovery Park, a new waste treatment plant in North Yorkshire with a total project value of £319 million. 11/05/2014

Peel Selects BWV's Waste to Energy Technology for Ince Park Facility

Peel Environmental has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Babcock & Wilcox Volund (BWV) to provide waste to energy technology for its planned 95 MW waste to energy facility at the Ince Resource Recovery Park in Cheshire. 11/04/2014

Hitachi Zosen Inova Acquires Kompogas for Dry Fermentation Technology

Hitachi Zosen Inova AG (HZI) has signed an agreement with Axpo Kompogas Engineering AG to acquire the business under an asset deal. Zurich-based HZI is already a global market leader in thermal energy-from-waste recovery. 11/04/2014

LanzaTech and IOC-DBT Researchers Study Conversion of CO2 to Food

LanzaTech has released a progress report on collaboration with a research group at India Oil Corporation (IOC-DBT) focused on converting carbon dioxide (CO2) to lipids,   which the team has found are high in omega-3 oils. 11/03/2014

Canada's RIC Centre Highlights Altranex Cold Weather Biofuel Technology

The Ontario, Canada based Research, Innovation, Commercialization Centre (RIC) has released an update highlighting Altranex Corp's "deoxygenation" technology platform. 11/03/2014

New Process Converts Lignin in Wood and Crop Waste into Useful Chemicals

University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) scientists have announced a new method using oxygen to convert lignin, a biomass waste product, into simple chemicals. 11/03/2014

The Week's Action Items

Due 11/26/2014: SOIs to SMUD to Develop Biomass Gasification for CHP

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is soliciting interest in the implementation of a Biomass Gasification project for combined heat and power (CHP) application in Sacramento, California. 11/03/2014

Due 01/06/2015: Applications to CEC for Renewable Generation, CHP Demos

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released Program Opportunity Notice (PON) PON-14-307 intended to fund technology demonstration and deployment projects that demonstrate and deploy community scale generators. 11/06/2014

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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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