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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume IV, Issue 5, February 3, 2014 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Hey! You ARE paying attention! We posted our "Gasification vs. Incineration" article last week and started a lively discussion over the finer points of using heat to convert waste stuff back into useful goods. As a result, we've revised and republished the paper, incorporating numerous comments and suggestions. Now, this may seem picky, but if we are gonna slap molecules around, knock 'em apart and stick the bits back together again, it makes sense to understand what we're up to.

Here's the thing: whatever the "waste", those long chains of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and assorted other atoms are happy with the way they have settled into their current molecular configuration. Changing that status means roughing them up enough to make the atoms let go of their tidy bonds to their neighbors. We have to supply the energy to make that happen, whether we heat 'em up, feed them to microbes, dip them in nasty-sauce (acid, base, ionic liquids or whatever) or maybe just shake them until their proverbial teeth rattle. Once those carbon atoms let go of their buddies, they get "radical" and try to quickly find something to fill the newly-made voids - and Oxygen and Hydrogen are some of the best atoms around to do just that. When loose carbon atoms connect with loose oxygen and hydrogen atoms they stick together and release a Whole Lotta Energy, compared to what it took to knock 'em apart. Presto: we now have carbon-oxygen-hydrogen molecules, the "oxygenated hydrocarbon" building blocks for biofuels and green chemicals, and we usually get excess energy to boot.

So to manage the waste to goods conversion process, we first whack the long-chain carbon thingies apart with a small amount of input energy, then control how things stick back together. We can coax the more stubborn molecules apart with various pre-treatment techniques using enzymes. We can combine heat, microbes, and chemicals as needed for the main Waste Conversion stage. And we can manage the "re-forming" of the torn-apart molecular pieces back into goods by adjusting what atoms are available and how fast the reaction process works.

It took a lot of Work for someone to make that cake when it was new, and we as a society certainly need to think more about how much we waste when we just dump the left-overs in the trash. Yet all the types of molecules that went into making that cake in the first place are still there in the chunk that was tossed aside. Perhaps all is not lost: with our new Waste Conversion tools and know-how to operate them, we can now effectively "unbake the cake."

Hey Rube!

We've harped and harangued regard the lack in the US, and in particular in California, of any real "chain of custody" mechanism with which We the Interested Public can effectively track what happens beyond the trash-can toss. We really don't know what happens to our Waste, other than it "goes away" - and Teru Talk contends that isn’t good management. This is also a long-standing debate in the United Kingdom, and now their Environment Agency has launched a partial solution with their on-line Electronic Duty of Care (edoc) system. It cuts out the paper chase, and provides a voluntary way for waste haulers, recyclers, and all the other folks along the path of the Circular Economy to keep track of what goes where. See our coverage of the UK's "edoc" system this week; maybe we can encourage other agencies to set up something similar for the rest of the planet.

The Week's Extra Reading

Teru has already revised his new article on " Gasification vs. Incineration " to incorporate relevant comments from our dear readers. Thank you dear readers! So if you downloaded the orginal PDF, please replace it with the revised one.

This Week's Top Story

Forth Energy Receives Planning Consent for 120MW CHP Plant in Scotland

Forth Energy has announced that the Scottish Government has granted planning consent for a £325 million biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the Port of Rosyth in Fife. 01/27/2014

The Week's News

CARB Schedules Workshop on Proposed Alternative Diesel Fuels Regulation

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has announced a public meeting to discuss revisions to the proposed regulation on the Commercialization of New Alternative Diesel Fuels. 02/01/2014

CalRecycle Hosts Waste Management Infrastructure Expansion Workshop

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) will be hosting a public workshop to discuss development of proposed new grant and loan programs for greenhouse gas reductions from organics and manufacturing with recyclable materials (fibers, plastic, and glass). 02/01/2014

Florida Biodiesel Sells Biodiesel System to New Mississippi High School

Florida Biodiesel, Inc has announced the sale of a B-60 Biodiesel Processor made by to Oxford High School, Mississippi to be used as a hands-on educational tool to show students how to make renewable energy. 01/31/2014

2nd Gen Biofuel from Clariant and Haltermann Is Tested by Mercedes-Benz

Clariant, Haltermann, and Mercedes-Benz have announced that Clariant's cellulosic ethanol blended with conventional fuel by Haltermann is being tested by Daimler AG in their Mercedes-Benz vehicles. 01/29/2014

UK Launches edoc On-Line Waste Transfer Tracking System

The United Kingdom's (UK) Environment Agency has launched its Electronic Duty of Care (edoc) system to provide surety regarding sources and destinations of wastes and residuals. 01/29/2014

IncBio to Supply 40,000 MT/Year Biodiesel Plant in Saudi Arabia

Portugal based IncBio has announced that it has signed an agreement with Bio Renewable Energy Factory (BREF)in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to supply BREF with a 40,000 MT/year Biodiesel plant. 01/29/2014

DOE Schedules Bioenergy Demonstration and Deployment Strategy Workshop

The US Department of Energy's (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has announced a Demonstration and Deployment strategy workshop on March 12-13, 2014, at the Argonne National Laboratory's conference center in Chicago, Illinois. 01/28/2014

Valmet Will Supply CFB Multi-Fuel Boiler for Paper Mill in Finland

Valmet Corporation has announced that it will furnish a complete circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler to Sappi Ltd's Kirkniemi Mill in Lohja, Finland, including installation, training, and commissioning. 01/27/2014

The Week's Action Items

Due 02/17/2014: Registration of Intent to Submit for UK Energy Funding

British small and medium size enterprises (SME) within the energy efficiency, building technologies, power generation, and energy storage sectors are invited to submit applications for funding of up to £2million under the third phase of the Government’s Energy Entrepreneurs Fund. 01/28/2014

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Waste to energy conversion technology
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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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The Teru Talk Newsletter is published weekly or more or less frequently, primarily depending on what is going on in the world of waste conversion or ours.