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Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume IV, Issue 9, March 3, 2014 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Wasted. Trash decomposing in a dump is simply wasted resource. The potential positive impact from converting this waste to transport fuel is huge. That's the general conclusion of specialists from environmental institutes and biofuels industries, collaborating to coax the EU policy makers into upping the ante for conversion of waste to biofuels. The release of the resulting report, "Waste: Europe's Untapped Resource" was announced last week (see our news item).

The study doesn't suggest we convert everything, in fact, some pretty strict "sustainability criteria" are called for. Rational thought went into this 28-page no-nonsense statement - how refreshing! For example: You can't take all the agricultural residue (straw, corn stalks, branch trimmings) and turn it into biofuel. Some of that stuff needs to be left in place to provide soil carbon and structure, and farmers probably will end up adding back the nutrients that are lost when the straw is removed. That goes for forests as well: most of the "slash" left from logging, natural die-off and fire will break down into humus on its own, over the decades. There's a certain amount that should be left alone, and we're closer now to knowing just how much removal is too much.

When we try to figure out this Climate Change business, we are confronted with the interconnectedness of everything, everywhere. We cut back on releasing carbon into the atmosphere with waste to biofuels processing, yet doing so shifts carbon loss elsewhere. But overall, converting waste to fuels that replace petroleum sourced gasoline and diesel can reduce the amount of greenhouse gas release by more than 60%.

The analysts compared agricultural residues, forest slash, and municipal solid waste (MSW) sourced feedstock, and concluded that feedstock salvaged from MSW after recycling offered the best GHG reduction, while showing better economics. Yet MSW at some point will contain every contaminant we humans can make, so more care in sorting and separating is crucial.

The report shied away from saying which was better, heat and power or transport fuel, and simply recognized there is now and will be increasing competition for feedstock between the big incinerators and the ethanol / biodiesel producers. One big point: "Policy mechanisms to drive advanced biofuels into the market should be based on a thorough understanding of the volumes that are sustainably available and the indirect impacts that might occur from exceeding those volumes. Sustainability criteria must be in place to direct investment towards the most sustainable resources."

Hey Rube!

As you scan the news, consider these activities as useful examples and keep this in mind: we have the waste conversion tools, we have plenty of waste-derived feedstock, and we're even starting to see the money going to back on-the-ground, commercial-scale projects. It's policy and consistent political will that is now most needed. Encourage and applaud those lawmakers who Get It, and help educate those that still haven't made the connection: trash in a dump is simply Wasted Resource.

This Week's Top Story

Cool Planet Starts Construction on First Commercial Biofuels Facility

Colorado based Cool Planet Energy Systems has announced that it has broken ground on the company’s first commercial facility in Alexandria, Louisiana, dubbed Project Genesis. 02/27/2014

The Week's News

Fleet Tests of UPM’s Wood-Based BioDiesel Show Great Results at VTT

Finland based UPM Corporation has announced that the first fleet tests of UPM’s renewable diesel proved that UPM BioVerno works in cars just as well as regular diesel. 02/28/2014

Valmet to Deliver Wood-Chip Heating Plant for District Heating in Finland

Finland based Valmet Corporation has announced that it will supply a EUR 27 million wood-chip-fired heating plant to Tampereen Energiantuotanto Oy, located in the Hervanta area of Tampere, Finland. 02/28/2014

Green Investment Bank and SBEF to Finance Energy Improvement Projects

The United Kingdom's (UK) Green Investment Bank (GIB) has announced that it has joined forces with Societe Generale Equipment Finance (SGEF) to provide £50m of financing for energy efficiency projects. 02/27/2014

Teams Shortlisted for the Surrey Organics Biofuel Processing Facility

The City of Surrey in British Columbia, Canada has announced the three qualified teams shortlisted to participate in the next stage of the competitive selection process to deliver the Surrey Biofuel Processing Facility project. 02/27/2014

FCC Environment Begins Operating Micro-Turbine at Lancashire Landfill

United Kingdom (UK) based FCC Recycling (UK) Ltd dba FCC Environment has announced that it has begun operating a micro-turbine at its Deerplay landfill site on the outskirts of Burnley Lancashire, UK. 02/27/2014

New Report: High Potential for Waste Sourced Advanced Biofuels in Europe

Finland based UPM Corporation has announced a newly released report entitled “Wasted: Europe’s Untapped Resource.” an assessment of advanced biofuels from wastes and residues. 02/27/2014

US DOE BETO Releases New Bioenergy KDF Legislative Library

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has announced the release of a new Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework (Bioenergy KDF) resource: the Legislative Library. 02/27/2014

Waste2Tricity Moves to Accelerate Waste-to-Energy Projects in Thailand

Waste2Tricity International (Thailand) Ltd has just announced that it signed a new co-operation agreement in Bangkok with AFC Energy plc and Alter NRG Corp to accelerate the adoption of the AFC Energy fuel cell systems for energy-from-waste (EfW) projects in Thailand. 02/25/2014

New PICS Report Says Biochar Is Fuel Substitute for Coal And Natural Gas

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) has announced a new policy paper that identifies biochar as a renewable fuel substitute for all coal and some natural gas burned in British Columbia (BC), that would result in a 22% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). 02/24/2014

Iona Capital Finances 1st Gas-to-Grid Anaerobic Digestion Plant in Scotland

Iona Capital, Ltd in conjunction with Scotia Gas Networks, has announced the successful completion of an investment in Keithick Biogas Ltd., a joint venture company with Keithick Farms Ltd. in Coupar Angus, Perthshire, Scotland. 02/24/2014

UMD Selects Heyl & Patterson Rotary Calciner for Biocoal Research

Pennsylvania company Heyl & Patterson Inc (H&P) has announced the sale of an indirect-fired rotary calciner to the University of Minnesota (UMD), Duluth, Natural Resources Research Institute (NNRI). 02/24/2014

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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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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.