Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume V, Issue 11, March 16, 2015 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

As we learn to count the damage in making a finished product, it isn't comfortable to know how much things really cost. Society has long been going to great lengths to bury the true cost of the Fuel Business. Figuring out what getting and refining that Black Gold to gas actually costs means tracking damage. Finding scientific ways for comparing petrol's destructive path to other kinds of fuel is the impetus for developing Low Carbon Fuel Standards (LCFS).

Make no mistake: we always get to pay for the mess we make, one way or another. The view is highly filtered for the benefit of those controlling the process. This applies just as much when the path is field to table, as with crude to wheels.

With Oregon's implementation of their own Clean Fuels bill, most of The West Coast will be trying on those close-fitting Low Carbon Fuel Standards, and alternative fuel producers will need to keep better books. Waste-sourced feedstock trumps purpose-grown crop conversion on the Sustainability Meter. Clear-cutting native plants for fuel doesn't "cut it", counting almost as bad as pumping up more petroleum. The market acceptance and governmental support perks for sustainably produced fuels are great, but the proof is tough to come by in establishing those highly valued low carbon pathways.

If you are going to brag about your Low Carbon This and your Sustainable That, it isn't good enough to just make the claim, you need to be able to consistently and repeatedly prove it. Enter the tedious necessity of establishing a Chain of Custody. Every step gets an ear-tag, and each bit of noxious emissions produced all along the "chain" of events from source to product gets tallied.

If the all-in cost of growing corn for ethanol is tracked, we get some number maybe ten times less destructive than making petrol. When we then turn the "stover", the stalks of those same corn plants, into Second Generation biofuel, most of the tallied cost of producing the crop was already covered. The stover is just the waste.

There is also a real cost to the planet that we can count up, tallying the emissions associated with growing tomatoes and lettuce, steaks and eggs. Instead of tossing the table scraps in the trash and counting long-term landfill emissions damage, we can now make fuel from "food waste", and figure we've already paid the dues to grow the food and get it to market. If first generation ethanol is ten times less troublesome than making petroleum gasoline, food waste generated biofuels can prove up to twenty-five times less damaging, per California's own LCFS accounting. Now we're getting somewhere.

Get used to seeing these tally sheets auguring one sustainable product against another based on the cumulative "life cycle greenhouse gas emissions" as a measure of damage to our planet. Yes, it is not pleasant to value transport octane by how well we can breathe the exhaust, but in our book, it sure beats being shined on as if we are all too stupid to understand.

Hey Rube!

Good stuff in this week's News. Bills signed; free training available. Money doled out; projects ramping up. New detailed studies that tell it like it is, and as it should be. Dig in, enjoy the read.

This Week's Top Story

Capstone Microturbines Will Convert Biogas Into CHP for Irvine WWTP

Capstone Turbine Corporation has announced that it received an order to upgrade the Irvine Ranch Water District's Michelson Water Recycling Plant in Irvine, California with five C200 microturbines. 03/10/2015

The Week's News

RSB to Hold Webinar on Chain of Custody Systems for Biomass Feedstock

The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) has scheduled a webinar on 'Chain of Custody Systems - Choosing the Best Solution' to be held on March 24-25, 2015 03/13/2015

Oregon Governor Signs Low Carbon Fuels Legislation

The State of Oregon's Governor Kate Brown has signed into law SB 324, the state's low-carbon Clean Fuels legislation, repealing the sunset on provisions related to low carbon fuel standards, and formalizing the process of developing and implementing standards for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. 03/13/2015

Valmet to Deliver Biomass Boiler Plant to Nokianvirran Energia in Finland

Valmet will deliver a boiler plant that utilizes biomass to Nokianvirran Energia in Finland. The boiler plant will be delivered for a new steam heat station to be built in Nokia. 03/12/2015

B&W Vølund Awarded Contracts for UK Biomass Power Plant

The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) has announced that its Denmark-based subsidiary, Babcock & Wilcox Vølund A/S, has been awarded contracts totaling more than $220 million to design, manufacture, and operate a biomass power plant in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England. 03/12/2015

Cirque Plans 2015 Commercialization of Waste-to-Energy DGU Technology

Michigan based Cirque Energy, Inc has announced updates to its business strategy to bring its technology and products to market faster, generate revenue sooner, and grow shareholder value. 03/11/2015

CEC Selects Six Clean Energy Projects for $14.3M in Funding Assistance

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has released a Notice of Proposed Awards for Program Opportunity Notice (PON) PON-14-307 "Demonstrating Clean Energy Solutions That Support California's Industries, the Environment, and the Electrical Grid." 03/11/2015

Viridor's Cardiff Energy Recovery Facility Is Now Operational

Viridor has announced that the construction and commissioning phase of its Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at Trident Park, Cardiff, Wales has been completed. 03/10/2015

Drax Acquires Wood Pellet Manufacturer Billington Bioenergy

United Kingdom (UK) based Drax Group has announced the acquisition of Billington Bioenergy Ltd (BBE), the UK’s second largest wood pellet distributor. 03/10/2015

UK Releases Bioeconomy Report Focused on Opportunities from Waste

The United Kingdom (UK) Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has released Building a high value bioeconomy: opportunities from waste, a report highlighting the range of actions being taken across government to grow the bioeconomy using waste as a feedstock. 03/10/2015

Dyadic Raises $2 Million in Private Placement for Bridge Financing

Florida based Dyadic International, Inc has announced that it has completed a private placement of $2,000,000 in convertible subordinated secured promissory note (the “Note”). 03/09/2015

Total Invests in Renmatix and Initiates Joint Development Agreement

Renmatix has announced an investment by the New Energies Division of Total, and the signature of a joint development agreement (JDA) between Total and Renmatix. 03/09/2015

ABPDU and Lygos Achieve First Pilot-Scale Renewable Malonic Acid

California based Lygos, Inc has announced that it has successfully achieved pilot scale production of malonic acid from sugar. 03/09/2015

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