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Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume V, Issue 33, August 17, 2015 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

It seems like being politically incorrect is in fashion these days; maybe a whole lot of folks are just plain tired of trying to be so… nice … to everyone and everything, all of the time. Well, there's been that "correctness" stigma attached to waste conversion for far too long too, and it has been focused on using Anything Thermal as part of the solution. Watching the news these days, we see that another silly self-imposed, non-scientific barrier is falling with a resounding, welcome thud.

Face it: some of our discarded stuff, you just can't really pull apart all that easily. It's really no wonder; we've gotten quite good at sticking things together so they don't fall apart. It only stands to reason that wed need to beat on some kinds of trash harder than others to break it down into its components. One way to do that is with heat. Apply enough heat, and stuff comes apart.

A fisherman will tell you that the top feeding fish eat the easy bait, the middle fish eat the top fish, and the bottom feeders clean up whats left. So it goes with waste conversion for resource recovery. We've got a reasonable hierarchy that says if we have to make trash in the first place and absolutely have to throw some of it away, our community should grab the easily salable stuff off the top. We'll have to work harder to break down the next level; organics conversion to compost and anaerobic digestion come in handy there. But the crud that makes it past those filters still has value if you can pull it all apart; we just need to convert the remainder to something of value. That's where turning up the heat plays its part.

Turn up the heat a little, you dry things out. A little more, and you drain off the liquids and drive off the gases. Keep going up the thermometer, and the solids themselves start to turn to char, liquids, and gases, all of which you can separate out as Valuable Stuff. Then if all else fails, add Oxygen and that trash gives up even the tightly held Energy.

Communities need to sort out, clean, and return to the marketplace the relatively simple recyclables, the paper and glass, metal and plastics. Then communities need to call in the specialists, and hammer out the value of the more difficult to recover commodities, the things that need very technical approaches. And when all the middle feeders run out of acceptable feedstock, as a last stop and INSTEAD of throwing all the left-overs in a big hole, we should be squeezing out the energy, using the heat, making power.

Talk about something technical: this last waste-to-energy thermal conversion step has incorporated some of the most sophisticated tools and methods on the planet. The days of burn barrels are long past, yet the stigmas against even the cleanest, most tightly controlled forms of thermal waste conversion are only just now falling away. The news this week includes coverage of both the analysis of thermal waste to energy and its practical application. It’s good to see the details without the hype. As Sgt. Friday would say, "Just the facts, ma'am."

Hey Rube!

Teru's got pole position at the Waste Conversion Technology Conference & Trade Show this week. I'll be chewing on Waste Conversion State of the Art on Tuesday in the first session as first speaker, and moderating the first panel on Wednesday. We KNOW you will be there, so give a "Hey Rube!" shout-out and bring me another cuppa Joe … I'm gonna need it…

This Week's Top Story

Green3Power Will Build $175M Renewable Energy Facility at Florida Landfill

BioPower Operations Corporation (BioPower) has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Green3Power Operations Inc (G3P) through its subsidiary Green3Power St. Lucie LLC (Company) has executed an agreement to build, own, and fund a $175 million Renewable Energy Facility (REF) at the existing St. Lucie County Solid Waste Landfill Management Facility site in Florida. 08/12/2015

The Week's News

Viridor's Runcorn Energy Recovery Facility Turns Merseyside's Waste into Fuel

United Kingdom (UK) based Viridor has announced that operations began last month at its Runcorn Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) under a new residual waste contract between Viridor and Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA). 08/14/2015

eXtension Foundation Schedules 2nd Free Biochar Webinar

The non-profit eXtension Foundation has scheduled a free webinar for August 21, 2015, on the Agronomic and Environmental Uses of Biochar, Part 2. 08/14/2015

EREF Releases Report on Using Municipal Solid Waste as Biofuel Feedstock

The non-profit Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF) has published and made available at no cost a new report entitled, Using Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) as a Biofuel Feedstock. 08/13/2015

Neste's NEXBTL Renewable Diesel Expands into Southern California

Finnish company Neste has announced that its NEXBTL renewable diesel is now available to drivers in Southern California at retail stations After a successful debut in Northern California. 08/12/2015

Oregon DEQ Plans to Restart Materials Management Grants

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) plans to restart their Materials Management Grants Program this September with a new round of solicitations. 08/11/2015

Ener-Core Receives $2.1M PO and Initial License Payment from Dresser-Rand

California based Ener-Core, Inc has received a $2.1 million purchase order (PO) from Dresser-Rand for two 1.5-2MW Power Oxidizers that will be integrated into Dresser-Rand’s KG2-3G/PO Power-station, and represents the first commercial order of the system. 08/10/2015

Copper Clusters Capture and Convert Carbon Dioxide to Make Fuel

Illinois based Argonne National Laboratory has announced a process that stops the greenhouse gas before it escapes from chimneys and power plants into the atmosphere and instead turns it into a useful product. 08/10/2015

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Recommended Reading:

Out of the Wasteland: Stories from the Environmental Frontier by Paul Relis  
Out of the Wasteland: Stories from the Environmental Frontier by Paul Relis


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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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