Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume V, Issue 7, February 16, 2015 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

Today, we're visiting that all-too-rare Multi-Technology Resource Recovery and Recycling Eco-Park. This is where trash from our local residences and businesses needs to go, to cost-effectively turn Garbage to Goods, Waste to Wealth. Let's see what COULD be happening to all our discards, if science-driven common sense was sufficiently backed by sound leadership, the public will, and ... money. Let's face it: waste management has a cost, and that includes recycling and resource recovery. We either pay up front or in the long run, but we pay.

Some of the site looks pretty familiar: gates with attendants who direct traffic, keeping the local self-haul folks out from under the trash hauler truck wheels. What needs weighing goes over the big in-ground scales. The construction and demolition debris goes over there to be sorted, cleaned and crushed, separating iron rebar from gypsum board, glass, broken boards, and concrete. Shipping pallets and yard trimmings get dumped next to the chippers and grinders, then run past magnets and through the cyclones to sift out the dirt, nails and big staples - out comes pretty clean shredded wood. Most of what comes here is "mixed municipal solid waste", and flows into the belly of the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) complex where conveyor belts run under fancy computerized sensors and lots of gloved hands to separate that smelly mess to the Nth degree into salable "recyclates" headed for commercial markets, and "post-recycling residuals".

So far, this is all pretty standard municipal waste management. Cans, bottles, paper, plastic, metal, and other recyclable stuff gets bundled and sold; most of the remaining crud goes to the dump, usually more than half the tonnage that came in the gate. But that's so old school. Now let's visit the other systems, the infrastructure that could be a natural part of MRF. Today, more advanced companies have already cut the cloth, so there are real-world examples to follow for integrating multiple specialized waste conversion complements.

First, we add tanks for Anaerobic Digestion (AD) modules to take in the region's wet organics, the food waste, and food processor residuals for conversion to biomethane fuel. Then we bolt down smaller thermal systems to turn dry organics into to-specification biochar for soils amendments, and bio-oil for refining to fuels and lubricants. Together, these provide the cooling, heating and power to run the entire Eco-Park. Don't forget making a space for biodiesel production so you can take in the region's used cooking oils, fats, and grease (often called "FOG) so you can run your fleet vehicles on either compressed biogas or biodiesel.

If you are going to pay the good money to build and operate a big MRF, you might as well go for a fully integrated "waste refinery". You have to pay for the land, the management, and all those front-end and back-end control systems anyway, so adding subsystems just means more diverse regional intake and output. And that adds up to more Resource Recovery and Recycling... and more Jobs.

Hey Rube!

This week's news highlights many highly integrated, science driven waste to wealth examples from all over the world. We have enough discarded feedstock. We have enough technology, and we sure have the need. Examples abound: the Waste Conversion Truth is out there...

This Week's Top Story

Calgren's Tulare County Ethanol Plant Changes Cow Waste Into Clean Energy

Regenis, an Andgar company, has announced the launch of the Calgren Ethanol Biodigester plant, which utilizes waste from dairy farms to power the production of tens of millions of gallons of ethanol, all consumed in California's Central Valley. 02/13/2015

The Week's News

Metsä Signs Letters of Intent for Bioproduct Mill's Main Equipment Deliveries

Finland based Metsä Fibre signed letters of intent today with Valmet Corporation and Andritz Oy to provide the main equipment deliveries for the proposed Äänekoski bioproduct mill. 02/13/2015

NIB Finances Biomass Combined Heat and Power Plant in Nokia, Finland

Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) has signed a 15-year maturity loan of EUR 22 million with Nokianvirran Energia Oy to finance a new biomass fuelled combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Nokia, Finland. 02/13/2015

GDF SUEZ Signs PPA For Energy From Allerton Waste Recovery Park

United Kingdom (UK) company AmeyCespa has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with GDF SUEZ Energy UK for the output from its new energy-from-waste facility in North Yorkshire. 02/12/2015

Shanks Doubles Capacity of Scottish Anaerobic Digestion Facility

Shanks Group plc and its joint venture partner, Paragon Efficiencies, are in the final stages of expanding their Energen Biogas anaerobic digestion (AD) facility in Cumbernauld by 100%. 02/12/2015

NREL and EPRI Launch Incubator Network to Help Clean Energy Start-ups

The US Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) have launched the Clean Energy Incubator Network. 02/11/2015

USDA Funding Available for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that rural agricultural producers and small business owners can now apply for funding to purchase and install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. 02/10/2015

Blue Sphere Forms Joint Venture for 5.2 MW Biogas Facility in Charlotte, NC

Blue Sphere Corporation (Blue Sphere) has announced formation and closing of a joint venture to develop, construct, and operate a 5.2 MW biogas generation facility (Project) in Charlotte, North Carolina with affiliates of York Capital Management. 02/10/2015

GENeco Wastewater Gas to Grid and Bio-Bus Projects Win Rushlight Awards

Bristol-based GENeco has announced winning two category awards in this year's 8th Annual Rushlight Awards. 02/10/2015

County Councils in West Wales Sign Refuse Derived Fuel Agreement

Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire County Councils in West Wales have signed a new contract with Potters Waste Management under which the waste from the two counties that cannot be recycled will be processed and exported to Sweden. 02/09/2015

The Week's Action Items

Due 03/02/2015: Nominations for Israeli Prize for Alternative Fuel Innovation

The Government of the State of Israel has announced that it is accepting nominations for the Eric and Sheila Samson Prime Minister's prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation. 02/09/2015

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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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