Teru Talk News

Teru Talk Newsletter

Volume V, Issue 9, March 2, 2015 
Teru Talk by Michael Theroux (pronounced "Terú")  

Teru's Trash Talk

California's embodiment of Science and Common Sense known as the California Energy Commission (CEC) has adopted staff's biennial update to the state's Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) to "... transform the transportation system to zero- and near-zero technologies and fuels to meet its climate and clean air goals ..." Please stand, for a rousing round of applause.

This Plan goes way beyond Transportation. By law, the Update "... assesses the major energy trends and issues facing the state’s electricity, natural gas, and transportation fuel sectors, and provides policy recommendations to conserve resources; protect the environment; ensure reliable, secure, and diverse energy supplies; enhance the state’s economy; and protect public health and safety." That's a mouthful, but guess what? Every few pages, the IEPR again points out that converting waste-sourced feedstock into energy related commodities is one of the primary keys to Recovery - of our resources, of our environment and of our economy.

The integrated plan sidles up with the state Air Resources Board, explaining repeatedly why turning waste into liquid or gaseous fuel charts out as a very, very "low carbon" way to run our world: "Biogas, or renewable natural gas, can be derived from a wide array of urban and agricultural waste streams and has extremely low carbon intensity values." And the CEC is putting our money where their mouth is: of 44 grants to expand the production of low-carbon fuels, 35 were for projects that used waste-based feedstock. Staff even fret that there might not be enough of some kinds of gooey waste to meet the growing demand.

Common Sense really comes to fore in the creativity staff show in doling out support. Not content to simply write a check and stand back, CEC goes so far as to match truck fleets with low carbon fuels (good waste-to-wealth idea, when you haul garbage for a living), and draw a bead on Public Private Partnerships that can use a grant-boost to become self-supporting. Law asks the CEC to “…provide preferences to those projects that maximize the goals of the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program..." and the Commission responds by developing a set of Sustainability Factors. At the top of that list: "Maximize the use of waste-based feedstock." When that partnership can convert its waste to fuel for its own trucks and then reap an on-going Low Carbon Credit payback, "self-supporting" projects become a reality.

Hey Rube!

Yes, the updated IEPR defines a pathway integrating a great number of public and private activities, all aimed at increasing California's access to low-carbon energy, including fuels and other commodities while lowering environmental impact. Use of all forms of urban, forest, and agricultural waste-sourced feedstock figures prominently throughout the 253-page tome. The CEC has tapped industrial specialists, the federal government, and almost every state agency having anything to do with oversight of optimal resource utilization. Almost every agency - but try searching the entire report for even one reference to the California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery humorously called "CalRecycle". Nope.

This Week's Extra Reading

Composting and biochar production are both methods to use and recycle organic wastes. See The Use of Biochar in Composting by Marta Camps, Massey University; and Thayer Tomlinson, International Biochar Initiative.

This Week's Top Story

Shanks Accepts First Waste at BDR Facility in Rotherham

Shanks Group plc has accepted the first waste into its waste treatment facility in Rotherham, part of a £750 million contract with Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham (‘BDR’) Councils. 02/27/2015

The Week's News

CalRecycle Workshop Scheduled for 2015-16 Organics Project Financing

California's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has circulated an early 'Save the Date' email notice for a workshop on March 19, 2015 at 1:30-4:00 to discuss the proposed criteria for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction (GHG) Programs, Fiscal Year 2015–2016. 02/28/2015

Waste2Watergy Lands STTR Grant to Advance Microbial Fuel Cell Technology

Oregon BEST has announced that startup Waste2Watergy has been awarded a $224,999 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation. 02/27/2015

CEC Adopts IEPR Report, Grants $11M for Biomass and Waste to Biofuels

During its February 25, 2015 business meeting, the California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted its 2014 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Update, which, among many things, outlines how the state is working to transform the transportation system to meet its climate and clean air goals. 02/27/2015

USDA Expands Investments in Next-Generation Bioenergy Development

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the availability of up to $8.7 million in funding for bioenergy research and education efforts, as well as publishing the final rule for a program that provides incentives for farmers and forest landowners interested in growing and harvesting biomass for renewable energy. 02/27/2015

CalRecycle Plans Workshop on State of Recycling and Disposal in California

The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) will hold a public workshop on the State of Recycling and the State of Disposal in California on March 17, 2015 from 1:30 to 5:00PM. 02/25/2015

SEaB Energy Joins Cognicity’s Smart Cities Accelerator

United Kingdom company SEaB Energy, Ltd has been selected as a finalist for Canary Wharf Group’s Cognicity Challenge, which aims to identify and accelerate the development of smart city technologies. 02/25/2015

Maverick Synfuels Launches Oasis™ BG Gas-to-Liquid Methanol Plant

North Carolina based Maverick Synfuels, Inc has announced the availability of the Maverick Oasis™ BG Gas-to-Liquid methanol plant product line that convert biogas from sources such as anaerobic digesters and landfills into higher value methanol. 02/25/2015

OriginOil Enters Commercial Phase For Petro, Algae, and Waste Applications

California based OriginOil, Inc has announced that it has entered the commercial stage for all three of its application areas. The oil & gas water cleanup division is performing in field demonstrations, and sales have begun of both small and large systems. 02/25/2015

Renergi Is Awarded $5.2M to Develop Biofuel Demonstration Pilot

Australian company Renergi Pty Ltd has been awarded a grant of $5.2 million by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to design and construct an innovative pilot scale biofuel demonstration facility. 02/24/2015

VTT Extracts Tannins from Waste Bark for Adhesives and Insulating Foams

In collaboration with its partners, the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd (VTT) has developed tannin extraction from softwood bark as part of an ERA-NET project. 02/24/2015

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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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