April 2013 News and Matters of Interest

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Clariant's 2012 Sustainability Report Addresses Cellulosic Ethanol Pilot Plant

Clariant CorporationHeadquartered in Munich, Germany, Clariant Corporation has announced the publication of its Sustainability Report 2012. This is Clariant's third Sustainability Report, prompting an A+ ranking from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), validated by the Swiss Association for Quality and Management Systems (SQS). The independent report provides a detailed review of progress at Germany's largest cellulosic biofuels facility opened in July 2012 in Straubing, Bavaria by the company's Catalysis and Energy Business Unit (formerly Sud-Chemie). The pilot plant has successfully demonstrated Clariant's Sunliquid technology platform, integrating simultaneous optimized enzyme production and catalysis for conversion of the cellulose and hemicellulose in agricultural residuals and other organic waste feedstock into ethanol in an energy efficient design. The process has been configured to allow regionalization, placing smaller plants close to accumulations of feedstock. Available raw materials are pre-treated; microbially-produced enzymes released during breakdown are isolated and cultured in large volumes eliminating the need to import enzymes. The non-catalyzed lignin fraction is used to generate all of the heat and power needed for the facility. Straw harvested from a one hectare wheat field can produce one tonne of ethanol. CEO Hariolf Kottman comments: ""The growing significance of social, environmental and economic aspects of sustainability for the company can be seen in the numerous initiatives we have launched, which not only comply with the legal requirements, but go beyond them in creating additional usefulness and value for all our stakeholders; redefining the company’s brand and value system also reflects the demand for sustainable value creation." 04/29/2013

CEC Announces Proposed Awardees for RE and Conservation Planning Grants

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has posted the Notice of Proposed Awards (NPOA 4/25/2013) for the Renewable Energy and Conservation Planning Grant solicitation (PON 12-403). Following considerable stakeholder input, funds totaling around $7 million were made available with a cap of $700,000 on any one proposal, as approved by passage of Assembly Bill x1 13, (Perez, Chapter 10, Statutes of 2011). The solicitation was open to eligible counties to provide assistance in development or revision of local rules and policies regarding renewable energy projects eligible under the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS). Five of the six counties proposals received are now proposed for receipt of support. Selected counties include (in order of total score) (1) Imperial County to develop a geothermal and alternative energy General Plan element and CEQA documents, (2) San Bernardino County for its SPARC initiative General Plan element, (3) Inyo County for General Plan Energy Element and CEQA, (4) San Louis Obispo County to develop a Renewable Energy Streamlining Program, and (5) Los Angeles County to develop a Renewable Energy Ordinance. The CEC must now approve each proponent's completed documentation in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and all grant terms, in a regular Business Meeting, and release of funds is contingent upon the submittal of an authorizing board resolution and Memorandum of Understanding signed by the county and CEC by May 1, 2013. 04/29/2013

Peel Granted Planning Approval for North Selby Food Waste AD CHP Project

Peel EnvironmentalManchester, United Kingdom based Peel Environmental has announced that it has received planning approval from the City of York Council to proceed with design and development of an anaerobic digestion (AD) combined heat and power (CHP) and horticultural glasshouse facility. The £23.5 million proposed plant on the former North Selby Mine site, New Road, Wheldrake would convert up to 60,000 tonnes of regionally sourced food waste and other organics per year into around 2.75 megawatts of electricity (MWe) and1.5 megawatts of heat (MWt). A horticultural glasshouse will use the heat and some of the electricity produced; the greenhouse complex will be developed adjacent to the AD facility and operated by Howden-based specialist Plant Raisers to propagate mainly tomato plants. Richard Barker, Development Manager, Peel Environmental: "We are pleased that City of York Council has approved our application for the North Selby Anaerobic Digestion and Horticultural Glasshouse facility. There are significant benefits that our plans will bring to the local area and we are keen to see these delivered. The facility will provide an economic boost to the area, providing up to 256 jobs during construction and 56 full time positions and 50 seasonal positions during operation, with the impact of these in the region of £2.2million Gross Value Added (GVA) per year. It will also facilitate the expansion of a successful Yorkshire business." 04/29/2013

Maui County Selects Anaergia for Mixed Waste Conversion to Energy Project

County of Maui, HawaiiThe County of Maui, Hawaii, has announced the selection of Anaergia Services, California subsidiary of the Canadian firm Anaergia Inc., to develop a mixed waste anaerobic digestion (AD) system for the Integrated Waste Conversion and Energy Project (IWCEP) at the Central Maui Landfill in Puunene. Selection of Anaergia is the first step in the County's implementation of the IWCEP and is expected to divert roughly 85% of waste from the landfill. Anaergia has proposed to accept municipal solid waste, green waste, sewage sludge, fats, oils, and grease, and landfill gas to produce two renewable fuels, namely refuse derived fuel (RDF) and liquefied natural gas through mechanical treatment and anaerobic digestion methods. These two renewable fuels may be used for energy onsite or offsite locally in Hawaii as a replacement to existing imported fossil fuels. The company's diverse technologic platform includes three distinct AD designs for different applications, along with highly specialized sub-systems that increase efficiency, improve safety, and reduce the plant's environmental footprint. Mayor Alan Arakawa: "Living on an island we are always looking for ways to preserve our aina and make better use of our natural resources. That is why this IWCEP project is so important. We are looking at reducing waste in our landfill, cutting down the emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, producing a clean bio-fuel for industrial consumers as well as greatly expanding the recycling of materials in our community. If we succeed we will have turned our trash into a treasured resource and kept our landfill from taking up more space on our beautiful island." 04/27/2013

GMP Cow Power Program Approved by Vermont Board for State-Wide Use

Green Mountain PowerIn Vermont, the regional utility Green Mountain Power (GMP) has announced that its Central Vermont Public Service renewable energy program GMP Cow Power has received approval for state-wide availability from the Vermont Public Service Board (VPSB). Begun in 2004, the program encourages and assists Vermont's dairy industry in development of anaerobic digesters for conversion of manure and other farm wastes into biogas for power generation. The Cow Power effort has attracted strong industry, community and agency support, and last year increased the drive to attract more customers that choose to purchase its locally generated renewable energy. With assistance from the Innovation Center for US Dairy (which just this week renewed its collaboration with the US Department of Agriculture), GMP Cow Power developed "Cow Power, the Film" to increase outreach. The GMP Cow Power program currently includes 12 farms, and generates 16 million kilowatt/hours per year. Green Mountain Power customers can choose to buy 25%, 50%, or 100% of their energy from Cow Power, and pay an extra four cents per kilowatt hour premium, adding about an extra $6 per month to the average household energy bill. Current GMP Cow Power customers include 2,800 individual households that buy all or part of their electricity through the program. The new VPSB ruling means that Green Mountain Power customers across Vermont can now support a pure Vermont form of renewable energy produced by over 10,000 Vermont dairy cows, thanks to the expansion of the GMP Cow Power Program from the limited territory previously served by CVPS to the entire GMP service territory. 04/27/2013

Royal DSM Selects Belgian Researcher for 2013 Science and Technology Award

Royal DSMThe Dutch company Royal DSM has announced selection and presentation of the company's Science and Technology Award Europe 2013 to Dr. Stijn van de Vyver for his PhD research at the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, the Netherlands (KU Leuven). The research under the supervision of Professor Bert Sels radically advances the science of catalysis of cellulose, a key part of global search for conversion of waste and residual biomass to bio-sourced fuels, chemicals and other commodities. The work is particularly important to DSM for projects such as the company's joint venture for cellulose to ethanol with POET in the United States. The award was presented to van de Vyver by DSM's CTO Marcel Wubbolts during the combined 9th European Congress on Chemical Engineering and 2nd European Congress on Applied Biotechnology (“ECCE9/ECAB2”) on April 23, 2013. In his PhD work, Stijn van de Vyver has improved conversion rates by increasing the accessibility of the catalytic centers, using carbon nano-fibers and hyper-branched polymers among others as catalyst support. The jury indicated that van de Vyver's research stood out through its scientific excellence, large number of publications, potential for high economic impact and the unorthodox and daring approach that van de Vyver has taken in a challenging field. The theme of the award was ‘Shaping Sustainable Manufacturing’ as part of the DSM Bright Science Awards Program. 04/27/2013

Saint-Gobain to Use Biogas for Glass Melting at Innovation Center Pilot Plant

Verallia DeutschlandThe international glass container manufacturing company Verallia Deutschland, a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain Oberland AG, has announced plans to produce and utilize biogas fuel in its Bad Wurzach glass container production facility in southern Germany. Verallia operates four glass container production facilities in Germany, two in Russia and one in the Ukraine. The parent company Saint-Gobain Oberland AG, founded in 1946 and taken over by the French Saint-Gobain Group in the mid-nineties, has made sustainability commitments to reduce fossil fuel usage and cut associated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions company-wide, and will develop an anaerobic digestion plant for biogas generation on-site at the pilot plant at its Bad Wursach headquarters and innovation center. The raw biogas will be used without clean-up to fuel furnaces for heating Verallia's glass melting tanks. Pre-treated, regionally sourced feedstock will be delivered to underground storage and processing units to ensure odor control before being converted to fuel gas in an advanced anaerobic digestion system; digestate will also be stored underground .prior to delivery to regional agriculture. The company has formed a project team for the design and construction and is soliciting on-line opinions and proposals. Stefan Jaenecke, chief executive officer of Saint-Gobain Oberland AG: "Even though there do not exist subsidies for this kind of facility, we decided deliberately for the best technical and the most energy-efficient solution. We see in this a huge chance for us to lead the glass industry. Certainly the opinions of our neighbors of the plant are very important for us. For this purpose we implemented an email-address for questions, suggestions and representations." 04/26/2013

Cornell Research Shows Biochar Reduces N2O Emissions from Ag Soils by 55%

Cornell UniversityCornell University has reported on just-published research into the positive air quality impact of incorporating biochar into agricultural soils. Professor Johannes Lehmann of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences took part in an assessment of the interaction between black carbon and the nitrogen cycle, focusing on use of biochar to curb nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from the breakdown of nitrogen (denitrification) in agricultural soils. The study was led by Maria Luz Cayuela, a former Cornell postdoctoral researcher in Lehmann’s lab and now at the Universidad de Murcia, Spain. The research report entitled "Biochar and denitrification in soils: when, how much and why does biochar reduce N2O emissions?" has now been published as an open-access article in the journal Nature's April 25, 2013 Scientific Reports. The article notes that N2O is usually produced on farms from breakdown of animal manure waste and synthetic fertilizer, carrying 298 times more global warming potential as a "greenhouse gas" (GHG) than carbon dioxide. About 60 percent of all global nitrous oxide emissions come from agriculture, and about half of the GHG emissions in agriculture come from nitrous oxide. The biochar used in the study was produced by low-oxygen thermal conversion of a wide array of biomass wastes and residuals; soil types tested were similarly diverse. Regardless of the soil type or the biochar type the scientists used, the emission of nitrous oxide was always reduced on average by about 55 percent, compared to benign nitrogen gas. Professor Lehmann: "We investigated the mechanics of denitrification, with particular attention to the climate-relevant nitrous oxide by adding biochar to agricultural soils. Biochar consistently reduced nitrous oxide emission in agricultural soils. Despite this large importance of nitrous oxide for greenhouse gas emissions, there are very few strategies to mitigate the emissions in agriculture, compared to carbon sequestration in soils." 04/26/2013

Heliae Introduces Volaris Waste Carbon Dioxide + Sunlight Algae Platform

Heliae Development LLCArizona based Heliae Development LLC has announced introduction of its Volaris microalgae production system following five years of development and commercial validation. The modules utilize sunlight and waste carbon feedstocks to optimize facility economics. Heliae opened its pilot plant in 2010 and broke ground on the commercial scale production facility in May 2012, concurrent with closure of a $15 million financing round led by the  Salim Group. Heliae's 20-acre commercial plant is slated to open later this year. Heliae has developed the Volaris integrated platform of technologies and expertise, linking its AMP Rapid Strain Screening System for algal strain selection to the highly-automated Helix "algal seed" production sub-system, advanced multi-level contaminant control, harvesting and product extraction modules. The company also has developed the MACs mobile pilot system for remote demonstration and validation. Heliae opened the AlgaePARC Research Center in 2011 in partnership with Wagengen Universitiet, The Netherlands, and is preparing to open centers in the middle-east and in Asia later this year. Heliae also has a diverse product base, including nutrition, therapeutics, agro sciences, health & beauty, and has already demonstrated the technical viability of producing drop-in replacement algae-based jet and diesel fuel that meets industry specifications. Dan Simon, president and CEO of Heliae: Over the last two years, we have made significant strides in research and development to create a comprehensive algae technology solution. Today, we ‘walk the talk’ as we roll-out and prove the technology that will allow our partners to grow, harvest, and extract algae on a commercial scale." 04/25/2013

USDA Renews Waste to Energy and GHG Reduction Agreement with Dairies

The Innovation Center for U.S. DairyThe US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that Secretary Thomas Vilsack signed an agreement with US dairy producers that extends a 2009 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to accelerate the adoption of innovative waste-to-energy projects and energy efficiency improvements on U.S. dairy farms. The April 24, 2013 MOU is between the USDA and The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, the policy arm of the collaborative United States Dairy Sustainability Initiative launched in 2008. The new MOU outlines responsibilities and goals, including assistance from the federal agency to implement a 25% reduction in dairy greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, development of a dairy biogas roadmap in concert with the USDA's own Biofuels Roadmap, work toward development of comprehensive, open Life Cycle Assessment data and methods, and accelerate and streamline the adoption of anaerobic digesters and other innovative manure management. The Innovation Center will lead industry communication and collaboration with the agency, including the start of an improved marketing and outreach effort addressing support opportunities. Secretary Vilsack: "Through this renewed commitment, USDA and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy will continue research that helps dairy farmers improve the sustainability of their operations. This vital research also will support the dairy industry as it works to reach its long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020." 04/25/2013

WMW Offers Free Webinar on Waste Gasification to Transport Fuels

Waste Management WorldPennWell's Waste Management World (WMW) has announced a webinar entitled, "Accelerating Biofuels: Waste Gasification to Aviation and Transport Fuels in the UK and US/Canada." The one hour presentation is scheduled for May 7, 2013 beginning at 10:00am Eastern Daylight Time. Speakers will be Dr. Geraint Evans, Head of Biofuels and Bioenergy for the international firm NNFCC; Dr. Robert T. Do, President and CEO of Solena Fuels, and Tim Cesarek, Senior Vice President of Business Development in North America for Enerkem.  Numerous trial projects have been successful in converting municipal solid waste into a useable, second generation biofuel. Commercialization is now in full swing with the UK, US and Canada leading the way in these projects. British Airways has partnered with Solena Fuels to convert 500,000 tonnes of waste into 50,000 tonnes of aviation fuel per year in the UK. Across the Atlantic, Enerkem has three commercial scale waste to fuel plants in development in the US/Canada. The company’s Quebec demonstration plant has been producing cellulosic ethanol since Spring 2012. This webcast aims to address the regulatory drivers of waste to fuels and address the practical and technical challenges of the process, as well as provide an update to projects in the US/Canada and Europe. Participation is free but registration is required. 04/25/2013

Emerson Process Chosen for CHO-Power's Morcenx Waste Conversion Facility

Emerson Process ManagementThe global firm Emerson Process Management has announced that it has been selected to provide all process controls for the Morcenx, France waste conversion facility owned and operated by CHO-Power, a subsidiary of the EuroPlasma Group. CHO-Power's Morcenx power plant will convert 150 tonnes per day of regionally sourced industrial waste and wood chips for production of combined heat and power (CHP). About 12 megawatts of electricity (MWe) is sold to EDF, the regional high-voltage network, while an additional production of 18 megawatts of hot water (MWt) from the heat generated by the process is used in a vegetable greenhouse and within a wood fire drier. The facility was commissioned and grid-interconnected earlier this year. The Morcenx power station is the first of its type to use the CHO-Power gasification principle based on patented 'Turboplasma' equipment to transform waste into syngas. The 1200°C temperatures generated from the plasma torch produce a very pure syngas that is used to drive the turbine and generate electricity. The facility will now be using Emerson Process Management’s digital automation technology, providing flexible and accurate control of an innovative gasification process, Emerson’s Ovation expert control system is enabling the plant to operate at maximum efficiency. The Ovation system, together with AMS Suite predictive maintenance software and smart instrumentation, is part of Emerson’s PlantWeb™ digital plant architecture that provides both advanced control and asset management capability for the Morcenx facility. Yannick Ferriere, project manager, CHO Power: "We selected Emerson’s Ovation system because it provides the levels of flexibility and control needed to cope with the varying characteristics of biomass fuels. Also critical was Emerson’s extensive project management experience with biomass power generating plants, as well as its technical support including engineering, configuration of the Ovation system, training, start-up assistance, and maintenance." 04/24/2013

CBG Portland Requests AQ Permit Modification for Biogas Pipeline Injection

Columbia BiogasOregon based anaerobic digestion (AD) company CBG Portland LLC (formerly Columbia Biogas LLC) has applied to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) for a modification to its air quality permit (ACDP 26-9820-ST-01) to reflect a change in the design of a food waste digester proposed for development in Portland. The requested modification would permit biogas cleaning, upgrading, compression and direct injection to the regional natural gas pipeline grid, instead of clean combustion of the methane-rich biogas for power generation. The ODEQ determined that the requested modifications are sufficiently complex to require a facility-wide review and re-evaluation. The proposed facility will accept solid and liquid food waste, fats, oils, and grease from approved licensed haulers, as well as commercial businesses and industrial facilities including restaurants, grocery stores, and industrial food processors. The biogas plant design includes a biofilter for removal of hydrogen sulfide, separation of contaminants, and production of fertilizers and soils amendments from the AD residuals, and cleaning and recycling of the recovered water. Columbia Biogas currently has a power purchase agreement with Portland Electric for sale of an initial 3 megawatts of electricity with expectations to ramp up to 5 megawatts. The requested permit modification would eliminate the generators and add equipment needed for the biogas upgrading and injection: biogas will be compressed, cooled, and have condensable oils and fats removed. Biogas will pass through a packed tower scrubber where CO2 and H2S are removed from the biogas and retained in the scrubbing liquid (water). After scrubbing, the biogas will be polished by removing remaining impurities (mainly water) in an adsorber and filter. The original 2010 air quality permit was to expire in 2015; the proposed modified permit would require reapplication in January, 2018. 04/24/2013

UC Davis Issues Status Review of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Institute of Transportation Studies, University of CaliforniaThe Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS), University of California (UC), Davis has announced the publication of its Spring 2013 Status Review of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), the second in a series of status reports. The LCFS is a performance-based regulation adopted in California in 2009 that requires regulated parties to reduce the carbon intensity (CI) of their fuel mix by at least 10% by 2020. Potential low carbon fuel technologies include biofuels from waste and cellulosic materials, natural gas, electricity used in plug-in vehicles, and hydrogen used in fuel cell vehicles. This report focuses on the special topic of issues that affect compliance, and also addresses credits and deficits, carbon intensity of fuels, credit trading and credit prices, federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) and implications for LCFS feedstocks. The focus on LCFS Compliance issues addresses three topics: implications of maintaining the status quo, indirect land use change factors associated with corn biofuels, and the relationship between the LCFS and California's Cap and Trade regulation. In 2012, low carbon fuels displaced roughly 1.06 billion gallons of gasoline and 45 million gasoline gallon equivalents (gge) of diesel at average carbon intensities of 84.95 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule (gCO2e/MJ) and 58.34 gCO2e/MJ respectively. By the end of 2012, the program recorded net excess credits of 1.285 million metric tons (MMT) of CO2e. Of these net LCFS credits 78% were generated from ethanol, 12% from natural gas and bio-based gases (as liquid and compressed natural gas), 9% from biodiesel/renewable diesel, and 1% from electricity. Biofuels made from waste materials comprised less than 1% of biofuel volumes but generated 10% of biofuel credits, due to their very low CI. 04/23/2013

DOE Awards $18MM to Four New Biorefinery Pilots for Drop-In Biofuels

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced awards totaling almost $18 million to four companies developing advanced drop-in transport biofuel refineries. The pilot-scale biorefineries convert a variety of non-food biomass feedstocks, waste-based materials, and algae to produce biofuels that meet military specifications for jet fuel and diesel. Frontline Bioenergy LLCM will receive up to $4.2 million to expand upon prior gasification experience with partner SGS Energia to build a new TarFreeGas™ reactor pilot with and gas conditioning to produce and upgrade liquid fuels from woody biomass, municipal solid waste, and refuse derived fuel at the Iowa Energy Center's Biomass Energy Conversion Facility in Nevada, Iowa. With its recent scale-up trial successes, Cobalt Technologies will apply a grant of up to 42.5 million to build a pilot-scale facility to purify and convert non-food biomass derived butanol to jet fuel. Mercurius Biorefining, Inc. will receive up to $4.6 million to build and operate a pilot plant that uses acid-catalyzed depolymerization in an ethanol solvent to convert cellulosic biomass into non-sugar intermediates, which are further processed into drop-in bio-jet fuel and chemicals. The Iowa firm BioProcess Algae will receive up to $6.4 million to evaluate algal production of hydrocarbon fuels meeting military specifications using renewable carbon dioxide, lignocellulosic sugars, and waste heat. Energy Secretary Steven Chu: "Advanced biofuels are an important part of President Obama's all-of-the-above strategy to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil, improve our energy security, and protect our air and water. The innovative biorefinery projects announced today mark an important step toward producing fuels for our American military and the civil aviation industry from renewable resources found right here in the United States." 04/23/2013

Joule and Harvest Power Recognized as 2013 Bloomberg New Energy Pioneers

Bloomberg New Energy FinanceBloomberg New Energy Finance has announced its 2013 New Energy Pioneers awards, recognizing ten game-changing companies in the fields of clean energy technology and innovation. Two of the awardees are focused on conversion of waste to fuels. Harvest Power Inc., headquartered in Massachusetts, converts urban and agriculturally sourced organic wastes using a variety of microbial and thermal technologies to produce biogas for heat and power, along with compost and fertilizers. Last year, Harvest Power was recognized as "Breakout Company of the Year" by the New England Clean Energy Council. Also based in Massachusetts, Joule's biofuels technology platform derives fuels directly from sunlight and waste carbon dioxide (CO2). The company’s engineered biocatalysts produce ethanol or essential components of diesel, gasoline and jet fuel in a continuous process – free of the feedstock constraints and complex processing that hinder biofuels, and without diverting vital food crops to fuel production. The Bloomberg New Energy Pioneers were assessed against three fundamental criteria: innovation, demonstrated momentum and potential global scale. Awardees were announced at this year's invitation-only Summit; judging was undertaken by a panel of industry experts from academia, corporations, utilities, and finance and technology incubators. 04/23/2013

Johnny Rockets and DAR PRO Solutions Convert Fry Grease into Biodiesel

DAR PRO SolutionsThe California based Johnny Rockets restaurant chain has announced a partnership with DAR PRO Solutions to recycle used fryer grease from all 29 of its corporate-owned restaurants. The chain uses over 7,000 pounds of grease per year per restaurant, totaling around 100 tons per year. The restaurant's new partner offers disposal and sustainable use of fry oil for national restaurant chains, grocery retailers, and other food service businesses. The rendering and biofuels company converts animal fats and recycled greases, as well as plant oils such as soybean oil into its exclusive biodiesel fuel, called Bio G-3000™ Premium Biodiesel fuel. DAR PRO entered a 50/50% joint venture with Valero Energy Corporation to build the Diamond Green Diesel plant designed to produce 9,300 barrels of renewable diesel per day and scheduled to start production this spring. The plant will make use of the Norco, Louisiana refinery’s pipelines and 7000 domestic stores to make Diamond Green Diesel available nationwide. The Diamond Green facility will convert as much as eleven percent of the U.S. animal fat and used cooking oil into renewable diesel. John Fuller, President and CEO: "Johnny Rockets continually strives for ways to make our restaurants more eco-friendly and leave a lighter footprint on our environment. As an all-American restaurant chain, we are proud to do our part to be socially responsible and our partnership with DAR PRO Solutions is a great way to give back to our communities and environment.” DAR PRO Solutions is a brand of Darling International and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Griffin Industries.  04/22/2013

Basque Research Plans 10-Year Program Review and Overhaul

Basque ResearchThe web-based service Basque Research has announced that its program will undergo a significant review and overhaul after providing a decade of outreach for scientific and technologic research for the Basque country. The organization publishes research, development, and technology information (R+D+i) from regional universities, institutes, and company units at a national and international level. Basque Research arose from an initiative of the Elhuyar Foundation in 2002 with assistance of the Basque Government Science and Technology Plan to link science and the Basque language and act as a bridge with the global research society. The present goal is to reinforce the Basque R+D+i community, broaden the profile of the country's scientific research, and increase technology transfer. The clean conversion of waste and biomass to beneficial heat, power, fuels, and other commodities has been a regular topic of interest to the Elhuyar Foundation, as with coverage of waste pre-treatment cavitation and catalysis technologies commercialized by the Portuguese firm Incbio. The programmatic revision will review, analysis and update all data gathered over the past decade; the process is intended to be open to all stakeholders who wish to collaborate and contribute. Basque Research notes that many companies consider the publication of news about their work in international networks to be of great interest and a strategic advantage, reinforcing their areas of research or obtaining new international contacts. To this end, Basque Research has signed agreements with numerous principal international science and technology web sites. 04/22/2013

Royal Borough Launches Recyclebank Food Waste Rewards Program

Royal Borough of Windsor and MaidenheadThe Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has announced the launch of the United Kingdom's (UK) first program that rewards citizens and their communities for separating and recycling food waste from the municipal garbage. All food waste, including meat, bones and dairy, can be put in the caddies, which are emptied at the same time as the normal weekly waste and recycling collections. Under a 2012 contract with Agrivert, the Borough's food waste is taken to the Oxford Renewable Energy Ltd anaerobic digestion plant in Oxfordshire for conversion to renewable electricity and to agricultural fertilizer. Reward points are issued to residents who establish a Recyclebank on-line account and pledge to put their food waste in designated containers. Additional points are added to accounts periodically based on the total amount of food waste recycled within the borough over that time period. With the addition of communal outdoor bins and kitchen caddies, food waste collection from multi-family residences, or "flats" is also being encouraged. Recyclebank is an international company founded in 2004 headquartered in New York whose Rewards partnership program currently boasts 4000 members. Councillor Carwyn Cox, cabinet member for Environmental Services, explained that the extension is the result of a £566,000 government grant in recognition of the council's commitment to maintaining weekly waste collections. "This is a great opportunity to expand the rewards scheme so that residents can reap even more benefits for their good green habits. We currently recycle and compost 49% of our waste. The extension of the rewards scheme made possible by the grant is sure to be a huge help in raising that figure even higher, and that is good news for our residents, local businesses and the environment alike." 04/22/2013

Virginia Tech Team Turns Cellulose to Starch and Sugar for Food and Biofuels

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityThe Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) has announced a breakthrough in conversion of cellulosic wastes and other non-food biomass into amylose starch and glucose. A research team in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering led by Dr. Y.H. Percival Zhang has employed a process called "cascading enzymes" to progressively de-construct cellulose into 30% amylose, an important and valuable resistant starch (source of dietary fiber), with the remainder converting to glucose sugar suitable for biofuel fermentation. Coupled with the fermentation step, this is called “simultaneous enzymatic biotransformation and microbial fermentation” and is easy to scale up for commercial production. It is environmentally friendly because it does not require expensive equipment, heat, or chemical reagents, and does not generate any waste. The key enzymes are immobilized on magnetic nanoparticles and can easily be recycled using a magnetic force. Zhang and Virginia Tech visiting scholar Hongge Chen are the inventors of the cellulose-to-starch biotransformation, which is covered under a provisional patent application; Chen's work was in part sponsored by the China Scholarship Council. The research was published this week in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 04/20/2013

International Research Team Identifies Fate of Charcoal and Biochar in Soil

National Science FoundationThe National Science Foundation (NSF) has reported that an international research team has determined key elements of the fate of charcoal once it enters the soil, part of the global carbon cycle crucial where highly porous charcoal and biochar forms of carbon are incorporated to effect carbon sequestration. Biochar has recently risen in importance as a path for conversion of low-value woody wastes and residuals into high-value soils amendments, while providing a ready mechanism for sequestering carbon. This is particularly important when assessing project design and run-off control for carbon capture and sequestration, considering that rapid dissolution and transport of soil carbon runs counter to the current concept that once incorporated, the carbon remains where it is sequestered. The work was led by Dr. Rudolf Jaffe of the Florida International University in collaboration with Thorsten Dittmar of the German Max Planck Society, and started with study of organic carbon in the Florida Everglades at the National Science Foundation (NSF) Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, which is one of 26 such NSF LTER sites in ecosystems around the world. Jaffe and his research team found that as much as 20 percent of the total dissolved organic carbon in the Everglades is charcoal. Concurrent studies led by Dittmar at the Max Planck Institute tracked oceanic deposition and movement of charcoal; the researchers pooled their data and began to map out a comprehensive picture. The new findings show that the amount of dissolved charcoal transported to the oceans is keeping pace with the total charcoal generated by fires annually on a global scale. The international team's findings are outlined in a paper published this week in the journal Science as, "Global Charcoal Mobilization from Soils via Dissolution and Riverine Transport to the Oceans." 04/20/2013

CalRecycle Launches New State-Wide Waste Management Data Web Portal

CalRecycleThe California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has reorganized its voluminous information into one "Data Central" web-portal, especially useful given the Mandatory Commercial Recycling program now being implemented under AB 341. The new portal provides quick access to a variety of CalRecycle and other data sources and tools relating to California’s solid waste stream, waste disposal and recycling facility infrastructure, materials flow, recycling, and more. The Materials section provides statewide disposal data and amounts, covers Waste Characterization, Alternative Daily Cover (ADC), and general information on material types for each local jurisdiction or county. Detail is provided for all permitted types of waste management Facilities and Recycling Businesses, built around the CalRecycle's Facility Information Toolbox, or FacIT. A separate tab accesses Grants; others provide a quick entry for agency Contacts, Maps and numerous details needed to measure the state's progress toward its goals. Although the Data Central web portal does an excellent job of presenting the "known", it cannot provide detail that is not actually measured, as is the case when attempting to assess the fate of materials segregated for recycling. Only the trade in beverage containers receives this level of scrutiny, leaving all other "recycling" metrics to speculation. Once separated for sale, California still lacks any requirement for brokers to disclose the location or effectiveness of facilities where the bulk of those recyclates are actually reprocessed. As a result, that information is not yet available through the CalRecycle's "Data Central." 04/20/2013

Sita Selected for 30-Year Resource Recovery Contract with Meyerside Authority

Sita UKThe United Kingdom based Sita UK, a subsidiary of Suez Environnement, has announced that the Sita Sembicorp UK consortium it leads has been selected as the preferred bidder on a 30 year waste management and resource recovery contract with the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA). Total capital investment for the two facilities will be over £250 million; the total contract value is estimated at over €2 billion with the addition of revenues from the management of third party waste and sale of electricity. The team would manage over 430,000 tonnes of residual household waste per year on behalf of the Merseyside and Halton Waste partnership, diverting over 90% of the waste otherwise destined for landfill and ensuring long-term compliance with the European Union Landfill Directive. Planning permission is already in place for a rail loading waste transfer station in Merseyside and a new purpose-built energy-from-waste facility in Teesside. The contract includes design, construction, financing and operation of a regional rail transfer yard and a new energy from waste (EfW) combined heat and power (CHP) facility at Wilton International, a 2,000 acre industrial estate managed by Sembcorp Utilities UK on Teesside. Councillor Joe DeAsha, Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority: "The appointment of SITA Sembcorp UK as our Preferred Bidder marks the beginning of an important chapter in the way Merseyside and Halton deals with its resources. I believe that the solution we have chosen is the best for the environment - saving natural resources, generating green electricity and providing value for money for taxpayers." 04/19/2013

Carbios Enters €7MM Public-Private Collaboration for Plastic Waste Conversion

CarbiosFrench green chemistry company Carbios has announced entering into a public private partnership focused on optimizing value from waste plastics, and developing new bio-sourced polymer alternatives. Carbios will lead the €7-million collaboration that includes the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) at the Toulouse White Biotechnology (TWB) research center. The project is part of the THANAPLAST™ consortium with an overall budget of €22 million over five years. The Carbios-INRA project will focus on the development of effective biobased industrial processes that (as an alternative to conventional chemistry) adds value to plastic waste and enable the production of economically competitive biosourced polymers. The INRA groups will focus on enzyme screening, enzymatic catalysis and cell engineering; Carbios' technology platform transforms plastic waste and non-food residuals into raw material for the plastics industry. François Houiller, Chief Executive of INRA: "This exciting partnership with Carbios at TWB represents one of the highest-value collaborations ever between INRA and a start-up. Carbios has convinced us of their solid technical and industrial expertise. The collaboration will enable us to pool our know-how and will underpin applied research, with the shared objective of exploiting renewable resources." 04/19/2013

LS9 to Expand Florida Facility Following Successful Biobutanol Trials

LS9, IncSouth San Francisco based LS9, Inc has announced plans to expand its Florida testing and demonstration facility following successful biobutanol production scale-up trials for Cobalt Technologies. LS9's Okeechobee, Florida facility was initially designed and has been used to scale-up LS9’s fermentation technology and generate large commercial samples for testing and product qualification by key partners and prospective customers. Since the company’s initial run at 135,000 liter scale in the third quarter of last year, LS9 has made several additional fatty alcohol runs of this size as well as smaller production runs of fatty acid methyl esters (biodiesel). The successful trials demonstrate that LS9 can leverage its state-of-the-art facility and the expertise of its operations staff to work with partners to commercialize renewable products. Given the success of the initial production run, Cobalt is considering future work at LS9’s Florida facility. Tjerk de Ruiter, President and Chief Executive Officer of LS9: "The capability to transition from the lab to 135,000 liter scale is a key milestone on our road to commercial success, and we know we are not alone in this requirement. Our ability to support other companies’ technology scale-up activities is not only an example of the flexibility and the capabilities of our team, it is also an excellent example of how, as an industry, we can work together to make a renewable future a reality. This new revenue source, together with a recent $6 million investment from our current investors, positions LS9 to enter into new partnerships with our technology and advance our own products." 04/18/2013

US-Israel Bio-Energy Challenge Initiates Advanced Biofuels Collaboration

US-Israel Science & Technology FoundationTwo non-profit organizations have reported that the winning Israeli companies from the US-Israel Bio-Energy Challenge are now meeting with key US researchers and program managers to discuss collaborative biofuels opportunities. US representatives from the US Departments of Energy (DOE) and Agriculture, the Navy, and the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), and the private sector are discussing opportunities for US-Israel collaboration on research and innovation to produce advanced biofuels that can substitute for petroleum-based gasoline, diesel oil, and aviation fuel currently produced from imported oil. Following the meetings in Washington DC, they will travel to DOE labs in Oak Ridge Tennessee and to California to meet with additional scientists and energy program managers. The US-Israel Bio-Energy Challenge is being sponsored and coordinated by two US not-for-profit organizations, The Israel Energy Partnership (TIEP) and the US-Israel Science and Technology Foundation (USISTF) and by the Israeli Industry Center for R&D (MATIMOP). The Challenge is being developed on behalf of the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) in the Ministry for Trade and Industry; Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist for the Ministry commented: "The Office of the Chief Scientist continues to expand the opportunities for collaboration between academic researchers and industrial enterprises from both countries. We support this initiative that can significantly advance the development of applicative solutions for reducing our dependence in fossil oils – an objective that both nations share and strive for." 04/18/2013

Due 06/04/2013: Proposals to City of Los Angeles for Organic Waste Processing

City of Los AngelesThe Los Angeles Business Assistance Virtual Network (BAVN) has posted a newly-opened Request for Proposals (RFP; BAVN ID 16519)) from experienced contractors to provide receipt, processing, and reuse of green material, food material, and horse manure collected from the City of Los Angeles curbside collection program. Proposals will offer a program for receipt of and payment for a minimum of 200 to maximum of 1,800 tons per day of the target wastes from the City's collection program that services its six wastesheds. For the conversion of this waste to beneficial materials, the RFP defines and then specifies "conversion of green material, food material, and/or horse manure into a product by means of mechanical processing such as chipping, screening, cleaning, grinding, sizing, mulching; biological processing such as composting, co-composting, anaerobic digestion/co-digestion, fermentation; thermal processing such as pyrolysis and gasification, for the production of electricity, heat, alternative fuels, or other products." A mandatory pre-proposal workshop is scheduled for April 30, 2013 at 10:00am in Los Angeles City's Public Works Building, 1149 South Broadway St., in Sub-Basement #6, Los Angeles, California 90015. The Business Inclusion Program (BIP) outreach requirements are applicable to this RFP. On-line registration is required with BAVN by prospective Prime contractors and Sub-contractors to download the RFP and a Letter of Invitation to Propose. All questions must be received by May 21, 2013 and bids are due by June 4, 2013 no later than 2:00 pm. Contact Rowena Romano at the City's Department of Public Works, Bureau of Sanitation with any technical questions at least one week prior to the pre-proposal meeting date, at 213-485-3626; <>. 04/18/2013

ADB Loans $200MM to Dynagreen for Waste-to-Energy Plants in China

Asian Development BankThe Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced that it is extending $200 million in loans to the Dynagreen Environmental Protection Group Company (Dynagreen) to help small and medium-sized cities in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) turn their growing mountains of solid waste into a sustainable source of renewable energy. Dynagreen is the environmental infrastructure subsidiary of Beijing State-Owned Assets Management Co., Ltd; the company will develop and operate the waste-to-energy plants under public / private partnership arrangements. The PRC generates more than 220 million tons of waste per year, still only 20% the average per capita generation of solid waste but second in the world for total waste generation, and expected to grow dramatically by 2030. The ADB loan is intended to fund at least nine plants for conversion of over 6,000 total tons of municipal solid waste per day into electricity. The ADB is extending a direct loan from its ordinary capital resources of $100 million equivalent in yuan and a local currency complementary loan of up to $100 million equivalent to be funded by commercial banks. An associated technical assistance grant of $500,000 from the ADB will also help Dynagreen enhance its corporate governance system. Dynagreen focuses on providing cleaner solutions to PRC's waste and energy needs, and does not co-fire refuse derived fuel (RDF) with coal, to minimize emissions; last year, Dynagreen signed agreements with the Australian waste conversion technology company AnaeCo for commercialization of the firm's DiCom anaerobic digestion system in China. 04/17/2013

ABO Releases On-Line Interactive Global Map of Algae Industry

Algae Biomass OrganizationThe Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) has announced the release of an interactive on-line mapping tool showing the global location, name, and other key information for algae production facilities and research institutions, national laboratories, demonstration and commercial projects, and other efforts undertaken by ABO members and non-members. The map visually illustrates the development of algae-derived renewable fuels, feeds, fertilizers, chemicals and other products. The new map was revealed today at the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. In addition to production of algal oil for biofuels, nutraceuticals and other commodities, algae can sequester carbon from waste exhaust emissions, providing a valuable waste conversion mechanism for other industries seeking paths to reduced carbon footprint. A recent ABO survey of more than 470 algae industry contacts shows that 67 percent of algae producers said they plan to expand capacity in 2013, and more than 95 percent of producers believe it that algae-based fuels may be able to compete with fossil fuels as soon as 2020. The results are similar to expansion and price expectations reported in the same survey conducted last year. ABO released MDL 5.0: Algae Industry Minimum Descriptive Language, Guidance to Evaluate Life Cycle Inputs and Outputs, and in 2013 intends to solicit public comment while promoting broader industry acceptance and utilization of its metrics. 04/17/2013

Canadian Collaborative Launches PowerHaus Clean Tech Competition

GreenAngel EnergyThe green technology investment company GreenAngel Energy has announced the launch of its PowerHaus competitive initiative in collaboration with Simon Fraser University and the Canadian National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). The new effort will select emerging clean technologies companies through a competitive process for business mentoring and financial support. Miek Volker, GreenAngel's Chairman, notes: "In B.C. [British Columbia], there is a healthy “deal flow” – i.e. promising ventures looking for talent and investors to help them grow. GreenAngel will provide capital from GTV (VCC) Inc, a private angel fund that we manage alongside other private investors. We believe that while mentoring and coaching can contribute to success, the real key to building sound companies is to recruit an experienced management team. Last year, we acquired an 8.9% founders’ interest in Mazza Innovation Ltd, a phytochemical extraction company based in Summerland, BC, by providing management and corporate finance services. The Mazza experience served as a model in the formulation of the new PowerHaus strategy. We’d like to hear from investors, mentors, and seasoned managers who’d like to participate in PowerHaus to build better cleantech companies and accelerate their growth. Please note June 4th (10:00 am) as the date for our Annual General Meeting to be held at the SFU Harbour Centre campus. This is an excellent opportunity to meet some of our companies and discover more about PowerHaus." 04/17/2013

Cobalt Technologies Takes Steps Toward BioButanol Commercialization

Cobalt TechnologiesCalifornia-based Cobalt Technologies Inc. has released two announcements that together advance the company's biomass to n-butanol technology platform. First, Cobalt has signed an equity investment based strategic partnership agreement with two Asian chemical companies for the development of a complete biomass-to-butadiene solution and construction of a commercial-scale biorefinery in Asia. The partners also plan to build or license additional plants to support the high growth in global butadiene demand. Technology development is expected to be completed in 2014 with construction of the first plant to follow. Cobalt has also announced successful completion of scale-up trials at a fermentation scale greater than 10,000 liters. The performance demonstrates scalability by replicating the performance previously obtained at both the 10 liter bench scale and the 4,000 liter pilot scale. The production run required minimal modification to the contract facility's existing aerobic system, providing validation of Cobalt's ability to retrofit or co-locate with existing ethanol plants, whether based on sugarcane or corn, for the production of butanol. Cobalt has developed a technology platform that begins with simultaneously extracts and converts the carbohydrates form low-value waste and residual biomass into simple sugars without harsh chemicals or expensive vessel criteria. The sugars are then fermented using the firm's proprietary microbial strain directly to n-butanol, followed by an energy efficient distillation process. Bob Mayer, CEO of Cobalt Technologies: "Cobalt is on track to develop a commercial facility in Brazil and the one-tenth demonstration scale reinforces our confidence in the value and scalability of our technology platform." 04/17/2013

EC Highlights SYNPOL Project for Biopolymers from Syngas Fermentation

European CommissionThe European Commission's (EC) Community Development and Research Information Service (CORDIS) has released its first update on the SYNPOL Project launched at the beginning of last year. The project was funded under the EU 7th Framework program for Food, Agriculture, Fisheries, and Biotechnology for about EUR 7.5 million. SYNPOL is a collaborative multi-national effort aimed at "establishing an integrated process technology for the efficient synthesis of cost-effective commercial new sources of polymers (e.g., polyhydroxyalkanoates [PHA] for bioplastic) using the products derived from fermentation of syngas generated from very complex feedstocks." SYNPOL focuses on carbon recovery by pyrolytic conversion coupled to bacterial fermentation using the CO and H2 compounds of the syngas from feedstock that includes municipal solid waste (MSW), agricultural residues and sewage sludge. The SYNPOL consortium is led by the Biological Research Centre (CIB, Madrid, Spain) which is part of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). Dr. Oliver Drzyzga, project manager from CIB-CSIC: "Two major advantages of the SYNPOL project are that the waste streams used for syngas production are not competing with those of the food value chain as is the case for the biodiesel production and that our final product, the bioplastic, that is produced biologically by bacteria will be 100% biodegradable." 04/17/2013

European Commission Launches 3-Year €6.2MM BioBase NWE Project

BioBase NWEBioBase Europe has announced the European Commission's launch of a new project focusing support for bio-based product development innovation upon the northwestern European region. BioBase NWE is a three-year, €6.2 million (£5.35 million, or $8.19 million) project directed at encouraging small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) to enter the bio-based products economic sector. The five-country collaborative program will provide training to build a skilled workforce for the growing yet short-handed bio-based industries already established within northwestern Europe. Start-up companies can receive advice on how to bring promising new ideas to market, and receive financial support to demonstrate innovative bio-based technologies at an independent, state-of–the-art demonstration facility in Ghent, Belgium. Projects can range from bioenergy to biofuels, bioplastics, and other biomass-sourced commodities. BioBase NWE is 50 per cent funded by the European Regional Development Fund, through the INTERREG IVB North West Europe Programme. Dr. Lieve Hoflack, Manager of the Bio Base NWE project: "SMEs have a vital role to play in Europe’s journey towards the bio-based economy, which could be worth more than €2 trillion to the European economy by 2020. Bio-based products are a growing area of interest for SME’s working in chemical industry, agro-industry, plastics, fuels, food, textile and pharma industry. However, many SME’s find it difficult to bridge the gap between newly developed research and the commercial market." For more information, comment or interview requests, contact Dr Lieve Hoflack, +32 (0)9 335 70 01, or <>. 04/16/2013

Sweetwater Energy Signs $250MM Cellulosic Sugar Off-Take Agreement

Sweetwater EnergyNew York based Sweetwater Energy, Inc has announced signing a 15-year $250 million cellulosic sugar off-take agreement with bioproducts company Naturally Scientific. Sweetwater will deliver industrial sugars derived from conversion of cellulosic biomass using its patented technology platform. The process is capable of extracting fermentable sugars from a variety of locally-sourced types of non-food biomass including crop residues, energy crops, and wood waste. The technology generates separate and concentrated individual streams of C5 and C6 sugars, allowing a single processing site to serve the needs of multiple customers. Naturally Scientific is seeking an eastern US site; Sweetwater will locate its decentralized production facilities in whatever regions its client selects, and deliver over 50,000 tons per year of clarified sugars directly to their processing plant. Naturally Scientific has spent five years creating its modular, rapid-growth and high-yield bio-manufacturing platform. The company has constructed a demonstration plant in Nottingham, UK, that has been fully operational for two years, producing oils. The demonstration plant uses full-sized equipment that proves the technology, automated process control systems, yields and unit economics at a commercial scale. Arunas Chesonis, Chairman and CEO of Sweetwater Energy: "This agreement shows how Sweetwater’s sugar is an ideal feedstock—not just for biofuel production, but also ideal for biochemicals. Naturally Scientific’s innovative oil technology meshes amazingly well with Sweetwater’s. We’re looking forward to helping Naturally Scientific expand new markets for bio-based oils." 04/16/2013

CAPCOA Releases Report on "California's Progress Toward Clean Air"

The California Air Pollution Control Officer's Association (CAPCOA) has announced the release of its 2012 wrap-up report, "California's Progress Toward Clean Air." With thirty-five local air quality agencies scattered across California, this report provides a glimpse of activities, successes, and challenges in improving each region's air quality. The report notes, "California, the most populous state in the nation, includes regions with pristine air quality as well as regions with the highest number of violations of the federal health-based standards for ozone and particulate matter." The activities reflect two overarching regulatory drivers. At the federal level, the EPA has tightened the standards for attainment regarding both ozone and particulates. Yet California's own regulations present a more stringent performance bar than even the EPA's. Many new air quality programs and policies stemming from the 2006 California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) are just now finding implementation (Low Carbon Fuel Standard, Cap & Trade). Reviewing the snapshots of the 35 districts reveals an emphasis on emerging technologic solutions. For the waste conversion sector, the report indicates understandably that the most heavily impacted urban regions are more aggressively seeking innovative alternatives to replacing or augmenting petroleum fuels, while the agencies with a more rural purview are encouraging alternatives to burning agricultural residuals, and use of cleaner residential heat and power. Cumulatively the agencies are improving not only the local air quality, but the metrics used to quantify and monetize the associated costs and benefits. 04/14/2013

Indiana Biomass Energy Working Group Hosts Session on Culver Duck Digester

Organic Waste SystemsThe Indiana Biomass Energy Working Group has scheduled a day-long working session and site tour on April 23, 2013 focused on the $4 million anaerobic combined heat and power (CHP) installation at the Culver Duck poultry processing plant just outside of Middlebury. When the project was first announced a year ago, Culver Duck was processing 6.5 million ducks per year. The digester was designed by Organic Waste Systems (OWS) to convert around 9 tons per day of poultry processing waste combined with locally-sourced corn silage and other organics into biogas for generation of 1.2 megawatt of electricity and usable heat. Norma McDonald, OWS' representative in North America will present on "Finding the Right Recipe for Successful Digester Operations." The renewable power is sold at a premium to the region's electric utility Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) and bought back under a long-term agreement; NIPSCO's Dee Cota will discuss the Feed-in Tariff pricing basis of the agreement. The session agenda will be opened by Dr. Jiqin Ni of the Purdue Extension's School of Agricultural and Bio Engineering. There is a modest fee for the work session and registration is required by April 18, 2013. The Indiana Biomass Energy Working Group is sponsored by Purdue University Extension in conjunction with the Indiana Office of Energy Development, and is a consortium of stakeholders from the industry, state and federal government, trade organizations, universities, and citizenry. 04/14/2013

Bangalore Market Plans Anaerobic Digestion Plant for Waste to Energy

The Russell Market Vendors Association has reported that its 480 shop owner members have decided to cooperatively develop an anaerobic digestion system for conversion of the Bangalore market's organic wastes to power. Rebuilding of the market continues a year and a month after 175 of the 480 shops of the 85 year old market were destroyed by fire. Local agencies continue to work on power and water connections and decisions as to what degree to demolish charred sections of the market. The Association has taken the advice of the regional Solid Waste Management Roundtable (SWMRT) to improve management of the market's waste, and the market members have decided to go ahead and harness the energy available in that waste. Of the market's 12-15 tonnes of garbage generated per day, more than half of which is wet organic waste. The association is in discussions with a firm for the construction; the power generation project will cost the members Rs7 lakh (about US $13,000) after a 30% subsidy given to them by the state government. Mohammad Idrees of the association explains: "A large portion of the wet waste in the market is generated in the fish market section. This used to be our major concern. We will have a conversion processor which will convert the wet waste to energy. Meanwhile, the dry waste is already being sold. We already have a wet waste bin and we will construct another one within a few months for dry waste. This will then be used for segregation at source. On Thursday we held a meeting to ask people what they wanted. They were all happy to know that the market will be a model for others to follow. In the days to come, we will teach people how they can segregate waste and what waste goes into what bin." 04/12/2013

DOE Webinar: Community Scale Anaerobic Digester Success Stories

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) will present a free webinar addressing Community Scale Anaerobic Digesters on April 16, 2013, and featuring two presentations. Michele Young is the Organics Manager for the City of San Jose; she will provide background on San Jose, California's, leading-edge program using the nation's first commercial-scale, high solids dry fermentation anaerobic digestion system to process commercial organics from more than 8,000 businesses in the City. Phase one of the Zero Waste Energy Development facility, which will take up to 90,000 tons of organic waste per year, is currently under construction and will begin receiving materials in the fall of 2013. The presentation will also identify key aspects of the multi-year procurement process, negotiations, and agreements that can be applied to potential projects in their region. Following the San Jose project, the webinar will provide details of the Forest County Potawatomi Community's anaerobic digester project. Jason Rieth is a project executive for Miron Construction, responsible for project delivery, from pre-construction through construction and commissioning. His direct responsibilities include project budgeting and cost control, constructability reviews, lean project initiatives, schedule creation and control, and quality audits to assure client goals are met and their expectations are exceeded. The two-part webinar is free, but registration is required and available via an on-line form. 04/12/2013

IBI Publishes Biochar Standards Version 1.1, Plans Certification Program

International Biochar InitiativeThe International Biochar Initiative (IBI) has announced publication of Version 1.1 of its Biochar Standards. The updated Version 1.1 of the "Standardized Product Definition and Product Testing Guidelines for Biochar That Is Used in Soil" is available with all supportive documentation from the Biochar Standards download section of the non-profit association's website. Key revisions include a new test method for organic carbon content, removal of the earthworm avoidance test, and inclusion of a new section on the revisions process. Version 1.1 comes one year after publication of the initial version of the IBI Biochar Standards; the Standards provide a tool that will help the emerging biochar industry provide certainty to consumers and markets about biochar products. The IBI Biochar Standards provide a framework for determining what biochar is—and what it is not—and for demonstrating the safety and efficacy of its use as a soil amendment through a series of tests that determine basic physicochemical properties and the presence of potential toxicants. As a next step, IBI will be launching the IBI Biochar Certification Program in the coming weeks to enable manufacturers whose biochar materials have passed the IBI Biochar Standards to apply for certification through IBI, and to place an “IBI Certified Biochar” seal on their product. The Program is initially slated for roll-out in the US and Canada before expanding to other countries. Sustainable biochar is one of the few technologies that is relatively inexpensive, widely applicable, and quickly scalable. IBI focuses on the need for quality and sustainability standards and assurances in the emerging biochar industry. 04/11/2013

Due 05/31/2013: Grant Applications to CEC for Commercial Biofuels Facilities

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission's (CEC) Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) has released a Program Opportunity Notice (PON-13-601) seeking applications for grant funding for Commercial Scale Advanced Biofuels Production Facilities. Up to $9,266,737 in grant funds will be available for commercial scale biorefineries to (1) expand existing facilities, and/or (2) lower the carbon intensity of fuels produced at existing biofuels plants. A minimum 50% match share is required. Projects must have a production capacity of at least 15,000.000 gallons per year of diesel substitutes, gasoline substitutes, and /or biomethane to be eligible. Resulting biofuels must have a carbon intensity value at least 5% lower that the reference baseline for corn ethanol (80.7 gCO2e/MJ) as set by the California Air Resources Board's Low Carbon Fuel Standard Corn grain fermentation projects are not eligible, and if feedstock is derived from municipal solid waste, only the biogenic fraction may be converted to fuels. About $100 million in ARFVTP funding is authorized annually under AB 118. Projects are eligible for up to 50% of the total project cost or $5.0 million, whichever is less. Only one project may be proposed per application. Multiple applications may be submitted so long as each application is submitted separately and each application independently meets the requirements of this solicitation. This solicitation is open to businesses, public agencies, vehicle and technology entities, public-private partnerships, and academic institutions. A pre-application workshop will be conducted on April 29, 2013 beginning at 10:00 am and will be available via webex. Questions may be asked until April 29, 2013, and all proposals are due no later than 3:00pm on May 31, 2013. 04/11/2013

2OC Secures £200MM Integrated Bioenergy CHiP Contract with Thames Water

2OCBased in the United Kingdom (UK), the firm 2OC has announced signing a £200 million, 20 year contract to provide renewable heat and power to Thames Water, the UK's largest wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). J Murphy and Sons has been awarded the contract to build 2OC's "intelligent combined heat and power" (CHiP) plant nearby. 2OC's Quadgen power generation platform will be fueled entirely from waste, converting grease cleaned from Thames' 109,000 kilometers of sewers, used cooking oil, and rendered tallow into fuel for a 2-cycle heat-jacketed engine with a design electrical generation capacity of 19 megawatts. Waste heat from the engine will be used in the adjacent gas pressure reduction station allowing existing gas fired boilers to be turned off, with any excess heat available for nearby buildings. About half of the CHiP plant's power will be purchased by Thames to run its sewage works and desalination plant and the rest sold to the national grid. Andrew Mercer CEO of 2OC: "This is the culmination of many years of hard work from my world class team at 2OC. This is good for us, Thames Water and its customers and the environment. Renewable power and heat sourced in London, generated in London and used in London." 04/10/2013

ETI Short-lists 3 Gasification WtE Companies in £2.8MM Demo Competition

Energy Technologies InstituteThe United Kingdom (UK) based Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has announced selection of the top three proposals in a £2.8 million competition to design the most economical, efficient, and commercially viable gasification waste to energy demonstration pilot plant. The chosen plant must generate from 5 to 20 megawatts (MWe) at better than industry-standard efficiencies of at least 25%. Advanced Plasma Power (APP), Broadcrown Ltd, and Royal Dahlman have been selected; the Stage One design phase will last 10 months and Stage Two will see the winning design selected in early 2014. The chosen plant could be in operation by 2016 and operate for up to four years. APP’s Gasplasma® technology will produce a clean syngas as a fuel for development and demonstration with an electrical output of 6MWe. The Gasplasma® system starts with gasification then uses a separate plasma furnace to crack and clean the crude syngas from a gasifier prior to fueling gas engines or a gas turbine. The UK company Broadcrown Ltd will design a 2 MWe demonstration gasifier using a scalable concept, partnering with European and American companies including a gas engine manufacturer to demonstrate a combined cycle with unprecedented efficiency using syngas. Royal Dahlman will develop a 7 MWe plant using patented MILENA-OLGA biomass gasification process. Royal Dahlman will lead a team of British, Swiss, American and Dutch partners. ETI is a public-private partnership between BP, Caterpillar, EDF, E.ON, Rolls-Royce and Shell and the UK Government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, with funding through the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The Department of Energy and Climate Change are observers on the Board. 04/10/2013

Waste2Tricity Enters Concept Design Phase for Plasma Waste to Energy Plant

Waste2TricityThe United Kingdom (UK) based Waste2Tricity (W2T) has announced the start of a concept design study for the development of a plasma gasification waste to energy plant. The plant will be scaled at 13.6 megawatt (MWe) power generation and fueled by around 100,000 tonnes per year of feedstock derived for residential and/or industrial waste. W2T has engaged Peel Environmental for the siting analysis. Similar to the Air Products plant on Teesside, which recently started construction, the W2T project is intended to use Westinghouse plasma assisted gasification from Alter NRG to convert waste sourced from several suppliers including Energy Gap Ltd. Alter NRG is providing a discounted technology license for the Project in exchange for an option to take a minority investment. W2T, in conjunction with its engineer AMEC and consultant Foster Wheeler, is working with partners to draw up plans for the 13.6MW plant, which will produce nearly 109,000 MW hours of low carbon electricity a year - enough to power around 24,000 homes. The Project will utilize internal combustion engines, but W2T expects it to also demonstrate AFC Energy’s alkaline fuel cells, as they become commercially available. The equivalent fuel cell plant will export an additional 43% of electricity from the same amount of feedstock. Peter Jones, Chairman of W2T: "We expect this to be the first of many similar programmes for the project partners in the UK. The 100,000 tonnes a year model will meet the localism agenda – using locally derived feedstock to supply electricity to local homes and businesses. We believe there is a potential market in the UK for up to 100 units of this size. Once we are able to deploy fuel cells, the output from our plants will increase substantially and be carbon capture ready – holding out the prospect of carbon negative electricity." 04/10/2013

CPF to Start Up 10 Bioenergy/Biofuels Plants in 2013 for Energy from Waste

Charoen Pokphand Foods PCLThailand based Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL (CPF) is on schedule to start up six biogas plants, three cogeneration facilities, and a biodiesel production unit in 2013, having invested nearly 1 billion baht (about $34 million) according to the Bangkok Post News. The company has been pursuing a waste conversion and bioenergy campaign since 2004 to "go green" and cut fossil fuel use by 20% each year. The first phrase co-generation project has been developed at chicken processing plants in Nakhon Ratchasima and Min Buri, and is expected to generate 5 megawatt electricity and 23 tonnes/hour of steam. CPF's successful research and development of anaerobic digestion (AD) of livestock waste will result in conversion of around 5.6 million litres per year (about 1.5 million gallons) of chicken and shrimp processing wastewater to biogas for power production. CPF's first biodiesel plant using waste cooking oil from prepared foods production went on-line in 2006; the firm will soon open its third biodiesel unit in Nong Chok to turn 50,000 litres a month (about 13,000 gallons) of used oil into 47,500 litres of B100 biodiesel. Kritsada Tosathum, the head of systematic engineering, said when completed, the biogas plants will reduce use of petroleum gas by 465,000 kilogrammes and of bunker oil by 1.2 million litres each year. "B100 biodiesel fuel has excellent properties for powering common-rail engines and vehicles used by the company such as forklifts and employee shuttle buses." 04/09/2013

State of Hawaii Awards $200K to BioTork - USDA Waste to Biofuel Project

BioTorkHawaii's Governor Neil Abercrombie's office has announced an award of $200,000 to the biofuels collaboration of the Florida-based company BioTork LLC and the USDA Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC) to help support the Hilo center's zero waste biofuel and high protein animal feed project. The State’s Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC) will become a venture partner to globally export the rapid conversion technology in association with PBARC and BioTork Hawaii LLC. BioTork's subsidiary BioTork Hawaii LLC has concentrated their assistance at PBARC to conversion of unmarketable papaya, using its patented heterotrophic process in which organically optimized algae/fungi break the wastes down during a 14 day processing cycle. The recently-extended PBARC project consists of interrelated components on agriculture production and value added research, development of biofuels from regional feedstock, and enhancement of the communities in Hamakua through the deployment of the ‘zero waste’ concept. Governor Abercrombie: "This patented evolutionary technology is unique to the marketplace and places Hawaii in a leading position in the area of biofuel and feed research. With this technology, farmers can turn agricultural waste into an additional revenue stream, and local production of biofuel can lower dependence on Hawaii’s import of fossil fuels. Aside from the benefit of producing biofuel, this technology has the ability to create another revenue stream for papaya and other tropical agriculture farmers. Local high protein feed production – another by-product of this process – can greatly benefit cattle, hog, chicken and aquaculture farms through competitive market pricing." 04/09/2013

DOE Webinar on Texas CHP Siting, Permitting, Interconnection Requirements

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) Gulf Coast Clean Energy Application Center (GC CEAC) has announced that registration is now open for an April 30, 2013 webinar addressing requirements for siting, permitting, and interconnecting combined heat and power (CHP) projects in Texas. Determining and obtaining the required utility interconnection, siting, and construction permits are essential steps in CHP project development. The requirements affect a project's economic feasibility, as well as project timing, design, and implementation. Neither construction nor operation may begin until all permits are in process or in place. The presentation will help potential adopters of CHP to navigate through the regulatory and permitting environment in Texas by providing detailed and actionable information on each step of the utility interconnection, permitting, and power exporting processes. This webinar is part one of a series of project development webinars that are being introduced in 2013 on various topics related to clean energy technologies and pertinent policy developments. Continuing education certificates are available upon request. The GC CEAC is based at the Houston Advanced Research Center in The Woodlands, Texas. It was created with funding from the US DOE to promote clean energy technology through the use of CHP, waste heat recovery, and district energy in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. There is no charge for participating, but registration is required and available on-line. 04/09/2013

Eco Sustainable Solutions Wins AD Output Award with Weltec Biopower Plant

Weltech BiopowerGerman company Weltec Biopower has announced that their United Kingdom (UK) based client Eco Sustainable Solutions Ltd (Eco) received top recognition for "AD Output" during the REA Organics Recycling Awards held on March 21, 2013 in Oxfordshire. The awards ceremony took place during the Organics Recycling Group's (ORG) conference. ORG is now part of the Renewable Energy Association (REA) following a merger last year of the Association for Organics Recycling (AfOR). Eco is a diversified organics management and sales company serving the UK landscape, architectural and recycling markets. Weltec designed and built the 20,000 tonne per year anaerobic digestion (AD) combined heat and power (CHP) plant for Eco in Piddlehinton, Dorset, which was commissioned in 2012. The plant's feedstock is regionally-sourced food waste and unsalable supermarket organics, which are depackaged, sorted, and pasteurized prior to digestion. An adjacent feed mill is powered by the facility; engine jacket and exhaust heat from the plant's power generator set (genset) is recovered and piped to the feed mill as well. Excess electricity is sold to the UK national electric grid. The digestate produced by the plant, which is in the process of gaining PAS 110 accreditation, is collected and used by local farmers. The jury of the Organics Recycling award emphasized the innovative use of the plant’s output by local businesses. Weltec Biopower's UK Sales Manager, Chris Jellett, commented: "This award win for Eco Sustainable Solutions is a wonderful recognition to the team both on site and behind the scenes at Piddlehinton. Obtaining the 'AD Output Award' shows that we are setting the benchmark in the UK biogas market." 04/09/2013

Biome Receives £150K Grant for Conversion of Lignin to Bioplastics  

Biome BioplasticsThe United Kingdom (UK) based Biome Technologies subsidiary Biome Bioplastics Ltd has announced receipt of an award of £150,000 ($228,456) to commercialize a microbial pathway for conversion of lignin to bioplastics. The company will work with the University of Warwick's Centre for Biotechnology and Biorefining that was just launched at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) on March 21, 2013, and is pioneering academic research into lignin degrading bacteria. The Centre Biome and the Warwick team will collaborate on development of methods to control the lignin breakdown process to determine whether these chemicals can be extracted in significant quantities. The grant is part of the Technology Strategy Board’s ‘Sustainable high value chemical manufacture through industrial biotechnology’ technical feasibility competition, which funds projects that apply sustainable bio-based feedstocks and biocatalytic processes in the production of chemicals. The collaboration will investigate a bio-based alternative for the oil derived organic chemicals used in the manufacturer of bioplastics. Biome Bioplastics CEO Paul Mines: "The bioplastics market remains small compared to that of fossil-based polymers. Growth is restricted by the price of bioplastic resins being 2-4 times that of their petrochemical counterparts. We anticipate that the availability of a high performance polymer, manufactured economically from renewable sources would considerably increase the market." 04/08/2013 

Abengoa Launches MSW to BioFuels Demonstration Plant in Spain 

AbengoaInternational energy and fuels company Abengoa has announced the launch of its first large scale demonstration of biofuel production from municipal solid waste (MSW). The facility has a capacity to treat 25,000 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW), from which up to 1.5 million liters of bioethanol will be produced for use as fuel. The multi-technology integrated biorefinery demonstration plant in Babilafuente (Salamanca, Spain) uses Abengoa's W2B technology to produce second generation biofuels from MSW using a fermentation treatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. The organic fraction of the MSW is treated to produce fiber rich in cellulose and hemicellulose, which can subsequently be converted by fermentation into bioethanol. Abengoa’s complementary thermal technology also enables the remaining components to be segregated, recovered and converted, whether recyclable, non-recyclable or other plastics, to obtain biodiesel and to recover energy to generate steam and electricity. The design allows the plant to be operated flexibly in order to assess the performance and costs of different configurations. The technology has been successfully proven at its pilot plant in York (Nebraska, USA) and at its demonstration plant in Salamanca (Spain). It is also being implemented at its plant in Hugoton (Kansas, USA), one of the first commercial-scale plants producing second generation bioethanol, which has a capacity of 100 million liters per year and will come into operation at the end of 2013. The production of bioethanol from municipal solid waste is a major technological advance in the waste management model, since it increases the recovery rate, minimizes the carbon footprint and generates major benefits for society.  04/08/2013 

Due 04/19/2013: Project Concepts to Nepal Waste to Energy Bazaar

Nepal Renewable Energy - Waste to Energy Bazaar 2013The Government of Nepal's Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) has announced a competitive solicitation for rural renewable and alternative energy development concepts, and launched Nepal Renewable Energy - Waste to Energy (W2E) Bazaar 2013 to promote rural renewable energy development. The AEPC operates independently as a governmental initiative under the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, to make renewable energy use a mainstream part of the Nepalese society. The Center is encouraging municipalities, NGOs, enterprises, industries and communities to submit concepts of extracting energy from municipal, community level, industrial and commercial sector wastes. Submit ideas online at www.w2ebazaar.org.np or directly to the Center by April 2013. The ten top project ideas selected will be requested to submit a more comprehensive business and implementation to be showcased on 26th of April at the Nepal Renewable W2E Bazaar with awards of developmental support presented to the three best ideas. AEPC is the national focal agency for the promotion of renewable energy technologies, and is currently implementing the multi donor National Rural and Renewable Energy Program (NRREP). NRREP has introduced Waste to Energy projects implementation for thermal and electricity production, and Nepal is also one of the six pilot countries identified for assistance under the Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program in Low Income Countries (SREP) for the development of the waste to energy projects. 04/08/2013 

Biofuels Center Funds Appalachian State University for MSW to Biofuels Study

Biofuels Center of North CarolinaThe Biofuels Center of North Carolina has announced awards totaling $684,058 for six projects to accelerate the renewable fuels industry in western North Carolina. Awards were made through the 2012-2013 targeted biofuels development funding program, entitled Catalyzing Production in Western North Carolina. An award of $65,722 was presented to Appalachian State University to fund the project "Investigating the Economic Viability of a Municipal Solid Waste-to-Biofuels Facility in Western North Carolina" to assess the economic viability of using municipal solid waste (MSW) generated in the 32 counties of western North Carolina as biofuels feedstock. The Biofuels Center is a private nonprofit corporation established by the North Carolina General Assembly to develop large capacity for biofuels statewide in coming years. The Center works to meet North Carolina’s goal: By 2017, 10 percent of the state’s liquid transportation fuels will come from biofuels grown and produced within the state. Biofuels Center president and CEO Steven Burke affirmed the value of strengthening the biofuels sector in the western region. “There is large potential for biofuels crop-growing and production in western North Carolina,” he said. “We expect the region’s wood and crop resources, growing public and private participants, and strong commitment to contribute to the development of the biofuels sector across North Carolina in coming years.” 04/06/2013

Anaergia Secures 20 year PPA for Biogas Energy from Victor Valley WWTP

Anaergia ServicesCanada based Anaergia Services has announced that it has been awarded a 20 year contract for sale of power to be generated from upgraded biogas. The biogas is currently being flared at the independent Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority (VVWRA) treatment plant serving the California desert communities of Apple Valley, Hesperia, Victorville, Oro Grande, and Spring Valley Lake. Anaergia will design, build, own, and operate the renewable energy system with no capital cost to Victor Valley, utilizing the plant's biogas to produce renewable electricity for plant operations. Anaergia operates out of 16 offices globally across North America, Europe, and Asia with more than 1,600 operational renewable energy projects globally. The company's technology platform consists of a proprietary high solids anaerobic digestion design that includes front-end food waste de-packaging, processing, and grit removal, as well as back-end digestate management. For VVWRA, Anaergia will concentrate on cleaning and upgrading the methane-rich biogas now being disposed by flaring, and fueling power generation with the to-specification biogas. Steve Watzeck, CEO of Anaergia: "We are very proud to be selected by VVWRA as their trusted partner to demonstrate a cost effective way to make North American wastewater treatment plants energy self-sufficient." 04/06/2013

Due 04/30/2013: Applications to USDA REAP for Renewable Energy Projects

US Department of Agriculture Department of Rural DevelopmentThe US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it is again seeking applications for funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that assist agricultural producers and small businesses. The agency published a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) on March 29, 2013 in the Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 61 on pages 19183 to 19190 for this cycle of the REAP. The program was initially authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill), and remains designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the Nation's critical energy needs. The USDA is accepting the following applications: (1) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement grant applications and combination grant and guaranteed loan applications until April 30, 2013; (2) Renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvement guaranteed loan only applications until July 15, 2013; and (3) Renewable energy system feasibility study grant applications through April 30, 2013. For Fiscal Year 2013, the REAP financial assistance provides: grants, guaranteed loans, and combined grants and guaranteed loans for the development and construction of renewable energy systems and for energy efficiency improvement projects; and grants for conducting renewable energy system feasibility studies. The Notice also announces the availability of up to $20.8 million of Fiscal Year 2013 budget authority to fund these REAP activities, which will support up to $10.4 million in grant program level and up to $43.4 million in guaranteed loan program level. 04/06/2013

ALL Power Labs Adds Grid Inter-tie Systems to Power Pallet Gasifiers

All Power LabsBerkeley's thermal conversion specialist ALL Power Labs (APL) have rather quietly announced the addition of an integrated grid interconnection interface to their 20 kilowatt (kWe) wood gasification Power Pallet systems. APL develops small-scale biomass gasification modules in 10, 20 and now 100 kilowatt scales, capable of cleanly converting biomass to shaft power, heat and electricity, and also providing on-going training starting with their Gasification Experimenter's Kit (GEK). From their WIKI: "The GEK project is an experiment in collaborative science and open source engineering. GEK participants are working together to advance the science of gasification, as well as the engineering solutions to implement it meaningfully for today's users." APL holds free informational workshops; the next is scheduled for April 12, 2013 from 5 to 7 pm at their lab. A range of GEKs, Power Pallets, and biochar systems will be available for inspection; although the grid inter-tie complement is not quite ready for demonstration. Staff will be available to answer questions. 04/05/2013

Relivit Plans 2014 Opening for Nappie Waste Recycling Facility in Australia

Relivit Holdings LtdThe Australian investment firm Relivit Holdings Ltd is actively seeking funds to open its first absorbent hygiene waste recycling and materials recovery facility in Sydney. scheduled for 2014. Relivit has been successful in signing agreements with aged care providers and in coordinating a national forum on "nappie and pad" waste management strategies. Following on the forum, the edie.net news service reports that Relivit has now met with the Cheshire and West Cheshire Councils in the United Kingdom to review their unique recycling pilot program last year focused on weekly collection and recycling of absorbent hygiene waste, including used baby diapers or "nappies" and all forms of personal hygiene pads. The wastes are collected by May Gurney and taken to the UK West Midlands-based company Knowaste's autoclave and reprocessing facility, specializing in recovery of the plastics and fibers for remanufacturing. Knowaste has processed over 77 million nappies since it opened its recycling facility in West Bromwich in 2011, saving over 18,000 tonnes of nappy waste from being disposed of in landfill or through incineration. Relivit's process is essentially the same as Knowaste's, adding, "Relivit’s priority is to prepare the reclaimed materials for sale, so that they can be re-used in manufacturing products in Australia which have a commercial value. At the very least, we will explore using the fibre for generating renewable energy, to be used in our own process and the remaining energy can be exported to the grid." 04/05/2013

GESI and InREFco Secure $50MM for Waste Railroad Ties to Energy Project

Green Energy Solution IndustriesWith its headquarters now in Vancouver and a base maintained in Houston Texas, Green Energy Solution Industries, Inc. (GESI) has announced success in securing $50 million in project development funding with its joint venture partner the International Renewable Energy Facilitation Company (InREFco). In September of last year, GESI received the final payment from an Alberta Energy grant, marking completion of the crucial testing phase of work for conversion to energy (electricity and potentially biofuels) of waste railroad ties and other treated wood. In 2011, GESI secured a large scale supply of waste wood railway ties to use as a feedstock from Edmonton, Canada based On-Track Railway Services, Ltd. According to GESI, the contract with On-Track is for a minimum of 300,000 rail ties per year (27,200 tonnes), and up to 1,500,000 rail ties per year (136,100 tonnes) to be supplied to at no cost for use as feedstock for conversion from waste wood to energy. GESI utilizes InREFco's railroad tie tested gasification technology platform to cleanly convert the treated wood to synthetic fuel gas for power generation. With closure of this funding round GESI and InREFco can proceed with technology site plan engineering, finalization of purchase or licensing of the selected energy technology, permit finalization, site planning, and closing of further contracts to ensure feed stock sources. 04/04/2013

Due 04/08/2013: Comments to CEC on Concept for ARFVTP Center Solicitation

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission(CEC) conducted a workshop on April 3, 2013 to discuss potential AB 118 solicitations for the development of regional Centers for Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technologies (ARFVTP), offering a staff draft concept paper and a detailed slide presentation. The intent of this year's solicitations would be to "unify activities that may provide future development and expansion of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies through collaboration with existing and new centers throughout the state." The state estimates that $2.7 million will be available for the development of three regional Centers for Northern, Central, and Southern California, and is considering making a total of $900,000 available per awardee. Eligibility is quite open, focusing on the nature of the projects and collaborative teaming for each proposal. Projects must couple advanced vehicle technologies and development of advanced alternative fuels, fueling infrastructures. "Centers" can revolve around a physical facility or be a web-based "virtual center". Alternative fuels can include electricity, natural gas, biogas, hydrogen, ethanol, biodiesel and renewable diesel. Alternative vehicle technologies broadly include public and private transport vehicles that can operate on one or more of the designated alternative fuels. Collaborative multi-party public-private partnerships are strongly encouraged, as are letters of support. There is a 50% minimum match fund requirement. Comments should be emailed to Mike Crowell at <> with an anticipated solicitation release date in June 2013. 04/04/2013

CEC's 2012 PIER Program Investment Report Includes Waste Conversion

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has announced the publication of The Public Interest Energy Research 2012 Annual Report - Commission Report (CEC-500-2013-013-CMF), which was prepared under Public Resources Code Section 25620.8. The report summarizes clean energy project support during the 2012 Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) funding cycle. The PIER funded $28 million to advance 30 research projects; matching funds from private and federal sources accounted for an additional $19.6 million including American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds. Of the 30 projects, eight (almost one third) focused in some way on the conversion of biomass and/or waste to energy. Among these, the Palo Alto Research Center and Great Circle Industries, Inc. addressed advanced wastewater treatment technologies. Kiverdi, Inc. demonstrated a microbial process for converting carbon dioxide to bio-oil, and California State University Fullerton studied air impacts of anaerobic digestion of food waste. Altex Technologies Corporation demonstrated a biomass blending and densification system (BBADS). Finally, two projects considered the thermal conversion of biomass to energy: University of California (UC) Merced received $238,383 to study the impact of plasma-assisted biomass gasification and power generation on air quality, and the Advanced Power and Energy Program at UC Irvine was awarded almost $400,000 to develop "economically and environmentally viable strategies for conversion of bioresources to power". CEC Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller: "This report details new research achievements and pioneering energy technologies that save Californians energy and money. The Energy Commission's investment in public energy research has helped transform the state's energy landscape, providing clear and quantifiable results that allow policymakers and innovators to plan for a clean and secure energy future." 04/03/2013

BIOX and Shell Canada Sign Biodiesel Supply Agreement

BIOXBased in Ontario, Canada, advanced biodiesel production company BIOX Corporation has announced a biodiesel supply agreement with Shell Canada Ltd. BIOX’s 67 million litres per year Hamilton biodiesel facility is located immediately adjacent to Shell Canada's refinery, allowing a pipeline to be inter-connected for delivery. The patented BIOX production process converts feedstock with both triglycerides and Free Fatty Acid (FFA) content in a two step, single phase, continuous process at atmospheric pressures and near-ambient temperatures, all in less than 90 minutes. Through the addition of a co-solvent, BIOX converts first the FFAs and then the triglycerides into methyl esters without any pre-treatment step, and feedstock conversion yields of greater than 99% even when using higher FFA feedstocks such as animal fats or crude palm oil. BIOX recaptures, recycles and reuses 99.9% of the co-solvent and excess methanol used in our process. Law in Canada requires renewable content in diesel fuel and heating distillate oil. Shell Canada Limited produces natural gas, natural gas liquids and bitumen, is Canada’s largest producer of sulphur, and is one of Canada’s oil sands developers, operating the Athabasca Oil Sands Project on behalf of the joint venture partners. BIOX Canada Limited is registered under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act as a renewable fuel producer and as such, its production qualifies as renewable content, helping Shell Canada meet its regulatory fuel blending requirements. The pipeline connection is expected to be completed by late 2013. 04/03/2013

BioNitrogen Secures Urea Off-Take Agreement for Planned Louisiana Plants

BioNitrogenFlorida's bio-sourced fertilizer company BioNitrogen has announced signing a second supply agreement with United Suppliers, Inc for the off-take of urea fertilizer from its planned plants in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. This will be the second supply agreement under the framework agreement announced with United Suppliers in August 2012. The supply agreement contract will provide United Suppliers with the plant production of approximately 124,200 short tons annually per plant for twenty-five years. The BioNitrogen processing platform first dries and cleans then gasifies biomass and passes the syngas through a series of cleaning steps to remove any elements that could be detrimental to the downstream processing. The clean syngas is then converted through a series of catalytic reaction stages to various end products including urea. Feedstock for the process is primarily agricultural residual products such as sugar cane bagasse, palm fronds, trunks, rice and peanut hulls, cotton byproducts and corn stover. United Suppliers is owned by 735 locally-controlled Ag Retailers and provides crop nutrients such as urea fertilizer to its owners in 20 states from east of the Rockies to west of the Mississippi River plus three of the western provinces in Canada. Matt Carstens, United Suppliers Vice President of Crop Nutrients: "The agreement for these plants provides a framework for building plants in a strategic area to provide green domestic urea to our nitrogen fertilizer customers based on BioNitrogen's sourcing of biomass raw material. It will enhance our ability to obtain US-manufactured fertilizer from BioNitrogen." 04/03/2013

Desso Supplies Sustainable Cradle-to-Cradle Carpet to KLM Airlines

DessoBased in the Netherlands, the sustainable carpet manufacturer Dessohas announced that it will supply KLM Royal Dutch Airlines with a specially designed carpet in 22 of the airline company's Boeing 747 passenger jets. The carpet is specially developed Wilton woven carpet made of Norwegian wool that meets the most stringent requirements in terms of fire safety, lifespan, and comfort, while attaining the highest sustainable standards. In signing a partnership agreement with the Hamburg-based Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA), Desso has become the first carpet manufacturer in EMEA to adopt the Cradle to Cradle design. The project is part of Desso’s special "Take Back Programme" in which old carpet is recycled as a secondary fuel and raw material in the cement industry. Desso notes that the blue accents in the brown and grey colored carpet are produced from yarns made of recycled stewardess uniforms. Desso will be providing carpet for both Economy and Business Class in all the 110 aircraft (Airbus A330/ Boeing 737/ Boeing 747/ Boeing 777) in KLM’s passenger fleet. Desso has been incorporating the Cradle to Cradle® philosophy in its business strategy since 2008. By 2020, all its operations' products will be made from pure materials which are easy to separate and which can be safely reused in new products of the same quality level. CEO Alexander Collot d’Escury: "For Desso, it’s an amazing honour to be have our product add value in terms of design and to support KLM in its pioneering sustainability." 04/02/2013

Synthesis Energy and GE Partner for 50 to 100 MWe Power Solution

Synthesis Energy SystemsTexas based Synthesis Energy Systems (SES) has announced signing a joint evaluation and marketing agreement with GE Packaged Power, Inc., a subsidiary of General Electric Company (GE). The partnership will marry SES' U-GAS fluidized bed gasification technology with GE's fuel-flexible LM-2500+G4 aeroderivative gas turbine. The U-Gas system is licensed by SES from the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) and initially developed in the early 1970's by GTI and the Department of Energy. The combined gasifier and turbine package will be designed to generate from 50 to 100 megawatts of electricity, fueled by any combination of non-conventional feedstock to include low-grade coal wastes, biomass feedstock, and refuse derived fuels. In January, SES announced an agreement with engineering company Fluor to investigate conversion of waste derived feedstock to synthesis gas for catalysis to chemicals, testing used tires and auto shredder residue, and last month announced expansion of marketing and development into India. The new partnership with GE provides a proven power generation complement at a scale significantly smaller than conventional gasification to turbine power plants, facilitating faster deployment and requiring a lower volume feedstock supply chain. Robert Rigdon, president and CEO: "SES' technology is uniquely well-suited for a wide range of fuels and can produce a syngas suitable for fueling GE's aeroderivative LM2500+G4 turbine. Based on our initial work together, we are excited about the prospects for a replicable and cost effective small scale power unit using unconventional fuels. This opportunity fits well into our model of developing valuable and low capital business verticals around key segments in which we can deliver our technology product including design, equipment, and services." 04/02/2013

USDA, DuPont Set Sustainable Feedstock Standards for Cellulosic Ethanol

DuPontThe US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a federal-private agreement with DuPont, setting standards for sustainable collection of agricultural residuals to be used as feedstock at DuPont's 30 million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol production facility in Nevada, Iowa that broke ground last year. The USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with DuPont in which NRCS will provide conservation planning assistance for farmers within a 30 mile radius who supply bio-based feedstocks to biorefineries as the industry begins to commercialize. Conservation plans written for individual operations will ensure sustainable harvest of corn crop residues while promoting natural resource conservation and land productivity. DuPont will develop a process to work with cooperating farms on sustainable harvest practices that help keep soil in the field and out of rivers, streams and lakes; promote healthier soils which help reduce flooding through increased infiltration rates, and provide for the efficient use of nutrients. Secretary Tom Vilsack commented on the agreement: "USDA and DuPont share a common interest in the wise use and management of soil, water and energy resources. Both organizations also share an interest in helping individual farmers adapt to new market opportunities in ways that are consistent with the wise use of these natural resources." 04/01/2013

Amyris Makes Progress in Strategic Partnerships with Total, Cosan, Biolding

AmyrisCalifornia-based Amyris has provided an update regarding progress with three key partnerships, part of a collaborative business model the company has pursued for commercialization. Amyris' technology platform of engineered microbial strains converts a wide array of biomass into its many bio-sourced medicines, chemicals, and fuel commodities. Amyris and Total began their partnership in 2010; the company just received confirmation that Total will provide $30 million by July 2013 per a revised agreement announced last year. The company has expanded its Novvi joint venture partnership with the Brazilian industrial firm Cosan; Amyris will supply Biofene to Novvi for finishing into final products until the joint venture builds its own farnesene production capacity. Amyris also reports that it has now met the requisite technical milestones at its Biofene production facility in Brazil to secure the last tranche $5 million from Biolding Investment SA., filing its Form 10-K with the Securities Exchange Commission. John Melo, CEO: "Amyris is delivering on a track-record of focused execution and collaboration. We continue to meet or exceed the technical milestones for our collaboration with Total and work closely to commercialize products under the Amyris-Total fuels joint venture. With Cosan, we have expanded the scope of our joint venture's product portfolio beyond base oils to a range of industrial, commercial, and automotive additives and lubricants derived from Biofene. And, thanks to the successful performance of our first industrial-scale farnesene production facility in Brazil, we met the conditions for an additional investment from one of our leading stockholders." 04/01/2013

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