February 2012 News and Matters of Interest

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California State/Federal Support Available for EU Trade Show Participation

California State Trade and Export PromotionThe California State Trade and Export Promotion program (STEP) has announced availability of funds and on-the-ground support to companies participating in Hanover Messe, running April 23-27, 2012 in Hanover Germany. The conference and exhibition is touted as the world's largest industrial technology trade show; in 2011, over 6,500 companies from 65 countries displayed their products and services to an audience of over 230,000 visitors. STEP is being assisted by the US Department of Commerce and US Commercial Service in seeking California companies; targeted products and services for export include all aspects of energy generation (both renewable and conventional), along with power-plant equipment, Industrial automation equipment, hybrid and electric power-train, integrated IT manufacturing process controls, industrial supply, coil winding, electric motors and transformer technology, and environmental technologies. State and federal support includes an exhibition fee discount of $3,000, arranged meetings with potential buyers and distributors, networking opportunities, co-branding of products as “Made in California” through provided signs and banners, and print advertising via a California pocket guide. STEP qualifications forms and Exhibition details are available on-line with the announcement. For additional information, contact Jeffrey Williamson, (909) 556-6639,. 02/29/2012


BioNitrogen Plans to Build Inaugural Biomass-to-Urea Plant in Texas

BioNitrogenFlorida-based BioNitrogen Corporation announced that it is purchasing a 49 acre site in Lubbock, Texas, pending completion of an Environmental Site Assessment in mid March 2012. The small-footprint, modular plant design will be scaled to produce 15 tons of urea per hour, or 360 tons per day for an annual production capacity of about 125,000 tons. The new Texas facility will aid BioNitrogen in meeting the demand of its recently secured bulk off-take agreement with United Suppliers for up to 300,000 tons annually. The company's patent-pending processing methods first clean and size incoming biomass, gasify the feedstock to generate a high-nitrogen synthetic producer gas, cleans this syngas, then catalytically reforms this intermediary to form high-quality bulk urea, a white crystalline solid containing 46% available nitrogen for us as a fertilizer.  “Given the inextricable link between food consumption, production and fertilizer demand and supply balances for the next 40 years, the importance of our inaugural plant in the USA cannot be overstated for both our national and international future customers and shareholders. Over the past month since our announcement to commercialize the company, we have received almost daily inquires of interest from around the world wanting to examine strategic partnerships and associated investment opportunities relating to our patent-pending nitrogen-based urea and fertilizer production facilities,” Dr. Terry R. Collins, President and CEO of BioNitrogen, stated. 02/28/2012


North Carolina Biofuels Center Launches Biofuels Company Accelerator

Biofuels Center of North CarolinaThe Biofuels Center of North Carolina (NC) has announced the launch of its Biofuels Accelerator to promote the state's development of a biofuels industry in the state through support of related technology projects, research, and businesses. The private, non-profit Biofuels Accelerator is based in Oxford on North Carolina's Biofuels Campus, a partnership project with the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The facility, containing eight upgraded laboratories and other work spaces, provides leased laboratory facilities, shared equipment, and business development support from both the Center and other agencies. Congressman G. K. Butterfield of North Carolina’s first congressional district secured a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for the extensive refurbishing that has just been completed. “North Carolina is a national leader in biofuels research and innovation, and the Biofuels Center has been integral to that effort,” said Congressman Butterfield. “A targeted resource for agronomy, technology, and production development will benefit our state and eastern North Carolina specifically as we pursue our goal of driving locally grown renewable energy.” 02/28/2012


Shell's New Biofuels Pilot Facility in Houston Uses Virent's BioForming Platform

Royal Dutch ShellRoyal Dutch Shell plc has new pilot facility built within its Westhollow Technology Center in Houston, Texas to explore thermal catalysis of biomass to drop-in biofuel using a technology platform based on its license with Virent Energy Systems. The construction is a continuation of Shell's modernization of the Westhollow Technology Center announced two years ago. Virent's "Eagle" pilot plant in Madison, Wisconsin utilizes its patented BioForming® platform, combining Aqueous Phase Reforming (APR) with catalytic processing to convert diverse compounds derived from the deconstruction of biomass into to-specification fuels and chemicals with the same molecular structure as their petroleum-derived counterparts. Shell's new Westhollow pilot plant will further develop the Virent model and test a range of feedstocks starting with sugars and expanding to non-food cellulosic alternatives to the production of a range of products, including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. “This allows us to explore further biofuels options as we continue to actively manage our advanced biofuels pathways to identify a feasible set of commercial solutions” said Luis Scoffone, Vice President, Alternative Energies at Shell. 02/28/2012


JBI Brings 2nd Plastic2Oil Processor On-Line in New York Facility

Plastic2OilCanadian waste conversion specialist JBI, Inc. has completed its second plastic to oil (P2O) processing train in its Niagara Falls, New York facility and it is now on-line. This unit is an upgrade based on lessons learned in trials of the first processor unit, under testing since June of last year, and includes "a replicable and deployable modular design". JBI holds air permits for both models, rated for a throughput rate of up to 4,000 pounds per hour each (48 tons/day). The two units are currently operating at 2,000 pounds per hour, while waiting for finalization of an amended solid waste facility permit from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC). The small-footprint pyrolytic process, once initiated, is driven by heat generated from combustion of a fraction of the gas it produces, extracting a little over a gallon of ASTM certified fuel oil per pound of waste plastic (0.26 liters/kilogram). “Bringing Processor No. 2 online represents a significant achievement as well as a milestone for our Company. We believe this sets us apart from other plastic into fuel conversion technologies,” states John Bordynuik, CEO and President. “JBI, Inc. is the first company to successfully move from a pilot plant to a multiple processor, full production plant within the industry.” Towers and reactors have been fabricated for the third P2O processor (the “Processor No. 3”) and plans to bringing No.3 online in the near future. 02/28/2012


ICF Completes CHP Report for CEC, Receives $6M Clean Energy Contract from EPA

ICF InternationalThe California Energy Comission (CEC) has released a report prepared by Virginia-based ICF International, entitled "Combined Heat and Power: Policy Analysis and 2011-2030 Market Assessment.” The document provides a detailed analysis to support the CEC's on-going work to increase integration of combined heat and power (CHP) generation into the California clean energy marketplace, and evaluates the potential contribution of new combined heat and power to the reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases as required by the California Global Warming Solutions Act, Assembly Bill 32 (Núñez, Chapter 488, Statutes of 2006). ICF's report is available on-line, along with CHP presentations from the agency's February 16, 2012 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Workshop on Combined Heat and Power in California. At the federal level, ICF has announced it has been awarded a $6 million "recomplete" contract expansion from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support the agency's efforts to remove barriers to clean energy investments by clean energy program administrators, including investor-, publicly-, or cooperatively-owned utilities, municipalities, cooperatives, state and local governments, third-party administrators and other key stakeholders. “We are excited that EPA desires our continued support for this important clean energy policy and implementation work,” said Robin Clark, senior vice president for ICF International. “The ICF team brings national thought leadership and demonstrated success in energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives helping EPA and its partners meet the evolving demands of the clean energy marketplace.” 02/28/2012


Due 03/23/2012: Comments on Army Corps of Engineers Draft $7 Billion RFP

US ArmyThe US Army Engineering and Support Center in Huntsville, Alabama has announced the release of a draft request for proposals (RFP) and seeks public comment, toward the purchase of up to $7 billion over a ten-year period, for renewable energy shared capacity contracts up to 30 years in duration. The objective of the solicitation is to award long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs, or through other types of agreements), to procure "reliable locally generated renewable and alternative energy", specifying this is for energy purchase only (not acquisition of generation assets) from developers who will finance, design, build, operate, own and maintain the energy generation facilities. An initial Base Contract set-aside of 19 million kilowatt hours has been designated for biomass-sourced power purchase, with further bioenergy purchases scheduled as Option Contracts but not scaled, over the duration of the program. Project locations may be on or near any federal property in the US or under US control for the contract duration; negotiated Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contracts will be both site and project specific. Multiple awards are intended to be distributed across small, medium and large business categories; reservations for small business are held for proposals in categories below 4 megawatts (MWe), from 4 to 12 MWe, and above 12 MWe. The draft RFP for Renewable and Alternative Energy Power Production (Solicitation Number: W912DY11R0036) is available on-line and open for comment to 30 days, with submissions through the ProjNet web portal (ProjNet Key: PLUXL7-TRQ8P1) due by March 23, 2012. A pre-proposal conference with a question and answer session will be conducted shortly after the release of the final RFP. 02/28/2012


Ontario Backs Green Chemistry Breakthrough for Recycling Unrecyclables

GreenCentre CanadaThe Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), Canada, has awarded a  $5.48 million grant to support commercialization of a new method to recycle materials such as polystyrene and contaminated plastic by separation of oily materials from surfaces. The green solvent technology can be useful in many areas of recycling and resource recovery, biofuels and biochemical processes. The funding goes to the incubator GreenCentre Canada and its start-up Switchable Solutions. The new technology is based on research by Dr. Philip Jessup of Queen's University on novel fluids called "switchable hydrophilicity solvents" (SHS), and licensed to GreenCentre from the University-to-Business intermediary PARTEQ Innovations. With $11 million in matching funds from Switchable Solutions, initial development will focus on the design and commissioning of production facilities two SHS applications, cleaning of post-consumer plastics, and recovery of petroleum by separation from oil sand. FedDev Ontario Member of Parliament Daryl Kramp:  "The unique technology being developed by GreenCentre in partnership with Switchable Solutions Inc. will increase competitiveness for the plastic and recycling industries in southern Ontario, diversify the economy, and create jobs," said MP Kramp. "Our government is proud to support such an innovative project that will transform waste into products that can be re-used." 02/27/2012


Dalkia Plans 300 MW Biomass CHP Plant for Lithuania's Capital

DalkiaThe Ukrainian Biofuel Portal reports that Dalkia France intends to build a biofuel combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania, at a cost of 500 million litas. The proposed 300 megawatt CHP plant will have sufficient capacity  to heat at least half of the city, and is focused on reduction of heating costs for residents by 20%. The French company is a subsidiary of Veolia Environnement and Electricité de France (EDF), and has numerous energy developments in the Baltic States. The CHP plant is acceptable to the Lithuanian government with two provisions: all the biofuel purchases must be made through the special Procurement Center in Lithuania, and biofuel should only be bought on the government's fuel stock exchange, currently being structured. This project is separate from the district heating expansion project initiated in 2002 by Vilniaus Energija, a Veolia Energy-Dalkia subsidiary. 02/27/2012


MagneGas Supplies Liquid Waste-Sourced Syngas to OneSteel Ltd

MagneGasFlorida-based waste-to-syngas specialist MagneGas Corporation has announced receipt of the first purchase order from its new customer, the global steel company OneSteel Ltd. OneSteel will start substituting MagneGasTM for fossil fuel sourced cutting gas at its Tampa, Florida location, then if negotiations and product trials prove successful, switch to the alternative fuel at its other six Florida facilities. "Part of OneSteel's Corporate Vision is to be an environmentally responsible Company and this was what initially led us to find MagneGas," commented Steve Ryan, General Manager of OneSteel Ltd's U.S. operations. "Not only is MagneGas™ cost competitive, it is a greener alternative than what we are currently using for metal working and it has exceeded our expectations in terms of its metal cutting performance. Our commitment to the environment made the decision to switch to MagneGas the right choice for us." Magnegas utilizes its proprietary Plasma Arc FlowTM technology to reduce liquid wastes like sewage sludge to a high-Btu synthetic fuel gas, or syngas, providing a cost-effective alternative to acetylene and propane used to cut metal. 02/27/2012


CEC Schedules Workshop on Renewable Energy Research Funded Through PIER

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) will conduct a workshop on February 29, 2012 on renewable energy research funded under the agency's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program to present and discuss achievement. The workshop will include presentations of recent projects in five separate technical sessions in the areas of bioenergy, solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy and renewable energy integration. Each technical section will wrap up with a staff-facilitated panel discussion of project results, benefits of the research and related topics. The morning session on Biomass and Bioenergy Research will include Panel presentations on (1) Biomass Barriers and Opportunities by Dr. Steven Kaffka of UC Davis, (2) Onsite Waste to Energy Generation by Steve Gill of Gill’s Onions, (3) Dairy Digester Environmental and Economic Analysis by Matt Summers, Summers Consulting, and (4) Green Bio-Energy for Food Processing by Russ Lester of Dixon Ridge Farms. A Bioenergy Panel Discussion will follow, considering how research and development (R&D) can help commercialize biomass to energy systems and help the industry meet environmental regulations for anaerobic digesters, and what are R&D efforts that can help simplify interconnection for biomass energy projects. The day-long workshop will be web broadcast; participation instructions are posted with the meeting notice. Written comments are encouraged; submit electronically by 5:00 p.m. on March 8, 2012 to . 02/26/2012


Provincial Government of Canada Backs Waste Fish Oil to Biodiesel Research

Provincial Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, CanadaThe Provincial Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, announced that the Canadian Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture has awarded a grant of $89,100 to continue research of waste fish oil to biodiesel research and development. The grant supports continuing work of the Marine Institute, backing establishment of a new demonstration-scale biorefinery at the Institute's Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development. Improved extraction and processing methods are needed to economically convert the underutilized waste oils from Newfoundland and Labrador's extensive fisheries industry into commodity biofuel. “For the past five years, we have been actively engaged in developing a marine waste oil biodiesel production system specifically engineered for the unique situation in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Heather Manuel, Director of Marine Institute’s Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development. “Having already identified potential sources and availability of marine biodiesel feedstock and studied marine-based biodiesel production and marketing issues in the province, this funding will take us to a level where we can work to successfully overcome the challenges of converting marine oils into biodiesel.” 02/25/2012


Arisdyne's Controlled Flow Cavitation System Licensed by United Ethanol

ArisdyneOhio-based pre-treatment systems specialist Arisdyne has announced that United Ethanol has agreed to license and acquire the company's patented Controlled Flow Cavitation (CFCTM) equipment. United Ethanol's decision follows extensive testing in collaboration with the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC), Ohio's State Agriculture Research and Development Center (OARDC) and third-party analysts from Critical Path Management, testing that proved the cavitation system increased the daily yield of ethanol production over untreated feedstock. Arisdyne's cavitation of feedstock slurry "liberates recalcitrant starch" at commercial scale flow rates, and opens cell structure through controlled flow, high-shear hydrodynamics rather than utilizing earlier and better-known ultrasonic cavitation systems that were restricted for effective flow rate. Arisdyne's CFCTM provides a retrofit solution for improved reactions wherever reduction in feedstock particle size and resultant dramatic increase in surface area are needed for conversion, as in interaction with enzymes prior to fermentation or anaerobic digestion, or in transesterification of oils for biodiesel production. “Our main challenge,” remarked Fred Clarke, executive vice president of Arisdyne, “is to help plants sort through the technology options and clearly demonstrate the economic value of adopting one technology from the wide spectrum available in all areas of a plant. We believe the front end of a production facility is the most efficient place to start and do so with minimal changes to the downstream processes.” 02/25/2012


ZeaChem Signs Drop-In Fuel Development Contract

ZeaChemColorado-based ZeaChem has announced that it has completed negotiations and signed a developmental contract with the US Department of Agriculture to receive $12 million of the $40 million grant awarded last September to University of Washington (WOU). WOU's grant is for support of the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) public/private, University-led biofuels collaboration. Winning teams included aspects of advanced biofuels, biochemicals, bioenergy and biomass feedstock management companies. ZeaChem utilizes a hybrid biorefinery technology platform where parallel thermal and microbial processing pathways facilitate final production of a broad range of drop-in fuels and bio-sourced chemicals. For this grant, ZeaChem will lead in commercial scale research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of "drop-in" transportation fuels including biodiesel and bio-sourced aviation fuel at its facility in Boardman, Oregon. “ZeaChem is pleased with the USDA’s support to establish a bioenergy economy in the Pacific Northwest,” said Jim Imbler, president and chief executive officer of ZeaChem. “The grant allows ZeaChem to use our existing integrated demonstration facility to develop advanced biofuels beyond cellulosic ethanol, including bio-based jet, diesel and gasoline. The project highlights one of our unique strengths, which is that we can utilize a variety of biomass feedstocks and proven processes to develop a wide range of economical and sustainable fuel and chemical products.” 02/24/2012


UK Researchers Advance Biofilm to Fuel Cell Electricity with Bugs from Space

Newcastle UniversityA research team at Newcastle University (NU) in the United Kingdom has >announced that bacteria typically found 30 kilometers above the earth are highly efficient electricity generators. Led by Dr. Grant Burgess, Professor of Marine Biotechnology at NU, the team sorted through 75 different species of bacteria isolated from river-bottom sludge with the capacity to directly generate electricity. Each species was tested for electrical output as part of a Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC), which work similar to a battery by using bacteria to convert organic compounds directly into electricity by a process known as bio-catalytic oxidation. The iterative microbial selection and testing process allowed the team to develop an engineered biofilm that almost double the output of the MFC from 105 milliwatts to 200 milliwatts per cubic metre. Among the microbes with highest electrical generation capacity was Bacillus Stratosphericus, which is commonly found in high concentrations in the stratosphere, but was brought down to earth as a result of atmospheric cycling processes. “What we have done is deliberately manipulate the microbial mix to engineer a biofilm that is more efficient at generating electricity,” Dr. Burgess explains. “This is the first time individual microbes have been studied and selected in this way. Finding B. Stratosphericus was quite a surprise but what it demonstrates is the potential of this technique for the future – there are billions of microbes out there with the potential to generate power.” Dr. Burgess' team's research has just been published in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. 02/24/2012


GE Jenbacher Engines Will Power China's Largest Landfill Gas to Energy Project

General ElectricGeneral Electric (GE) has announced it is preparing to ship seven J420 Jenbacher engines to Laogang Renewable Energy Company in Shanghai Municipality, China. The gas engines are scheduled for installation later this year at the new Laogang Landfill Gas (LFG) facility in Shanghai, combusting 2.7 million cubic meters each of LFG to generate about 10 megawatts of electricity (MWe). The Laogang Renewable Energy Company is a joint venture between Veolia and Shanghai Environmental Group. GE notes that with a calorific value of approximately 5 kWh/Nm³, landfill gas is a high-value fuel for gas engines that can be effectively used for energy generation. One of GE’s Jenbacher J420 gas engines running on landfill gas can generate 1.4 MWe while saving the emissions of more than 49,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalent per year. The seven gas engines will provide an overall yearly reduction of greenhouse gas of around 18.9 million cubic meters through methane destruction and displaced grid electricity production. The new project supports the Chinese government’s 12th Five-Year Plan, during which China plans to invest more than RMB$260 billion in waste treatment and waste-to-energy industrial initiatives by 2015. “Traditionally, landfill methane as a potent greenhouse gas has been released directly into the air,” said Chen Hongzhang, general manager, Laogang Renewable Energy Co. “By using GE’s gas engines fueled by LFG, we expect to save emissions by over 340,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, significantly improving the local environment in Shanghai.” 02/24/2012


CalCEF, ACORE and EPRI Lead 21st Century Renewable Energy Forum

California Clean Energy FundThe California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) announced its participation in the first of a series of forums this week to outline the path of U.S. renewable energy in the 21st century. CalCEF was joined by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), to lead the invitation-only roundtable, "Business Models for Renewable Electricity in the 21st Century." The four panels addressed the regulatory framework, customer relations models, emerging financing structures, and technological innovation. Participants included Dan Arvizu, Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); Michael Howard, CEO of Electric Power Research Institute; Doyle Beneby, president and CEO of CPS Energy; Marshal Salant, head of Citigroup’s Alternative Energy Finance division; Michael Peevey, president of California Public Utilities Commission; Stanford University’s Steyer Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, the Climate Policy Initiative, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “Industry collaboration and new financing mechanisms are the keys to the widespread deployment and integration of clean energy in America,” said Dan Adler, president of CalCEF and ACORE board member. “The leaders who participated in the forum spoke candidly about the issues slowing the growth of renewables, and it was heartening to see their perspectives steadily align over the course of the day. We anticipate much more of the same over the coming year’s forums.” 02/24/2012


Alberta Canada Supports Biochar Testing and Commercialization

Western Economic Diversification CanadaThe Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification in Alberta, Canada has announced federal funding of $900,000 to Lakeland College's Centre for Sustainable Innovation. The funds will be used to acquire two mobile pyrolysis units to test, evaluate, and demonstrate biochar products for the agricultural and environmental marketplace. Additional funds of $450,000 have been dedicated from the Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF) program. Biochar is the carbon-rich residue produced by pyrolysis of organic matter such as agricultural and forestry waste, heating the feedstock in a low oxygen environment. Biochar improves soil texture and crop productivity, and accelerates re-vegetation of uncultivable lands. "This investment and corresponding research partnership with Alberta Innovates Technology Futures is a perfect fit for Lakeland College as it relates to agricultural sciences, energy and environmental sciences - three of our four programming pillars," said Glenn Charlesworth, President of Lakeland College. "The funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada enables us to purchase the equipment needed to produce biochar and ultimately help determine the environmental benefits and applications of this product." 02/23/2012


Novozymes Unveils Low-Cost / High Volume Cellic® CTec3 Enzyme

NovozymesIn a bid to again drop the cost of enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass, the Denmark based pretreatment specialist Novozymes has announced the commercial availability of a new enzyme for production of advanced biofuels from agricultural wastes and residues. The new cost-effective enzyme allows conversion of biomass to ethanol 1.5 times more efficiently than the company's most recent offering, and requires only one fifth the amount of enzyme compared to competing products. Novozymes states that using Cellic® CTec3 enzyme makes the cost of cellulosic biofuels competitive with production of corn ethanol and gasoline. Biomass is first broken down into a pulp, then mixed thoroughly with the enzymes to convert the pulp to fermentable sugar for production of fuels, feed, and chemicals. Novozymes indicated that it takes only 50 kg of Cellic CTec3 to make 1 ton of ethanol from biomass, compared to at least 250 kg of a competing enzyme product to make the same amount of ethanol. Early adopters include the Italian firm M&G Group who recently entered into a joint venture with Chemtex to form Beta Renewables, and Maryland based Fiberight, whose partnership with Novozymes garnered a $25 million USDA loan guarantee just last month. 02/23/2012


Mt Poso Cogeneration Plant Completes Coal-to-Biomass Fuel Switch

Macpherson Energy CompanyMacpherson Energy Company and DTE Energy Services, co-owners of the Mt. Poso Cogeneration Plant in Kern County east of Bakersfield, California have announced that the previously coal-fired plant is now completely fueled by biomass. The conversion project began in November 2010, started producing small amounts of clean power in November 2011, and is now operating at full capacity. Feedstock will be primarily wood waste from urban and agricultural sources for generation of 44 megawatts of renewable energy. The Mt. Poso Cogeneration Plant takes the water produced in Macpherson's nearby oil recovery activities and re-uses the water as steam to drive a turbine to produce electricity. Excess steam is then returned as a steam flood to produce more oil. Power will be sold to Pacific Gas and Electric Company under a long-term purchase agreement. "We are excited to see Mt. Poso generate clean power at full capacity," said Steve Sorrentino, Vice President, DTEES. "The conversion to biomass energy advances DTE Energy's commitment to green energy. It will ensure a reliable source of energy with state-of-the-art technologies to preserve the environment. Most importantly, the project will bring high-skilled jobs to the Bakersfield area." 02/23/2012


Due 05/08/2012: Applications for the 2012 Cleantech Open

Cleantech OpenThe volunteer-run Cleantech Open has announced the launch of its 6th annual Accelerator and Competition, and scheduled a launch party at the NASA AMES facility in Mountain View, California on March 23, 2012. Since 2006, the Cleantech Open has helped accelerate the business development of clean technology entrepreneurs, awarding over $5 million in cash and services to well over 500 companies. Of the nearly 600 companies assisted, 80% remain viable and have raised external capital exceeding $660 million. For 2012, the organization has seven active regions across the US, one region in France, and is forming more regions globally. Cleantech Open's mission is "to find, fund, and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental, and economic challenges." Eligibility criteria and application instructions are available on-line; the process begins with determination of which region to compete within and under what categories to apply. A calendar of key dates is available: entry fees increase after April 3, 2012; the submission deadline is May 8, 2012. Final judging and awards will take place in California on November 13-14, 2012. 02/23/2012


Ameresco and Philadelphia Water Dept Partner for Wastewater to Biogas Plant

AmerescoMassachusetts based Amaresco has announced an agreement with the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Water Department (PWD) to design, build and maintain a 5.6 megawatt, $47.5 million wastewater-to-biogas plant, named the Northeast Water Pollution Control Plant (NEWPCP) Biogas Project. The facility will produce both heat and power for use on-site, and is expected to save the utility $12 million during the contract's 16-year duration. Ameresco notes that the project is expected to reduce carbon emissions by nearly 22,000 tons per year, which equates to the removal of 4,833 cars off the road or the planting of 5,390 acres of pine forest. The agreement initiates a public/private partnership with the City of Philadelphia that qualifies for federal grant funding and helps achieve goals of Mayor Nutter's "Greenworks Plan." “The Philadelphia Water Department is a progressive organization that recognizes the value and importance of environmental stewardship while cutting costs and improving infrastructure,” said Michael T. Bakas, Senior Vice President of Ameresco. “As a part of this contract, Ameresco developed an Economic Opportunity Plan that will bring green jobs to the local community. Ameresco is looking forward to making this project a reality for the Philadelphia Water Department and the residents of Philadelphia.” 02/22/2012


Out of Ashes BioEnergy Introducing Turtleback Biochar at BC Farmers Market

Out of Ashes BioEnergyBritish Columbia (BC) based commercial horticultural services company Out of Ashes BioEnergy Inc has announced availability of its new organic soil enhancement product Turtleback® Biochar, product of thermal conversion of local sawmill wood-waste and brush piles that otherwise would be burned. The new product will be launched at the Prince George Farmers' Market on February 25th. Out of Ashes provides biomass furnaces, feedstock supply, installation and servicing for heat generation to commercial greenhouse operators. The furnaces can be optimized for on-site production of biochar for the greenhouse owners own use. Now, the company also offers its own commercial line of biochar, developed to enhance soils through increased porosity and water holding capacity, and pH and nutrient stabilization. Derived from an ancient Amazonian method, Biochar also reduces nitrogen losses and provides habitat for beneficial soil microbes and fungi. Scott Scholefield, President of the company and a registered professional forester, also notes that production of biochar diverts wood waste while capturing carbon. 02/22/2012


APP to Deliver Waste-Sourced Syngas to National Grid Pipeline

Advanced Plasma PowerLondon-based Advanced Plasma Power (APP) has announced a project partnership with developer Progressive Energy to deliver plasma-generated waste-sourced synthetic fuel gas to National Grid's pipeline for distribution. APP's to-specification Bio-SNG is produced from waste using its GasPlasma system housed at the company's facilities in Swindon, United Kingdom (UK), coupling a fluidized bed gasifier from Energy Products of Idaho (EPI), now owned by Finland's Outotec, and a plasma waste conversion platform originally developed by Tetronics Ltd. APP notes that a standard small-foot-print Gasplasma waste to energy facility will convert 150,000 tonnes of commercial waste and municipal solid waste (MSW) per year to heat and power. Marcus Stewart, Future Distribution Networks Manager at National Grid said, “This project is a great opportunity to look at the potential of Bio-SNG from both a technical and commercial perspective. The project underlines our commitment to seeking economic and innovative ways to decarbonise energy, while making the best use of the existing network.” 02/22/2012


Forest Carbon Partners Launch Anticipates California's Offset Market

New Forests, IncNew Forests Inc. has announced the launch of Forest Carbon Partners, an investment vehicle for private forestry project financing and development designed for California's soon to be realized carbon offset market. With the launch, New Forests has also announced closure on its first two fund transactions with clients describes only as a family forest owner and a Native American tribe, to generate carbon off-set revenues on 11,000 acres of forest land in the western US. The offsets are based on real, measurable and long-term carbon sequestration, in what the company sees as California's position as second among the world's carbon markets in value. “New Forests is proud to build on our record as a leading forest carbon investment manager with the launch of Forest Carbon Partners and the fund’s first projects,” remarked David Brand, Managing Director. “As the California carbon market comes online, New Forests believes that forest carbon projects will become a critical source of offset supply. Forest Carbon Partners brings together a sophisticated understanding of both forestry and carbon markets to meet the demand for high-quality carbon credits that ensure important co-benefits for family forest landowners and the environment.” New Forests Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of New Forests Pty Limited of Sydney, Australia. 02/21/2012


Due 03/12/2012: Abstracts for American Academy of Sciences IC EST2012

International Conference on Environmental Science and TechnologyThe American Academy of Sciences (AAS) has released its 2012 Call for Abstracts, a Call for Exhibits and the opening of advanced registration for its 6th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology (IC EST2012), scheduled for June 25-29, 2012 in Houston, Texas. The conference is designed "to provide a major interdisciplinary forum for presenting new approaches from relevant areas of environmental science and engineering, to foster integration of the latest developments in scientific research into engineering applications, and to facilitate technology transfer from well-tested ideas into practical products, waste management, remedial processes, and ecosystem restoration. Reports on renewable energy research are especially desired."  Among the listed presentation topics are sections featuring municipal and industrial wastewater biotreatment, waste gas control techniques, solid waste management, waste recycling, microbial degradation, energy-related environmental problems, and a section addressing a variety of biofuels. Abstract instructions and examples are available on-line; selected papers will be published in the Proceedings of Environmental Science and Technology, and high-scoring papers will be considered for various awards. 02/21/2012


UK Carpet Recycling for Reuse and Energy Recovery on the Increase

Carpet Recycling United KingdomThe non-profit association Carpet Recycling United Kingdom (CRUK) has released a short report counting last year's achievements and identifying carpet recycling and recovery efforts for 2012. The organization counts landfill diversion last year at 66,000 tonnes, increasing total carpet-associated waste diversion from 10% the previous year to 16.5% in 2011. Of the diversion total, 32,000 tonnes were recycled and reused directly by recovery of fiber and cleaning, grading and cutting to carpet tile. The remaining 34,000 tons of non-recyclable yet energy-dense carpet material then was sent for conversion to energy, primarily as heat for cement kilns. Carpet manufacturers participating in CRUK's voluntary program decreased waste generation by 50%, representing a diversion rate for the seven manufacturers of 85% in 2011 through closed-loop return of used carpet materials for recovery. Targets for 2012 include an increase in the total diversion rate to 20% of all used carpet and backing material, reaching 80,000 tonnes country-wide. The industry organization will work to increase the number of outlets for reuse, recycling and energy recovery from 32 in 2011 to 40 in 2012, and aid its member manufacturers to collectively reach 100% diversion. Membership now stands at an even dozen carpet manufacturers, with the major firm Headlam Group plc being the latest to join in September 2011. Keith Yates of Headlam said: “We are pleased to join CRUK as core funders and look forward to playing an active role in the organisation. As Europe ‘s leading floor covering distributor, we believe we can make a significant contribution to the efforts already being made to improve recycling rates and achieve workable solutions to the problems our industry faces in this increasingly important area.” 02/20/2012


Commercial-Scale Biodiesel Production Uses Enzymatic Transesterification

TransBiodiesel LtdFlorida-based 70CentsaGallon.com has let Teru Talk know that commercialization of an enzymatic transesterification process has reached another milestone with availability of the Precision E2500 module. The core of the enzymatic biodiesel production system is a suite of enzyme-based biocatalysts developed by Israel-based TransBiodiesel Ltd. in partnership with Pennsylvania's Purolite, and with the assistance of a 2009 award from the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD-F) Energy program. TransBiodiesel's technology development immobilizes methanol-resistant lipase enzymes to Purolite's ion exchange resins; the resulting granular material allows low temperature conversion of a wide variety of waste and virgin plant and animal feedstock into clean, high-purity biodiesel. Current transesterification biodiesel producers can retrofit existing equipment to replace use of harsh chemical catalysts at elevated process temperatures (60-70° C) with the biocatalysts activated with much lower energy input (10-35° C). The Precision modular line is specifically designed for enzymatic transesterification and ranges from batch systems producing 100 gallons every 6 hours to the new E2500 continuous production process module. Unlike industry-standard transesterification, the biocatalysts are not affected by water in the feedstock oil, can be reclaimed with simple screening and reused for up to a year. The BIRD Foundation recently opened its fourth grant funding cycle to advance US-Israeli technologic development, with binational proposals due September 6, 2012; topics again include advanced and alternative fuels and other renewable energy developments. 02/20/2012


Due 03/01/2012: Grant Applications for Woody Biomass Utilization Projects

US Forest ServiceThe US Forest Service's Technology Marketing Unit (TMU) housed at the Wisconsin based Forest Products Laboratory has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking projects that need engineering services for low-value biomass utilization to generate renewable energy while decreasing fire risk in rural communities. Projects can generate electricity, heat, and/or fuels (liquid or gaseous) using only commercially proven technologies; funding is to support engineering services required for final design and cost analysis. Examples of eligible projects: proposals supporting final engineering design of a (1) woody biomass boiler for steam at a sawmill, hospital or school, (2) non-pressurized hot water system for various applications, and (3) biomass power generation facility. The RFP was published in the February 6, 2012  Federal Register (pages 5755-5758).  For technical questions, contact Susan L. LeVan-Green, Program Manager, Technology Marketing Unit, Forest Products Laboratory, (608–231–9518), slevan@fs.fed.us. For questions regarding the grant application or administrative regulations, review FPL's Hazardous Fuels 2012 RFP web page, and contact your appropriate Forest Service Regional Biomass Coordinator at the address provided in the on-line Application Instructions. 02/18/2012 


BioAmber, NatureWorks Form Joint Venture to Bring New BioPolymers to Market

BioAmberTwo Minnesota based companies, BioAmber and NatureWorks have announced formation of AmberWorks as a joint venture to speed commercialization and market penetration of bio-based polymers. As a subsidiary of Cargill, NatureWorks has brought its proprietary Ingeo suite of biopolymers into the plastics mainstream with the capacity to make the to-specification materials from a wide range of non-petroleum, naturally-occurring carbohydrates. Globally, numerous companies such as BlueFire's subsidiary SucreSource have begun to supply high volume, low cost clean sugars from waste biomass, providing an expanding and diverse waste-sourced feedstock supply for BioAmber's first-step conversion platform. In July of 2011, NatureWorks increased investment in its Blair, Nebraska plant in preparation for commercial-scale production of Ingeo M700 branded anhydrous lactic acid, an intermediary biopolymer form a wide range of commodity chemicals and products. Just last November, BioAmber proposed its initial public offering (IPO) to support construction of commercial production facilities in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, and in Thailand, also partnered with the Japanese firm Mitsui & Co. for construction of the Sarnia plant. BioAmber is increasing capacity for production of succinic acid and initiating butanediol (BDO), both precursors to biopolymer production. With the joint venture, NatureWorks will now focus on commercialization of a new family of Ingeo resin grade biopolymers for thermoforming and injection molding. “The new product range being developed by the joint venture enables NatureWorks to broaden its existing product portfolio, allowing for bio-based product solutions in applications that were previously difficult to address,” said Marc Verbruggen, president and chief executive officer, NatureWorks. “The properties of PLA and PBS are complementary and making Ingeo compounds using both materials will result in a broad and attractive property profile for a number of different applications.” 02/16/2012


Due 02/29/2012: Comments to CPUC on Electric Program Investment Charge

California Public Utilities ComissionLast week, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) released its Staff Proposal as Attachment A to Phase 2 of a Scoping Ruling (Proceeding R1110003) on the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC). The Scoping Ruling includes provisions to continue funding that expired with the Public Goods Charge (PGC) and specifically would provide support for bioenergy research and development. At the end of 2011, the public goods charge (PGC) expired, cutting funding for “public interest” investment in energy efficiency, renewables, and research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D). The Legislature didn't reauthorize the PGC in 2011; Governor Brown asked the CPUC to develop and propose another mechanism. Responding, the CPUC adopted D.1112035 on December 15, 2011, establishing the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) and directing staff in collaboration with the California Energy Commission (CEC) to recommend EPIC implementation steps, programmatic structure, administration and governance, and funding levels. This request for comments is the next step following CPUC and CEC joint staff's submission of the proposed pathway. Interested parties are encouraged to provide comment by February 29, 2012 on the staff proposal contained in Attachment A, particularly related to programmatic and governance issues. Reply comments are then due March 9, 2012. A proposed decision will then be issued by the CPUC Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Julie A. Fitch assigned to this Rulemaking by April 24, 2012, and heard by the full commission on May 24, 2012. Comments should identify "Proceeding R1110003" and be submitted electronically to the CPUC Public Advisors Office,. Questions may also be directed to the Public Advisor's Office, at (866) 849-8390 (San Francisco area) or (866) 840-8391 (Los Angeles area). 02/16/2012


Due 03/07/2012: Proposals to SMUD for Biomethane Technical Services

Sacramento Municipal Unility DistrictThe Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Electronic Bid Solicitation System (EBSS) has posted a request for proposals (RFP# 120032.OS) for Biomethane Technical Services. An amount up to $200,000 is available for the three year professional services contract for performance of technical, economic, and environmental analysis for Biomethane projects and their applications. There is a particular focus on projects at landfills, wastewater treatment, dairy digester, and anaerobic digestion or co-digestion of other organic wastes such food waste and fats, oil and grease (FOG). Under SMUD direction, the selected services provider will help "review and prioritize the biomethane acquisition opportunities that are most favorable, taking into account cost, timing, location, amounts, and biogas cleaning and utilization options,"  and assist in feasibility assessment for the sort list of potential projects. Tasks will include a regional (1) Resource Assessment, (2) development of a Conceptual Design, (3) outline of basic process flow diagram and equipment list for projects, include mass and energy balance, (4) an Economic Analysis with high level capital and operating cost estimates and levelized cost analysis of the project, (4) an Environmental Assessment, (5) a Deliverability Assessment, (6) a Counter-Party Review, and (7) provide Competition and Timing Recommendations. Proposals are due at 5:00 pm, local time, Wednesday, March 7, 2012 to the Supply Chain Services Office at 6201 S Street, Sacramento, California. For questions about the RFP, contact Oscar Santos at (916) 732-5616, or. 02/16/2012


SucreSource Contracts to Design and Build Korean Wood-to-Sugar Facility

BlueFire Renewables, IncCalifornia-based SucreSource, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BlueFire Renewables, Inc, has announced signing a cellulose-to-sugar systems supply contract with a Korean petroleum firm GS Caltex. SucreSource will supply the design package, procure the equipment, and provide the technical and engineering support necessary to and construct the process train using the company's proprietary conversion systems; GS Caltex will own and operate the facility. The plant will convert about 2 tons of waste-sourced woody debris into a mix of sugars that will then be further refined by GS Caltex into commodity chemicals. Following initial operational validation, the two companies plan to scale up for fully commercial facility development in Korea and globally. SucreSource's main focus remains in optimization of the ARKENOL concentrated acid hydrolysis technology that is the core of BlueFire Renewables' biorefinery capability; the process economically converts low-value biomass into higher-value sugar feedstock for further refinement. The company was established to facilitate sublicensing and joint venture agreements for the conversion process train, to meet the growing global market demand for low cost, clean fermentable sugars. "This agreement validates SucreSource's business model of selling its cellulosic sugars and, as in this case, sugar producing process to synergistic back end proprietary chemical companies to produce high value products," said Arnold Klann President & CEO. "As a major petroleum producer, GS Caltex is a perfect partner with which to initiate the business build out. Korea, like the U.S., China, and several other nations, is moving away from food-based sugars to produce high-end products such as biobutanol, ethanol, ethyl levulinate and various other chemicals.  SucreSource is a first mover in this space and has the proven technology to meet this increasing cellulosic sugar demand head-on. This facility will be the first of many to be built." 02/15/2012


Capstone Supplies Microturbine for Philippines Biogas to CHP

Capstone Turbine CorporationCalifornia-based Capstone Turbine Corporation announced that its Asia-Pacific distributor Sobono Energy has secured a contract to supply and install a Capstone C800 microturbine power package to Biotech Farms, Inc. Biotech Farms, located in Banga, South Cotabato Philippines, is one of the country's largest integrated hog and poultry husbandry operations. The microturbine will be fueled with biogas generated from anaerobic digestion of the farm's animal wastes, supplying sufficient renewable energy to self-sustain operations. Capstone Turbine has shipped over 6,000 Capstone MicroTurbine(R) systems to customers worldwide; this is the first systems sale in the Philippines. Sobono Energy is a Singapore based "Green and Clean Energy Solution" integrator, providing on-site electricity, along with chilled and hot water. "Biotech Farms is a world class, innovative farm in the global agricultural community," said Wee Khoon Oh, Sobono Energy's Founder and Managing Director. "They intensely evaluated different options to use their biogas to generate power and selected a Capstone microturbine because of its ease of maintenance and high reliability. Capstone has a worldwide reputation for environmentally friendly biogas applications." 02/15/2012


Oregon DEQ Conversion Technology Rulemaking Advances

State of OregonThe Oregon Department of Environmental Quality announces that it has now formed an Advisory Committee to provide on-going support for its Conversion Technology (CT) Rulemaking process, and has held its first public meeting on January 27, 2012. The meeting summary and presentations are available online, including "Gasification of Municipal Waste Using the InEnTec Plasma Enhanced Melter®" by Jeff Surma, CEO of S4 Energy Solutions, LLC. In a Briefing Paper developed prior to the meeting, DEQ program coordinator Bob Burrows provided a clear scope for Oregon's CT considerations: "The term “conversion technology” encompasses a broad range of technologies that are used to convert solid waste into useful products, chemicals and fuels. Conversion technology facilities represent the next evolutionary step of solid waste material recovery systems, diverting organic (carbon containing) solid wastes from the traditional disposal activities of land filling and MSW combustion. For the purposes of this paper direct combustion of solid waste, utilizing the heat to create electricity (sometimes called “waste-to-energy” or “WTE”) is not considered a conversion technology." DEQ is developing a rule proposal that would define conversion technology, establish performance standards and solid waste permit requirements for conversion technology facilities. If adopted, the proposed rules would establish regulatory clarity through performance standards and solid waste permit requirements for conversion technology facilities. This would assure environmental protection, establish an appropriate fee schedule for this new permit category and provide regulatory certainty for emerging technology providers and DEQ staff. Refer to the CT Rulemaking webpage, or contact Mr. Burrows for further information at or at (541) 687-7354. 02/15/2012


ADBA Launches Advisory Service for Farm-Based Anaerobic Digestion

Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas AssociationThe Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) has announced the launch of a free advisory service for United Kingdom (UK) farmers to assist in the complex decision-making process involved in developing on-farm anaerobic digestion (AD). The new service is being introduced today during the Energy Now Expo at the Malvern Showground in Worchestershire. Parties interested in considering anaerobic digestion projects on their farms can submit a one-page questionnaire on the ADBA website to receive a half hour free initial screening consultation and written summary recommendations from an ADBA member specialist to help determine if anaerobic digestion could be a viable option for their business. Last November, ADBA released two key AD guidance documents in collaboration with the UK’s Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), as part of the country's aggressive Anaerobic Digestion Strategy and Action Plan. The guides help organize a project developer's approach in a form acceptable for financing due diligence, and provide a review of funding and financing mechanisms currently available for UK efforts. For further information, email Rosaline Hulse, Communications & Systems Executive,. 02/15/2012


Due 03/09/2012: Abstracts for EFIB 2012 - "The Bioeconomy Goes Global"

2012 European forum for Industrial Biotechnology and Biobased EconomyThe 2012 European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and Biobased Economy (EFIB 2012) organizers are accepting submission of proposed papers for this year's conference, scheduled for October 16-18, 2012 in Dusseldorf, Germany. This year's theme is "The Bioeconomy Goes Global" and the overall conference program is currently being developed. Nathalie Moll, Secretary General at EuropaBio anticipates another good level of participation from industry figures this year; “In continuing the history of high calibre speakers at EFIB, we hope to hear from top experts in the field of industrial biotechnology on how to take the bio-economy to the next level in Europe”. Submissions should include a title and presentation outline, with name, job title and organization, and be sent to by the deadline of Friday, March 9, 2012. 02/15/2012


Due 03/15/2012: Abstracts for Gasification Technologies Council Conference

Gasification Technologies CouncilThe Gasification Technologies Council (GTC) has issued a Call for Papers for the 2012 Gasification Technologies Conference, scheduled for October 28-31, 2012 in Washington, D.C. The GTC's mission is to promote a "better understanding of gasification's role in power, chemical and refining industries with economically competitive and environmentally conscious technology options to produce electricity, fuels and chemicals." Among the topics of special interest sought for presentations for this year's conference agenda: Gasification's Role in Energy Policy, Biomass and Waste Gasification, Gasification Projects & Technology Updates, Gasification for Chemicals and Fuels, Gasification for Power, Gasification-Based Polygeneration and Carbon Dioxide Management. Last year's GTC Conference was held in San Francisco from October 10-12, 2011; many of the presentations are available on-line with that expo's agenda and besides being informative, are good guides for this year's presentation development. Among the highlights were detailed updates on Uhde's PRENFLO and HTW gasification technologies, a summary of compact gasifier tests from Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, and presentations on biomass gasification from Ze-Gen, S4 Energy Solutions, Carbona and Taylor Biomass Energy. Abstracts for this year's conference should be submitted on-line by March 15, 2012. Contact Marie Kent at GTC, 703-276-0110 with any questions. 02/15/2012


Dutch-Portuguese Research Advances Hydrogen Production from Lignocellulose

Biotechnology for BiofuelsA provisional pre-publication article has been released by the journal "Biotechnology for Biofuels," reporting on collaborative work to optimize microbial hydrogen production from cellulosic biomass. Researchers at Portugal's Institute for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre of Biological Engineering, and at the Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark describe in their publication how continuous, high-volume hydrogen production (H2) can be achieved through mixed-microbial culture anaerobic digestion of lignocellulose-sourced arabinose at elevated (thermophyllic) temperatures. Significantly higher H2 production was obtained by catabolism of the arabinose than from glucose conversion, especially at higher processing rates. Although considerable research has over the years outlined optimal fermentation of diverse sugars to ethanol, direct second generation conversion to hydrogen for fuel and chemistry is seen as an increasingly critical realm of advanced bioconversion research. The team notes, "… Second generation hydrogen fermentation technologies using organic agricultural and forestry wastes are emerging. The efficient microbial fermentation of hexoses [C6 sugars] and pentoses [C5 sugars] resulting from the pretreatment of lignocellulosic materials is essential for the success of these processes." 02/14/2012


Joule Awards EPCM Contract to Fluor for Commercial Scale Biorefinery in NM

Joule Unlimited, IncTexas-based Fluor Corporation has announced it has secured a contract from Joule Unlimited, Inc for the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) to design and build a new biorefinery in New Mexico (NM). The commercial-scale plant is intended to be a demonstration of Joule's existing pilot operations, and is based on the company's proprietary HeliocultureTM technologic platform. Helioculture converts carbon dioxide-laden emissions and sunlight for direct synthesis of alkane and olefin molecules, foundation materials for biofuels and chemicals production. Massachusetts based Joule closed a $70 million third funding round last month that will now be used to design and develop the New Mexico testing and optimization facility. Fluor's Greenville, South Carolina office will lead the project; Lou Del Tufo, Fluor’s senior vice president of Energy & Chemicals and Fluor's Biofuels business team, noted: "As a leader in the engineering and construction sector, we believe that the Joule demonstration facility affords Fluor an opportunity to showcase our integrated solutions and assist in the commercialization of this critical technology. We look forward to serving Joule on this project and hope to work with them as they solidify their position as one of the most innovative and forward-thinking technology companies in a rapidly growing global biofuels industry." 02/14/2012


Foster Wheeler Secures Swedish Contract for 35 MWe Bioenergy Plant System

Foster WheelerSwiss engineering company Foster Wheeler announced that its Global Power Group has been awarded a contract to design, construct, supply, and install a 35 megawatt electric biomass-fired circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler island. The project owner, the municipally-owned energy company Lunds Energi of southern Sweden, has now given Foster Wheeler a notice to proceed, with scheduled start of commercial operations set for the second quarter of 2014. The CFB will be designed to convert 100% biomass to steam for electricity generation; up to 50% of that feedstock will be demolition-sourced woody waste. This combined heat and power CHP biopower plant will replace Lunds' existing fossil fuel driven equipment. Tomas Harju-Jeanty, President and Chief Executive Officer of Foster Wheeler Energia Oy Group, commented: “The fuel flexibility of Foster Wheeler’s CFB technology provides an excellent solution for biomass power generation because it can utilize a wide range of renewable and waste fuels. Our CFBs can divert waste headed for landfills and instead convert this waste into valuable steam and electricity.” 02/14/2012 


Forest Products Lab Reports on Use of Beetle Killed Trees for Renewable Energy

US Forest Service Forest Product LaboratoryThe US Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) has announced the release of a market-oriented status report entitled "Economic Use of Beetle Killed Trees", laying out a strategic framework for making good use of this ever-increasing product of infestations. Evergreens rely on liquid sap as a deterrent to the many kinds of highly destructive beetles. During these prolonged periods of higher-than-usual temperatures and extended drought conditions in many areas of North America, the feeding damage from the beetle's larvae has been causing catastrophic timber loss. The infested wood has far less value than virgin timber, quickly degrading below "lumber grade", and the sheer tonnage of wood to be managed in the dead swaths of trees presents a landscape-scale challenge. The report notes that where timbering infrastructures exist, it is best to support introduction of the damaged trees as feedstock, even if specialized equipment needs to be developed. Where this infrastructure is not well developed, FPL recommends: 1) Develop and commercialize new valueadded uses that have economic and market potential on a scale that matches the scale of forest biomass available and justifies the capital investment required, and 2) Develop, demonstrate, and implement new costeffective technologies for using the forest biomass available for energy production in local electric generating facilities and combined heat and power (CHP) facilities. FPL seeks to partner toward such efficient biomass conversion development, and is a founding member of the Bioenergy Deployment Consortium (BDC). The BDC is a group of 24 companies whose objectives are to get efficient and economical bioenergy facilities deployed to help industry and the nation. 02/13/2012


DOE Multi-Year Biomass Program Plan and Presentations Available

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) hosted a webinar last week, providing a status report and thorough introduction to the draft Biomass Roadmap released last November. The Multi-Year Biomass Program Plan was introduced formally at a workshop last December. A wealth of detailed presentations from that workshop are now available on-line at the "Conversion Technologies for Advanced Biofuels" (CTAB) website, and were covered during last week's webinar. Presentations from the December workshop fall within three categories: (1) Introduction to the Roadmapping Sessions, (2) Upgrading Biomass Derived Intermediates, and (3) Production of Biomass Derived Intermediates. A special session presentation addresses hybrid biochemical / thermochemical processing systems. The program plan, or "roadmap", is now slated for finalization and publication in late 2012 and will "examine the technical challenges that must be overcome to commercially develop interchangeable, "drop-in" replacements for gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel made from biomass." The DOE's Biomass Program is managed by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), and will stage numerous additional sessions this year toward finalizing the new roadmap, including Biomass 2012, "Confronting Challenges, Creating Opportunities" to be held in Washington DC on July 10-11, 2012. 02/13/2012


Wyss Institute Combines Shrimp Shells and Silk Protein to Make "Shrilk"

Wyss InstituteHarvard University has announced that researchers at its Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering are micro-layering the chitin from discarded shrimp shells and the protein fibroin from silk to make "shrilk". Shrilk is a thin, clear, formable plastic-like material that is as strong as aluminum and is completely biodegradable. Chitin occurs in many natural substances from insects to shell-fish, providing ready supplies of biological and waste-sourced feedstock for large-scale production. Wyss Institute's founding director Dr. Donald Ingber has noted that the US Food and Drug Administration has already approved the ingredients in shrilk, facilitating use in many applications in medical and food industries. The readily degradable composition aids in composting or disposal, while the break-down products are functional fertilizers. Dr. Ingber and graduate student Javier Fernandez found the key to shrilk in the natural layering of chitin and protein in insect's natural shell architecture: “Much of the structural properties found in nature are not just chemistry, they’re architecture.” Dr. Ingber was the first researcher to recognize that tensegrity architecture (in which a system stabilizes itself mechanically by balancing local compression with continuous tension) is a fundamental principle in the way living organisms are structured at the nanometer scale. The research article, "Unexpected Strength and Toughness in Chitosan-Fibroin Laminates Inspired by Insect Cuticle" has been published in the December 2011 edition of the journal Advanced Materials. 02/13/2012


USFS Landscape-Scale Proposal Selected for Final Pilot in NEPA Program

United States Forest ServiceThe US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (USFS) and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) have announced selection of a Forest Service proposal for the fifth and final pilot in a new program designed to increase federal environmental review efficiency and reduce overall assessment and implementation costs. The CEQ began the program to "Modernize and Reinvigorate" the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) two years ago. The CEQ released a solicitation in March 2011 to federal agencies for pilot project nominations, and eventually selecting a total of five. The White House then issued a Presidential Memorandum, "Speeding Infrastructure Development through More Efficient and Effective Permitting and Environmental Review" directing the agencies to implement the selected pilots and with the information gained, expedite review of high-priority projects while retaining public transparency and accountability. Earlier this month, USDA Secretary Vilsack announced release of a new report, "Increasing the Pace of Restoration and Job Creation on Our National Forests", linking the expedited NEPA pathway for use of renewable and non-renewable resources to the Administration's overall mandate to create Jobs. The selected pilot, "Approaches to Restoration Management" will evaluate and compare the effectiveness of USFS environmental reviews for two forest restoration projects and identify best practices that can be applied to environmental reviews for future restoration projects. The pilot project will compare methods used for the landscape-scale Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) in Arizona and the smaller-scale 5-Mile Bell project in Oregon. The 4FRI is an effort to collectively manage portions of four contiguous National Forests. The pilot includes the first restoration project under consideration, which would cover approximately 1 million acres. For the 5,000 acre Bell Landscape Management Project, the USFS will engage local, state and tribal partners in the environmental review process up front to collaboratively prepare the environmental review and implement the land restoration project. 02/12/2012


WTEC Selected for Kelly Lake Metis Settlement Waste to Energy Installation

Waste to Energy CanadaWaste to Energy Canada (WTEC) has announced that the company has been selected for installation of waste-fueled gasification systems development by the Kelly Lake Metis Settlement Society (KLMSS). A member of the British Columbia, Canada Metis Federation (BC Metis; BCMF), KLMSS completed a three year feasibility study leading to WTEC's selection. The detailed assessment will now be followed by a waste stream characterization supported by British Columbia's (BC) non-profit FPInnovations, who recently were awarded $700,000 from BC's Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation to advance the province's bio-economy. For this power plant, WTEC will utilize two continuous-feed gasification retorts to convert about 400 tonnes per day of waste-sourced feedstock to combined heat and power, on a site near Tomslake that offers grid access. The feedstock will primarily come from forestry residues, including expansive dead-wood clearances resulting from pine beetle infestations. Regional municipal solid waste (MSW) is a likely source being considered, as well as wastes generated during oil and gas industrial operations. KLMSS President Lyle Letendre notes, “Our goal is to produce approximately 15 MW of electricity to the local grid. In addition we are excited about the possibility of using the remaining balance of thermal energy from the facility to heat greenhouses for local food production and seedlings for forestry,” commented Letendre. 02/11/2012

German AD Pilot Plant to Focus on Optimizing Conversion of Variable Food Waste

Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and BiotechnologyGermany's Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB) has announced the impending start-up of a pilot anaerobic digestion (AD) facility for optimizing conversion of highly-varied types of food waste. The plant is located adjacent to Stuttgart's main wholesale market and should begin operations early this year. The market location will allow "absolutely everything it can generate" to be utilized by the immediate community. Fraunhofer research led by Dr.-Ing Ursula Schließmann, head of department at IGB, will focus on development of a full processing train for receipt, storage, characterization and AD conversion of waste fruits and vegetables into methane-rich biogas for upgrading and compression to transport fuel. Pre-consumer food waste typically exhibits high moisture content and very low lignocellulosic content, characteristics that make it valuable for rapid digestion to biogas. The wastes also can vary dramatically from acidic to basic pH value, a variability that makes optimal selection and maintenance of the microbial population very difficult. Dr. Schließmann explains: “We hold the waste in several storage tanks, where a number of parameters are automatically calculated – including the pH value. The specially designed management system determines exactly how many liters of waste from which containers should be mixed together and fed to the microorganisms.” Other institutional and industrial members of the ETAMAX project research team will then feed the system's effluent to algae, clean and upgrade the biogas for transport fuel and in the case of Daimler AG, provide various experimental vehicles to run on the resulting compressed syngas fuel. The five-year project received EUR 6 million in support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). 02/11/2012


Due 05/18/2012: Conservation Innovation Grant Applications to NRCS California

Natural Resource Conservation ServiceThe California office of the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS-CA) of the US Department of Agriculture has announced May 18, 2012 as the California region submission deadline for the 2012 Conservation Innovation Grant-California (CIG-CA) funding opportunity (USDA-NRCS-CA-12-003). Through the CIG program, the NRCS leverages public and private collaboration and multiple funding sources to "stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies." NRCS has consistently funded on-farm waste to energy development, and again includes this among eligible project categories. Of approximately $20 million available nationally, up to $375,000 has been allocated for the competitive California grants program, of which each selected project may receive up to $75,000. The NRCS-CA has designated eight topics sought for this year's project proposals: (1) Optimal combinations of nutrient source, application rate, placement and timing that improve nutrient recovery by crops; (2) Procedures for refining the usefulness of the phosphorous index in reducing phosphorous losses; (3) Suites of conservation practices that protect water quality; (4) Renewable energy systems that reduce the use of fossil fuels and increase energy efficiency on farms; (5) The impacts of cover crops, crop rotations, tillage and other conservation practices on soil health; (6) Conservation practices that increase the water-holding capacity of soils; (7) Decision tools that help producers assess their operations and conservation needs in order to improve wildlife habitat; and (8) Assess the technology transfer potential of completed CIG-CA projects. The CIG-CA announcement provides detailed proposal requirements. Completed applications must be simultaneously posted onto www.grants.gov and sent to Erik Beardsley, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 430 G Street, #4164, Davis, CA 95616-4164. For questions, please contact Erik Beardsley by email at or call (530) 792-5649, or Alan Forkey, Program Manager, at or call (530) 792-5653. 02/11/2012


Bio-Methatech Secures Vermont Dairy Waste to Biogas to Energy Project

Bio-MethatechCanadian green energy developer Bio-Methatech has signed a contract to install an anaerobic digester processing system for the Riverview Farm in Franklin, Vermont. Bio-Methatech manufactures and installs the well-established LIPP GmbH digester systems, constructing LIPP's patented quick set-up Double-Fold® seam, double-layer Verinox insulated and internally heated tank systems for the fully-mixed and automated digesters. Feedstock will consist of the dairy's manure, wash-water, farm waste and other organics. Digestion temperatures between 37 and 42° Celsius (98-107° F) are optimized for methane production; the 60% to 70% methane biogas will fuel engines and drive the generators, while heat captured from the engines will maintain thermal requirements of the digesters and provide heat for the surrounding buildings. The contracted conversion systems are to being construction this spring, with the capacity to provide about 180 kilowatts of electricity to power the dairy operations with excess sold back to the regional utility grid. The residual is a fibrous material useful as compost feedstock, as a non-odorous nutrient-rich soils amendment or once dried, as animal bedding. Riverview  maintains a herd of 450 dairy cows, the farm was the recipient of a $429,703 loan and a grant of $214,851 in conditional support from the US Department of Agriculture's "Rural Energy for America Program" (REAP) last October 2011. Final award funding is contingent upon meeting the specific conditions of the grant or loan agreement. 02/10/2012


Hershey Integrates Recycling and Conversion for Zero-Waste-to-Landfill

The Hershey CompanyThe Hershey Company has announced that three of its main manufacturing facilities have reached "Zero-Waste-to-Landfill" (ZWL) status through the company's sustainability efforts. The company's Reese plant in Hershey, Pennsylvania achieved ZWL status in 2010, where no routine manufacturing waste is allowed to leave the facility for disposal. The company's West Hershey, Pennsylvania plant reached ZWL status last October, and the Hazelton plant reached this status earlier this month. Hershey is underway with a $200 to $225 million expansion to the West Hershey plant that should be completed later this year. Both the construction of the expansion and the revamped facility itself are designed to be ZWL compliant. This group of facilities together recycles about 90% of all waste generated from plant operations; the remainder is shipped as refuse derived fuel to local waste-to-energy plants in Bainbridge and Harrisburg, PA. In addition, systems for anaerobic digestion of onsite organics-laden wastewater and capture of the resulting biogas production have now been integrated with four plants in Stuarts Draft, Virginia, Robinson, Illinois, and Lancaster and Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Hershey's has a long history of sustainability; the company's founder, Milton Hershey, started the first recycling center in Hershey in 1937, long before recycling and reducing waste were common practices. “We are proud of our role as stewards of the environment and of our progress in eliminating waste from our operations,” said Terence O’Day, Senior Vice President of Global Operations at The Hershey Company. “We achieved ZWL at these facilities through a rigorous process of eliminating waste, recycling and converting waste to energy. Our employees understand the importance of sustainability across our company and are working together to reach our reduction goals.” 02/10/2012


Lignol Awarded $2.06MM Additional SDTC Funding for Biorefinery Technologies

Lignol Energy CorporationLignol Innovations, Ltd has received an award of $2.06 million in additional funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). Lignol Innovations is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lignol Energy Corporation, an advanced biofuels and biochemicals company based in British Columbia, Canada. The funding is in addition to the $4.72 million received so far from SDTC, and is intended to further support project development of the integrated cellulosic ethanol facility supported by the initial funding. Lignol’s fractionation technology produces clean substrates that are ideal inputs for the cellulosic ethanol, pulp and paper and green chemical industries. The expanded funding will now enhance overall biorefinery technologies, especially improvement of hemicellulose-derived sugars and demonstration of use of its lignin fraction in bioplastics and other commodities. Lignol's modified solvent based pre-treatment technology facilitates the rapid, high-yield conversion of cellulose to ethanol and the production of value-added biochemical co-products, including the high purity HP-L™ lignin. “The additional funding from SDTC is an important contribution that will enable us to enhance the economic viability of our biorefinery technologies, while maintaining significant GHG reduction benefits,” said Ross MacLachlan, President and CEO of Lignol. “These enhancements will allow smaller, higher-yield biorefineries to be built with strong regional demand for Lignol’s bioproducts, resulting in a more rapid and more diverse deployment of this transformative technology.” 02/10/2012


Neste Oil & Raisio: Integrating Ag Waste Conversion and Food Production

Neste OilTwo Finnish giants in their own fields have announced a collaborative effort to integrate and optimize all aspects of the biofuel and food industries. Neste Oil and Raisio, in a joint presentation in Helsinki entitled, "From Sidestreams to Highways", explored the opportunities offered by raw agricultural bi-product material utilization and the many issues that until now have brought about the confrontational "Food vs. Fuel" paradigm. For years, the companies have focused their collaboration on very specific targets through Neste's use of surplus and residuals from Raisio's animal feed and grocery food production for conversion to Neste's low emissions NExBTL biofuel. Going forward, the companies will consider a broad array of opportunities where Raisioagro, a subsidiary of Raisio plc, manages its agricultural pursuits to maximize efficiency of biomass residuals growth, harvesting and aggregation, while Neste broadens its ability to convert the more diverse feedstock supply in ways that improve the economics and environmental sustainability of both the food and the biofuel production. Raisioagro is an international specialist in plant-based nutrition, with key market areas in Finland, Great Britain, Sweden, Russia, Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic Countries. Neste is building its pilot Technology Center in Porvoo, Finland to commercialize waste-sourced microbial oil production; "Microbes can produce oil from an extensive range of agricultural and industrial waste and by-products," explains Neste Oil's Senior Vice President, Technology and Strategy, Lars Peter Lindfors. "10-13% of straw, for example, can be converted into microbial oil that can provide an excellent feedstock for our NExBTL renewable diesel. This fits very well with Neste Oil's goal of increasing the amount of waste, sidestreams, and by-products we use in our raw material procurement." 02/09/2012


Celtic Renewables Wins £40,000 Shell Springboard Award

Celtic RenewablesThe new Scottish startup Celtic Renewables has just received a £40,000 Shell Springboard award for its advanced biofuels production from Scottish malt whisky industrial wastes. Celtic acquired rights to the waste conversion process from the Edinburgh Napier University last year, to turn whisky production "pot ale" and "draff" residues in a modified acetone-butanol-ethanol fermentation to advanced butanol for transport fuel and green chemical production. The Shell Springboard award comes from the UK Social Investment program, fully funded and managed by Shell to provide a financial boost to United Kingdome (UK) based, small to medium sized enterprises with innovative, low carbon business ideas. Angus Gillespie, Shell Vice President for CO2 Strategy: “Through Springboard, Shell aims to encourage others to innovate as well, helping to support the transition to a lower carbon economy and seizing this new market opportunity. It’s our belief that the innovative services and technologies that small businesses provide can make an important contribution to reducing the UK’s carbon emissions. I congratulate Celtic Renewables on their success, and wish all of our finalists the very best for the future.” 02/09/2012


Noble Mansfield Renewable Energy Formed to Merge Biofuels Marketing

Noble Mansfield Renewable EnergyHong Kong headquartered Noble Group and Gainesville, Georgia based Mansfield Oil Company have jointly announced the merger of their biofuels marketing divisions, with the launch of Noble Mansfield Renewable Energy. The new company will be based in Bloomington, MN, currently the home of Mansfield’s C&N ethanol marketing business. Noble and Mansfield currently deliver over 20 billion gallons of fuel and ethanol annually; merging marketing capabilities will streamline operations and open market opportunities for both companies. William (Bill) Covey, who has been leading Noble’s ethanol plant marketing business, has been named CEO, and Jon Bjornstad, founder of Mansfield's C&N Ethanol Marketing, will continue as the new organization’s President. “Ethanol Producers need a financially secure marketer with large operating scale, direct access to global markets, and a full suite of risk management services. This new organization offers plant partners access to unmatched risk management tools and a scope of services on a global scale.” said Bill Covey. Noble was also attracted to Mansfield's access to biofuels other than ethanol. Earlier this week, Mansfield Oil singed a strategic alliance, off-take and supply chain management agreement with Dynamic Fuels (a joint venture between Syntroleum and Tyson Foods) to market Dynamic's waste-sourced "drop-in" renewable diesel and other advanced biofuels. 02/09/2012


PTG Secures $1MM from EIC Ventures for Wastewater to Energy

Pasteurization Technology GroupCalifornia based Pasteurization Technology Group (PTG) has secured $1 million in support from EIC Ventures, an early-stage venture capital investment fund whose director, David Dubé, is already a PTG Board Member and previous investor in the company. PTG has developed and patented a technology platform that utilizes biogas from wastewater treatment plant anaerobic digestion (AD) to drive a turbine for power generation, and then reclaims energy from the 900° Fahrenheit exhaust in heat exchangers to pasteurize the effluent exiting the AD reactor. The disinfected water may then be used for agricultural irrigation. The integrated combined heat and power (CHP) system achieves over 90% energy efficiency while accomplishing certifiable disinfection with only recovered waste heat as fuel. By using a two-stage heat exchange system to first pre-heat process water from the AD vessel rather than allowing the effluent to cool, far less energy is necessary to reach pasteurization temperatures. Greg Ryan, co-founder and CEO of Pasteurization Technology Group: “We are currently fielding numerous requests from businesses across a variety of industries that want to capture a precious resource—water—while generating renewable energy to offset their electricity costs. Our technology offers a sustainable solution that fits well with current market dynamics and a growing realization that water is a precious and valuable resource that cannot be wasted.” 02/08/2012


Update: Due 02/10/2012: Comments to IBI Biochar Standards

International Biochar InitiativeThe stakeholder comment period on the proposed collaborative Guidelines for Specifications of Biochars developed by the International Biochar Initiative (IBI) closes February 10, 2012. A final draft of the proposed standards has been posted to IBI's website, and background information on the Biochar Guidelines and documentation of the Biochar Guidelines creation process are posted to the IBI Biochar Guidelines page. The document defines Biochar as "a solid material obtained from the thermochemical conversion of biomass in an oxygen-limited environment. Biochar can be used as a product itself or as an ingredient within a blended product, with a range of applications as an agent for soil improvement, improved resource use efficiency, remediation and/or protection against particular environmental pollution, and as an avenue for greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement." It is important to note that the Biochar Guidelines focus on the physical properties of biochar, not on the production methods or specific feedstock, and therefore constitute performance-based rather than prescriptive guidance. The guidance is intended to provide a framework for an international biochar certification program, and for use as a starting point and general reference for national, regional and local product standards development efforts. The final draft standards will be posted on-line, on March 5, 2012. Two public webinars have been scheduled to discuss the standards on March 9 and 13, 2012; IBI is seeking input regarding timing and number of additional discussions sessions, through an on-line survey. Following consideration of comments, the final draft of the Guidelines document will be submitted for legal review, then presented to IBI membership for a week-long balloting period now running from March 20-27, 2012. Email comments to the draft biochar standards to . Questions regarding the program should be directed to IBI Communications Director Thayer Tomlinson at (802) 257-5359. 02/08/2012


Quebec to Invest $27MM in Enerkem, GreenField Ethanol's Waste-to-Fuels Plant

EnerkemEnerkem and GreenField Ethanol have announced the government of Quebec, Canada's intent to invest $27 million to help develop Quebec's first waste to advanced biofuels and bio-sourced chemicals plant. The financing consists of an $18 million package from Quebec's Ministry of Natural Resources and a $9 million loan from Investissement Québec. Enerkem will form a joint venture with GreenField Ethanol to build and operate the cellulosic ethanol plant, to be located in Varennes, Quebec. The Varennes facility will be Enerkem's third full-scale commercial project. With headquarters in Toronto, GreenField Ethanol is one of Canada's largest and most efficient ethanol producers, and is a founding member of the University of Sherbrooke Research Chair for second generation biofuels. Enerkem's gasification technology cleanly converts post-recycling residual municipal solid waste (MSW) into chemical-grade syngas, and then methanol, ethanol and other chemicals. The waste feedstock will come from institutional, commercial and industrial sectors, and from construction and demolition debris. The anticipated annual production capacity of this plant is approximately 38 million litres. "By producing liquid transportation fuel from non-recyclable waste, this facility opens the door to the emergence of a new energy sector and will allow for local sustainable management of our waste materials", declared Vincent Chornet, Enerkem President and CEO. "Located on the site of Ethanol GreenField's current plant, this project will represent one of the first integrations between an existing, first generation ethanol plant and a new cellulosic ethanol plant." News of the funding from Quebec comes just one day after Enerkem filed its registration forms for an initial public offering in the US and Canada. 02/07/2012


Vermont's Cow Power Program Has Energy Surplus, Calls for New Customers

Central Vermont Public Service Cow Power ProgramThe Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS) helped launch the non-profit Cow Power program in 2005; at the end of last month, the CVPS announced that its supply of farm-based biogas to energy had surpassed the total demand of program participants for the first time. The CVPS together with the utility have put out a call for new customer participation. In this novel program, customers can elect to pay a premium of about 4 cents per kilowatt to farm-generated electricity from anaerobic digestion (AD). Most of the premium supports AD project development for participating farmers. "Our customers have put over $3 million in the program so far through their enrollment in CVPS Cow PowerTM," CVPS Renewable Energy Program Manager Dave Dunn said.  "The 4-cent contribution makes a difference for all of these projects and helps provide positive cash flow.  With three new projects on line last year, and several in the works, we need new Cow Power supporters to provide that premium for these new farm projects." The Anaerobic Digestion Initiative Advisory Committee (ADIAC) in British Columbia, Canada, just launched their own cow power program last month. The public/private Canadian program enjoys strong support from agencies, foundations and the industrial sector; Octaform Systems reported on the program's official kick-off at this year's Pacific Agricultural Show: "For around a dollar a day, Cowpower supporters can enhance the environmental sustainability of every kilowatt-hour of electricity that their business, home or event consumes. These kilowatts are enhanced with the environmental and social attributes that are generated by anaerobic digesters, including reductions in greenhouse gas and odour emissions, and increased water and food safety, environmental protection and nutrient recovery." 02/07/2012


Due 06/01/2012: Applications to USDA for Biofuel / Biorefinery Funding

United States Department of AgricultureUS Department of Agriculture announced release of Notice of Funds Available (NOFA) for two programs last week, each to provide about $25 million in support of biorefinery and advanced biofuel development. The first program provides quarterly subsidy payments for 2012 production of eligible advanced biofuels to producers who have enrolled by October 31, 2011, converting  renewable biomass (other than corn kernel starch) to include cellulose, sugar and starch, crop residue, vegetative waste material, animal waste, food and yard waste, vegetable oil, animal fat, and biogas. Program details were published February 2, 2012 in the Federal Register on pages 5229 through 5232. The second NOFA, for the Repowering Assistance Program, also allocates $25 million in support for biorefineries in existence on or before June 18, 2008, to buy down eligible costs incurred in using renewable biomass instead of fossil fuel for production of combined heat and power (CHP). The amount of the payment will be based on (1) the cost effectiveness of the renewable biomass system; and (2) the percentage reduction in fossil fuels used by that biorefinery. The maximum amount an individual biorefinery can receive under the Notice is 50 percent of total eligible project costs up to a maximum of $10 million. Eligible costs must be related to construction or repowering improvements, such as engineering design, equipment installation and professional fees. The application deadline for this program to receive funds for Fiscal Year 2012 is June 1, 2012. For additional details, see the NOFA in the February 2, 2012 Federal Register pages 5232 through 5234. 02/07/2012


Enviva and E.ON Sign Multi-Year Wood Pellet Fuel Supply Agreement

EnvivaUS based biomass fuel supply company Enviva has signed a pellet fuel off-take agreement with E.ON, one of the world's largest investor owned utilities. Enviva has been providing wood chips and pellets to US and European customers since 2007 and focuses on sustainability. Current biomass sources include residues, chips, bark and sawdust by-products, tree tops, branches, and other forestry debris remaining after the trunk has been processed and shipped from the forest. In February of last year, the company acquired its deep-water port terminal in the Port of Chesapeake, Virginia, and sent the inaugural shipment to Europe at the end of December 2011. The first shipment leaving port carried 28,000 metric tons of wood pellets to one of Enviva's European customers. In November 2011, Enviva and ConocoPhillips formed a new company, Eco Biomass Technologies, for production and distribution of torrefied biomass fuel. Also in November, E.ON increased its long-term European demand for biomass with the start of construction on a 30 megawatt bioenergy facility in Scotland. The current multi-year agreement with E.ON calls for supply of 240,000 metric tons of wood pellets per year, beginning in 2013. “Strong agreements with companies like Enviva that are focused on growing biomass supply and share our views on the importance of promoting sustainability are essential for us to invest in biomass generation,” said Jan Groeneveld, manager biomass sourcing at E.ON. “Biomass is one of the lowest-cost renewable solutions available and is a key part of helping us ensure that the lights stay on at a price that is affordable while helping to protect the climate.” 02/06/2012


BC Bioenergy Network Awards $1.5MM for "Energy Garden" Project

Harvest PowerThe British Columbia (BC) Bioenergy Network has invested $1.5 million in Fraser Richmond Soil & Fibre, a Harvest Power company, to support diversion of organics from disposal to bioenergy generation. The funding has two parts; the first is a $1 million loan to build a commercial scale demonstration of Harvest Power's "High Solids Anaerobic Digestion" (HSAD) technology for renewable energy generation and sale. The demonstration plant is the core of Harvest's "Energy Garden", designed for the initial diversion of about 27,000 tons annually of food waste and municipal yard trimmings from BC landfills. The second is a grant of $500,000 toward acquisition of Harvest Power's pilot scale mobile HSAD testing unit that fits inside a standard shipping container. The “Mobile Energy Harvester” will be used initially in Richmond before touring North America. The testing unit will evaluate suitability of digestion of organic waste streams, enabling local communities to evaluate and assess the economics, benefits and risks of deploying this innovative system.  It will also educate communities on the direct connection between their plate scrapings, technologies that address recycling targets, and the contribution of such projects to the new bioenergy economy. Natural Resources Canada has also invested $4 million for this project through its Clean Energy Fund program. Established in April 2008 with a $25 million grant from the BC government, the BC Bioenergy Network is an industry-led initiative to support near-term bioenergy technologies and bioenergy capability in BC. 02/06/2012


Due 05/03/2012: Initial Concept Proposals for US-Israel Energy Projects

BIRD Energy programThe Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Energy program has issued a call for proposals for renewable energy development projects. BIRD Energy is a program sponsored by the US Department of energy and the Israel Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, and is administered by the BIRD Foundation. To be eligible, a US-based company or University must partner with an Israeli-based company or university, proposing collaborative research and development with a high potential for commercialization. Areas of scope for this funding round include Solar Power, Alternative Fuels, Advanced Vehicle Technologies, Smart Grid, Wind Energy or any other Renewable Energy or Energy Efficiency technology. BIRD Energy is now in its fourth funding cycle. Of the last round's nine winners, one team proposal addressed bioenergy: RAFAEL and Covanta Energy (Morristown, NJ) were funded to co-develop a biomass-to-fuel mobile system. At its December 2011 Board meeting, the Foundation approved a total of $81 million as available for this Energy-focused round; grants of up to $1 million per project will be awarded to winning submissions for US-Israeli joint energy projects. Interested parties must first contact BIRD Energy to discuss concepts; initial concept submissions are due May 3, 2012, followed by full proposals upon approval, by June 28, 2012. Selected project awards will be presented September 6, 2012. 02/06/2012


BioNitrogen Secures LOI for 300K Short Tons per Year of Urea

BioNitrogen Corp.Last August, Hidenet Secure Architectures Inc changed its name to BioNitrogen Corp after acquiring BIO-SNG Technologies International Corp. Just seven months later, the company has announced a letter of intent (LOI) with Iowa based United Suppliers Inc for its purchase of up to 300,000 short tons annually of granular (prilled) urea, a high-nitrogen (46%) fertilizer. The agreement will be for an initial term of three years, tentatively starting in late 2013. The acquired technology platform converts low-grade agricultural residuals and other woody biomass into bulk urea. Dried, cleaned and sized biomass is gasified; the raw producer gas is cleaned, upgraded, reformed through catalysis to wet urea; the product is then dried and stored. Almost 100% of the carbon in the feedstock is captured in the urea; sufficient electricity to run the facility and a commodity grade fly ash are the only other bi-products. BioNitrogen focused on a modular, small-footprint design that can be co-located with abundant feedstock sources, producing 15 tons per hour of urea for a design output of 124,200 tons per plant, per year. “As agricultural retailers who do business throughout the United States we are challenged to keep up with the dramatic changes that are happening in the agriculture industry.” states Mr. Matt Carstens, United Suppliers and Vice President of Crop Nutrients, “We are committed to creating long-term relationships with both our agricultural retail dealer owners and our suppliers. We are constantly developing innovative products, programs and services and see a close and longstanding relationship with Dr. Collins and his team at BioNitrogen.” 02/05/2012


Enerkem Files for Initial Public Offering

EnerkemMontreal's waste-to-biofuels company Enerkem has announced filing a Form F-1 for an initial public offering (IPO) with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company has concurrently filed a preliminary prospectus with Canadian province and territory securities regulatory authorities, available from the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) database. Enerkem utilizes a thermal gasification technology platform to convert post-recycling municipal solid waste (MSW) into synthetic gas (syngas) rich in hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Syngas is cleaned and conditioned, then catalyzed to form methanol, ethanol and a variety of bio-sourced chemicals and products; methanol is a chemical building block for the production of secondary chemicals, such as acrylic acid, n-Propanol, and n-Butanol. Enerkem's pilot plant in Sherbrooke, Canada has been in operation since 2003 and has a throughput capacity of 4.8 metric tons per day. Iits Westbury Canada scale-up plant processes 48 tons per day, or 1.3 million tons of feedstock per year. The company's first commercial facility is currently under construction in Edmonton, Canada with a design capacity of 10 million gallons of drop-in biofuel per year. Enerkem has developed a modular, copy-exact and scalable approach for equipment production and installation that will allow systems to be manufactured by third parties as pre-fabricated, replicable modules under fixed-price contracts. This stage of the IPO filings are preliminary; no price range or number of shares has been determined, and no stock transfers can occur until the registration becomes effective. Goldman, Sachs & Co, Credit Suisse Securities, and BMO Capital Markets will act as joint bookrunners. 02/05/2012


UK Health Agency to Fund New MSW Incinerator Study

United Kingdom Health Protection AgencyThe United Kingdom Health Protection Agency (HPA) will fund a new assessment of the localized public health impacts of well-run municipal waste incinerators (MWIs) from April of this year until March 2014. Two institutions within the government's MRC-HPA Centre for Environment and Health will conduct the detailed assessment, the Small Area Health Statistics Unit (>SAHSU), Imperial College London, and the Environmental Research Group (ERG), King’s College London. Research will focus on potential links between MWI emissions and human health within a ten to fifteen kilometer radius of MWIs now operating in England and Wales. HPA chief executive Justin McCracken said: “It is important to stress that our current position on the potential health effects of well run and regulated modern Municipal Waste Incinerators remains valid. This is that while it is not possible to rule out adverse health effects from modern, well regulated municipal waste incinerators with complete certainty, any potential damage to the health of those living close-by is likely to be very small, if detectable. This view is based on detailed assessments of the effects of air pollutants on health and on the fact that modern and well managed municipal waste incinerators make only a very small contribution to local concentrations of air pollutants. However, we recognise that there are public concerns about this issue and this study will provide valuable new evidence. HPA continually seeks to review and extend the evidence base on which it bases its advice. We are therefore delighted to support this new study with researchers from the MRC-HPA Centre for Environment and Health.” The HPA's previously published position supporting properly developed MWIs is available on-line. 02/04/2012


Dynamic Fuels, Mansfield Oil Enter Advanced Biodiesel Distribution Agreement

Dynamic Fuels, LLCOklahoma-based Syntroleum Corporation has announced that Dynamic Fuels LLC, its 50/50 joint venture with Tyson Foods Inc., have entered into a strategic marketing alliance, commercial off-take and supply chain management agreements with Mansfield Oil Company. Dynamic Fuels has operated an advanced biofuel production facility with a 75 million gallon per year design capacity in Giesmar, Louisiana since 2010, converting inedible fats and greases as feedstock into middle distillate products such as renewable diesel and jet fuel. The plant produces renewable diesel, naphtha and LPG, primarily ASTM D975 "drop in" renewable diesel requiring no engine modification for use. Syntroleum's gas to liquid fuel (GTL) technology platform operates under license from ExxonMobile, and includes Syntroleum® Process for Fischer-Tropsch (FT) conversion of synthesis gas, Synfining® Process for upgrading FT liquid hydrocarbons into middle distillate products such as synthetic diesel and jet fuels, and Bio-SynfiningTM technology for converting inedible fats and greases into middle distillate products such as renewable diesel and jet fuel. Mansfield Oil currently markets and distributes over 2.5 billion gallons of fuel per year to all 50 states and Canada; the new commercial off-take agreement expands Mansfield's renewable fuel supply and Dynamic Fuel's access to fleet accounts. "We're impressed by Dynamic Fuels' position as one of the leading renewable diesel producers in the United States and are confident they will remain the industry leader and a key partner for us," said Doug Haugh, president of Mansfield Oil Company. "Through this partnership, we're working to distribute renewable diesel directly to our fleet customers who are interested in increasing the renewable content of the fuels they consume." 02/04/2012


CEC Schedules Combined Heat and Power Workshop for February 16th

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has scheduled a public workshop on combined heat and power (CHP)for February 16, 2012. The purpose of the workshop to explore and seek comment from stakeholders on (1) new state estimates of the technical and market potential for combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, (2) motivations and barriers to distributed CHP development, and (3) the implications of the Qualifying Facility Settlement Agreement on existing and future CHP systems. The workshop will be conducted by the Lead Commissioner on the Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR), prepared as part of the IEPR Docket #12-IEP-01 proceedings. The formal Order Instituting an Informational Proceeding for the 2012 IEPR Update and 2013 IEPR was authorized by the CEC during the February 8, 2012 Business Meeting. The CEC last forecast CHP technical and market potential under various scenarios in 2009, but none of those scenarios fully characterized the current economic and regulatory situations. Database assumptions and economic drivers used in the previous CHP market potential work are being updated and will be presented for discussion at this workshop. The University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) last year completed a lengthy assessment of GHG benefits of CHP (# 50002004 MAQ0701) and released an Issue Paper; the workshop will discuss the findings and other new information. The UC Irvine conducted the assessment under contract to the CEC Public Information Energy Research (PIER) program. The CEC encourages stakeholders to be specific and recommend market and regulatory strategies that will lead to the development of clean and efficient CHP in California to support the goal of 6,500 MW of new CHP proposed in the Governor's Clean Energy Jobs Plan. The workshop will also be webcast, with participation information provided on the Notice. 02/03/2012


UPM Plans Industry Scale Wood Pulp Waste to Biodiesel Biorefinery

UPMFinland's UPM has announced plans to invest about EUR 150 million in the development of an industrial-scale biorefinery on the company's Kaukas mill site for conversion of mill wastes and forest residues into its proprietary UPM BioVerno transport fuel. The company's main initial feedstock for this facility will be raw "tall oil", a waste residue of chemical pulp production generated from pulping of softwood for paper. Following hydrotreatment, the tall oil is refined into biodiesel using circulating bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) gasification technology UPM has developed with Andritz Carbona. The resulting biofuel exceeds both EU and Finnish standards and is expected to reduce emissions over standard diesel in heavy transport by as much as 80%, UPM notes that the EU's renewable energy directive (RED) favors advanced biofuels, which are produced from lignocellulose, waste and residue-based raw materials. According to the directive, these biofuels are double counted when calculating the renewable target. Thus 5% of UPM's advanced biofuels would be regarded as 10% when counting the share of biofuels in transport. The Lappeenranta biorefinery on the Kaukas mill site is only one of UPM's current biorefinery developments, which include the potential for a plant at the Rauma paper mill in Finland, and at the Stracel paper mill in Strasbourg, France, for which environmental assessments have already been completed. UPM President and CEO Jussi Pesonen: "The biofuels business has excellent growth potential. The quality of our end product and its environmental characteristics has gained significant interest among a wide range of customers, and the investment is profitable. Lappeenranta is the first step on UPM’s way in becoming a significant producer of advanced second generation biofuels. This is also a focal part in the realisation of our Biofore strategy. Our biorefinery in Lappeenranta is the first significant investment in a new and innovative production facility in Finland during the ongoing transformation of forest industry." 02/03/2012


UK's CPI Introduces New Platform for Development of Small-Scale AD Systems

UK Center for Process InnovationThe United Kingdom's (UK) six-year-old Center for Process Innovation (CPI) has announced a new collaborative project, the Small Scale Anaerobic Digestion Technology (SSAD-TECH) platform, to develop and prove efficacy of rural and small business scale anaerobic digestion modules. The two-year effort is grant-funded through UK's Technology Strategy Board, with a budget of £880,000. The CPI already has anaerobic digestion (AD) development facilities. The project brings in an industry consortium to meet what the CPI has determined is an unmet market need for AD systems generating from 60 to 250 kilowatts electric (kWe). The effort is aimed at safe and economical management of organics conversion to heat and power for small business farms and food manufacturers, acknowledging the value of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and regional waste disposal costs and impacts. The systems will be scaled to manage from 2500 to 5000 tonnes of organics per year, and capital costs are expected to range with scale from £350-500,000. CPI Director of Sustainable Processing and Advanced Manufacturing, Dr Chris Dowle, says: “CPI is delighted to be leading in this project, which represents an excellent opportunity to drive the evolution of this key technology. Anaerobic digestion will play an important role in achieving a low carbon future, and the SSAD-TECH project makes the technology an achievable goal for smaller scale or rural businesses.” 02/03/2012


Due 03/29/2012: Pre-Proposals to ESTCP for Innovative Energy Demonstrations

US Department of Defense Environmental Security Technology Certification ProgramThe Department of Defense's (DoD) Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) has announced a request for proposals (RFP) for demonstration of installation energy technologies. Solicitations have been issued for DoD, non-DoD federal, and non-federal proposals. Six topics areas are included: (1) Smart Secure Integrated Installation Energy Management, (2) Cost Effective On-Site Distributed Generation, (3) Advanced Component Technologies to Improve Building Energy Efficiency, (4) Advanced Building Energy Management and Control, (5) Tools and Processes for Decision-making Associated with Energy Use and Management, and (6) (for the DoD ONLY) Advanced Water Management and Controls for DoD Buildings. ESTCP conducts its demonstration and validation program to collect cost / performance data on innovative technology to help bridge early commercialization barriers resulting from high technical or programmatic risk. Pre-proposals will allow early assessment against the DoD's criteria; those submitting accepted pre-proposals will be encouraged to file full proposals at a later date.  Awards will be in the form of contracts. The program provides separate criteria for submissions by non-federal companies, by non-DoD federal developers, and internal submissions from DoD personnel. The ESTCP Director will conduct an on-line "how to play" briefing seminar, "ESTCP Installation Energy Funding Opportunities - FY 2013" on February 16, 2012." The webinar is free but requires registration; details are provided on the Webinar announcement. 02/03/2012


British Columbia Invests $700K in Waste Wood to Bioproducts Development

British Columbia, CanadaBritish Columbia (B.C.), Canada's Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation has announced provision of $700,000 to the private non-profit forest research institute FPInnovations to assess B.C.'s bio-economy status and available options for expansion, and to identify economically viable access to wood fiber for new projects. As with much of Canadian forest lands, B.C. continues to experience expansive damage from infestations of mountain pine beetle, and seeks to aggressively turn damaged resources to regional benefit. The government's Bio-Economy Committee publicly released its report on January 11, 2012 in conjunction with the 9th Annual B.C. Natural Resource Forum in Prince George, which provided a "snapshot" of current regional and global waste wood conversion activities, and formed recommendations for accelerated bio-economic development. The funding augments an existing contract between B.C. and FPInnovations, and another $600,000 provided by Natural Resources Canada under its Transformative Technologies Research Program. The new support will be applied to (1) the development and application of low-carbon, energy efficient solutions for forest sector trucking, (2) the assessment of the business case for new bioproducts at forest products facilities in BC (extending the Bio-Pathways work initiated by the Forest Products Association of Canada), (3) overall development of regional bio-economy, and (4) develop an Economic Biomass Inventory of targeted BC regions, to establish volume-cost curves for utilization. Sheldon Johnson, the Ministry's project lead in charge of the Government Communications and Public Engagement, notes: "A key aim of many of the measures within this initiative is the cost-effective and productive use of what otherwise would be considered residual waste streams. By turning mill residuals and available harvesting residuals into value-added products, there are significant opportunities to improve sustainability socially, economically and environmentally." Questions on the project may be directed to Mr. Johnson at, or 250 213-5811. 02/02/2012


Surrey's "ENERGYShift" Plan Includes Food Waste to Fleet Biofuel

ENERGYShiftMayor Watts of Surrey, the second largest city in British Columbia, Canada, is leading a community dialogue today seeking public participation in finalization of the City's new ENERGYShift plan to move toward localized, sustainable and efficient energy programs. The draft plan integrates aspects of land use, transportation, green buildings, a revamped energy infrastructure, and a broader solid waste program to reduce, reuse, recycle and recovery energy form the municipal waste. The public-private collaboration is intended to produce a final consensus-based plan by winter 2012. In the run-up to this stage of planning, the City worked with the New York based non-profit organization Energy Vision to assess opportunities and help organize the requisite outreach efforts. The study results were announced with the release of a report entitled, The City of Surry: Setting the Pace for Sustainable Transportation, and profiles how the City will roll out three integrated activities: (1) require its solid waste collection and recycling contractors to use only natural gas powered vehicles (a bid won by BFI Canada), (2) Initiate separation and collection of organics from the City's 470,000 residents and business, and (3) process the organics in a new anaerobic digestion facility (due to be completed in 2014), with the methane-rich biogas to be cleaned, compressed and used to fuel the waste services fleets. Developing the ENERGYShift final plan will involve the completion of an energy and emissions baseline and 25 year projections to help us better understand future energy demand and supply for key sectors. 02/02/2012


Primoris, Synergy Sign Agreement for Two Puerto Rico Waste to Energy Projects

Synergy RenewablesTwo Texas-based companies, Primoris Renewables and Synergy Renewables, have signed a cooperative agreement to develop two gasification waste conversion projects in Puerto Rico. The companies will utilize Utah-based Dynamis Energy's proprietary starved-air gasification technology, a modular and scalable system to cleanly convert waste to combustible synthetic fuel gas (syngas). Primoris Renewables is a wholly owned subsidiary of Primoris Services Corporation. Synergy Renewables and their strategic partner Dynamis Energy have just formed the Sunbeam Synergy Puerto Rico LLC joint venturewith Sunbeam Energy Holdings, Inc. of Falmouth, Massachusetts. Dynamis is concurrently pursuing development in the US, and last November signed a 400-ton per day waste gasification agreement with Ada County of Utah. Each of facility will gasify about 180,000 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) annually to generate 10MWs of clean renewable energy per location. Synergy Renewables first sorts and removes recyclables from incoming MSW, then shreds and dried the residual. Gasification creates a raw syngas, which then is cleaned and upgraded to whatever specifications are required by the next-stage power generating equipment. The construction is scheduled to begin in 2012 with a commercial operation target of Q4 2013, and should be worth around $40 million to Primoris for overall project engineering, construction and procurement (EPC). 02/02/2012


Pellet Fuels Institute Takes 1st Step to Standards Roll-Out

Pellet Fuels InstituteThe Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI) and the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) have announced lab and auditor accreditation as the first step in implementation of new industry-driven, third-party verified standards for densified biomass fuel in North America. As a renewable biofuel, pellets are generally made from recycled wood waste and residuals. The PFI notes that about 1 million businesses and residences use pellet fuels in the US alone, and that one ton of pellets has the energy equivalent of 2.8 barrels of #2 fuel oil.  The program recognizes three quality levels for pellet fuels, Premium, Standard and Utility, with the intent that each fuel type can be easily matched to the appropriate bioenergy application. The ALCS will serve as the accreditation body for the new PFI standard; to date, ten auditors and two laboratories have been accredited. Manufacturers interested in joining the program should contact one of the auditors (contact information provided on-line). The program was launched November 28, 2011 and so far 28 companies representing 42 mills have pledged to participate in the voluntary enrollment. The organizations expect it will take several more months before the program is fully implemented, and for retailers and customers to see the new labeling on pellet fuel bags. According to PFI Executive Director, Jennifer Hedrick, “With the support the industry has shown thus far, we’re expecting many fuel manufacturers to enroll in this early stage of the program.” 02/01/2012


WTEC to Provide Modular Waste Gasification System in Yukon Territory

Waste to Energy CanadaWaste to Energy Canada announced success late last month in winning a competitive bid to provide waste management services to the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation community of Old Crow in the Canadian Territory of Yukon. The company will be providing two 40 ft customized shipping containers containing the pre-tested modular oxidation gasification system in a "plug -and-play" configuration. The system will be air-lifted to the remote village in April 2012 and will require very little site engineering prior to starting up operations. According to WTEC's Rod Taylor, “We are a Canadian company, and our technology withstands the harshest environments while still maintaining the highest standard of environmental performance, and the Old Crow plant will certainly demonstrate this even further. There is a lot of technical language involved but what really matters are the benefits for the communities we work with who adopt these systems ... WTEC builds a variety of gasification systems capable of processing .05 to 500 tonnes of waste per day. These plants comply with the most stringent emission standards in the world, reduce green house gases, substantially reduce landfill while helping to increase the recycling of glass and metals as they are not destroyed during our gasification process.” 02/01/2012


DOE Starts 2nd "America's Next Top Energy Innovator" Challenge

US Department of EnergyUS Department of Energy (DOE) Steven Chu has announced the second round of the "America's Next Top Energy Innovator" program, part of the continuing implementation of the administration's Startup America Initiative. The program is designed to dramatically reduce costs and simplify the process for private companies to acquire rights for $1,000 to commercialize technologies developed in DOE's 17 national laboratories. `The second round kick-off coincided with the Obama administration's press release issued on the one-year anniversary of the Startup America program's initiation. As a result of the first round's online competition, thirty-six companies signed option agreements with national laboratories. The competition has now narrowed down to a short list of start-up companies and their respective lab-sourced technologies; DOE requests that the public review the surviving competitors and vote for favorites via the Top Innovator program's web portal. Voting closes on the 20112 round February 11, 2012. Competition for the new round starts February 1, 2012; about 15,000 unlicensed, un-commercialized patents and patent applications held by the national labs will be available for $1,000 each to program participants. Those interested can now explore the "Next Top Innovator" website. 02/01/2012


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