January 2013 News and Matters of Interest

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Outotec Receives Order for Thermal System for US Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

Outotec OyiThe Finland-headquartered multi-faceted engineering and development company Outotec Oyi has announced receipt of an order for an Energy Products of Idaho (EPI) thermal conversion system to power a 95 million liter cellulosic ethanol plant in the United States. Outotec acquired EPI in December of 2011, broadening its existing range of thermal conversion systems with the EPI's fluidized bed gasification design. Outotec's scope of delivery includes the fluidized bed energy system technology, engineering, and proprietary equipment for the boiler island from metering bin to stack, with delivery scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2014. In addition, Outotec will provide installation and start-up advisory services. With Outotec's system the ethanol facility will cogenerate renewable energy, producing about 80 tons per hour of saturated steam which is used in the process. Pertti Korhonen, Outotec's CEO: "This order supports our strategic target to apply our technologies to interesting growth areas, such as renewable energy production, with high horizontal technological synergies. We are excited to contribute with our renewable energy technology to goal of making cellulosic bio-ethanol a viable commercial reality. Through recently acquired Energy Products of Idaho - EPI - Outotec has pioneered in the area of biomass combustion and gasification and has delivered over one hundred renewable energy solutions. We can offer our customers sustainable solutions for turning waste to energy and valuable products, and thus reduce environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions." 01/31/2013

Neo Energy to Bring Food Waste Conversion to Massachusetts BioPark

Neo EnergyThe New Hampshire based anaerobic digestion company Neo Energy LLC moved a step closer to adding food waste to biogas capacity to the SouthCoast Life Science and Technology Park in Fall River, Massachusetts, according to local coverage of last week's Fall River Redevelopment Authority meeting. The Authority formally approved a set aside of land for Neo Energy's development, approving the conditional purchase of 4.5 acres at $450,000 within the development-ready industrial "biopark", land which comes with a fully built-out utilities and telecommunications infrastructure, and guaranteed 30-day permitting. Neo Energy is focused on conversion of food waste into renewable energy and soil enhancing products, with each facility designed to process about 55,000 tons of organics per year accepting a wide range of organics including packaged food wastes. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has proposed a ban on the disposal of commercial food waste starting in 2014, and set a goal of recycling 350,000 tons of organic waste per year by 2020. The state's Clean Energy Results Program goal is to have at least three new AD/CHP plants in operation by that 2014 deadline. The SouthCoast Life Science and Technology Park at Fall River is also the home of the new 33,000 square foot University of Massachusetts Bio-manufacturing Facility, which is scheduled to open in fall of 2013.  This research facility will allow companies to test their bio-manufacturing process and train their workforce at production scale. 01/31/2013

RENAC Launches 2nd Renewables Training Program to Serve South Africa

Renewables AcademyThe German company Renewables Academy (RENAC) has announced the year's second major project for building international renewable energy development capacity, this time initiating the Transfer Renewable Energy & Efficiency (TREE) project to train South African policy makers in agencies and industry. The first seminar session to be held in Durban from 11-15 February is supported by the eThekwini, Municipality, South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and the German Chamber of Commerce. It will focus on “Off-Grid Rural Electrification”. Taking place in Johannesburg from 18-22 February the second session themed “Solar Thermal Large Scale” is supported by the PDNA Academy and Solar Heat Exchangers (Pty) Ltd. As Kevin Nassiep, Chief Executive Officer of SANEDI said: "Renewable energy technologies can contribute to economic growth in South Africa. However, for sustainable growth a suitable political framework is required. Capacity building measures within the TREE project are instrumental in supporting the development of renewables through crucial knowledge. Therefore projects such as TREE deserve to be fostered." RENAC previously scheduled a series of seminars on bioenergy for Russian agencies and industry.  01/31/2013

Hang Seng Bank Will Build 800 Biogas Plants in Mainland China

Hang Seng BankChina based Hang Seng Bank has announced that it will build 800 biogas producing underground anaerobic digestion plants in mainland China in commemoration of its 80th anniversary. The news was posted January 28, 2013 and is available from their Press Releases web page. This commitment is the Bank's largest since sponsoring the Hang Seng Yunnan Biogas Project in 2007, and is being organized by the Conservancy Association and the Yunnan Green Environment Development Foundation. To date, the Bank has sponsored construction of 3,000 biogas facilities in Yunnan province. The facilities provide a free and stable energy supply to nearly 12,000 people in rural areas, saving about 2,470 acres of forest every year and reducing annual carbon dioxide emissions by 27,700 tonnes. In 2011, Hang Seng became the first local bank in Hong Kong to be included as a constituent stock of the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index, which provides a benchmark for best-in-class corporate sustainability performance of companies in the Asia Pacific region. This year, Hang Seng became the first local bank in Hong Kong to attain an A+ Global Reporting Initiative rating for sustainability reporting in its 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report. Recently, company volunteers visited areas within the Yunnan to ensure 2012 installations were satisfactory. Ms Alison Ho, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Hang Seng: "We are pleased that our staff volunteers have been able to monitor the completion of the Project in these remote villages. The Project is an important example of Hang Seng’s determination to ‘walk the talk’ in being a responsible corporate citizen and supporting community betterment." 01/30/2013

RENAC Hosts Seminars on Bioenergy for Russian Agencies and Industries

Renewables AcademyThe Germany based company Renewables Academy (RENAC) has announced that it will be hosting a series of five day training sessions in Russia designed to introduce both political and industry decision makers to bioenergy and in particular, anaerobic digestion for production of biogas. The first two sessions start in February, to be held in Veliky and St. Petersburg; in-depth courses will be offered starting in June, at RENAC's headquarters in Berlin, Germany. The extensive training program is part of the international "Transfer Renewable Energy & Efficiency" (TREE) project being sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economics as part of the country's Renewables Made in Germany initiative. A similar biogas development effort with the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food Ukraine (Minagro) was launched earlier this month. To date, policy makers and business participants from 51 countries across the world have undertaken training as part of the TREE programme. Russia has been a partner country in the project since 2011. RENAC notes that the north-west of Russia in particular has a large unused potential for using bioenergy. The aim of the seminars in Russia is to provide the relevant authorities with a grounded understanding of bioenergy technologies, and to provide them with the expertise to be able to establish suitable conditions for project funding. A focus will also be placed on how local commerce can be boosted through the development of bioenergy, so supporting the economy as a whole. To prepare for the seminars, participants will be able to participate in RENAC’s online training. 01/30/2013

Linde Licenses Carbo-V Gasification Technology to Forest BtL Oy

Linde GoupGermany based gas management and engineering company Linde Engineering Dresden GmbH has signed an agreement with the Finnish company Forest BtL Oy, licensing its biomass gasification technology Carbo-V® for implementation in a new Biomass–to-Liquid (BtL) plant in Kemi, Northern Finland. Linde acquired the Carbo-V biomass to liquids process from Choren Industrietechnik GmbH late in 2012. The multi-stage gasification process creates a purified synthetic fuel gas that can then be catalytically reformed to produce fuels and foundation chemicals. According to Jörg Linsenmaier, managing director of Linde, the intent with the acquisition has been to license the BtL technology and to provide engineering and contracting support to licensees. This is the first licensing agreement for the technology, and is expected to result in commercial production of biodiesel and naptha by the close of 2016. The contract includes the development of the process design package (PDP) for the gasification. Further services like front end engineering design (FEED) for gasification as well as for shift and gas cleaning are pre-defined. The BtL plant will have a gasification capacity of 480 megawatts (MW) and an annual output of about 130,000 tons of biodiesel and naphtha, using about 1.5 million tons of wood, a second-generation feedstock not competing with food production. The project will be funded by the European Union's NER300 programme for innovative, low-carbon technologies. NER300 offers grants to installations of innovative renewable energy projects, grid integration projects and up to 12 CCS projects. Linde Engineering Dresden GmbH is a subsidiary of The Linde Group, a global leader in the design, delivery and construction of chemical, gas, biotechnology and pharmaceutical plants. 01/30/2013

PUC Approves H-Power PPA between HECO and City & County of Honolulu

HECOThe Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) has announced that the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has approved a revised renewable energy power purchase agreement (PPA) between the City & County of Honolulu and the utility. The new PPA allows purchase of renewable electricity generated by the recently-expanded Honolulu Program of Waste Energy Recovery (H-Power) plant in the Campbell Industrial Park. The county's original 46-megawatt (MWe) municipal solid waste (MSW) to energy H-Power plant has recently been expanded, and with the new PPA can start generating and selling up to 73 MWe. The expansion allows the City & County’s Department of Environmental Services to process around 3,000 tons per day, diverting at least 800,000 tons of municipal solid waste annually from Oahu’s landfill while helping HECO meet the state’s renewable energy goals. The new contract modifies and extends terms of the original contract and includes the expanded capacity for the next 20 years. The plant has been operated by Covanta Honolulu since 1993 and with the expansion now has the capacity to generate up to 90 MWe. Mayor Kirk Caldwell: "H-POWER is a vital component in our integrated solid waste management plan and ensures Honolulu’s sustainability. I was involved with this project when I served as managing director, making sure that money for the third boiler was in the budget, and I’ve followed its progress since the beginning of construction. This is great news, and we look forward to working with Hawaiian Electric." 01/30/2013

ENER-G Launches Four New Landfill Gas to Power Projects

ENER-GUnited Kingdom (UK) based ENER-G Group announced last Friday that its subsidiary ENER-G Natural Power has partnered with Seneca Global Energy for three UK landfill gas to power projects, and then on Monday announced a contract with sister company Biogas Technology for the team's second landfill gas to power project in Mexico. Ener-G will design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the three Seneca Global Energy landfill sites in the UK. The new power plants are expected to come on line early this year, generating around 3.8 megawatts of electricity (MWe). Neil Elliott of Seneca Global Energy: "This is a safe and proven world-class method for converting landfill gas into green energy and we are proud to partner with ENER-G, which is a global leader in landfill gas management. This is the best available technology for controlling methane gas emissions and turning a greenhouse gas into renewable energy that can supply affordable clean energy while meeting the UK's climate change targets." Last April, the ENER-G Natural Power / Biogas Technologies team partnered with the Municipality of Aguascalientes on a 2.475 MWe effort; this second £2.3 million, 1.5 MWe project in the Municipality of Durango will extract and utilize the methane rich gas coming from 1 million tons of waste in the local landfill. Hugh Richmond, Managing Director of ENER-G Natural Power: "We are looking forward to working with the Municipality of Durango to open the new biogas generation facility. The project will be funded entirely by ENER-G and we will pay royalties to the Municipality. We have ambitions to build more of these plants in Mexico to match the strong desire and commitment by the Mexico Government for investment in renewables." ENER-G Natural Power Ltd is the renewable energy division of UK clean tech group ENER-G specializes in biogas generation, utilizing methane from landfill gas, anaerobic digestion and mines to generate renewable electricity. 01/29/2013

Wasabi Will Build 1st Kalina Cycle® Waste Heat to Power Plant in China

Wasabi EnergyAustralia based Wasabi Energy Ltd. has announced that Shanghai Shenghe New Energy Resources Science and Technology (SSNE) has signed an engineering, procurement, and construction agreement with the Sinopec Hainan Refining & Chemical Co., Ltd. for a 4.0 MW  Kalina Cycle® power plant. SSNE is Wasabi New Energy Asia's Chinese subsidiary and a Kalina Cycle® licensee. The contract, worth in excess of US$10 million, is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. The Kalina Cycle® power plant will take low temperature hot water from the Chinese company's paraxylene process involved in production of 600,000 tons per year of polyester materials plant and convert it to around 4.0 MW of usable emission free power thereby reducing the greenhouse emissions on the site. Sinopec Hainan Refining & Chemical Co is part of Sinopec Corp (China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation), one of the largest integrated energy and chemical companies in China. Sinopec operates 45 other refineries within China that have been identified as suitable for Kalina Cycle® power plants. This will be the first large scale Kalina Cycle® power plant to be built in China and in a Chinese petrochemical refinery. The Chairman of Wasabi Energy Mr John Byrne said a successful Sinopec project would provide another important reference site for industrial waste heat conversion using the Kalina Cycle, adding: "Wasabi Energy is now preparing for larger scale roll out and establishing engineering teams to cover a global expansion in geothermal and waste heat. Our aim is to have 25 MW’s of high margin power plants under construction or completed by 2015 and then grow at 25 MW annually." 01/29/2013

Due 02/15/2013: Concept to DOE for Biomass Feedstock Logistics System Grant

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the release of Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0000836) for Advanced Biomass Feedstock Logistics Systems II, following on a November 2012 Request for Information (DE-FOA-0000791). The DOE has about $6 million available to fund one or two multi-year projects, with the intent to develop and showcase supply chain technologies to affordably deliver commercial-scale lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks to biorefineries across the country. Funding will focus on developing and demonstrating strategies, equipment, and rapid analytical methods to manage feedstock quality within economic constraints throughout the feedstock supply chain. The main effort in Proposals must be directed toward full-scale demonstration of integrated feedstock supply chain systems that can deliver the volume of high quality, affordable, high impact feedstocks required by commercial biorefineries over a significant geographic area in the United States. The DOE is seeking applications from a company providing industrial / agricultural equipment in harvest, collection, preprocessing, transport, and/or storage of lignocellulosic feedstocks, and a biorefinery partner that is developing or commercializing a process to manufacture advanced cellulosic biofuel product who can contribute, at a minimum, the in-feed specifications for its conversion process, which shall serve as the target quality parameters for Applications submitted in response to this FOA. All selected projects will require a cost share contribution by the grant recipient, including 20% for research and development activities and 50% for demonstration activities. Concept papers are due by February 15, 2013. Full proposals are due March 22, 2013. 01/29/2013

Oregon DEQ Posts Presentation on Proposed Conversion Technology Rules

State of OregonThe Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has posted a presentation to the public addressing the agency's Conversion Technology Rule Development. The Oregon DEQ is proposing to create new performance standards and solid waste permit requirements for certain facilities in Oregon that convert waste into chemicals, fuels, products, or energy. The changes would come in the form of new state rules primarily governing conversion technology facilities that use chemical or thermal processes to convert solid waste into a variety of byproducts. The rule also would cover anaerobic digestion facilities, which use biological processes to digest solid waste and create methane that can be used to create electricity or transportation fuels. The presentation summarizes definitions and addresses permit categories and the application process. Proposed amendments for composting and anaerobic digestion are covered, as is the process for developing rules for new technologies. The DEQ would link the permit type directly to the nature of processing: unless found exempt, (1) Mechanical processing would require a materials recovery facility permit; (2) Biological processing inclusive of both aerobic and anaerobic decomposition would fall within "composting"; (3) Thermal and or Chemical processing (pyrolysis, gasification, distillation, hydrolysis, thermal depolymerization) would require a Conversion Technology registration or some level of permit based on established "risk factors." Energy Recovery facilities are differentiated from Material Recovery facilities. The agency's Proposed Rules web page provides access to all background materials. 01/27/2013

Costa Rican Surf School Developing Closed Loop Biodiesel System

Safari Surf SchoolThe Safari Surf School located in Nosara on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica has announced a biodiesel development and implementation initiative. The first stage of the school's "Innovative Biodiesel Project" is being financed through the crowdfunding website IndieGogo. By mid-February, the school's sustainability director Carl Kish believes that he and his biodiesel development expert Ryan King will be able to complete and commission the first system for the school's resort headquarters, Hotel Casa Tucan. They will train the staff and community members to operate the off-grid, modular, zero-waste biodiesel production unit. Mr. Kish intends that once the model is developed and tested, the designs will be available online for free. The project is one of the school's sustainability initiatives as part of a comprehensive waste management and recycling program in partnership with Nosara's civic associations. At present, the resort's used cooking oil is sold to a biodiesel processing plant in Cartago, which returns one liter of fuel for their Safari Surf Van for every four liters of recycled cooking oil. The new on-site biofuel production will improve local resource independence, in a community where energy is a premium. Ryan explains: "I am grateful to Carl, Safari Surf School, and the Casa Tucan for expressing interest and support in local, carbon negative energy production. Typical ethanol and biodiesel production remain at around 3% of global transport fuels. Large, commercial-scale biofuel production has proven too costly, in both environmental and economic aspects, to compete with fossil fuels. By exploring scalable local solutions and sharing our results and methods, we may be able to develop models of biofuel production with benefits to local communities and ecosystems." 01/26/2013

Ohio Energy Coalition Webinar: Getting Renewable Credit for CHP and WHR

Ohio Coalition for Combined Heat and PowerThe US Department of Energy (DOE) Midwest Clean Energy Application Center Ohio Coalition is hosting a free webinar focused on how project developers can gain maximum credit under Ohio's renewable energy and energy efficiency portfolios for combined heat and power (CHP) and waste heat recovery (WHR). The webinar is entitled, " Implementing Ohio Senate Bill 315: How to Count CHP and WER under the Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS)." Provisions of Ohio's Senate Bill 315 signed into law on June 11, 2012 by Ohio governor John Kasich allow CHP to qualify as an eligible resource in the energy efficiency portfolio standard while WHR qualifies as a tier one renewable in the state's RPS. While credit under the state's RPS is relatively straight-forward, the Ohio Public Utilities Commission is just now developing implementation rules regarding how CHP and WHR will be counted as energy efficiency measures; crediting is complex and raises significant questions for agencies, utilities and developers. On-line registration is required for the webinar, which is being presented Monday, February 4, 2013 from 3:00 to 4:30 PM EST. 01/25/2013

ACORE Webinar: The Outlook for Biofuels in China

American Council on Renewable EnergyThe American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is hosting a webinar entitled "The Outlook for Biofuels in China" on Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 12:00pm, Eastern Standard Time, as part of the association's US-China Program. According to the 2012 China Greentech Report, China's Ministry of Agriculture has estimated a potential production capacity of 14 million tons of fuel ethanol by 2020 and of 25.5 million tons by 2030. Government targets for road transportation aim for 20% alternative fuel use by 2020. Meanwhile, efforts to increase food security and safely dispose of waste cooking oil are also driving state-led investment in biodiesel. Finally, pilot programs that take advantage of China's polluted inland water resources to grow algae have been highly promising. The round-table style webinar brings together industry experts who will be considering the policies and subsidies that the Chinese government has in place currently and expected to be implemented to meet its biofuels targets, opportunities for private and state-owned project cooperation, and the role of aviation biofuels in shaping the emerging industry. The webinar is free, but requires prior on-line registration. 01/25/2013

Canadian Plastics Industry Assoc Releases Waste Plastics to Energy Report

Canadian Plastics Industry AssociationThe Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) has announced release of its commissioned study by the School of Planning at Ontario's University of Waterloo on the value of converting non-recycled plastics to energy. The study found that non-recycled plastics being landfilled in Canada could supply enough energy to fuel over 600,000 cars or provide power for almost 500,000 households annually. The researchers estimated that pyrolysis of the country's landfilled plastics could convert the feedstock to the equivalent of about 9 million barrels of fuel oil with a value of around $786 million. If the entire post-recycling combustible fraction of Canada's municipal solid waste were diverted to new Waste to Energy power plants, they would generate enough electricity for 1.5 million homes each year. The full study "Energy and Economic Values of Non-Recycled Plastics (NRP) Currently Landfilled in Canada" quantifies, for each province, the potential energy value from recovering non recycled plastics and other combustible solid waste currently being landfilled. The CPIA is celebrating our 70th anniversary as the national voice for plastics in Canada. Cathy Cirko, VP of the CPIA noted:  "After use, plastics should be recycled to the full extent possible. For non-recycled plastics, they can be re-purposed to be a valuable energy source. Recovering this energy complements recycling and is a better option to landfilling energy." 01/25/2013

Ros Roca Imtech JV Gets Contract for Biogas Facility at Shanks Wakefield Plant

Shanks Waste Management LtdThe United Kingdom (UK) based Chartered Institute for Waste Management (CIWM) has announced that the Ros Roca Imtech Joint Venture (RRIJV) has been awarded a £10m contract for an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility in Wakefield for Shanks Waste Management Ltd. The 65,000 tonne per year capacity AD to biogas plant will be designed, developed, and overseen by RRIJV as a key element of a multi-technologic waste management and processing facility. RRIJV is a joint venture between the Spanish anaerobic digestion (AD) firm Ros Roca and Netherlands engineering services provider Imtech N.V. Shanks recently secured a 25 year contract with the Wakefield Council to build the 230,000 tonne per year integrated waste handling and conversion facility at the Ferrybridge Power Station in South Kirkby near Wakefield, intended to increase the Council's landfill diversion to about 90%. RRIJV will have the initial project design complete by March 2013, and Kier Infrastructure and Overseas will undertake the civil work. Following completion of the civil construction RRIJV aim to be onsite by early Summer 2014 and completion of the whole project is programmed for Summer 2015. Nick Small, business sector manager of waste and energy at Imtech: "We are delighted with this contract win and the partnership opportunity it provides for RRIJV and Shanks Waste Management. This is a prestigious project and we are all excited to begin work on it." 01/24/2013

Due 04/16/2013: Outline Application to BBSRC for Biotech, Bioenergy Funding

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research CouncilThe United Kingdom's (UK) Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has announced availability of a new £35 million fund established to advance bioproducts research. The funding will create two new programs focused on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy. Funding of up to £15 million will initially be available to competitive proposals to create networks and collaborative research between academia and industry offering a channel for sustainable economic growth for the UK and new 'green collar' jobs, supporting programs to develop the UK's industrial biotechnology and bioenergy research community including biopharmaceuticals and biorenewables. Future funding will be available only to member networks established in this first program round. The BBSRC is one of seven Research Councils that work together as Research Councils UK (RCUK). It is funded by the Government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). BBSRC's budget for 2011-12 is around £445M. It supports a total of around 1600 scientists and 2000 research students in universities and institutes in the UK. The new Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (NIBB) program begins today, January 24, 2013. Two Townhall Meetings are scheduled for February 15, 2013 in York and February 21, 2013 in London that require on-line pre-registration. An outline application form must be submitted by interested parties by April 16, 2013, and full proposals are due upon invitation from BBSRC in July of 2013. For further information, contact Michael Booth at < > or by phone at 01793 418013. 01/24/2013

Team Gemini Selects Colliers International to Market Ohio Green Energy Park

Team GeminiFlorida based sustainable project design and development company Team Gemini LLC has announced selection of the global real estate firm Colliers International to manage marketing aspects of the proposed Gemini Synergy Center Industrial Park in Grove City, Ohio. As part of the project, Team Gemini will develop the 343-acre tract of land north of SR 665 to create an industrial and research park that will serve as a sustainable business cluster powered by a waste stream located within a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA). Bill Baumgardner, Senior Vice President of Colliers, will be the point of contact for interested tenants or buyers looking to move into this innovative region of Columbus with multiple opportunities including available build-to-suit sites ranging from one to 100 acres and frontage along Interstate 71. Following an eight month negotiation, the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) selected Team Gemini earlier this month to design, construct, and operate a highly integrated municipal solid waste receipt, materials recovery (MRF), and recycling facility as the core of a much broader green industrial center. The design is intended to physically link operations for waste receipt, sorting, recycling, reprocessing, and conversion to energy and products. Doug Haughn, Team Gemini president: "From the very beginning, we wanted to bring together not just the best architectural, engineering, marketing/ sales and construction management companies, but the talent in Central Ohio. We are excited to have Colliers International make this project a reality with their experience and resources." The project has a $250 million estimated construction budget. 01/23/2013

UMass Amherst Researcher Awarded NSF CAREER Grant to Study Biofuels

University of Massachusetts, AmherstThe University of Massachusetts (UMass), Amherst has announced that chemical engineer and biofuels researcher Paul Dauenhauer has been awarded a $400,000, five year CAREER grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers awards in support of the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization. Numerous efforts are underway at UMass Amherst to unravel the pyrolysis of biomass to bio-oils. The Dauenhauer research group focuses on the fundamental reaction engineering technology necessary to produce fuels and chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass. The funding will allow Dauenhauer and his research team to study the reactions that take place when an ultra-thin sheet of cellulose is quickly heated to 500 degrees Celsius inside a pyrolytic biofuel reactor in the absence of oxygen. The team is developing methods to isolate and optimize when and under what conditions the most biofuel is produced. Dauenhauer comments: "This technique will be used to measure the rates of formation of key products such as anhydrosugars, pyrans, furans, and light oxygenates and will allow for a much clearer understanding of the mechanisms of cellulose pyrolysis. We hope to set the foundations for molecular-scale understanding of biomass pyrolysis, leading to development of optimized reactors with improved economic potential that can lead to progress towards energy independence." 01/23/2013

Flex PowerStation Beats Strict Emissions Standards for Energy from Methane

Flex Power Generation, IncThe investment firm Sail Capital Partners and Flex Power Generation, Inc have jointly announced that independent testing of the Flex PowerStation FP250 system has resulted in numbers lower than the most stringent emissions control standards for nitrogen oxides (NOx). Southern Research Institute's independent tests were conducted on October 17, 2012. Three one-hour sampling runs were completed per standard reference methods of the US Environmental Protection Agency. Among the results, which will be published formally in coming months, the Flex Powerstation™ emitted less than five percent of the California Air Resources Board's 2013 (CARB 2013) allowable limit for nitrogen oxides. The Flex Oxidizer®, Flex Power's oxidation technology, enables the conversion of these gases into useful heat and power with the lowest known associated emissions. An installation of the FP250 at Fort Benning has been running on previously unusable methane gas and produces a cost-effective source of renewable power. The Fort Benning Flex Powerstation™ Project was funded by the DoD Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) and was commissioned in November 2011. As Richard Kidd, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Energy & Sustainability), remarked at the system's 2011 ribbon cutting, "We are converting what was once a waste stream, a pollutant, and a liability, into what will be a resource going forward." Flex Power Generation is a recent spinoff from FlexEnergy, a technology company that designs and manufactures innovative systems capable of producing continuous energy with near-zero emissions from a broad range of fuel sources, including otherwise unusable low quality gas. 01/23/2013

BIOX to Restart Advanced Biodiesel Production at Hamilton Plant in Ontario

BIOX CorporationOntario, Canada based biodiesel production company BIOX Corporation has announced it will resume production at its 67 million litre per year capacity Hamilton facility after stopping operations last October. The company has recalled operational employees and it is building feedstock inventory levels in preparation for the start of production, which it anticipates within one week. The patented BIOX production process quickly converts both triglycerides and FFA in a two step, single phase, continuous process at atmospheric pressures and near-ambient temperatures with use of a co-solvent. The method achieves feedstock conversion yields of greater than 99% even when using higher FFA feedstocks such as animal fats or crude palm oil. BIOX also recaptures and recycles 99.9% of the co-solvent and excess methanol from the process. The company has responded quickly to volatile pricing and off-on incentives in the biodiesel market, first taking an option on a 100 million litre biodiesel production facility in New York Harbor in June 2012, then opting to terminate that lease in December. Kevin Norton, Chief Executive Officer of BIOX: "The improvements in U.S. biodiesel market have provided us with sufficient confidence in the market outlook to resume production. We believe these improvements should support higher values for biodiesel based on the new 2013 compliance period, the increased minimum volume requirement of 1.28 billion U.S. gallons and the reinstatement of the U.S. biodiesel tax incentive. Based on these improvements and discussions with our customers we have contracted for sufficient product at this stage to resume production on an ongoing basis." 01/22/2013

Viridor's Peterborough Energy from Waste Plant Gets City Council Go-Ahead

ViridorThe United Kingdom (UK) based waste management company Viridor has announced that it has received approval of the company's Section 73 application from the Peterborough City Council's planning and environmental protection committee to proceed with development of a 85,000 tonne per year energy from waste (EfW) facility. Peterborough listed Viridor as its Preferred Bidder to build and operate a new EfW facility in the city last August, and in September 2012 Viridor launched a community engagement program with a dedicated website, newsletter, and schedule of public meetings so that residents and interested parties across Peterborough to learn more about its project. The proposed plant will be developed close to the Peterborough Power Station in the industrial area of Fengate, using heat to turn any waste that can’t be recycled to ash, reducing landfilled tonnage by about 94% and generating up to 7.25 megawatts (MWe) of electricity for sale to the national grid. The plant will eventually create 25 permanent jobs for the region. Speaking of the almost unanimous committee’s positive decision, Viridor’s head of projects Robert Ryan commented: "We proposed changes to the existing planning permission to maximise the benefits from the proposal to the council and the local area. Our proposals will result in additional efficiency from the plant and a smaller building, all of which contribute towards to cutting the city’s waste disposal costs and carbon footprint." 01/22/2013

Imtech Selected as Technology Partner for 150MWe Swedish Bioenergy Plant

ImtechThe Netherlands based technical services provider Imtech N.V. has announced receipt of around $45 million euro in new orders from the Swedish industrial market encompassing core competence of electrical, mechanical, and energy solutions. Among the orders and as a result of a multi-year managed services contract with paper manufacturer Korsnäs in Gävle, Imtech has been selected as a technology partner for a part of the technical infrastructure in a newly planned biomass power plant. The 150 MW of electricity that will be generated by this power plant means that customer’s production process will become, to a great extent, energy neutral. Earlier this month, Imtech similarly announced around $42MM euro in orders upon being selected as the technology partner for London's RE:FIT Framework project to reduce carbon and increase on-site energy generation. Of the new Swedish orders, René van der Bruggen, CEO Imtech commented: "Imtech is one of the strongest players in the Swedish industrial market. The strategy is aimed at long-term intensive co-operation with customers, generally in the form of multi-year managed services contracts. This approach leads to spin-off in the form of additional projects. At the same time, Imtech is developing interesting energy-efficiency and energy savings concepts for clients. Additionally, the multidisciplinary clustering of electrical services, mechanical services and energy solutions from various Imtech companies leads to new services concepts. All this makes additional growth possible." 01/21/2013

BTEC Registers Tarm Biomass Project as First Biomass Green Heat Site

Biomass Thermal Energy CouncilThe Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) has announced that an industrial bioenergy installation developed by member company Tarm Biomass of Lyme, New Hampshire is the first Biomass Green Heat Registered Site in the organization's new recognition program. The BTEC developed the Green Heat Registered Site program in 2012, designed to acknowledge the end user's commitment to a local and renewable energy source, despite the often-hidden placement of biomass heating systems in boiler and maintenance rooms. Scott Nichols, Owner and President of Tarm Biomass: "We like to practice what we preach. Operating what we sell in various settings helps us understand what our customers face in the field." The Biomass Green Heat Site system in the Lyme Business Park is a 200,000 Btu/hour Froling pellet boiler. The system consumes wood pellets at a rate of about 30 tons a year, and meets 93% of the building's thermal needs. A back up fuel oil unit supplements the remainder of those needs. The wood pellet boiler now offsets the use of 3,000 gallons of fuel oil and saves $10,000 annually. Fröling is a family-owned company located in Grieskirchen, Austria, and a pioneer in wood-fired heating systems. Tarm Biomass also carries the Danish-headquartered HS Tarm wood fired systems; HS Tarm produces 60% of the home boilers used in Denmark and is ISO 9001 certified. The BTEC is an association of biomass fuel producers, appliance manufacturers and distributors, supply chain companies and non-profit organizations that view biomass thermal energy as a renewable, responsible, clean and energy-efficient pathway to meeting America's energy needs. 01/20/2013

ARA and Blue Sun Partner to Commercialize Renewable Jet and Diesel Fuels

Applied Research Associates, IncBlue Sun Energy, IncNew Mexico based Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) and Colorado based Blue Sun Energy, Inc. jointly announced a partnership for the design, construction, and operation of a Biofuels ISOCONVERSION (BIC) Process demonstration system. The system will use the ARA and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) process for the production of certification quantities of 100% drop-in renewable jet, diesel, and gasoline. ARA and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) developed the BIC process for production of to-specification biodiesel and jet fuel, based on patented Catalytic Hydrothermolysis (CH) reactor technology developed by ARA which utilizes water as a catalyst to convert plant oils into "green crude". Blue Sun has now signed a global license with CLG for use of the technology, and will break ground on the demonstration unit at Blue Sun's biodiesel refinery in St. Joseph, Missouri in the first quarter of this year. Blue Sun has also completed capital investments and the final steps to commercialize a new enzymatic processing technology allowing Blue Sun to produce high quality fuel from a wide variety of feedstock. Chuck Red, ARA’s Biofuels Program Manager: "The scale up of the Biofuels ISOCONVERSION process with our partners at Blue Sun will allow us to take a significant step toward commercial scale production of 100% drop-in fuels at prices competitive with petroleum in the 2015 timeframe. The hundred barrels-per-day demonstration system will be capable of producing large fuel samples, a key enabler for ASTM certification of our fuels." 01/20/2013

CRI Catalyst Selects KBR to Design Commercial IH2 Process Facility Packages

KBR, IncHouston's engineering and construction services company KBR, Inc has announced that it has been selected by CRI Catalyst Company as its preferred engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) partner for design of commercial scale IH2 technology facility packages. The facilities will have greater than 330-tons/day dry biomass feed rates. IH2 technology is a catalytic thermo-chemical conversion process that converts cellulosic biomass directly to fungible hydrocarbon fuels and blend stocks using proprietary licensed technology developed by the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) and proprietary catalysts developed by CRI. A pilot plant was added to GTI's Illinois facilities early last year to optimize the syngas to catalysis to liquid fuels processing train. CRI Catalyst Company is part of CRI/Criterion Inc., the global catalyst technology company of the Shell Group. CRI operates research laboratories, development facilities, manufacturing plants, and business units throughout the world. Alan Del Paggio CRI Vice President, Upstream and Renewables, explained the value: "This pilot plant will continue to demonstrate the IH2 process as a differentiated biofuels technology. The process is designed to have low environmental impact. Since the commercial IH2 technology produces its own hydrogen and a surplus of water to be self-sufficient, it can operate in a stand-alone configuration anywhere there is sufficient biomass feed for conversion. And the process achieves >90% greenhouse gas reductions in comparison to fossil fuels." KBR is a global engineering, construction, and services company supporting the energy, hydrocarbon, government services, minerals, civil infrastructure, power, industrial, and commercial markets. David Zelinski, President, KBR Downstream: "KBR is pleased to support CRI in their efforts for IH2 Technology commercialization. Our experience with the proven technology components of an IH2 technology processing facility will serve to meet the rapid implementation timelines of CRI’s IH2 Technology licensors."  01/19/2013

UK's Horse DNA Contaminated Burger Waste Will Be Converted to Energy

United Kingdom Food Standards AgencyThe United Kingdom (UK) Food Standards Agency has provided an update to the on-going investigation into horse and pig DNA contaminated beef products. As the quantity of recalled meat products grows, up to 10 million units identified to date, local news service interviews with the retail market chain Sainsbury's has indicated the recalled meats in their stores will now be converted to energy in aerobic digestion facilities instead of being disposed in landfills. In Sainsbury's 20x20 corporate responsibility plan, the company has pledged to maintain a zero waste to landfill policy throughout its operations. Sainsbury's spokeswoman told the Guardian that the retailer could not reveal the volume or the value of the products withdrawn "due to commercial sensitivities", but added that none of its food waste goes to landfill. "The products withdrawn from stores will be sent to anaerobic digestion plants," the spokeswoman said. "This is the most efficient method of generating energy from waste, and part of our broader 'zero food waste to landfill' strategy. We are the UK's largest retail user of anaerobic digestion." The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) initially published the findings of a targeted study examining the authenticity of a number of beef burger, beef meal, and salami products available from retail outlets in Ireland. The study which tested for the presence of horse and pig DNA, revealed the presence of horse DNA in some beef burger products. The British Broadcasting Service (BBC) has reported that a number of major UK retail supermarkets have withdrawn meat from sales, both those named in the immediate investigation and many who are voluntarily pulling any suspect products from suppliers also under investigation. 01/19/2013

John Lewis Partnership and Centriforce Products Close Plastics Loop

Centriforce ProductsThe United Kingdom's largest waste plastics recovery and recycling company Centriforce Products has announced that its long-standing work with the retail giant John Lewis Partnership will now include full closed loop management of the company's diverse plastic wastes. The new contract guarantees more than 3,000 tonnes per year of the Partnership's waste plastics will all be reprocessed by Centriforce, while incrementally increasing the number and diversity of waste-sourced reprocessed products purchased from Centriforce's remanufacturing operations. Centriforce has been working with the John Lewis Partnership to recycle a proportion of its waste for more than five years. However, in the new contract Centriforce will reprocess all of the John Lewis Partnership's soft plastic waste. The contract follows Centriforce's recent investment in its own mixed plastics sorting line in Liverpool to guarantee the needed processing. Centriforce is one of the few UK recyclers to take the decision to develop an in-house capability for sorting mixed plastics, recognizing the need to contribute to a more robust infrastructure for plastics recycling in the UK. Mike Walters, Recycling and Waste Operations Manager for the John Lewis Partnership: "We want to be completely transparent in our approach to waste management and ensure that as much as possible is recycled and then reused in our own businesses. We are committed to keeping ownership of our waste all the way to its final destination, rather than selling it to the highest bidder, or losing control over what happens to it." 01/18/2013

JBI Secures Additional $4MM in Extended Series B Private Placement

JBI, Inc - Plastic2OilCanadian headquartered plastics to oil company JBI, Inc. has announced that it has completed an extended Series B private placement funding round this month, securing an additional $4,037,446 from sale of convertible preferred stock. The amended Series B offering accrued a total of just over $8 million in gross proceeds, as detailed in its January 17, 2013 Form 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. JBI's Plastic2Oil (P2O) technology platform utilizes minimal external energy for its waste plastics to fuel oil conversion. JBI can convert post-consumer and industrial waste plastics, accepting unwashed, unsorted waste plastic, composites and commingled materials, which are difficult to dispose of and are typically found in industrial waste streams. The pyrolytic reactor is heated with its own stored and recycled off-gas from the process. Non-oxygenated, non-combustion pyrolysis is followed by catalysis to complete the conversion of plastic to oil. JBI Plastic2Oil model requires minimal capital investment, yields optimum-quality output (ASTM certified), and occupies a footprint of about 1000 square feet. The company has been commercializing the process through demonstration and testing at its Niagara, New York facility. Kevin Rauber, JBI CEO commented, "We are pleased with the positive investor response which allowed us to not only meet, but to exceed our original goals for this raise. This funding is key to continued execution of our plans." 01/18/2013

DOE FEMP Schedules Training Webinar on Combined Heat and Power

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) has announced a free training webinar addressing "Combined Heat and Power: An Integrated Approach to Energy Resources." The 90 minute webinar will be held on February 7, 2013 beginning at 1:30 EST, and requires prior on-line registration available from the announcement web page. Combined heat and power (CHP) provides a crucial element for most waste conversion processing, whether in provision of thermal energy to maintain optimal temperatures in an anaerobic digestion (AD) vessel, maximizing energy utilization from engine heat, or fully integrating a thermal conversion into the surrounding facility infrastructure. This session is part of FEMP's on-going series of "First Thursday" seminars directed toward training for federal energy and environmental professionals, but is open to all interested parties. THE CHP workshop will provide an opportunity to learn about technologies, applications, and successful examples to optimize heat and power resources. Learn to: (1) Select and evaluate thermal and prime mover technologies to maximize available resources; (2) Understand heating and cooling technologies, mechanical drive systems, and local electric generation; (3) Learn from successful examples that include contracting and financing options, including energy savings performance contracts; (4) Comply with Federal drivers, environmental impacts, regulatory requirements, and other operating environment factors; and (5) Access available resources throughout the country. FEMP CEUs are awarded upon successful completion of a multiple choice assessment. For further information, contact Joe Konrade at <>. 01/17/2013

Recycling Technologies Secures Equity Investment for Waste Plastics to CHP

Recycling Technologies LtdRecycling Technologies Ltd has announced success in securing initial equity investment from the Wroxall Investors Group (WIG) for advanced waste plastics conversion for recovery of chemicals and/or combined heat and power (CHP). The company is a 2011 spin-off of the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom with assistance from Warwick Ventures, the University’s research commercialization arm. Using an advanced Fluidized Bed Reactor, the WarwickFBR™, mixed waste plastic can be either returned to the chemical building blocks from which they were originally formed or into energy. After shredding, the long hydrocarbon chains in the polymer feedstock is broken down in an oxygen depleted environment by pyrolysis to form an energy rich gas which is then filtered to remove contamination and cooled to provide a type of heavy fuel oil. This fuel can be used to create steam or used to fuel a generator. Where possible, the heat from the engine is also used within the facility as a CHP plant fueled by the mixed waste plastic. The investor WIG is a team of business angels that meet at the Wroxall Abbey Estate, once the home of Sir Christopher Wren. The team, comprised of high net worth individuals from a wide range of technology, industrial and commercial backgrounds, invests in start-up and early stage businesses with excellent growth potential. 01/17/2013

Enerkem Closes C$37MM in Equity Funding for Alberta Biofuels Facility

EnerkemThe Canadian thermal waste conversion firm Enerkem has announced a successful equity funding round in support of completing construction of the Enerkem Alberta Biofuels facility in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The plant will employ Enerkem's patented gasification and catalysis technology platform to convert the City of Edmonton’s non-recyclable and non-compostable waste to renewable fuels and chemicals. The announcement also commemorated welcoming the plant's first employees; the operation is expected to provide around 30 permanent employment opportunities with about 200 additional jobs during construction. Enerkem closed on C$37 million financing with Waste Management of Canada Corporation, a subsidiary of Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WM) and EB Investments for Enerkem Alberta Biofuels L.P. Enerkem operates both a demonstration plant and a pilot facility in Quebec, which began production of ethanol from waste in June of 2012. Enerkem's primary focus is on production of cellulosic ethanol, while their technologic capability includes conversion of the waste-sourced synthetic gas into numerous additional fuels and chemicals. Vincent Chornet, president and CEO of Enerkem: "With plant commissioning expected to begin this summer, it’s exciting to see the facility’s first employees join the Enerkem team and start their technical training. We are impressed by the quality and calibre of the candidates we are attracting as part of our recruitment process." 01/17/2013

Sweetwater Signs $100MM Cellulosic Sugar Supply Contract with Front Range

Sweetwater EnergyNew York based cellulosic biomass to sugar specialist Sweetwater Energy has announced signing a 15-year, $100 million contract to provide cellulosic biomass derived sugars to Front Range Energy for conversion to ethanol. The ethanol will be produced in that company's Weld County, Colorado conventional drill mill fermentation plant. Sweetwater will utilize its patented, decentralized process to convert locally available cellulosic, non-food biomass, such as crop residues, energy crops, and woody biomass into highly fermentable sugar, which Front Range will ferment into ethanol. Sweetwater will place one of its cellulosic facilities near the Front Range site and will deliver enough refined monomeric sugar for Front Range to produce up to 3.6 million gallons of ethanol per year during the initial phase of the relationship. Earlier this month, Sweetwater closed a similar supply agreement with Ace Ethanol of Stanley, Wisconsin. Last month the company announced issuance of US Patent 8,323,923 for manufacture and deployment of distributed pretreatment units designed for the extraction of sugars from any cellulosic feedstock for the production of ethanol. The unique low-cost technology produces separate concentrated streams of highly fermentable C5 and C6 sugar solution from non-food plant materials, including waste materials such as crop residues, wood thinning, or non-food, purpose-grown crops such as energy sorghum. The left-over lignin from the cellulosic separation process is then used to heat and power Sweetwater's modular plants. Jack Baron, President and COO of Sweetwater: "This process is a major breakthrough for the future of cellulosic ethanol. The patent protects the first technology to support a viable economic model for scaling the conversion of cellulosic biomass into highly fermentable sugar and subsequently, ethanol. It will mean a great deal to the U.S. corn ethanol industry, and to the profitable future of biofuel production worldwide. 01/17/2013

Harmonic Energy Signs $10MM Term Sheet to Fund Tyrolysis Plants

Harmonic EnergyLondon based integrated tire production and reprocessing company Harmonic Energy Inc. has announced signing a negotiated non-binding term sheet valued at $10 million in funding. The company will use the funds to develop its "Tyrolysis" processing plants in the United Kingdom and in the United States, where used tires are rebuilt and returned to service, reduced to constituent compounds recovered for diverse commodities, or converted to energy using its specialized pyrolysis technology. Harmonic Energy negotiated exclusive rights last year throughout Europe and North America to pyrolysis technology developed by the Japanese firm Kouei. The conversion process utilizes external heat in an inert nitrogen atmosphere to degrade scrap or whole tires into various grades of char, oil, gas and steel. The char is refined into commodity carbon black; the high flash-point pyrolytic oil can be refined into a variety of chemical and fuel products. Jamie Mann, Harmonic Energy's CEO said, "The completion of this transaction will represent a significant step forward in satisfying our capital needs and should allow us to commission both our integrated projects in 12 to 18 months as expected." 01/16/2013

Synthesis Energy Explores Gasification of Waste to Produce Green Chemicals

Synthesis Energy SystemsTexas based Synthesis Energy Systems (SES) has announced reaching an exploratory agreement with an undisclosed party to trial its gasification technology in conversion of waste derived feedstock to green chemicals. The patented U-Gas process developed by the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) and the US Department of Energy has been successfully demonstrated for gasification of a wide range of materials, and has been extensively deployed by SES for conversion of coal and other petroleum sourced feedstock. The resulting synthetic gas (syngas) can then be catalytically reformed to produce liquid fuels. The current testing program will instead focus first on waste derived feedstock, and second on production of chemicals. SES will work with the global engineering, procurement, maintenance and construction company Fluor Enterprises over a four month period to assess the feasibility of conversion of such refuse derived feedstock as used tires and auto shredder waste prior to advancing to further development. Robert Rigdon, president and CEO of Synthesis Energy Systems: "We believe that our technology offers the ability to cleanly use these waste and landfill materials in an environmentally responsible way to produce a variety of high value products. Through our development efforts with potential US partners last year we believe production of chemicals from these materials can provide a unique and economically attractive 'green chemical' solution. Such an approach offers an avenue for reduction in the carbon footprint of many of the chemical derived products we use every day. Together with Fluor, we plan to use our in-house expertise, intellectual property, and operations experience and to complete the study, which we are hopeful, could form the basis of a technology, equipment and services supply business to meet this growing need." 01/15/2013

Shanks Contracts to Build Multi-Tech Waste Recycling and Conversion Facility

ShanksThe United Kingdom (UK) based waste management firm Shanks has announced signing a 25 year contract with Wakefield Council to build a residual waste treatment facility in South Kirkby, Yorkshire in central England. The complex will process up to 230,000 tonnes per year of the region's mixed municipal solid waste, segregating recyclates, and producing a waste derived fuel for a multi-fuel plant being built at the Ferrybridge Power Station for energy recovery. Up to 65,000 tonnes of remaining organic waste residuals will be sterilized using a previously built and tested autoclave then processed by anaerobic digestion for conversion to biogas and production of a nutrient-rich soil conditioner. The biogas will fuel power generation sufficient to supply the facility and export renewable energy to the national electric grid. Green waste will be processed via an enclosed, air-controlled composting plant. The contract has been funded by the UK Green Investment Bank and a group of leading international banks; Barclays, BayernLB from Germany, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation from Japan. Peter Box CBE Leader of Wakefield Council: "We are very pleased that this agreement has been signed with Shanks Group plc to manage the District’s waste and recycling. It is excellent news for the district, bringing jobs and investment, as well as improving a service which is always high on the public’s agenda. It gives us the opportunity to safeguard jobs of current employees who work in this area and provide new jobs in one of the most deprived areas in the District with the building and opening of the new waste treatment plant in South Kirkby. We are looking forward to working with Shanks and to making a real difference to waste management in this District." 01/15/2013

Renmatix Commissions Multi-Feedstock BioFlex Conversion Unit

RenmatixBiomass to sugar specialist Renmatix has announced the commissioning of a new processing unit at the firm's King of Prussia headquarters in Pennsylvania. The new BioFlex Conversion Unit (BCU) extends processing successes with hard wood biomass conversion at its Georgia facility to test and convert a range of non-food plant materials. In addition to hardwood, the company will begin conversion of four locally available feedstocks including: perennial grasses, agricultural residues, softwoods and waste streams. Renmatix uses its Plantrose™ supercritical hydrolysis technology to break down cellulose in plant cell walls into constituents, focusing on production of fermentable sugars. The cellulosic sugars produced on-site via the BCU will support downstream fuel and chemical strategic partners and data analysis at the company’s technical center, which was opened in September 2012. The ceremony was attended by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, who spoke of the importance: "Rural America holds tremendous promise today, thanks in large part to innovation taking place in the biobased economy. Since 2009, USDA has made tremendous investments in the research necessary to develop the next generation of biobased products. Such research is validated when companies like Renmatix can convert locally relevant feedstocks into the very low-cost sugar intermediates demanded by global fuel and chemical markets. I applaud the Renmatix team for creating more than 50 sustainable, green collar jobs in Pennsylvania and strengthening the future of a biobased economy for southeast Pennsylvania." 01/14/2013

IRENA Launches On-Line Global Renewable Energy Atlas

IRENAThe International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has announced the launch of a global web-based atlas of renewable energy (RE), intended to help countries assess their RE potential and to facilitate private company project development. The web portal currently addresses only solar and wind but will extend into a wide variety of renewable energy resources during 2013 and 2014. The web service links a variety of IRENA sub-programs, including the Innovation and Technology Center designed to help governments "accelerated technological change and the use of innovation to transition to renewable energy based systems." The Internet-based platform is designed to raise awareness of the world’s renewable energy potential, and to help companies looking to invest in new markets; a video and brochure are also available through the web portal. Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General: "The Global Atlas provides a powerful new tool in international efforts to double the world’s share of renewable energy by 2030. With 22 countries now taking part, and more expected to join in the coming months, it is a clear sign of our growing political will to transition to clean, renewable energy." Formally established in 2011, IRENA is mandated by 159 countries and the European Union to promote the sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, and to serve as the global hub for renewable energy cooperation and information exchange. 01/14/2013

BIOGEN Develops Food Waste Anaerobic Digestion Plant at Hertfordshire

BIOGENThe United Kingdom based anaerobic digestion specialist BIOGEN has announced that it will develop a 45,000 tonne per year anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at the Bygrave Lodge Farm near Hertfordshire in east central England. The facility is designed primarily for conversion of food waste from food manufacturers, supermarkets, and restaurants to biogas, which then will be used to generate electricity for the national grid. The AD plant will also produce a bio-fertilizer for the local farm and surrounding farmland. The Bygrave Lodge AD plant is now in the pre-construction and tendering phase, BIOGEN having previously secured the necessary planning permission. It is expected that work will commence on site by the end of March with the plant completed and generating electricity by mid-2014. BIOGEN owns and operates AD plants in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. The company has also started construction on an 11,000 tonne AD plant in Caernarfon, is about to start work on a 22,500 plant in Denbighshire and has been appointed preferred bidder for a further AD contract in Rhondda. Richard Barker, BIOGEN’s Chief Executive: "The plant is in an excellent location which will enable us to extend our service to new customers in Hertfordshire and North London. Once completed and when counted alongside BIOGEN’s other AD projects being built around the UK, this will make a significant difference to our current food waste processing capacity, doubling it by early 2014." 01/14/2013

Australia Approves $12.15MM Refund to Algae.Tec for Bioreactor Facilities

Algae.TecAustralian based Algae.Tec has announced that the Australian government has approved a 45% refund on the company's proposed Australian and foreign project development expenditures that occur between June 30, 2012 and June 30, 2015. Under the payment terms, Algae.Tec will receive a cash reimbursement of AU$12.15 million upon expenditure of an initial $27 million in support of at least three algae bioreactor facilities in Australia, Asia, and the United States. Further expenditures will similarly be eligible for the 45% refund. The government's refund initiative AusIndustry is intended to provide business with a "more predictable, less complex" financial support structure; the application process reportedly requires a rigorous and complete review of both the technology and the company's development plans. Algae.Tec's technology platform utilizes controlled algal growth in enclosed photo-bioreactors fed with waste carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power and manufacturing facilities to sequester that carbon, and to produce bio-oil that may then be refined to produce a range of transportation fuels. Algae.Tec also posted an ASX clarification of recently reported $200 million proposed bond financing plans indicating that the news service releases were premature since the bond financing considerations were still in very early stages of negotiation, and notice of any such plans would be formally released through ASX and to stockholders in the future. 01/12/2013

BioNitrogen Secures 600 Acres in Florida to Expand Biomass to Fertilizer Plant

BioNitrogenBioNitrogen Corporation has announced acquisition of about 600 acres in Hardee County, Florida, for expanded development of its biomass to urea fertilizer thermal conversion facility. The purchase includes the 40 acres originally acquired by BioNitrogen and is the only large contiguous parcel in the area with railroad spur access and access to Tampa's deep water ports. The total acquisition price is reported as $9.7 million; payment to E.L. Davis, Jr. for the land is held in an $8 million mortgage note with the remaining $1.7 million exchanged in common stock warrants. BioNitrogen's patented conversion methodology utilizes PRM Energy Systems' gasification technology to turn low-value biomass into a carbon-based mixture of organic molecules containing hydrogen, usually oxygen but often nitrogen, and also small quantities of other atoms, including alkali, alkaline earth and heavy metals. The resulting gas is converted into urea. Work will begin immediately on accumulating biomass and on rezoning and permitting the additional land for the Company’s expansion plans. Construction on the site is slated to commence in early 2013. The proposed initial plant will be able to produce 15 tons of urea fertilizer hourly, totaling 360 short tons daily or 124,200 tons annually. Bryan Kornegay Jr., CFO of BioNitrogen: "We are very excited to have secured this important property. This contiguous 600-acre parcel is the only one of its kind in the area and provides ample land for biomass accumulation, plant construction and expansion of plants and value added businesses such as urea coating and blending." 01/12/2013

CalRecycle Posts CARE's Waste Carpet Handling Best Practice Guidelines

CalRecycleThe California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has posted new handling guidelines developed by Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), meant to provide general guidance for the processing and storage of post-consumer carpet. The new guidelines follow on CARE's storage guidance published last month. CalRecycle's own carpet waste recovery efforts are detailed in its Carpet Stewardship Program, which provides an overview of the laws, regulations, policies, and manufacturer's registration efforts. In the organization's collaboration with CalRecycle, CARE receives an assessment placed on the sale of carpet, intended to provide sustainable funding for implementation of the stewardship program. Most of the funds will be used to support and encourage more recycling through an incentive program. From Care's new guidelines: "Handling and processing of Post-Consumer Carpet (PCC) is significant to the quality of the finished product and to the continued health of the employees. As such, each handling/processing step will be addressed and include the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for employees performing the job. While an attempt to proscribe all types of PPE or even all processing steps in the sequence each entrepreneur must perform them is impossible, we will provide a general overview and recommend that OSHA guidelines be followed at all times. CARE has provided guidelines for storage in a separate document. These guidelines for storage will be assumed in this document as best practices. The guidelines listed here are to provide best case practices and support the recycling of PCC." 01/12/2013

IME Issues Global Food Waste Report: Up to 50% of Food Produced is Wasted

Institution of Mechanical EngineersThe United Kingdom (UK) based Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) has released a report, "Global Food: Waste Not, Want Not," that finds of an estimated four billion tonnes of food produced each year, from 30% to 50% "never reaches a human stomach." The causes span the value chain, resulting from poor harvesting practices to improper transportation and storage, culminating with losses at the marketing and consumer usage stages. The areas of major loss vary significantly between poorly developed regions, where wastage is primarily at the farmer/producer stage, and those areas with mature commercial agricultural supply chain infrastructures where most of the losses are due to retail and consumer behavior. Food waste equates to energy waste, where an estimated 3.1% of the global energy consumption is associated with the food supply chain. The report recommends: (1) increased collaboration between the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the global engineering community to improve technology especially in newly developing countries; (2) governments in rapidly developing countries needs to incorporate waste minimization into all aspects of infrastructure planning; and (3) governments in developed nations should discourage wasteful practices that lead to the rejection of food on the basis of cosmetic characteristics, and losses in the home due to excessive purchasing by consumers. The 160-year old Institute focuses on five principal engineering themes: Energy, Environment, Transport, Manufacturing, and Education. 01/10/2013

Team Gemini Selected for Ohio Recycling and Green Energy Industrial Park

Team GeminiThe Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) has announced selection of Florida-based Team Gemini, LLC for development of a waste receiving and recycling center, and a green energy industrial park. The lengthy selection process has included contracts for Gemini to develop the facilities, and culminated this week in 99-year project site leases from the authority to the company. Gemini will lease 22 acres adjacent to the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill near SWACO's Grove City headquarters to construct a landfill waste receiving facility which will be owned by SWACO, and a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to be owned by Gemini. Also part of the contract is lease of an additional 343 acres of SWACO land where Gemini is to construct the industrial / research park, and a conveyor bridging the intervening State Route 665 to carry recyclables from the MRF to the industrial park for reprocessing and remanufacturing. The park is also expected to include greenhouses, a fish farm, an anaerobic digester, and other production and industrial facilities. Under the design concept, waste from one center will help fuel another. Existing regional curb-side recycling programs will continue; Gemini's segregation will only be of wastes that would otherwise be landfilled. The "Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling" (COR3), when completed in 2014, will initially process 2,000 tons per day and gradually expand to divert and reprocess 100% of the municipal solid waste. Following separation of traditional recyclates such as plastics and metals, residuals will cross the highway for reprocessing including conversion to biogas by anaerobic digestion. SWACO Executive Director, Ronald J. Mills, states that this collaboration marks a historic milestone with sustainability. "This project shows how to take waste handling from a cost center to a revenue-generating center," Mills added. "What we are doing here in Ohio will be seen as a game changer nationally." 01/10/2013

DOE Launches Web Tool to Explore Clean Energy Economy

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the release of a beta-version of an on-line interactive program to assist in determining options and effects of energy choices, including both fuel and electricity. The Buildings, Industry, Transportation and Electricity Scenarios (BITES) web-based toolset allows users to pose "what if" scenarios, adjusting inputs to compare output results. Scenarios were originally developed to help examine strategic planning opportunities for the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The DOE is interested in identifying research priorities where potential technical advances will have the greatest impact in achieving national energy goals. BITES was adapted for the web to give users the opportunity to investigate potential future pathways for the US energy economy. Following free registration, stakeholders can develop basic or advanced scenarios; a number of "shared scenarios" allow collaboration. The DOE is seeking user input to improve the beta version, asking that suggestions and feedback be emailed to <>. As the scenarios demonstrate, significant technology and policy deployment in every sector is required to meet US climate and energy security goals. 01/10/2013

Ames Laboratory to Lead Effort to Solve Rare Earth Metals Shortages

Ames LaboratoryThe US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a newly funded initiative led by Ames Laboratory to establish an Energy Innovation Hub focused on solutions for in-country shortages of rare earth and other critical metals. Ames was selected for an award of $125 million over five years to launch the Critical Materials Institute in a collaborative effort involving five national laboratories and numerous public and private researchers. The new Hub will focus on technologies that will enable the US to make better use of accessible materials while working to eliminate the need for such materials that are subject to supply disruptions. Programs will range from enabling new sources, improving the economics of existing sources, accelerating material development and deployment, more efficient use in manufacturing, recycling and reuse, and developing strategies to assess and address the life cycles of new materials. Critical materials are key resources needed to manufacture products for the clean energy economy. The Department's 2010 and 2011 Critical Materials Strategy reported that supply challenges for five rare earth metals—dysprosium, neodymium, terbium, europium, and yttrium—could affect clean energy technology deployment in the coming years. On Tuesday, January 15, 2013, the DOE will host a Google+ hangout with leaders of the Critical Materials Institute to discuss this important research effort, which can be viewed on the DOE's livestream Web page. 01/10/2013

DECC Awards £292K to Entrepreneurs for Innovative Bioenergy Solutions

Department of Energy and Climate ChangeThe United Kingdom (UK) Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced awards totally £292,000 to encourage innovation in bioenergy. Funding is part of the DECC’s £2 million three phase wetlands biomass to bioenergy competition launched in October of last year, and is aimed specifically at encouraging innovation in bioenergy production from wetland biomass, including harvesting and energy generation methods, and using plants already grown which would otherwise go to waste once harvested. Winning designs included new harvesting machinery for fens rush, and reed beds, a system for drying bio-energy feedstocks close to the site of harvest, and new innovative methods for using harvested wetland materials to generate energy. After further development a second competitive round will select recipients to share an additional £1.7 million to demonstrate project ideas in wetland conditions. The competition is part of the DECC's program of Innovation Funding, and is intended to address specific recommendations and guidance from the UK's Bioenergy Strategy. The vetting process is follows the analytical framework provided by Technology Innovation Needs Assessments (TINAs) used to identify and value the key innovation needs of specific low carbon technology families to inform the prioritization of public sector investment in low carbon innovation. 01/10/2013

VTT Begins Commercialization of Enzymes for Second Generation Biofuels

VTT Technical Research Centre of FinlandVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has announced that cellulosic enzymatic development under the DISCO project has now reached sufficient advancement for full commercialization. The project's results include lignin-tolerant enzymes and enzyme cocktails for processing spruce, straw, corn cob, and wheat bran. The purpose of the DISCO project has been to convert the lignocellulosic biomass available in agricultural side streams into fermentable sugars and further into products such as bioethanol. The DISCO project produced new knowledge on the inactivating property of lignin, and on enzymes and activities that break down hemicellulose, vital for the efficient exploitation of plant biomass. British scientists participating in the project determined the structural characteristics of various raw materials; the Dutch company Dyadic is currently commercializing the enzymes developed in the project. The DISCO project involved eleven major participants in seven countries, and has been primarily funded by the European Union's 7th Framework programme, under the "Food, agriculture and fisheries, and biotechnology" Theme. Further information may be obtained by contacting VTT's research professor Kristiina Kruus who coordinated the DISCO project, via VTT's web form. 01/10/2013

Cranfield University Develops Tool to Determine Renewable Energy from Waste

Cranfield UniversityCranfield University in the United Kingdom (UK) has announced the development of a new approach for determining the renewable energy contained in the biogenic fraction of waste material, relying on imaging sensors and microwave analysis. The plug-in process can replace laborious manual sub-sampling methods, and after-the-fact analyses of flue gas. The Cranfield University research was supported by funding from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and prompted by the UK Government’s Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) requirements that requires UK electricity suppliers to demonstrate the biomass content, (fraction) of mixed fuels. ROCs offer incentives for sourcing an increasing proportion of the electricity supply to customers from renewable sources based on the fraction of the total Energy from Waste (EfW) feedstock proven to be of biogenic origin. The tool will enable energy suppliers to accurately prove the amount of biogenic material, the waste made up of materials produced by living organisms or biological processes such as paper, certain textiles and food waste, in each load of mixed waste materials that will produce renewable energy through combustion. Dr Stuart Wagland, Lecturer in renewable energy from waste at Cranfield, commented: "The system enables greater operator control over the fuels, allowing for blending to optimise the biogenic (renewable) content and the overall calorific value, or energy released on combustion." For further information, contact Fiona Siebrits, School of Applied Sciences, Cranfield University, (). 01/09/2013

American Biogas, US Composting Partner to Support Organics Recycling

American Biogas CouncilUS Composting CouncilThe American Biogas Council and the US Composting Council have jointly announced signing a Memorandum of Understanding to "accelerate the growth of the organics recycling industry." As the voices for their respective industrial sectors that combined, represent over 900 organizations, the teaming intends to ensure that organic materials are recognized as a valuable resource instead of a waste. The organizations stress that "…composting and biogas systems both convert organic materials using natural processes to yield a variety of saleable products, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, recovering soil nutrients, and reducing disposal. In addition to reducing water pollution, improving soil health, and stimulating plant growth, the organics recycling industry employs more people per ton of material than does landfill disposal or incineration. However, today, the political and regulatory infrastructures do not support these fundamental, natural, and energy-producing processes that are essential to the economic, environmental, and social needs of a sustainable community." Patrick Serfass, Executive Director of the American Biogas Council: "We can create thousands of U.S. projects and jobs if as a society, we all get smarter about how to use our food residuals, yard clippings, wastewater sludge, and all the organic material we put into our trash every day. Three key steps will get us there: educating leaders and citizens about biogas system and composting benefits, leveling the playing field with smart policies, and removing unnecessary barriers to project development." 01/08/2013

LSU AgCenter Audubon Sugar Institute Opens Biofuels Pilot

LSU AgCenterThe Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter Audubon Sugar Institute has announced that a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be conducted on January 25, 2013 to inaugurate the completion of a pilot plant dedicated to the production of biofuels and biochemicals from agricultural crops and residues. The new pilot plant is the centerpiece of the AgCenter's Sustainable Bioproducts Initiative; over 25 members of the LSU AgCenter faculty are involved in the various bioenergy/biofuels projects. The initiative seeks to use and expand existing regional pilot and industrial facilities to demonstrate production of gasoline, jet fuels, butanol, isoprene, and bioplastics. It involves a team of university and industry partners led by the LSU AgCenter, studying the regular production of biomass for economically viable conversion to biofuels and bioenergy using existing refinery infrastructure. One partner, the Louisiana Institute for Biofuels and Bioprocessing, has ongoing research on hydrothermal pre-processing of biomass, using water that has been heated (200-600 ºC) and pressurized (50-500 bar) in the absence of dissolved molecular oxygen. Water under these conditions has very unusual properties, and a mixture of water and biomass can rapidly be transformed to products that contain many of the long-chain hydrocarbons present in modern combustible fuels. The AgCenter's new pilot plant is part of a larger project funded by a five-year, $17.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. 01/08/2013

UK Pledges £10MM into 7-Country EU Bioenergy Project Development Program

Department of Energy and Climate ChangeThe United Kingdom (UK) Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has announced that the government has committed up to £10 million (€12.5 million or $16.1 million) as its share in a seven-nation effort to stimulate innovative bioenergy project development. The DECC, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and the Technology Strategy Board will all play a vital role for the UK in this scheme. The DECC will put up to £6million (€7.4 million) into the scheme over the next 2-3 years, with the Technology Strategy Board and BBSRC together contributing up to £4 million (€5.1 million). The DECC will coordinate the initiative with the Technology Strategy Board providing support. The agency intends to open a request for bioenergy project proposals early this year, with grants expected to be made in early 2014. The DECC notes that bioenergy is one of the most versatile forms of low carbon and renewable generation. It can be used to produce heat, electricity or transport fuel and can provide a continuous and constant flow of energy. Development of the bioenergy supply chain will also support growth and jobs in the UK economy and abroad. The European Union's "ERA-NET Plus BESTF" program, valued around €47million in public funds commitments, is expected to stimulate up to €100m of bioenergy innovation projects in the UK, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, and Portugal. The DECC has developed on-line guidance for the "Bioenergy Demonstration Funding Opportunity" with links to key elements and sub-programs. 01/08/2013

US Energy Initiatives to Deploy Methes Biodiesel Technology in California

Methes EnergiesMethes Energies International Ltd. has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Methes Energies Canada Inc., has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with U.S. Energy Initiatives Corporation of Santa Clarita, California to form a joint venture to set up small-scale biodiesel plants in California. The agreement will provide for initial acquisition of one of Methes' Denami 600 biodiesel processors and facilitate installation of a 1.3 million gallons per year (mgy) production facility as a California showcase for the Denami 600 and Denami 3000 biodiesel processors (6.5 mgy). The intent is to eventually set up additional plants in California and across the US as close as possible to feedstock supplies in order to minimize transportation and logistics. U.S. Energy Initiatives is pursuing three parallel market development "initiatives", in Oil & Gas, Hybrid Fuels, and in the Automotive sector, and is leading out in 2013 with biofuels development. The company notes that it has formed joint ventures with Methes and with the cooperative corporation Promethean Biofuels based in Temecula, California, with the intent to both produce its own biofuels and to market modular biofuels production systems. U.S. Energy Initiatives CEO, Anthony Miller: "Our goal is to build a strong biodiesel division using a technology that is already proven and reliable. The Methes business model is truly unique and does not only focus on technology, but also on all of the aspects of biodiesel production and distribution, including product quality, compliance, production, marketing and logistics. Methes' experience and track record are two strong assets to us that we intend to make the most of." 01/08/2013

Polish 200MWe CFB Biomass Power Plant Is Now Fully Operational

Foster WheelerSwiss based power engineering company Foster Wheeler AG has announced that the 200 megawatt electric (MWe) bioenergy plant in Polaniec, Poland is now fully operational. Foster Wheeler's highly advanced circulating fluidized bed (CFB) technology used in the plant is capable of fully firing a wide range of biomass, including agricultural crop residuals. The facility is owned and operated by the global energy producing company GDF Suez, and began commercial operation on November 15, 2012, six weeks ahead of schedule. Foster Wheeler provided a turnkey delivery of the boiler island and fuel yard, including design and supply of all steam generation and auxiliary equipment, civil work, erection, and commissioning. Jaroslaw Mlonka, President and Chief Executive Officer of Foster Wheeler Energia Polska: "The challenge has always been to design a boiler capable of reliably firing difficult-to-burn agro biomass while at the same time increasing steam temperatures to achieve high power plant efficiency. This particular CFB incorporates many advanced design features that enable the Polaniec plant to achieve a net plant efficiency of over 36%, based on the fuels lower heating value, while firing solely biomass containing up to a 20% agro component. This Advanced Bio CFB -- or ABC -- is the largest and most advanced biomass CFB steam generator Foster Wheeler has ever supplied. Our goal for this project was to provide GDF Suez with a reliable, biomass-flexible boiler that would allow the client to build a high-efficiency green power plant – and we have achieved that objective." 01/07/2013

Due 02/01/2013: Comments to CEC on Proposed Biofuels Production Grants

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has announced a public workshop for the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP), to be held January 11, 2013 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and is seeking comments on the proposed solicitation. An agenda has been posted for the workshop; instructions for joining the meeting by webcast are contained in the workshop announcement. Topics will include but are not limited to: Biofuels activities – goals and progress of the ARFVTP, Federal and state biofuels credit programs, Leveraging ARFVTP funding -- public / private funding sources, Biofuels production in California – challenges and opportunities, Review of PON-11-601, Biofuels Production Facilities, and Funding priorities and evaluation criteria. The purpose of this workshop is to gather input for an upcoming solicitation for Biofuels Production grants, discuss funding strategies and eligibility requirements, consider evaluation criteria, discuss emerging issues and opportunities, and respond to public comments and questions. This workshop will provide the market and policy context for ARFVTP goals, explore the needs for both pre-commercial and commercial stage biofuels production investments, and discuss emerging issues affecting industry viability. Oral comments will be accepted at the January 11th meeting, and submitted in writing by 3:00pm on February 1, 2013. Written comments with "Biofuels Production" in the subject line should be mailed to Hieu Nguyen, MS-27, 1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA 95814-5512 or submitted by email (). 01/07/2013

UK's Southern Water Is Installing CHP Plant to Convert Biogas at Sandown

Southern WaterThe water and wastewater utility Southern Water has announced that it is installing a combined heat and power (CHP) facility at its Sandown Wastewater Treatment Works (SWTW) to convert biogas created during the treatment process to electricity and heat. The total project is valued at around £700,000 and is being constructed by Cogenco, and should come on line this spring. The biogas captured will heat and power the plant with excess electricity sold to the National Grid. Southern Water serves around 4,500 square miles of southern England, including servicing the country's largest island, the Isle of Wight. The project will help Southern Water to reduce its carbon emissions from the SWTW site by approximately 1,400 tonnes a year, and is part of Southern Water’s multi-million pound program in carbon mitigation and energy efficiency schemes between 2010 and 2015. These will help reduce its carbon emissions and contribute to its target of generating 20 per cent of its energy usage from renewable sources by 2020. Morné Cloete, Southern Water Project Manager: "Harnessing recoverable energy through the use of CHP plants is just one of the innovative ways Southern Water is helping reduce its impact on the environment by reducing our carbon footprint while also cutting our energy costs." 01/06/2013

Klean Industries, Dow Chemical Collaborate on Waste Plastics to Oil, Chemicals

Klean IndustriesVancouver based Klean Industries has announced its extension of a three year collaboration with Dow Chemical Company to further develop recovery of energy, oil and chemicals from waste plastics. Klean Industries employs pyrolysis, gasification, and liquefaction technologies for low-temperature, low-cost, small-footprint, high-volume, energy-efficient conversion of waste to beneficial products. The processing can recover up to 950 liters of oil per ton of waste, depending on the types of feedstock. Klean Industries has both batch and continuous processing capacity for a wide variety of polymers such as end-of-life plastics and tires that can be converted into high grade liquid fuels, syngas, electricity and nano-scale carbon black fillers to integrate into new or existing products throughout the supply chain. Dow conducted kiln tests on thermal conversion of waste sheet plastic at their Michigan facility in 2011, recovering 96% of the available energy. Dow representatives recently visited the large plastics-to-oil recycling plant in Japan with Klean. The plant been fully commercial for over a decade, processing 50 tonnes per day of mixed plastics including PET and PVC at up to 20% of the in-feed supply in addition to the more predominant polyethylene, polypropylene, and polystyrene while also produced over 4MWe of electricity. Jeff Wooster, Dow's Global Sustainability Leader, Performance Plastics: "After years of research in the technology market place and visiting many facilities around the globe, Klean's technology is clearly a leader." 01/06/2013

Sweetwater Energy Secures Long-Term Supply Agreement with Ace Ethanol

Sweetwater EnergyRochester, New York based cellulosic sugar producer Sweetwater Energy has announced signing a long-term supply agreement of up to 16 years with the Wisconsin headquartered corn ethanol production company Ace Ethanol. Sweetwater’s process will convert locally sourced cellulosic, non-food biomass such as crop residues, energy crops, and woody biomass into fermentable sugar, which Ace will ferment into ethanol. The entire contract has a total potential value in excess of $100 million. Sweetwater’s scientists have developed a patent-pending technology to increase the efficiency of extracting fermentable sugars from a variety of biomass types. The technology generates separate and concentrated individual streams of C5 and C6 sugars, allowing a single processing site to serve the needs of multiple customers. Sweetwater will develop one of its cellulosic facilities adjacent to the Ace Ethanol site, and delivering enough refined monomeric sugar for Ace to produce up to 3.6 million gallons of ethanol per year during the initial phase of the relationship, allowing the ethanol producer to shift from solely corn-based fuel to a mix of cellulosic-sourced and corn feedstock. Neal Kemmet, President of Ace Ethanol: "Ace Ethanol has been bench testing Sweetwater’s cellulosic material for some time and we’re confident that this project will be commercially profitable. With Sweetwater, we’ll move from 100% corn to a combination of corn starch and 7% cellulosic sugar as our feedstocks." 01/06/2013

UK Resource Association Reports on Cost of Recyclate Contamination

Resource AssociationThe Resource Association, the United Kingdom's professional advocacy body for the reprocessing and recycling industries, released a report in December documenting the cost of poor quality, inconsistent separation of recyclable goods from the municipal waste stream in the country's materials recovery facilities (MRF). As greater attention is focused on understanding and optimizing the final step of reprocessing recyclates, the economic burden on the country's reprocessing and manufacturing sector arising from the general lack of MRF standards becomes more apparent. The findings of the association's "Cost of Contamination 2012" report estimate losses of £51 million a year for an average of £15.67 per tonne for over 3 million tonnes of reprocessing capacity assessed in the survey, covering about one half of all in-country active reprocessors of paper and card, glass, plastics and aluminum. The current report follows on a study released last June entitled "Where does the Recycling Go?" that brought attention to the lack of transparency, proper documentation and accountability of the entire recycling process. The current report seeks "a fresh look at the whole municipal recycling supply chain, including action to better regulate the output of the MRFs" and encourages agencies to institute a MRF Code of Practice. The Resource Association member companies promote the management of materials as resources not wastes, with a vision for "a resource-efficient materials economy that realizes value, prizes quality and seeks to maintain the integrity of the secondary materials that are still too commonly treated as waste." 01/05/2013

NYSERDA Awards $15MM to Fund 3 Clean Energy Proof of Concept Centers

New York State Energy Research & Development AuthorityThe New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced an award totaling $15 million to establish three Proof-of-Concept Centers as "idea incubators" dedicated to assisting scientists and inventors develop and commercialize high-tech, clean energy inventions. $5 million each over five years will be transferred to Columbia University, the Polytechnic Institute of New York, and High Tech Rochester to launch the Centers with the caveat that they become self supporting after the five-year establishment period. Columbia University will open the Downstate Regional Energy Technology Accelerator, partnering with Brookhaven National Laboratory, Stony Brook University, and Cornell University’s NYC Tech, a new campus located in New York City (NYC). The Polytechnic Institute of New York University will partner with the City University of New York to create "PowerBridge", the New York City Clean Economy Center for Proof-of-Concept. The non-profit venture development organization High Tech Rochester Inc will open the broadly-collaborative NYSERDA Proof of Concept Center to serve Western and Central New York. James Senall, HTR president: "High Tech Rochester is excited to be a part of this important NYSERDA initiative to accelerate the creation and growth of clean-energy startups across the state. Together with our university, industry and investor partners, we look forward to helping catapult New York State into the national spotlight as a clean-energy leader." 01/05/2013

DNV, Ginkgo BioWorks Succeed in Developing Microbial CO2 to Electrofuels

Det Norske VeritasNorwegian independent risk management company Det Norske Veritas (DNV) Research & Innovation has announced that its collaboration with Boston's Ginkgo BioWorks has succeeded in converting carbon dioxide to liquid fuels using the energy of microbial decomposition. The Electrofuels procedure recently garnered Ginkgo BioWorks a patent "Notice of Allowance" from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for application number 13/285,919 entitled “Methods and Systems for Chemoautotrophic Production of Organic Compounds.” The team presented its findings at the ARPA-E Electrofuels Workshop on December 10, 2012. This is the first patent approved in the Electrofuels space and represents a significant milestone delivered under Ginkgo’s $6.6 million ARPA-E contract that began in 2010. Ginkgo validated that its microbes can utilize a feedstock of electrolytically-derived formate produced by a demonstration-scale reactor developed by DNV, whose ECFORM process has met many of the metrics required for successful commercialization of the electrolytic production of formic acid and formate salt from CO2. Most biofuels are produced from plants or algae through photosynthesis; however, photosynthesis is an inefficient process. Electrofuels bypass photosynthesis, using microorganisms that directly use energy and carbon from electrolytically-derived formate to produce liquid fuels from carbon dioxide (CO2). The combination of Ginkgo’s engineered microbes and DNV’s demonstration-scale reactor technology represent a major scale-up of Electrofuels production. Narasi Sridhar, Program Director in DNV Research & Innovation: "The development of the electrofuels technology is an important advance in the utilization and recycling of CO2 providing a pathway for sustainability and self-sufficiency." 01/05/2013

JBI Raises $4MM to Continue Execution of Plastic2Oil® Business Plan

Plastic2OilNew York based JBI, Inc (JBI), developer of the proprietary Plastic2Oil® thermal waste conversion process, has announced a successful Series B funding round valued at over $4 million, upon placement of over 1 million shares of convertible preferred stock. The Series B shares sold during a four-day December 2012 offer period for $3.50 per share, with a mandatory 18 month conversion schedule. JBI can hold additional offers between now and the January 31 offering termination, up to 2 million shares and gross proceeds up to $7 million. The process recycles waste plastic into liquid fuels using its Plastic2Oil (P2O) technology in a sequential batch operation capable of converting up to 4,000 pounds of unsorted, unwashed plastic waste per pre-heat reactor. First stage "light fraction" off-gassing is used to externally heat the second, primary melt reactor where liquefied plastic is cracked and catalyzed reclaiming around 86% of the feedstock hydrocarbon content to form diesel grade liquid fuels. JBI’s Niagara Falls facility currently has two operational Plastic2Oil processors and a third is being assembled and is expected to come online during the first quarter of 2013. The company secured around $10 million last May. The current funding detail may be reviewed on the 8-K filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. JBI CEO Kevin Rauber: "This financing, combined with our efforts to grow revenues and reduce costs, are important as we continue the momentum to execute our business plan. With this financing, we will continue to move forward towards our stated goals and continue with development of our planned Plastic2Oil® site on the RockTenn Company property in Jacksonville, Florida." 01/04/2013

US DOE Awards $10MM to Five Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Projects

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced award of more than $10 million to five collaborative projects in California, Washington, Maryland, and Texas to further the development of promising biofuels and bio-based product technologies. Two of these projects will develop cost-effective ways to produce intermediates from the deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass, while three projects will propose new conversion techniques to transform biomass intermediates into advanced biofuels and bioproducts. Funding negotiations are to proceed for the following efforts: (1) Maryland based J. Craig Venter Institute, up to $1.2 million to develop new technologies to produce enzymes that more efficiently deconstruct biomass to make biofuel, with La Jolla, California-based Synthetic Genomics, Inc.; (2) Davis, California based Novozymes receives up to $2.5 million to expand capabilities to find new sources of enzymes; (3) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is awarded up to $2.4 million to increase the production of fuel molecules in fungi growing on lignocellulosic hydrolysate, partnering with universities and industry, including the University of Kansas; (4) Texas AgriLife Research receives up to $2.4 million to employ state-of-the-art technology to develop a novel and integrated platform for converting lignin into biofuel precursors, working with Georgia Institute of Technology, University of British Columbia, Washington State University, and Texas A&M University; and (5) Berkeley, California based Lygos in collaboration with San Francisco based TeselaGen Biotech is awarded up to $1.8 million to develop efficient, inexpensive methods and tools to convert biomass into common and specialty chemicals. The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen US energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. 01/04/2013

Alter NRG Shareholders Approve $11MM Private Placement

Alter NRG CorpCanadian plasma company Alter NRG Corp. has announced that a private placement of over 34 million shares to four investors has been approved by the majority of its shareholders, securing commitments for about $11 million. The company expects to complete the current financing in January 2013 upon receiving final TSX approval. Alter NRG utilizes plasma torch technology developed initially by Westinghouse Plasma Corporation, with the intellectual property and facilities acquired by Alter NRG, including the demonstration and testing labs in Pennsylvania. The plasma gasification system converts a wide variety of waste and biomass materials into a clean-burning synthetic fuel gas (syngas). The company had designed plasma for waste conversion in numerous global installations including municipal waste gasification in both Yoshi and Utashinai Japan and in Shanghia, China, and is currently developing a facility in the Tees Valley of the United Kingdom in cooperation with Air Products. In November 2012, Alter NRG successfully raised around $10 million in a strategic investment round. 01/03/2013

Imtech Selected as a Technology Partner for London's RE:FIT Framework

Royal Imtech N.V.Royal Imtech N.V., one of Europe's technical service providers, has announced that the company has been selected as a technology partner for the RE:FIT initiative of the Greater London Authority (GLA), participation that brings a wealth of systems installation orders valued at over EUR 42 million. RE:FIT is overseen and largely promoted by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson to dramatically reduce carbon emissions and reduce the City's carbon dioxide footprint, and includes an emphasis on decentralized, on-site energy generation. The effort is also applicable to public organizations and is a key element of the recently released Energy Efficiency Strategy and subsequent Renewable Energy Roadmap developed and released by the United Kingdom Department of Energy and Climate Change. In addition to more traditional energy efficiency management options, Imtech’s advanced technology capabilities enable on-site and discrete facility waste processing that can obtain a high level of recyclable materials and a high level of energy resources in the form of biogas and residual fuels. The framework is for a 48-month period where Imtech will guarantee a set level of savings over the payback period of the energy conservation measures implemented on the RE:FIT projects that will be awarded, in a pipeline of work for November 2012 onwards that includes energy retrofitting over 400 public sector buildings, where Imtech and other companies will have the opportunity to deliver innovative energy conservation measures to achieve an estimated CO2 reduction of 35,000 tonnes per annum. 01/03/2013

Germany Will Assist Ukraine to Develop Biofuels Pilot Projects

UkraineIn an announcement released by Worldwide News Ukraine, Germany will assist in Ukrainian biofuels production in 2013 by developing biofuels pilot projects. The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine (Minagro) reported on a meeting of the joint Germany-Ukraine council during which the announcement was made by Jurgen Keinhorst, representative of the German Federal Ministry of Environment. A long-standing German-Ukraine scientific exchange program will now be expanded to advance Ukrainian biofuels pilot projects, including plans for a pilot "Bio-Energy Village." At the meeting Ukrainian scientists presented their draft projects for the pilot biofuel complexes, which would produce thermal power and biogas out of the agricultural waste using German technology and equipment. Currently, Ukraine currently has six functioning biogas units, with another 30 such projects on offer. Viktor Tymoshchuk, expert at the Department of engineering and agricultural machinery, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, stated this in an interview with WNU. Ukraine has a significant potential for bioenergy production, with an extensive agricultural sector that produces significant quantities waste and manure. Additionally, two poultry farms in western and southern Ukraine will start producing biogas in 2013. The volume of produced biogas is estimated to reach 30-35 million cubic meters. Furthermore, Ukrainian agroholding Avangard aims to sell biogas to the European Union, in cooperation with Polish state-owned company PGNIG-energy. 01/02/2013 

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