July 2011 News and Matters of Interest

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GrundonProposes Plasma for Scottish Waste Conversion to Energy Facility

GasPlasma waste conversion technology is proposed for Scottish waste to energy facility.Grundon Waste Management has revised their previously proposed incineration system for Advanced Plasma Power (APP) technology in a facility under planning and permitting consideration for Shore Road, Perth, Scotland. Grundon> revised 2010 plans, scrapping incineration in favor of cleaner plasma to meet public and agency concerns. APP uses their multi-step GasPlasma waste conversion processing train. Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) prepared off-site would be broken down in a fluidized bed gasification unit from Energy Products of Idaho (EIP). The produced hydrocarbon-rich gas and residuals would then be processed in a plasma field developed by Tetronics to manufacture a clean-burning syngas for power generation. The proposal has been placed before the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and regional planners. Grundon’s Director of Estates Bob Nicholson explained to SEPA and council representatives that the change in technology means that instead of one large building, the process would be accommodated in a series of smaller buildings. The stack height would be reduced to 34 metres from 80 metres and the tallest building to 18.5 metres from 34 metres. Rolf Stein, Chief Operating Officer of Advanced Plasma Power says, “Our main focus is to provide the best solution for the people of the City of Perth. We have worked with Grundon to provide a Gasplasma® energy from waste solution that turns local waste into local renewable power and heat and meets the needs of the local community at the same time.” 07/30/2011


BMWManufacturing Will Study Landfill Gas to Hydrogen for Fuel Cells

BMW's plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina uses landfill gas for over 50% of the plant's total energy requirements.South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) will fund a study by BMW Manufacturing to determine the feasibility of converting landfill gas to hydrogen (H2) for fuel cells of around 100 vehicles at its 1.2 million square feet BMW X3 assembly facility in South Carolina. If proven economically and technologically successful, BMW intends to develop H2 fueling infrastructure and convert the company's entire fleet of materials handling equipment. A collaborative approach has been developed for the BMW study, engaging Advanced Technology International (a subsidiary of SCRA), the Gas Technology Institute, Ameresco, Inc, and the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance. The BMW plant has used the local landfill gas since 2003 to supply about half of the energy requirement, which the company claims has reduced CO2 emissions by about 92,000 tons (83,500 tonnes) per year and saves about $5 million annually in energy costs. "This project allows testing of valuable technology to determine if using locally-sourced hydrogen in our fuel cell equipment can provide the necessary performance needed to expand our hydrogen fuel cell fleet," said Josef Kerscher, President of BMW Manufacturing. 07/30/2011


Codexisand Chemtex Partner for Bio-Sourced Detergent Alcohols

CodexisCodexis and Chemtex, a subsidiary of Italy's Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi ("M&G Group"), will collaborate on development and production of sustainable, bio-sourced detergent alcohols for household products, including second generation development from cellulosic biomass. Codexis will provide their proprietary CodeEvolver directed evolution technology for the development of advanced enzymatic and fermentation processes. This will complement Chemtex' PROESA methods of integrated ligno-cellulosic biomass pre-treatment, enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation to energy and fuels, proven in M&G Group's Rivalta, Italy pilot facility. The collaboration anticipates commercial volume at Chemtex' Crescentino, Italy cellulosic ethanol plant coming on-line in 2012. Codexis will hold exclusive market rights for the resulting detergent alcohol products; Chemtex will provide engineering for design and construction of future Codexis plants using the PROSEA technology. Guido Ghisolfi, President and CEO of Chemtex: "PROESA(TM) is break-through technology that produces high quality cellulosic sugar from biomass with best in class opex and capex. Coupling PROESA(TM) with the unique features of Codexis' technology platform has the potential to make the production of detergent alcohols from biomass a reality. 07/30/2011


ECRecognition Results in Jump in Registration for ISCC Certification

International Sustainability & Carbon Certification Earlier this month, the European Commission (EC) formally recognized seven schemes for proving biofuels sustainability and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions control compliance, including the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification organization (ISCC). The organization has since seen a substantial increase in registration as a result of the recognition, totally about 750 companies to date. ISCC certification is accepted in all 27 European Union countries as a demonstration of sustainable biofuels production methods; the EC recognition has improved market acceptance. ISCC is a transparent global scheme designed to improve trade in all types of sustainable biomass production by documenting the production of biomass and bioenergy along the entire supply chain. Interested parties first register through the ISCC website, review materials in preparation for an audit of methods carried out by the organization's independent Certification Bodies, work with the auditors to compare sustainability and GHG savings to fossil fuels, and once approved, receive the proof of sustainability ISCC seal. 07/29/2011


UKWoodland Carbon Code Launched for Sustainable Forestry Projects

Woodland Carbon CodeThe non-ministerial Forestry Commission of the United Kingdom (UK) has launched the Woodland Carbon Code to register independently certified, sustainably managed forestry projects. Once approved, projects will appear in a national on-line register. The program is closely linked to new governmental guidance issued by the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) advising prospective project developers on how to report greenhouse gas savings for projects that meet the Woodland Carbon Code certification requirements. The cross-border Forestry Commission has seen increased interest in investment in their tree planting and harvesting projects, but until this time no standardized and government sanctioned method had existed for developers and investors to account for carbon sequestration and GHG savings. The organization is Great Britain's largest land manager; they plant about 24 million trees each year and harvests five million tonnes of wood. An independent study found that the Code would provide a cost-effective means of GHG abatement; it establishes consistent forest carbon measurement protocols to measure carbon uptake and sets up a system of independent carbon certification bodies. Version 1 of the Code is available on-line at no cost. 07/29/2011


SouthDakota Colleges Win NASA Biofuels Grant

A NASA-funded project explores using blue-green algae as a “cyanofactory” to make energy-dense fuels and high-value chemicals, oxygen, and cleansed water directly from carbon dioxide, sunlight and wastewater. Image: SDSU's The Collegian.The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has awarded a grant of $750,000 to advance use of the blue-green algae cyanobacteria for production of energy-dense biofuels from wastewater, carbon dioxide, and sunlight to a collaboration of South Dakota State University (SDSU), South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and Oglala Lakota College. The project proposes to develop an integrated photobioreactor and product recovery system, driven by solar power provided by light fibers. Key SDSU researchers in the work include associate professor Ruanbao Zhou and professor Bill Gibbons in the Department of Biology and Microbiology. The grant is funded through NASA's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), developed to establish self-sustaining long-term academic research enterprises that will be self-sustaining. “This project will help NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate address the goal of  providing renewable, energy-dense biofuels in a sustainable manner, while supplying technology to sequester carbon dioxide released by an astronautics crew ... Our initial target product is a long chain alcohol with a much higher energy density than ethanol,” Zhou said. “This cyanofactory platform could be easily reengineered to produce other fuels and chemicals using free solar energy and carbon dioxide.” 07/29/2011


InEnTecIncorporates and Discloses Substantial Funding Round

InEnTec, IncOregon based InEnTec released news that they have converted their company structure from a limited liability corporation (LLC) to a full corporation registered in Delaware. InEnTec has also just filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission providing notice of substantial fund raising through offers of securities.The company has already raised $20 million in growth capital in the first round of $69 million private placement. In 2009, InEnTec and Waste Management formed the joint venture S4 Energy Solutions, LLC to develop, operate and market InEnTec's plasma enhanced melting (PEM) gasification facilities. The proprietary thermal conversion process utilizes an initial gasification stage followed by plasma processing to convert a wide range of waste-sourced feedstock to commodity synthetic gas with near-zero environmental impact and near-total conversion of organic matter. Gasification residuals pass to the PEM chamber and through the DC-powered plasma arc; any remaining solids are incorporated into an AC-heated molten glass bed. All syngas and entrained solids are then held in a thermal retention chamber, allowing any remaining organics to be converted to syngas and to be cleaned and conditioned to final product specifications. InEnTec now has numerous installations in the US and abroad; their testing and demonstration facilities are located in their Richmond, Washington Technology Center. 07/29/2011


Gevoto Build Texas Demo Plant for Isobutanol to Renewable Hydrocarbons

GevoColorado based Gevo has announced that they will work with South Hampton Resources Inc., a subsidiary of Arabian American Development Co., to build a 10,000 gallon-per-month demonstration plant outside of the Houston area in Silsbe, Texas. Gevo, specialists in microbial conversion of biomass to isobutanol, employs gene engineered E. coli bacteria for their proprietary integrated fermentation technology platform (GIFT®). The plant should come on line later this year; Gevo hopes to have completed all testing for their biojet fuel by 2013. "This demonstration plant allows us to complete the value chain from isobutanol to renewable hydrocarbon fuels and chemical intermediates which is one of our key strategic objectives," said Patrick Gruber, Ph.D., CEO of Gevo. "With the operation of this plant, Gevo intends to demonstrate its fully integrated biorefinery -- going from renewable carbohydrates all the way to fungible hydrocarbon materials used across the refining and petrochemical industries. We expect this plant to showcase the value of our renewable hydrocarbons and drive future customer demand." 07/28/2011


08/11/2011(Date Extended): Quals to LA County for Waste Conversion Projects

The Southern California Conversion Technology Demonstration ProjectLos Angeles County has extended the due date from July 28, 2011 to August 11, 2011 for submissions toward two related Request for Expression of Interest, a Technical RFEI and a Financial RFEI released last month. The County is seeking contact with companies interested in partnering toward waste conversion project development. A Question and Answer summary for the Technical RFEI was recently issued and has now been updated; a newly released Q&A for the Financial RFEI is also now available, although the only question was related to the timeline extension. Information on Los Angeles County Department of Public Works' overall waste conversion program is available on-line and may be requested by email to . Inquiries specific to the RFEIs should be directed to Mr. Coby Skye, Los Angeles County, at (626) 458-5163, Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Questions may also be addressed to Ms. Susan Higgins (Technology RFEI) or Mr. David MacKenzie ( Financial RFEI) of Alternative Resources, Inc. at (978) 371-2054. 07/28/2011


USDAAnnounces New BCAP Project Areas for Biomass Conversion to Biofuels

Biomass Crop Assistance ProgramAgricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new project areas in six states to expand the availability of non-food crops to be used in the manufacturing of liquid biofuels. The four project areas set aside acres in California, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington for the production of renewable energy crops. Two of the new Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) project areas, targeted for California, Montana, Washington and Oregon, will grow camelina at a significant scale. The project has a target of 51,000 acres; sponsors are Beaver Biodiesel, LLCand AltAir Fuels LLC. The project areas are near biomass conversion facilities in Bakersfield, California, Tacoma, Washington, and Albany, Oregon. A third BCAP project area has been sponsored by cellulosic biofuels company ZeaChem for hybrid poplar agroforestry on up to 7,000 acres surrounding a biomass conversion facility in Boardman, Oregon, part of USDA’s Wood-to-Energy Initiative. A fourth BCAP project area lies in Kansas and Oklahoma, sponsored by Abengoa BioEnergy and surrounding their future biomass conversion facility in Hugoton, Kansas. Applications will be accepted from Aug. 8, 2011 to Friday, Sept. 16, 2011; interested parties should contact their local Farm Services Area county office and visit the BCAP web page for further information. 07/28/2011


JouleReceives New Patents for Production of Ethanol through Photosynthesis

Joule Unlimited, IncMassachusetts based Joule Unlimited, Inc announced that they have been issued two new patents, U.S. Patent #7,981,647 and U.S. Patent #7,968,321 for in-cell engineered enzymatic methods of increasing ethanol production capability of photosynthetic micro-organisms. Their "Liquid-from-the-Sun" platform relies on direct photosynthesis using the company's proprietary "Helioculture" microbial processing to convert just sunlight and CO2 into olefin and alkane molecules. Joule uses no biomass, thus eliminating the difficulty of sourcing feedstock; the microbial activity absorbs CO2 emissions directly and secretes the ethanol product without requiring extraction or refining. Joule has already proven numerous Direct-to-Product process pathways and is now producing ethanol at pilot scale. "The market for ethanol is strong and growing internationally, and our patented technology affords Joule an incredible opportunity to meet growing demand at productivities well beyond biomass-based approaches," said Bill Sims, President and CEO of Joule. "Rather than focus on incremental improvements along the supply chain, we have proven that a direct, continuous process from photons to fuel is the answer to highly-efficient, cost-competitive production that can scale without today’s feedstock constraints." 07/28/2011


Süd-ChemieBreaks Ground on Largest Cellulosic Ethanol Plant in Germany

Süd-Chemie Clariant Group member company Süd-Chemie has celebrated the start of construction of Germany's largest cellulosic ethanol facility next to the Bavarian BioCampus in Strauberg, lower Bavaria. Attending the ground-breaking ceremony were Bavaria's Minister of Economic Affairs, Martin Zeil and Germany's Federal Minister of Education and Research (BMBF), Annette Schavan; the EUR 28 million project was funded by the Bavarian state government and BMBF. The plant will produce around 1,000 tonnes of ethanol annually, primarily from conversion of wheat straw from the Strauberg region, known as the "granary of lower Bavaria." Successful pilot-scale testing of the sunliquid® process developed by Süd-Chemie has shown that their "highly optimised raw material-specific biocatalysts" and use of a new yeast organism convert C5 and C6 sugars c to ethanol at high yields under stable process conditions. The Straubing plant will also use Süd-Chemie's newly-developed purification process for the first time, ensuring that process energy required can be obtained from residual lignin. Dr Andre Koltermann, Head of Strategic Research and Development at Süd-Chemie: "As a second-generation biofuel, cellulosic ethanol delivers significant greenhouse gas savings of up to 95%. In addition, cellulosic ethanol has considerable potential to reduce dependence on crude oil on a long-term basis through local production of a renewable energy source." 07/28/2011


IDBApproves Third Sustainable Energy Loan to Peru for $25 Million

Inter-American Development BankThe Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a third Programmatic Policy Based Loan (PBL) to Peru to strengthen the country's sustainable energy matrix. The $25 million, 20-year loan will fund the first strategic environmental assessment of Peru's policies and apply Best Management Practices to the energy sector. The new PBL expands on 2009 and 2010 loans which initiated energy efficiency and renewable energy growth, including creation of an Agricultural Energy Plan and support for biofuels and bioenergy development. The PBLs are only part of IDB's portfolio in Peru, now totaling over $1 billion since 2003. IDB operations are developing Alternative Sources of Energy as part of a New Sustainable Energy Matrix (NUMES). 07/27/2011


SDSUReceives USDA Grant for Biomass to Bio-Oil Production System

"SDSU researchers are researching bio-oil and a co-product called biochar. Both are produced along with a product called syngas in a process called pyrolysis." Photo, the SDSU Collegian."The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded a five-year bio-oil development grant to South Dakota State University (SDSU) researchers to design a biomass-to-bio-oil production system. Dr. Tom Schumacher and team have received the first year's $200,000 allocation from USDA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) to develop a sustainable, integrated food and biomass production system, based on microwave-heated pyrolysis technology. Pyrolytic conversion of biomass, heated in near absence of air, generates "bio-oil", biochar and synthetic fuel gas. The bio-oil can be sold to refineries as a "green crude, the biochar returns to the farmers to build up soil water holding capacity and sequester carbon, while the remaining syngas fuels electric generation to power the conversion. Work will start with laboratory and greenhouse studies, adding field studies over time, and will characterize different types of biochar resulting from conversion of switchgrass, corn stover and woody biomass. “There’s a lot that’s unknown about specific types of biochar. There is no single characteristic that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of biochars,” Schumacher said. 07/27/2011


GreenShiftAwarded Patent for Corn Oil Extraction Method for Ethanol

GreenShiftAfter pulling their original patent application and requesting additional US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) assessment due to numerous challenges, GreenShift has now received notice of allowance for their patent application number 11/241,231: “Method of Processing Ethanol Byproducts and Related Subsystems” (the '231 patent application). GreenShift Corporation is currently focused on concentration and recovery of inedible crude corn oil from existing first-generation corn ethanol production facility whole stillage and/or its derivatives, reducing the plant's waste effluent while securing a valuable by-product. The extraction technologies increase biofuel yields per bushel of corn by 7%, reduce energy demand by around 20% and drop greenhouse gas (GHG) generation by almost 30%, gaining about $0.12 per gallon of ethanol produced. GreenShift's systems are in use in many US ethanol plants, producing additional carbon-neutral liquid fuels for distribution through existing supply chains and displacing fossil-based fuels for combustion in boilers, generators and engines while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 07/27/2011


Synthosand Global Bioenergies Partner for Bio-Butadiene Development

Globa BioenergiesPolish rubber manufacturer Synthos S.A and French industrial biology firm Global Bioenergies have signed an agreement for research, development and commercialization of renewable sourced butadiene, which is currently produced only from petroleum and is a building block for synthetic rubber production and many types of plastics. Global Bioenergies will receive research and development funding, multi-million euro development fees, and royalty payments from Synthos on sales of bio-butadiene for manufacturing rubber, while retaining the exclusive rights on non-rubber applications. With the agreement, Synthos also made a 3.6% equity investment in Global Bioenergy. Earlier this month shortly after their successful filing of an Initial Public Offering, Global Bioenergies received €475K funding from the French innovation agency OSEO to start the industrialization of the company’s biomass fermentation, volatilization and gas-phase recovery process to convert renewable resources into isobutene. Gaseous isobutene can then be converted into fuels (gasoline, jet-fuel, Diesel) as well as into various polymers (tires, organic glass, various plastics). 07/26/2011


Universityof Illinois Study Says Regulation Must Keep Pace with Technology

Wisconsin Law ReviewA recent paper entitled, "Making Regulatory Innovation Keep Pace with Technologic Innovation" has been published by researchers from the University of Illinois (U of I) Energy Biosciences Institute and the U of I College of Law. The authors analyzed the regulatory schemes incentivizing and governing the commercialization of biofuel-related technological innovations, "to build upon the established principles that regulatory burdens should not outweigh the harms they are intended to mitigate." The paper presents a detailed case study on the emerging biofuel biobutanol, describing fuel and fuel additive challenges to commercialization resulting from the federal Renewable Fuel Standard and the Clean Air Act’s regulatory framework. The authors suggest how different forms of regulatory innovation could ease regulatory hurdles and allow more efficient fuels and bioenergy development. The paper is available on-line now and will be published in an up-coming issue of the Wisconsin Law Review. For further information, contact authors Timothy A. Slating,, and Jay P. Kesan,. 07/26/2011


PhilippineMSW Gasification Plant Breaks Ground

"Mayor Pepe Santos and CPIHLI President Jose Utrillo celebrate the ground-breaking for the $500MM Bataan Waste to Energy project."In Orion, Bataan, the Philippines, the investment and development firm Concord Pacific Investment Holdings Limited, Inc. (CPIHLI) has broken ground on its $500 million waste gasification power plant. The Bataan Waste-to-Energy Project is located on 100 hectares of the mountainous municipality adjacent to Orion's problematic dumpsite. Residents, local officials and invited guests were on hand for a ceremonial stone-laying at the Punta De Udyong Resort in Balagtas, Orion. CPIHLI's president Jose Utrillo discussed the site development plans and commended Orion's leadership; the project has found consensus support among often-divisive politics. Mayor Pepe Santos thanked CPIHLI for selecting the Orion project site; he and Mr. Utrillo told the press on-hand for the groundbreaking that the power plant complex will include housing, hospital, and leisure facilities. The project, which uses gasification instead of the usual process of incineration, is expected to be completed in about 17 months. “For every 200 metric tons of garbage, the power plant will produce 12.8 megawatts of electricity,” Mr. Utrillo said. 07/26/2011


Due08/24/2011: Nominations to Texas MSW/Resource Recovery Advisory Council

Texas Commission on Environmental QualityThe Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is requesting nominations to six available seats on the Municipal Solid Waste and Resource Recovery Advisory Council; members are appointed for six-year staggered terms by the TCEQ Commissioners. The Advisory Council's regulation-based duties include review and evaluation of the effect of state policies and programs on municipal solid waste management; making recommendations to the TCEQ Commissioners on matters relating to municipal solid waste management; recommends legislation to encourage the efficient management of municipal sold waste; recommends policies for the use, allocation, or distribution of the planning fund; and recommends special studies and projects to further the effectiveness of municipal solid waste management and resource recovery. For additional information, please contact the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Waste Permits Division, visit the project website and/or e-mail and type "MSW Advisory Council" in the subject line. 07/25/2011


AmmoniaPre-Treatment Makes Cellulosic Biomass Five Times More Digestible

Los Alamos National LaboratoryCollaborative research between Michigan State University researchers,  the US Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) has revealed that the molecular-level activity of ammonia pre-treatment loosens cellulosic structure of biomass and greatly facilitates hydrolysis. The researchers have modeled a potential pretreatment method that can make plant cellulose five times more digestible by enzymes that convert it into ethanol and other biofuels. Cellulose forms a dense sheet-like polymer network of molecules closely interlaced by hydrogen bonds, all but eliminating direct contact between enzymes and the majority of the targeted sugar-holding molecules internal to the biomass cellular network. Using recent experimental data provided by their journal collaborators, the LANL and their colleagues used molecular modeling to determine how cellulose undergoes structural depolymerization changes that facilitate enzymatic attack when pretreated with ammonia. Their paper 'Restructuring the Crystalline Cellulose Hydrogen Bond Network Enhances Its Depolymerization Rate' appears in the current Journal of the American Chemical Society. 07/23/2011


IowaState's MycoMeal Process of Thin-Stillage Improves Ethanol Production

"Daniel Erikson, an Iowa State graduate student, uses a screen to harvest Rhizopus oligosporus fungi from an ethanol fermentation thin-stillage treatment pilot plant. Photo: Jeni Maiers, Center for Crops Utilization Research, ISU."Iowa State University (ISU) researchers have moved "MycoMeal" from lab to pilot scale and the process works better. The research team is growing the fungus Rhizopus oligosporus on the wash-water left from standard ethanol fermentation with the MycoMeal process. Five gallons of this 'thin-stillage' are typically produced for every gallon of ethanol to be centrifuged to separate distiller's grains for sale as animal feed, while the rest is recycled to the main plant. The ISU process short-cuts this cycle; as the fungus forms into a dense mat in one day's time, it absorbs about 60% of the organics and most of the solids to effectively leave cleaned water for plant re-use. The fungal mat is similar to tofu, rich in proteins and essential nutrients but with what the team describes as a "better mouth feel," more like the texture of meat. Funding for the 3-year trial, now in its final year, included a $450,000 grant from the Iowa Energy Center, state grants and private ethanol industry partnerships. The pilot's 20 foot tall reactor is located at Iowa Energy Center's Biomass Energy Conversion facility (BECON) in Nevada, Iowa. The team finds that their patent-pending process works better with 350 gallon batches than at lab scale. "Implementation of this process addresses criticism of biofuels by substantially lowering energy inputs and by increasing the production of nutritious animal feed," Iowa State University's Hans van Leeuwen said. "The MycoMeal process could truly revolutionize the biofuels industry." 07/23/2011


Dowand Mitsui Forming JV for Brazilian Ethanol and Biopolymers

Dow Chemical CompanyDow Chemical Company and Mitsui & Co, Ltd., of Tokyo, Japan are forming a new joint venture (JV) with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop and supply sustainable bioproducts. With the agreement completion date expected later this year, Mitsui will become a 50% equity interest partner in Dow’s sugar cane growing operation in Santa Vitória, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Initially, the JV will focus on production of sugar cane-derived ethanol as a renewable feedstock source for production of diverse bioproducts, especially biopolymers as drop-in replacements for fossil based materials in the manufacture of high performance plastics. When the first stage is fully commissioned, the partnership will then refocus on integration with all phases of biomass-based biofuel production for co-manufacturing of sustainable bioplastics. Dow indicates that this represents the world’s largest biopolymers development effort and is Dow’s largest investment in Brazil, where Dow has operated for more than 50 years. “We are invigorated now more than ever about the potential for Dow’s sustainable chemistries in this growth economy,” said Pedro Suarez, President of Dow Latin America. “With Mitsui, we will be fortifying our already strong base for advancing renewable materials, as well as enhancing the reputations of Dow and Brazil as worldwide leaders for a green economy.” 07/22/2011


Due09/30/2011 and 10/25/2011: EOIs and FP7 Proposals to EIBI

European Industrial Biofules InitiativeDetails are now available for submission of proposals to Energy Call FP7 released by the European Industrial Biofuels Initiative (EIBI). Non-binding Expressions of Interest (EOIs) are due September 30, 2011. The EOIs provide an opportunity for Europe's bio-energy industrial community to show readiness to participate in EIBI flagship demonstrations and full-scale projects. Full proposals seeking 2012 project support are due October 25, 2011; the renewable fuels element of the 2012 FP7 Energy Plan is funded to 35M€. Three Topics apply specifically to biofuels funding opportunities: (1) (page 18) Biofuels from microalgae or macroalgae, (2) (page 19) Development and testing of advanced sustainable bio-based fuels for air transport, and (3) (page 21) Development of new or improved logistics for lignocellulosic biomass harvest, storage and transport. The Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) is the EU's main instrument for funding research in Europe and it will run from 2007-2013. Questions about European research in general or the EU Research Framework Programmes in particular are managed through the FP7 web "Enquiries" web portal. 07/22/2011


CathayIndustrial Biotech Files for IPO to Expand Biobutanol Production

Cathay Industrial Biotech LtdChinese biobutanol producer Cathay Industrial Biotech Ltd has filed Form F-1 Registration Statement and preliminary prospectus with the US Securities Exchange Commission toward an Initial Public Offering of American Depository Shares (ADSs). The company's goal is to raise about US $200 million to further develop and expand their production capacity for biobutanol. Cathay is focusing on the specialty chemicals and biofuels markets to commercialize drop-in alternatives to fossil-sourced products. In 2011, Cathay was the world's largest producer of biobutanol; their Jilin Province production facility's annual capacity is currently 100,000 metric tons of biobutanol and co-products. The company also markets bio-sourced dibasic acids, bio-acetone, and is commercializing other biochemicals and bio-sourced products. Cathay's long-chain dicarboxylic acid (LCDA) production facility in Shandong Province is ramping up to a planned 2011 annual capacity of 15,000 metric tons. The prospectus notes that Cathay has developed bioprocess technologies to produce biobutanol from cellulosic biomass feedstock, and believes that using cellulosic biomass feedstock will significantly lower their production cost. 07/21/2011


BiocharGroup Selected by Gates Foundation for Toilet Challenge

Hertz FoundationA multi-University, the Hertz Foundation Fellows-led team has been selected as one of eight grant recipients in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge" (RTTC). The Challenge is to develop a 21st century toilet without connections to water, energy, or sewer lines that costs users under $0.05 a day. The Hertz Foundation Biochar Group is a volunteer collaboration including Hertz Fellows from MIT, Caltech, the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University. The Biochar Group has been developing systems for production of biochar to help reverse soil carbon depletion and for use in disposal and sterilization of sewage in a million-person slum within the city of Nairobi, Kenya. Sanergy, an MIT startup, leads the work in Africa on sanitation and renewable energy. The awards were announced July 19, 2011 at a major conference in Rwanda. Biochar is a high grade of charcoal formed using low-oxygen pyrolysis to convert biomass in the temperature range of 450 to 600 degrees Celsius, and can be applied to the transformation of sewage in third world countries. “Each year 60 gigatons of agriculturally fixed carbon rots and turns back into carbon dioxide,” said Dr. Brian Von Herzen, Executive Director of the Climate Foundation, Hertz Fellow (1980) and director of the Biochar Group. “By converting just ten percent of the fixed carbon into biochar, we could actually capture and sequester most of man’s atmospheric carbon dioxide emitted each year. 07/21/2011


Due08/31/2011: Proposals to CARB for Industrial Sector GHG Benchmarking

California Air Resources BoardThe California Air Resources Board (CARB) has released a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking one or more firms for industrial sector assessments necessary to set greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions efficiency benchmarks under the State's 2010-adopted Cap & Trade program. The regulation is expected to become enforceable January 1, 2012; however, covered entities will not have an emissions obligation until 2013. A maximum of $500,000 is available for the total project, intended to provide the critical detail to accurately define and differentiate each sector's manufacturing processes, quantifying the emissions associated with that product output process. The selected firm(s) will work with CARB staff to determine emissions efficiency benchmarks in tons of CO2e emitted per unit of output, for eleven sectors: Oil and gas extraction; Soda ash manufacturing; Paper and paperboard manufacturing; Petroleum products manufacturing; Glass manufacturing (container, flat, fiber); Cement manufacturing; Lime manufacturing; Gypsum manufacturing; Steel making using electric arc furnace; Steel rolling; and Thermal energy-based (boiler efficiency or fuel mix). Covered industrial sectors that do not conduct manufacturing process specified will rely on thermal energy-based benchmarking for free allocation. Four Tasks are outlined: (1) Analysis of European Union's ETS benchmarking process, (2) Scoping study of California covered industrial sectors, (3) Sector-by-sector analysis, and (4) Stakeholder interface. The Department of General Services manages bids through the BidSync process. For your convenience, Teru Talk has posted the entire bid packet here. To ensure receipt of any addenda that may be issued, you must register online at BidSync and sign up to receive notifications for Bid Number 10-115. All questions must be directed to Andrea Sutton at (916) 324-2186 or , and not through the BidSync system. The deadline for questions is August 2, 2011. 07/21/2011


EuropeanCommission Recognizes Seven Biofuels Sustainability Programs

The European Commission has formally recognized seven programs providing sustainability criteria and certification for production of biofuels.To receive governmental support or to count toward renewable energy targets, biofuels used inside the European Union (EU) must comply with sustainability criteria, either through various Member States' national systems or through voluntary programs. The common goal is to prevent the conversion of high biodiversity areas and high carbon stock to the production of raw materials for biofuels. Further, value chain life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must be at least 35% lower than comparable use of fossil fuels, a threshold designed to increase over time. Commission-assessed and approved voluntary programs receive recognition for five years. The seven voluntary sustainability certification programs recognized on July 19, 2011 include: (1) ISCC (German (government financed) scheme covering all types of biofuels); (2) Bonsucro EU (Roundtable initiative for sugarcane based biofuels, focus on Brazil); (3) RTRS EU RED (Roundtable initiative for soy based biofuels, focus on Argentina and Brazil); (4) RSB EU RED (Roundtable initiative covering all types of biofuels); (5) 2BSvs (French industry scheme covering all types of biofuels); (6) RSBA (Industry scheme for Abengoa covering their supply chain) ; (7) Greenergy (Industry scheme for Greenergy covering sugar cane ethanol from Brazil). Links to all of the recognized programs and their Commission assessment reports are available on the Commission Renewable Energy Transparency Platform. 07/20/2011


BIOSYNERGYProject Releases Final Report

Biorefinery Development in Europe presents the results of the Biosynergy Project's 2007-2010 work, as a European Integrated Project supported through the Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.The collaborative BIOSYNERGY projecthas released its findings in a detailed brochure, Biorefinery Development for Europe. The brochure presents an overview of the main achievements and highlights of the project, as well as conclusions and perspectives towards future development. The project has been working toward cost-effective sustainable resource management for Bioenergy, biofuels and bio-sourced chemicals for a wide range of biomass feedstock in Europe. The public/private collaboration of stakeholders supports the integrated production of value-added chemicals, transportation fuels and energy from lab-scale to demonstration at pilot-scale. Much of the developmental work will take place at the lignocellulose-to-bioethanol pilot-plant of Abengoa Bioenergía Nuevas Tecnologías, under construction in Salamanca, Spain. The project consists of nine integrated Work Packages: (0) Management activities under Energy research Centre of the Netherlands' (ECN) Hans Reith; (1) Advanced physical/chemical fractionation; (2) Innovative thermo-chemical conversion; (3) Advanced biochemical conversion;  (4) Innovative chemical conversion and synthesis; (5) Conceptual design Biorefinery pilot-plant of Abengoa Bioenergía Nuevas Tecnologías (ABNT) S.A., Salamanca, SpainWP leader: Reyes Capote Campos, ABNT; (6) Integral biomass-to- products chain design, analysis and optimisation; (7) Demonstration at pilot-scale; and (8)Training and knowledge dissemination. For further information, contact Project Coordinator: ECN, Hans Reith, +31-224-564371; reith@ecn.nl; Assistant Project Coordinator: WUR A&F, René van Ree, +31-317-480710 - rene.vanree@wur.nl; EC Project Officer: European Commission, Silvia Ferratini,  +32-2-29 96 409 - silvia.ferratini@ec.europa.eu. 07/20/2011


LosAngeles County Releases Q&A Summary for Waste Conversion RFEI

Southern California Conversion Technology Demonstration ProjectA Summary has been released of Questions & Answers (Q&A)associated the last month's Los Angeles County issuance of Requests for Expression of Interest (RFEI) to waste conversion technology providers, project developers and financiers. The County had issued two requests, a Technology RFEI and a Financial RFEI. Topics covered in this Q&A Summary address only the Technology RFEI, and includes what the County considers to be an Optimum Project: "…the project configuration each respondent considers to be best suited for its individual technology for future  commercial application within Los Angeles County, considering technical, economic, environmental and other factors specific to such individual technology." Information on LA County Department of Public Works' overall waste conversion program is available on-line; more detailed inquiries should be directed to Mr. Coby Skye, Los Angeles County, at (626) 458-5163, Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Questions may also be addressed to Ms. Susan Higgins (Technology RFEI) or Mr. David MacKenzie ( Financial RFEI) of Alternative Resources, Inc. at (978) 371-2054. 07/20/2011


CaliforniaAir Resource Board Hosts First LCFS Public Update Meeting

California Air Resources Board Low Carbon Fuel StandardThe California Air Resources Board (ARB) has released a Meeting Notice and Agenda for its first public update meeting for July 25, 2011 on the progress of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program's Advisory Panel. The purpose of the Panel will be discussed, with the progress that has been made toward establishing a LCFS to help clean the air, protect the environment, and drive the development of clean, low-carbon fuels to improve California's energy security and energy independence. As one key element of AB 32, the LCFS regulation went into effect April 15, 2010, and in part required the ARB to form an expert Advisory Panel to advise staff, holding two public meetings. Staff will present results of the Panel's review process to the Board first on January 1, 2012, and again on January 1, 2015. The meeting will be web cast; steps for participants to join are provided on the Cal EPA's webinar site. For further information, contact Michelle Buffington at mbuffing@arb.ca.gov, (916) 324-0368. 07/19/2011


Eco-SolidsCellruptor Pre-Treatment of Food Waste for Conversion Looks Good

Eco-Solids InternationalOrganics pre-treatment technology specialist Eco-Solids International (ESI) is seeing early positive results in an extended research and development program lead by the UK's University of Southampton to assess effectiveness of their Cellruptor process for preparation of food waste prior to anaerobic digestion (AD). The testing of their installation at Yorkshire Water's sewer treatment facility is in conjunction with Dr. Sonia Heaven's work directing the University's VALORGAS program, focused on the "valorization" of food waste conversion to biogas realized by integration of collection, pre-treatment and optimal conversion technology operation. The Cellruptor provides cell disintegration of biomass and has been expected to be effective on surplus activated sewage sludge (SAS); recent tests also indicate excellent pathogen control, improving the future marketability of residual solids and liquids for use as fertilizers. Last month, Eco-Solids celebrated the signing of a major licensing agreement with leading water and environmental equipment company Shenyang Yinuo Science and Technology Company (‘Yinuo’) in north east China. Using patented treatment technologies developed in the U.S by ESI's Director of technology Sam Shephard, Eco-Solids International holds a non-US international license, and now has business expansion in the Middle East and India. 07/18/2011


MarineBase Camp Lejeune Receives First Local Biodiesel Today

Camp Lejeune Marine BaseMarine base Camp Lejeune is receiving theirfirst shipment of biodiesel today, coordinated by the North Carolina Eastern Region's Military Growth Task Force through a program called Fuel the Force. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Carl B. Jensen has commented, "I believe strongly that we have got to break our dependence on petrochemicals," he said. "It has got to start somewhere … and it might as well start with the military." The military must meet aggressive federal mandates to reduce its energy consumption 30 percent by 2015, while increasing its use of renewable energy. Regional biofuels production capacity will help reduce the need to import fuels. Through Fuel the Force, North Carolina's warriors and farmers have sown the seeds of a North Carolina biofuels industry that is environmentally, logistically and fiscally sustainable. Eastern North Carolina is one of the military’s fastest growing regions in the United States; the region's Military Growth Task Force (MGTF) was established to assist impacted counties meet the growth challenges to quality of life, transportation, medical and healthcare, public safety and emergency services, infrastructure, education, and workforce. 07/18/2011


DueNow to 04/30/2012: Biomass/Biogas to Energy Grant Apps to Illinois DCEO

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic OpportunityThe Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is now accepting applications for the Biogas and Biomass to Energy Grant Program; applications will be accepted through April 30, 2012 or until grant funds are expended. The Illinois program funds biogas and biomass projects for on-site energy generation, up to 50% of eligible project costs. Feasibility study grants are available for up to $2,500. Maximum grant amounts are $225,000 for biogas to energy projects and $500,000 for biomass to energy systems. Projects designed to use biogas or biomass as a source of fuel to produce electricity with combined heat and power (CHP) through gasification, co-firing or anaerobic digestion technologies are being targeted. Funds can cover studies or systems purchase and installation for any new project designed to produce and use biogas, or to use biomass as fuel to produce electricity or heat. Applications are to be submitted to the Energy Resources Center at the University of Illinois Chicago, assisting DCEO in administering the program. For further information on the Biogas and Biomass to Energy Grant Program or regarding the application package, contact Steffen Mueller at 312/355-3982 or. 07/18/2011


GreenHeat Report Recommends Wood Stove Replacement Incentive

Alliance for Green HeatThe Alliance for Green Heat (AHG) released a report on their year long assessment of biomass heating in the US, partially funded by USDA-Forest Service's Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC). The report, Transforming Wood Heat in America: A Toolkit of Policy Options, explores "the existing and potential policy options for incentivizing more efficient and clean burning residential wood heat." AHG found that wood heat is the most common residential renewable energy in America, providing more of a non-fossil alternative than solar PV, solar thermal, geothermal and wind combined. Unfortunately, they also found that about 75% of our country's existing wood and pellet heating units emit too much pollution. National stakeholder interviews determined that a $1,000 incentive provided owners of older stoves to upgrade to new, extremely clean systems could reduce as much fossil fuel as a $10,000 solar incentive. AHG will go over the findings in a webinar, "The Future of Residential Wood & Pellet Heat in America," co-hosted by the Biomass Thermal Energy Council on Tuesday, July 19 at 2:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time; on-line registration is required for the free presentation. 07/16/2011


CereplastExpands Presence in European Market for Bioplastics

CereplastCalifornia based bio-sourced chemical company Cereplast, Inc has signed a distribution agreement with Polimernet Plastik Ltd. to supply their bioplastic resins to the Turkish market. The agreement stipulates a minimum purchase of 100 tons per month of Cereplast Compostables ® resin this year and increasing amounts going forward, using Cereplast Compostable 3000 and the Cereplast Compostable 7003 film grades to produce bioplastic film for garbage bags, food packaging and t-shirt bags. Turkey currently leads Europe in economic growth and ranks 3rd in bioplastics market share, an industry that analysts indicate approaches 20% increase each year. "Cereplast has entered into six European distribution agreements in 2011, and this partnership with Polimernet Plastik is a clear indication of the explosive demand for bioplastic resin sweeping across the pan-European marketplace," said Frederic Scheer, Chairman and CEO of Cereplast, Inc. "This is another step in our growth strategy to secure quality distribution partners in key regions, such as Turkey. Turkey is one of the first three countries in Europe who have forged forward with adopting bioplastic material for products and packaging in an attempt to help safeguard the environment." 07/15/2011


DECCPublishes White Paper on Electric Market Reform in UK

UK Department of Energy and Climate ChangeUnited Kingdom's (UK) Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has issued a vision of dramatic energy redevelopment in the white paper, ‘Planning our electric future: a White Paper for secure, affordable and low-carbon electricity’. DECC is recommending an approach that will "attract investment, reduce the impact on consumer bills, and create a secure mix of electricity sources including gas, new nuclear, renewables, and carbon capture and storage." The publication is the first stage of the reform, to be followed closely by introduction of key legislative packages in upcoming Parliament sessions. Elements of the plan include: (1) setting a Carbon Price Floor to encourage and stabilize carbon trading; (2) creation of long-term Feed-in Tariff (FIT) contract mechanisms; (3) setting a 450 grams CO2/kilowatt hour Emissions Performance Standard; and (4) forming a Capacity Mechanism for both demand response and generation. The full version of the white paper is available on-line, with an Executive Summary, Glossary and other supportive documents. The DECC announcement notes that "transitional arrangements" will be initiated to minimize disruption in financing and project development. 07/15/2011


EPAProposes Modifications to Hazardous Waste Recycling Rules

US Environmental Protection AgencyThe US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the intent to publish their modification of the 2008 Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) Rulemaking and will seek public comment on the Rule's draft expanded environmental justice (EJ) analysis and peer review. The EPA late last month released a pre-publication version of their proposed revisions, which are intended to provide additional safeguards for Hazardous Waste Recycling / Action aims to promote economic, environmental and public health benefits of waste recycling. In the 2008 Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) rule, EPA sought to define “solid waste” to exclude certain hazardous secondary materials when they are legitimately recycled. EPA is asking for comment on potential revisions to address concerns raised by the Sierra Club, as well as other environmental organizations. Under a settlement agreement with the Sierra Club that has been filed with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, EPA has committed to take final action on this proposed rulemaking on or before December 31, 2012. Supportive documents including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are available. EPA will accept comment on this proposal for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, under docket # EPA-HQ-RCRA-2010-0742. EPA will announce the schedule for a webinars and two public meetings to enable public comment on the rulemaking on the Rulemaking's web page. 07/15/2011


RentechReceives Final Air Permit for Florida Biomass to Energy Project

RentechCalifornia based gasification company Rentech Inc. announced that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has issued the final air permit needed for the company's Port St. Joe Florida Renewable Energy Center (Port St. Joe Project); all significant permits have now been received from the State to allow construction of the planned project to begin. Rentech's Silva-Gas biomass gasification technology will convert about 930 tons per day of woody biomass from a variety of sources to synthetic gas (syngas), fueling a combined-cycle power plant to generate about 55 megawatts (net) of renewable low-carbon baseload electric power (RenPowerTM) for sale to Progress Energy of Florida. The proposed project site in Northwest Florida has access to barge, rail and highways as well as close proximity to feedstock. Rentech has now entered an agreement with White Construction for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) work. White Construction and Ford, Bacon & Davis LLC are finalizing the engineering work necessary to enter the EPC phase of the project. In May, Rentech's Ontario Canada project won a 1.3 million ton per year forest feedstock agreement, almost four times the scale of the Port St. Joe project. 07/15/2011


CodexisCompletes First Scale-up of Cellulase Enzyme for Biomass Conversion

CodexisCodexis has successfully completed their first scale-up manufacturing of cellulase enzyme for biomass conversion to biofuels and bio-based chemicals at the contract facility of Fermic S.A. de C.V in Mexico City. The 20,000 liter production run manufactured enzymes based on the Codexis CodeEvolver ™ "directed evolution" technology, using the company's CodeXporter ™ enzyme expression system. Last month, their partner Royal Dutch Shell transferred Codexis stock to their newly-formed Brazilian joint venture Raizen Energia vertically integrated biorefinery company, now Codexis' largest share holder. The production scale-up supports biofuels collaborations and the company's market expansion into sustainable bio-based chemicals. "High-performance cellulase enzymes will soon be in high demand for cost-effective production of renewable products from biomass," said Alan Shaw, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer. "This is both an important commercial milestone for Codexis and a significant development for customers, who are responding to market demand for sustainable products." 07/14/2011


NatureWorksMoves Nebraska Biochemical Production Toward Commercial

NatureWorks LLCNatureWorks LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cargill, has increased investment in their Blair, Nebraska facility in preparation for commercial production of their new bio-based polymer-grade lactide, Ingeo M700. The new bio-product is an intermediate for copolymers, amorphous oligomers and polymers, grafted substrates, resin additives/modifiers, adhesives, coatings, elastomers, surfactants, thermosets, and solvents. Ingeo M700 is an anhydrous form of lactic acid rich in meso-lactide a compound will offer numerous advantages over currently available L-, D-, or racemic lactides, with lower reaction temperaures needing less catalyst resulting in significantly lower cost. By early 2013, NatureWorks will be producing thousands of tons of Ingeo M700 lactide. Prior to this availability, meso-lactide samples will be available in 2012 to advance market development. NatureWorks' Ingeo biopolymer is manufactured from sucrose, primarily from field corn at this time but other sources containing sugar can also be used.Future plans call for Ingeo to be made from cellulosic raw materials, agricultural wastes and non-food plants. Ingeo can be used in rigid and flexible packaging, electronics, clothing, housewares, health and personal care, semi-durable products, and food service ware. 07/14/2011


PennsylvaniaClean Energy Awards Include AD and BioPower Projects

Pennsylvania Department of Community annd Economic DevelopmentThe Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has awarded $4.22 million in clean energy grants to six counties enabling a total of 10 renewable energy projects, including development of three anaerobic digestion systems and upgrading of one biomass-fueled combined heat and power (CHP) installation. The project funding was approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA), to purchase and install alternative energy solutions that will reduce costs, recycle waste and help Pennsylvania meet the Chesapeake Bay nutrient requirement. Diaries in Cumberland, Juanita and Lancaster counties will receive grants and loans to assist in the installation of anaerobic digestion systems to produce biogas from manure and food waste, in each case generating more electricity than the host site requires. In Adams County, Twin Springs Fruit Farm's grants and loans will help replace the biomass boiler at their facility located in Franklin Township. The new boiler will convert 700 tons of wood waste to supply all the heat needs for the farm’s greenhouse, while reducing fossil fuel air emissions by 1.4 million pounds annually. CFA was established as an independent agency of the Commonwealth to administer Pennsylvania's economic stimulus packages. Last year, CFA approved more than $31 million in loans and $13 million in grants for alternative and clean energy projects, many of which assisted bioenergy and biofuels project development. 07/14/2011


ChesapeakeInvests $155 Million in Sundrop Fuels for Green Gasoline

Sundrop Fuels, IncChesapeake NG Ventures Corporation (CNGV) is investing $155 million for a fifty percent equity stake in Sundrop Fuels, Inc, the Colorado based biomass gasification to liquid fuels company. CNGV is a $1 billion venture capital fund created by Chesapeake Energy Corporation for investment "in companies and technologies that will replace the use of gasoline and diesel derived primarily from OPEC oil with domestic oil, natural gas and natural gas-to-liquids (GTL) fuels." Original investor Oak Investment Partners of San Jose, California, will increase their holdings with another $20 million investment. Sundrop will use the funds to begin construction of a commercial-scale demonstration plant to produce drop-in “green gasoline” from cellulosic biomass. Sundrop Fuels’ proprietary RP Reactor™ is a rapid, high-efficiency gasification system using radiant particle technology. The 1,300 degree Centigrade process temperatures can be generated from solar, hydrogen, natural gas or a hybrid mix. Finely ground biomass joins natural gas in the reactor chamber, reformed the bio-sourced syngas with the hydrogen present in natural gas, improving and standardizing the heating value of the final fuel gas for further processing into create bio-based “green gasoline”, diesel or aviation fuels. 07/13/2011


EdeniQand IKA Works Partner for Biomass Milling Technology

EdeniQ, IncCalifornia based EdeniQ, Inc and IKA Works, Inc, US subsidiary of the German firm IKA® Werke GmbH Co. KG, have announced their mutually exclusive joint development agreement for manufacturing, sales and further development of biomass mixing and milling technology for the global biofuels and biochemical markets. The two firms started their collaboration in 2009, developing biomass pre-treatment systems that allow standard ethanol facilities to shift to cellulosic fuels. EdeniQ is building a demonstration plant in Visalia, California, in partnership with Logos Technologies and with $20.5 million in support from the US Department of Energy. They have integrated their "Cellunator" micro-milling systems into operating ethanol facilities to optimize particle size, improve starch release and increase ethanol production up to 5%. IKA® Renewable Energy Specialist, Michael Janssen said, “When it comes to the development of new devices and processes, IKA® has always worked closely with its customers. We see the global biomass conversion pretreatment market as a huge opportunity, for which IKA® and EdeniQ have the solution.” 07/13/2011


6.5 MMTonnes/Year of British Food Waste Available for AD Conversion

The United Kingdom's Eunomia Research and Consulting has released a report on their year-long study of food waste availability for anaerobic digestion (AD) conversion in Great Britain, indicating that of a total of 8.8 million tonnes available throughout the United Kingdom (UK), 2.2 million tonnes per annum (tpa) is from household sources, 5.2 million tpa commercial and 0.6 million tpa industrial. Eunomia estimates that treatment capacity at the regional level now being processed in anaerobic digesters or incorporated in compost leaves about 6.5 millions tpa available in Great Britain. This "represents a significant opportunity for investors and project developers, provided collection infrastructure is forthcoming and projects can secure feedstock under the right terms to enable funding to be raised for new facilities." The report finds that the common funding requirement of guaranteed feedstock availability is a major constraint to facility development. Further, optimal size for food waste AD is smaller than the nominal $20 million for an 80,000-100,000 tpa project scale that lenders are willing to consider. Eunomia's July 2011 report, "Anaerobic Digestion Market Outlook: Overcoming Constraints to Deliver New Infrastructure" is available to download without cost. 07/13/2011


Due02/17/2012: Energy for Sustainability Proposals to NSF  

National Science FoundationThe National Science Foundation (NSF) requests proposals toward their Energy for Sustainability program to support fundamental research and education in energy production, conversion, and storage. Proposals should focus on energy sources that are environmentally friendly and renewable, including Sunlight, Wind/Wave, Biomass, and Geothermal. NSF revised guidelines in Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 11-1 apply. Proposals will only be accepted between January 15 and February 17, 2012. The focus area of Biomass Conversion, Biofuels & Bioenergy seeks "innovative approaches for the intensification of biofuel and bioenergy processes". Areas of interest include (1) biological, thermochemical, or thermocatalytic conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to biofuels beyond cellulosic ethanol; (2) microbial fuel cells for direct production of electricity from renewable carbon sources; (3) process-based, scalable approaches for the biological or bio-mimetic generation of electricity directly from sunlight; (4) hydrogen production from autotrophic and heterotrophic microorganisms; and (5) hydrocarbons and lipids from autotrophic or heterotrophic microorganisms. $9.2 million expected to be available, up to 42 awards anticipated. For more info, contact Gregory Rorrer at. Refer to Sol# PD-12-7644. 07/13/2011 


UnitedKingdom Dairy is Powered by Food Processing Waste

BV Dairy in Dorset, UK runs on combined heat and power powered by anaerobic digestion of their own food processing wastes for biogas production,.The BV Dairy in Dorset, United Kingdom (UK), now operates on combined heat and power (CHP) generated from anaerobic digestion (AD) of food processing waste for production of biogas, with £1.7m in funding assistance from the AD Demonstration Programme of the UK's Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP). The 80,000 tonne per year capacity AD plant consumes wash-water from the factory, permeate/whey from cheese making, and other dairy rich liquids. The biogas generates electricity to power the plant with excess sold to the regional grid, while recovered heat will serve the AD vessels and provide cleaning and process heat for the dairy. The high-nutrient digestate will be used on local pasturage. Jim Highnam, Managing Director at BV Dairy said: “We are proud to be pioneers in AD for the UK food industry. The BV Dairy AD plant demonstrates that the technology works and, judging by the interest in our plant from food manufacturers, we expect to see many more companies using AD to generate renewable energy from unavoidable food waste.” 07/12/2011


MagneGasto Enter Mexico Market with Plasma Waste to Energy

MagneGas CorporationFlorida-based MagneGas Corporation has revised their non-binding memorandum of understanding MOU) with Inmobiliaria Grupo Corporativo S.A. de C.V. (IGC) of Mexico, doing business as Green Planet Aid (GPA), which provides GPA with exclusive distribution rights in Mexico for an initial five-year period. The MOU follows MagneGas' completion of three year testing at their MagneGas Plasma Arc Flow Refinery using plasma for wastewater sterilization and syngas production from the City of Dunedin, Florida wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Pending positive final test results that are due in about a month, GPA intends to purchase systems and receive comprehensive training on the Refinery at MagneGas Company headquarters in Tarpon Springs. MagneGas' patented plasma arc flow process converts liquid waste into a hydrogen-based synthetic gas (syngas) fuel that is essentially interchangeable with natural gas, but with significantly lower green house gas emissions. MagneGasTM can be used for metal cutting, cooking, heating or powering multi-fuel vehicles. 07/12/2011


Due07/20/2011: Comments on California Clean Energy Future

California Clean Energy FutureCalifornia agencies are requesting public comment regarding ways to implement and then measure effectiveness of policies identified by the California Clean Energy Future organization. The deadline for submission of written comments pertaining to California Clean Energy Future has been extended to Wedneday, July 20, 2011. A joint agency meeting and public workshop was held on July 6, 2011 that included the California Energy Commission (CEC), CalRecycle, the Air Resources Board, the California Environmental Protection Agency, California Independent System Operator Corporation, and the California Public Utilities Commission. The meeting's purpose was to discuss updating the California Clean Energy Future to reflect Governor Brown's 2020 energy policy goals as well as the recently enacted 33 percent renewable portfolio standard. Attendance at the workshop is not a requirement for comment submission. Supporting documents are available for review at the CEC's website. Instructions for filing comments can be found in the revised Workshop Notice. 07/11/2011


New£10m Anaerobic Digestion Loan Fund Announced in England

Waste & Resources Action ProgrammeA new £10m Anaerobic Digestion Loan Fund (ADLF) has just been announced to support new anaerobic digestion (AD) capacity in England, aiming for 300,000 tonnes of annual food waste diversion from landfill by 2015.The Accelerating Growth Fund Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the United Kingdom (UK) organization Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), will administer the ADLF, which was developed by the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). A five-year maximum period is set for asset-backed loans from £50,000 to £1,000,000. A simple on-line Eligibility Checklist starts the contact and application process; lending criteria and fees are also described on-line. WRAP has initially scheduled four application periods: July-October 2011, January-April 2012, June-September 2012 and December 2012-March 2013. Further application periods may be published at a later date pending available funds. Marcus Gover, Director of the Closed Loop Economy at WRAP, said: “Across the UK, there are now AD facilities capable of managing 656,500 tonnes of organic waste each year, diverting waste from landfill, generating renewable energy and creating green jobs. The 300,000 tonnes of extra capacity we expect this fund will create will bring the UK’s AD processing capacity close to 1 million tonnes per year. AD is a reliable, safe and profitable resource efficiency process supported by Government, industry, local authorities and communities.” 07/11/2011


AmericanRenewables Awards 100 MWe Biomass Boiler Contract to Metso

American RenewablesFinland-based Metso Corporation has been awarded a contract from American Renewables to supply a 100 megawatt bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) biomass boiler, flue gas cleaning system and the entire power plant automation system for their Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC) in Florida. GREC announced successful completion of $500 million in construction financing last month; the Metso contract accounts for about 25%. The City's power provider, Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU), has entered into a 30-year power purchase agreement for GREC's renewable electricity. The project will require approximately one million tons of fuel annually, sourced within a 75-mile radius of the project site. Feedstock will be waste wood from logging and mill activity as well as urban wood waste from clearing, tree trimming and pallets. GRU will implement a forest stewardship incentive program in which biomass growers will receive a bonus payment for going above and beyond prevailing forestry practices. Commercial operations are scheduled to begin in 2013. ”Our partnership with Metso played a significant role in allowing us to complete this construction financing. GREC is now able to move forward without delay, ensuring that the Gainesville community will receive the many environmental and financial benefits of this renewable energy facility”, Jim Gordon, president of GREC LLC states. 07/11/2011


Due09/30/2011: EOIs to London for Waste Management Support Programme

London Waste and Recycling BoardThe London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) has opened a Targeted Waste Infrastructure Programme to meet the criteria of their Business Plan. LWARB is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOIs) on two separate funds to be distributed over the next four years: (1) Infrastructure Fund: £11 million loan fund provides support for around five total projects that service areas outside of east London or that help to bridge the capacity gap within the capital itself; (2) Strategic Partnership Fund: £5 million fund for "innovative waste solutions", targeting hydrogen fuel cells, gas to grid, and waste derived transport fuels. For the innovations programme, LWARB will provide both financial and business development support, brokering partnerships between technology providers, off-take users and fuel suppliers, as well as entering debt / equity investment relationships and will consider and discuss the level of support required with project sponsors on a per-project basis. A detailed support document for EOI development is on-line, as is the submission form; only EOIs submitted on the official LWARB form will be reviewed. For further information, contact with "EOI Query" in the subject line and providing a contact telephone number. 07/11/2011


NipawinBiomass to Convert Mine Clearance Timber Waste to Ethanol

Nipawin Biomass EthanolA Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Canadian companies Shore Gold Inc. and Nipawin Biomass Ethanol New Generation Co-operative Ltd., providing a feedstock supply to Nipawin Biomass for their cellulose-to-ethanol operations. Non-merchantable waste timber will be salvaged from 4,250 hectares of land clearing, contingent upon environmental assessment and approval of Shore Gold's Star-Orion diamond mine project in the Fort à la Corne forest, Saskatchewan. Under the public/private cooperative, Nipawin Biomass and the Saskatchewan Research Council jointly developed the proprietary process, using thermal conversion of wood for production of synthetic gas, then reforming the syngas with proprietary catalytic processing to manufacture liquid fuels and chemicals. The Shore Gold project will provide roughly 200,000 bone dry tons per year of wood, about two thirds of the conversion plant's annual feedstock demand. The process can convert many types of woody waste from urban and agricultural sources. The cooperative's US partner Fulcrum Bioenergy has their first facility under development in western Nevada in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center in the City of McCarran, Storey County, Nevada. The plant will convert 90,000 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) into 10.5 million gallons of ethanol per year, and will be the first commercial use of the Nipawin technology. Construction on the Saskatchewan plant is expected to begin shortly after Fulcrum's Sierra Biofuels facility, which is anticipated to be completed in 2012. 07/10/2011


CECAwards $29+ Million to 7 Transportation Biofuels Projects

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved the award of more than $29 million for seven biofuels for transportation projects, totaling $29,675,072 funded through the Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (AB 118). Awards went to: (1) Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District - construct hydrogen bus fueling station in Oakland; (2) Biostar Systems with Sonoma County Water Agency, Sonoma County Transit - produce 148,000 cubic feet per day of pipeline quality biomethane from dairy waste and food processor waste; (3) South Coast Air Quality Management District and partners - install / upgrade 11 compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling stations throughout Southern California; (4) USA Waste of California - upgrade liquefied natural gas (LNG) station in the City of Corona (Riverside County); (5) CR&R, Inc. - produce an estimated 120,000 million BTUs of pipeline quality biomethane from non-recyclable municipal waste; (6) Pixley Biogas -  build an anaerobic digestion facility in Pixley, Tulare County to process 36 million gallons of manure from nearby dairies, produce biogas for Calgren Renewable Fuels ethanol biorefinery; (7) High Mountain Fuels - convert renewable landfill biomethane to liquefied natural gas. "This is a major milestone for our program because it means we have awarded all $175 million from the first two years of the AB 118 program, plus another $14 million from the 2010-11 funding cycle," said Energy Commission Vice Chair James Boyd. 07/10/2011


Due08/19/2011: Project Proposals with New Emissions Reduction Technologies

San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control DistrictThe San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) in California has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) under their Technology Advancement Program (TAP). The TAP11-1 RFP requests proposals for projects that demonstrate new and innovative emissions reduction technologies, including waste systems or technologies that can minimize or eliminate emissions inherent in existing waste management systems and processes. The District asks proposers to address both the ozone and PM2.5 needs; the RFP places a particular focus on NOX emissions reduction technologies. Partially funded through the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Technology Initiative, The total available funding for this TAP round is $1.4 million, which is expected to fund 5 to 8 projects. A pre-proposal workshop is scheduled for July 21, 2011 between 9:30am and 11:00am at the District office; video teleconference locations in Bakersfield, Modesto, San Francisco and Los Angeles are also available. Proposals are due August 19, 2011. Contact District staff Kevin M. Wing, Air Quality Specialist, or Ross Badertscher, Air Quality Specialist for assistance at 559-230-5800, or email . 07/10/2011


DOESchedules Webinar on Renewable CHP Using Biomass Feedstock

DOE Gulf Coast Clean Energy CenterThe US Department of Energy's (DOE) Gulf Coast Clean Energy Center (GC RAC) is hosting free webinars focused on Combined Heat and Power (CHP). The topic on July 27, 2011 is Renewable CHP Using Biomass Feedstock, hosted by GC RAC's Krishnan Umamaheswar with presentations by Paul Lemar, Jr., of Resource Dynamics Corporation and Jonathan Wilkinson, Nexterra Systems Corporation. The topic will include first steps to consider while evaluating biomass CHP applicability, biomass market outlook, issues and challenges, gasification, case studies and biomass CHP system performance and costs. Participation is free but on-line registration is required. Continuing education certificates (CEUs) are available upon request. Subsequent CHP focused webinars are scheduled for September 1 and 7, 2011. GC RAC offers a continuing series of free webinars on various topics related to clean energy technologies and pertinent policy developments, based at the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) in The Woodlands, Texas. It was created with funding from the DOE to promote clean energy technology through the use of CHP, waste heat recovery (WHR), and district energy (DE) in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. 07/09/2011


MWPower Supplies Waste Heat Recovery Boiler to Vantaa WtE Plant

The Metso Corporation – Wärtsilä joint venture MW Power has been selected by Vantaan Energia to provide the heat recovery and steam generator (HRSG) for their 62 megawatt electric (MWe), 99 MW thermal waste-to-energy (WtE) plant under construction near Vantaa, Finland. MW Power will deliver, install and commission the integrated boilers and turbines. The system will increase overall plant efficiency, recovering excess flue gas heat to superheat steam for the steam turbine, as well as low pressure auxiliary steam for the plant's process heat needs and district heat to supply about half of the thermal needs of the city of Vantaa. The Vantaa plant should come on-line in 2014 to replace an existing facility closing in 2015. The Vantaa plant will cut coal usage by 30% and total emissions by about 20%. “Our new waste-to-energy plant will fulfill the most stringent environmental requirements and is a step towards carbon-neutral energy production. Through this investment, we will not only secure the production of district heat for our city but will provide efficient energy recovery from residual waste and offer a better waste management route than the current landfill disposal”, says Pertti Laukkanen, Managing Director of Vantaan Energia. 07/09/2011


AEBiofuels Acquires Zymetis and Z-microbe for Direct Biomass Conversion

AE BiofuelsCupertino, California based AE Biofuels has completed acquisition of Maryland-based Zymetis Inc, including their patented "Z-microbe". Z-microbe is based on a marine organism discovered rapidly consuming plant cellulose in the Chesapeake Bay. Zymetis found that the microbe naturally generates about 90 enzymes that rapidly convert sugar, starch, and cellulose into useable chemicals and fuels. The company's flagship Zymetis Integrated Process (ZIP™) technology combines gene sequencing and engineering to redevelop the microbial agent for direct conversion of biomass to sugars tailored to specific industrial processes, including manufacture of renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels. “Zymetis’ technology has already demonstrated the production of high-value chemicals to supply multi-billion-dollar global markets, but we lacked a commercialization platform,” said Dr. Steve Hutcheson, founder of Zymetis and a 25-year genetic biology professor at the University of Maryland.  “AE Biofuels has demonstrated operational global management capability, constructed and operated advanced biofuels plants, and has already achieved success in creating and adopting new technology through the conversion of first-generation biofuels facilities.” 07/09/2011


Dynamotive,ROC, and CRC Partner with Virgin Australia for Aviation Biofuel

DynamotiveCanadian pyrolysis specialist Dynamotive has announced their partnership with Virgin Australia airlines for development of sustainable aviation biofuel. Dynamotive acquired fast pyrolysis patents in 2001 and began scale-up development for commercial production of BioOil from renewable biomass feedstock. Last month Dynamotive extended the 2006 licensing of their technology held by Renewable Oil Corporation (ROC) of Melbourne to an all-Australia exclusive license. ROC and the Australian national Future Farm Industries Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) are joined in this partnership with Virgin AU, using Dynamotive's fast pyrolysis to process mallees, a resilient type of Eucalyptus tree that can be grown sustainably in Australia. Dynamotive's CEO Andrew Kingston: “We are very excited to join Virgin Australia, Renewable Oil Corporation and the CRC in this initiative and provide our technology. We have a great opportunity to develop a sustainable industry in Western Australia capable of producing second generation fuels that do not require food sources and have positive effects in land and water management.” 07/09/2011


ViridorCelebrates Transition to "Next Generation" Waste Management

"Viridor celebrated the pioneers of renewable energy this week as it opened its last ever landfill gas facility in the UK."Viridor just celebrated the opening of the final landfill gas system installation as their turning point toward "next generation" waste management. Viridor is one of the United Kingdom's (UK) largest waste management, recycling, resource recovery, and renewable energy companies; they have invested about £39m in landfill gas waste to energy since 1986. Recognized recently as UK Recycling and Waste Management Company of the Year, the firm has begun a plan to invest £1bn in essential infrastructure toward implementing DEFRA's recently announced Zero Waste Economy program. Dick Turner, Viridor's Director of Waste to Energy: “The UK recycling, renewable energy and sustainable waste sector is changing. Across the UK, consumers, corporates and councils are focusing on waste reduction, reuse, enhanced recycling and recovering value from what remains. Viridor has a strong tradition of leading innovation and investment, from pioneering renewable power from landfill gas to today standing as the UK’s largest recycler by MRF capacity, with investment in AD, gasification and energy from waste. In marking Viridor’s final investment in energy from landfill gas we celebrate the work of those renewables pioneers. Their success was the foundation of today’s renewables revolution, developing vital skills, sustainably converting gas to energy, and indeed until recently contributing one third of UK renewable capacity.” 07/08/2011


UKOrganizations Launch Global Biogas Program

Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas AssociationThe trade organization Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) and the registered charitable organization Raleigh International Trust have teamed to launch a global biogas initiative promoting anaerobic digestion (AD) of organic household and farm waste for biogas production. The partnership's intent is to raise awareness of the benefits that anaerobic digestion in the UK and across the globe provides. Raleigh was formed in 1978 to give young people a chance to explore the world and by doing so, discover their potential as leaders and members of a team working together to make a difference. Raleigh has been running their own Biogas program since 2010 and has installed 15 biogas units with the help of employees from Airbus. The ADBA was established to represent all businesses involved in the anaerobic digestion and biogas industries to help remove the barriers they face and to support its members to grow their businesses. The new partnership was announced this week at the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association’s Annual Conference in Birmingham, UK to reach as many AD-related companies and organizations as possible, and to encourage them to get involved by sending staff on Raleigh-organized expeditions with youth, to live together and work in remote communities to install biogas plants. For further information, contact ADBA's Matt Hindle,, 0203 176 0591 or Annika Herter,, 0203 176 0590, or Raleigh's Lorraine Roadnight,, 020 7183 1286. 07/08/2011


Due07/21/2011: Intent to Offer on SCE ES&M 2011 All Source RFO

Southern California EdisonSouthern California Edison has issued a 2011 Energy Source and Management Power (ES&M) All Source Request for Offer (RFO) with participation requirements, documents to be submitted, and a detailed schedule of required submittals. The first is a non-binding Notice of Intent to Offer that is due July 21, 2011. A variety of products are sought, including (1) Dispatchable Unit Contingent Energy Only Toll, (2) Non-Dispatchable Qualifying Facilities Resources, (3) Resource Adequacy Capacity Products (SCE to Buy and Sell), and (4) Daily Financial Call Options. SCE has a Bidder's Conference schedule for Call-in and Webex on July 14, 2011, from 9:00 am -10:00 am Pacific time to answer questions about process and requirements; an SCE attorney and SCE’s Independent Evaluator will be present on the call. Call in and Webex instructions are posted to the main RFO web page; for participation assistance visit SCE's on-line Meeting Center. General RFO questions may be  emailed to. The RFO Instruction Packet has been extracted and posted to our site for convenience. 07/08/2011


CambiTHP Plant at Washington, DC WWTP Will Be World's Largest

Cambi AS contract includes sludge thickening and dewatering, four THP trains and four new digesters at DC Water's Blue Plains Advanced WWTP.Norwegian company Cambi AS will construct the first Cambi Thermal Hydrolysis Processing (THP) plant in the United States and their largest to date at the Blue Plains advanced wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Washington, DC. The District of Columbia Sewer and Water Authority (DC Water) has signed a design-build contract with CDM and their partner PC Construction for improvements to the WWTP, which will include the Cambi THP sludge pre-treatment system. The contract for DC Water's waste conversion project includes installation of units for sludge thickening, pre-dewatering, a four-train Cambi THP plant, and four digesters to convert sludge to biogas. Contracts for combined heat and power (CHP) generation complements will be signed in the near future. In European projects, Cambi has proven that their THP systems lower sludge viscosity and improve dewatering; this increases digester feed rate by two to three times resulting in increased biogas production. The THP high temperature regime also provides improved pathogen control. The installation will be Cambi's largest THP plant, processing about 400 tonnes per day on a dry-solids basis, and will reduce DC Water’s carbon footprint by approximately 60,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. ”This is the single largest contribution so far to greenhouse gas reduction in Washington DC,” said Mr. George S. Hawkins, General Manager of DC Water. 07/07/2011


ASTMIssues Bio-derived Component Revisions to Aviation Fuel Standard

ASTM InternationalASTM International (ASTM), formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, has revised ASTM D7566-11, Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons. The revision formally approves addition of up to 50 percent bioderived synthetic blending components in conventional jet fuel. Called hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA), the biodiesel additives are processed from oil-seed crops, algae and animal fat (tallow). The standard already has criteria for fuel and fuel additives produced from coal, natural gas or biomass using Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Mark Rumizen, who helped lead the revision by ASTM's Subcommittee D02.J0 on Aviation Fuels, heads the certification-qualification group for the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), a coalition that seeks to enhance sustainability for aviation by promoting the use of alternative jet fuels. “The revision of D7566 reflects an industry cooperative effort to accomplish this task,” says Rumizen. “Because of the great emphasis on safety when you’re dealing with aviation fuel, the passage of this ballot required a collaborative and cooperative effort between the members of the aviation fuels community.” 07/07/2011


FrenchEnzyme Breakthrough for Continuous Biodiesel Production

Continuous economical production of biodiesel is now achievable, thanks to breakthrough enzyme work at the Paul Pascal research center of France's Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). Their patented results have just been published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science. Industry-standard transesterification reactions convert animal and plant sourced oils into methyl ester (the primary component of biodiesel) and glycerol; the process is slowed by saponification side reactions that shift the methyl ester back to acid salts. Certain lipase enzymes counter this effect but have been too expensive for commercial use. The new approach generates these unrefined enzyme catalysts in-situ within a macro-porous silica matrix which allows continuous pressurized high-volume one-direction processing flow without damage to the matrix. The self-regenerating process provides catalysis without disrupting the processing cycle to refresh with more enzymes. For further information, contact the researcher Rénal Backov at  05 56 84 56 30,, or the CNRS Press Office at 01 44 96 51 51,. 07/07/2011


EPASigns Final Biogenic CO2 Rule with Three Year Deferral

US Environmental Protection AgencyOn July 1, 2011, the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson signed the "Deferral for CO2 Emissions from Bioenergy and Other Biogenic Sources under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V Programs: Final Rule", and has released the pre-publication version. The Final Rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register within the next few weeks and may contain slight changes from this early release. A Summary of all comments received during public review was also released last week. As proposed in March of this year, the EPA's Final Rule action now provides a three year deferral from certain regulatory compliance regarding emission of CO2 to bioenergy facilities and other biogenic sources while the agency conducts a new series of assessments. During the deferral period, biogenic CO2 emissions are not required to be counted under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V permitting requirements. The official version to be published will be available on the Government Printing Office’s FDSys website and on Regulations.gov under Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0083. For further information, contact Carole Cook, Climate Change Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs (MC–6207J), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 343–9334; fax number: (202) 343–2342;. 07/06/2011


JapaneseDeep Sea Discovery May Impact Rare Earth Metals Recovery Prospects

Distribution of average ΣREY contents for surface sediments (<2 m in depth) in the Pacific Ocean. Image: Nature Geoscience articleJapanese researchers published results of deep sea bed exploration in the current issue of the journal Nature Geoscience, showing that deep-sea mud (around 20,000 feet below the surface) contains high concentrations of rare-earth elements and yttrium at numerous sites throughout the eastern South and central North Pacific. The team estimates that an area of about one square kilometer surrounding one of the sampling sites could provide one-fifth of the current annual world consumption of these elements. Just last month, Yale University's Center for Industrial Ecology proposed that "substantial recoverable reservoir" of the elusive yet crucial rare earth elements (REEs) existed in the current global stocks of electronic wastes; their Life Cycle Assessment approach was partially in response to global concerns over China's "hegemony" of around 90% of all the industrial extraction. The Japanese instead propose that rare-earth elements and yttrium are readily recovered from the deep-sea bed mud by simple acid leaching, and suggest that deep-sea mud constitutes a highly promising huge resource for these elements. Environmental organizations along with the European Union and affiliates are ramping up discussion regarding hazards to the ocean; the impact on future e-waste conversion for recovery of rare earth metals remains to be considered. 07/06/2011


NewEuropean Energy Fund to Support Small-Scale Renewable Projects

European Investment BankThe European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF) was launched July 1, 2011 in Bussels collaboratively by the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), and Deutsche Bank. The EEEF will both directly invest in projects and fund through financial institutions for loans. Funds will be available for energy efficiency and smaller scaled renewable energy generation efforts, extending the EU member states efforts to meet energy and climate goals. Using a market-based approach, the funds will be directed toward advancing commercially viable public energy efficiency and renewable energy projects within the European Union. The consortium intends to raise the total fund from EUR 265 million currently held, to approximately EUR 800 million by attracting further investors. The EIB has published a list addressing frequently asked questions (FAQ); among the eligible projects will be high efficiency combined heat and power (CHP), including micro-cogeneration and district heating/cooling networks. For further information, please contact Cassa Depositi e Prestiti's Lorella Campi at + 39 06 42212531 or by email,, or  Dr. Klaus Winker of Deutsche Bank AG, + 49 69 910 32249,. 07/06/2011


VadxxEnergy and Greenstar Recycling JV for Waste Plastics to Crude

Vadxx EnergyOhio-based Vadxx Energy and Texas company Greenstar Recycling are forming a joint venture (JV) for conversion of post-recycling waste plastics to synthetic crude oil. Greenstar has 14 materials recovery facilities (MRFs), recycled commodity upgrading and commodity trading operations throughout the mid- and eastern states; they selected Vadxx for their scalable, continuous feed processing capability. Vadxx uses thermal depolymerization to produce oil with lower API gravities and lower sulfur content than naturally occurring crude; syngas produced by the thermal process is suitable for power generation. Vadxx' ability for processing waste plastics to synthetic crude oil was highlighted in the American Chemical Council's April 2011 publication, Conversion technology: A complement to plastic recycling. Jim Garrett, Vadxx CEO, stated, "Plastics are made from oil, and Vadxx has figured out how to create the lowest sulfur content crude oil in the world, from a commodity that might otherwise occupy space in landfills." 07/05/2011


TetronicsTargeting Precious Metal Recovery from E-Waste through Plasma

Tetronics LtdUK's Tetronics Ltd has entered into a partnership with Taiwan precious metal refining company Solar Applied Materials Technology Corporation to investigate opportunities to use plasma for extraction of precious metals from electronic wastes and industrial / automotive catalysts. Tetronics utilizes fluidized bed gasification followed by Direct Current (DC) thermal plasma to vaporize feedstock, allowing separation and recovery of the non-organic elements. The extreme temperature of the plasma process also destroys toxins such as dioxin and furan. The resulting precious metal laden slag becomes an ore for further refining by the Taiwanese firm. The remaining non-valuable material is vitrified into an inert material called Plasmarok® in a single processing step. Tetronics notes that the European Union estimation of world-wide waste electronics could be as high as 50 million tons per year, while the costs of standard mining continue to escalate. Recent studies have shown that the in-use stock of electronic wastes constitutes a substantial source of rare metals. 07/05/2011


NeutralFuels to Make Biodiesel from McDonald's UAE Waste Cooking Oil

Neutral Fuels LLCMcDonald's used cooking oil from across the United Arab Emirate (UAE) will be collected for Dubai-based Neutral Fuels LLC to convert into biodiesel under a long-term contract. McDonald's UAE will use the 100% biodiesel in their fleet vehicles. Neutral Fuels LLC is a recently formed joint venture between UK-based Neutral Group and an Emirati member of Dubai SME, an arm of their Department of Economic Development (DED) agency. Neutral Fuels LLC was granted permission from the Dubai Ruler’s Court and the Department of Petroleum Affairs to be the region's first commercial producer of biodiesel from used vegetable cooking oil. The joint venture was arranged by the Dubai Foreign Direct Investment office (FDI), an arm of DED. Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai FDI, said: “Neutral Fuels LLC and McDonald’s UAE have formed a unique synergy that promotes business as well as conservation. It is a testament to the innovative opportunities presented by Dubai for profitable investment, business growth and commercial application of state-of-the-art technologies. It also underscores the fact that sustainability makes good business sense.” 07/05/2011


E.ONCommissions Biomass to Biomethane Facility in Merzig

E.ON AGGerman energy giant E.ON AG's Climate and Renewables division has commissioned their sixth biogas plant in Germany, this time in Merzig, the capital of the district Merzig-Wadern in Saarland, along the western border of Germany. The plant will convert local agricultural waste and other biomass to biomethane for storage and as-needed injection into the regional natural gas grid; about 60% of the biogas will be used in Saarland. E.ON is also considering co-location of wind energy systems with biomethane facilities, to use excess wind-generated electricity for biomethane separation to commercial hydrogen and oxygen. The Merzig plant will convert 51,000 tonnes of biomass per year (about 140 tonnes per day) of regional German and French energy crops and harvest residues. E.ON Bioerdgas GmbH partnered with Enovos Deutschland and Stadtwerke Merzig to form the feedstock aggregation company Bioenergie Merzig GmbH. E.ON notes that each kilowatt hour (kWh) of biomethane reduces CO2 emissions by about 250 g, the amount emitted by an efficient vehicle over a distance of 2 km. The Merzig plant will initially produce 51 million kWh of biomethane, with plans to scale up to around 1 billion kWh per annum in the next few years. 07/03/2011


CaliforniaClean Energy Future Workshop Scheduled

California Clean Energy FutureThe Integrated Energy Policy Report Committee of the California Energy Commission will conduct a public informational meeting and workshop on July 6, 2011. Chair Robert Weisenmiller is the Presiding Member and Commissioner Karen Douglas is the Associate Member of the IEPR Committee. The joint agency meeting will include CalRecycle, the Air Resources Board, the California Environmental Protection Agency, California Independent System Operator Corporation, and the California Public Utilities Commission. The meeting's purpose is to encourage an open dialogue updating the California Clean Energy Future, to reflect Governor Brown's 2020 energy policy goals as well as the recently enacted 33 percent renewable portfolio standard. The agencies are requesting public comment regarding ways to implement and then measure effectiveness of policies identified by the California Clean Energy Future organization in their Overview document. The workshop will start at 1:30pm in the Byron Sher Auditorium on the 2nd floor of the Cal EPA Headquarters building, 1001 I Street, Sacramento. The open meeting will also be webcast. 07/03/2011


Due07/28/2011: Proposals for Issue Paper on Landfill Emissions Control

Climate Action ReserveThe Climate Action Reserve has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop an issue paper addressing Bioreactors and In-situ Composting as two methods for the capture, control and utilization of biomethane released from decomposing organic waste in landfills. The Reserve is a national greenhouse gas (GHG) offsets program establishing regulatory-quality standards, developing quantification / verification methods and issuing carbon offset credits known as Climate Reserve Tonnes (CRT) generated from such projects. The Reserve uses an internal screening process to identify candidate project types with good potential for offset protocol development. The contracted assessment is intended to build upon and substantiate the Reserve’s own initial assessments and research on these topics, and serve as a basis for development of protocols for this project type. Proposals are due to the Reserve by 5:00 pm July 28, 2011; contract award date is August 26, 2011 and the final Issue Paper needs to be completed and submitted by November 18, 2011. Submit proposals to the Climate Action Reserve, Attn: Proposal for Issue Paper, 523 W. 6th Street, #428, Los Angeles, CA 90014, FAX: (213) 623-6716, or via email to. Indicate “Proposal for Issue Paper” in the email subject line. Contact for questions: contact Max DuBuisson at (213) 785-1233 or. 07/03/2011


FloridaNational Guard Goes Green with Springboard Biodiesel

Camp Blanding Joint Training Center is going green according to the Florida National Guard, producing biodiesel to fuel the maintenance vehicle fleet using a BioPro 190 system from Chico, California based Springboard Biodiesel. The Guard collects drums of used vegetable oil from the Consolidated Dining Facility, then transports it to the Maintenance building where it is filtered twice then loaded into the BioPro 190 system. Processing takes about 48 hours, producing 100% biodiesel at around 67 cents a gallon. The project is just coming out of a pilot assessment that began in January 2010. “This is the only installation in the nation that has implemented this process,” said Jessika Blersch, the sustainability coordinator for the Florida National Guard’s Camp Blanding Joint Training Center. "Not only are we converting the waste cooking oil into something useable – in this case the fuel – but we’re also hitting an alternative fuel goal as well." The Camp Blanding Environmental Services department recently took third place in the National Guard Bureau’s environmental security awards program in the sustainability category. 07/02/2011


UpscalingSustainable Biofuels Is Topic of 4th Plenary Meeting in Brussels

European Biofuels Technology PlatformThe European Biofuels Technology Platform's (EBTP) 4th Stakeholder Plenary Meeting will be held at the Diamante Centre in Brussels on September 14-15, 2011. Those engaged in all aspects of biofuels are invited and attendance is free, but pre-registration and attendance confirmation are required through the organization's website, as past events have been very well attended and the Centre's capacity is limited. The theme of this year's Plenary is "From Feedstocks to Finance: Upscaling Sustainable Biofuels". A primary topic of discussion will be the European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative (EIBI). The Plenary sessions are intended to provide an opportunity for all biofuels stakeholders, especially Researchers, Academia, Biofuels and energy companies, Vehicle manufacturers, Trade organizations,  Forestry and feedstock organisations,  NGOs,  Media and Government. The agenda will include presentations  from the European Commission,  EBTP, IEA, ePure, US DoE, Bioenergy 2020+,  Mission of Brazil to the EU, Chemrec, UPM, IFP and many others, covering financing and progress on deployment and upscaling of advanced biofuels technologies, including feedstock issues and sustainability. 07/02/2011


LanzaTechEmissions-to-Ethanol Process Is Focus of Project in India

LanzaTechJindal Steel and Power (JSPL) and IndianOil are discussing collaboration to bring New Zealand-based LanzaTech's commercial emissions fermentation to ethanol capabilities to India. LanzaTech would process hydrocarbon-rich waste gas emissions from JSPL's steel mill into ethanol that would then be blended into IndianOil's fuel supply. Crude oil imports to India are expected to account for 80% of consumption in the near future; the Indian government has instituted a national fuels policy that requires 10% ethanol (E10) blended with mineral fuels, rising to 20% (E20) by 2017. LanzaTech’s vice-president of business development Asia Pacific, Prabhakar Nair, notes: “LanzaTech’s process meets the Indian Government’s criterion. This proposed collaboration between IndianOil and JSPL will not only deliver a new, indigenous resource to India’s liquid transportation fuel pool, but it will also demonstrate that India’s new energy future requires the creation of novel business partnerships.” LanzaTech is engaged in numerous international fuel and chemical projects in South Korea, China, Taiwan and elsewhere, and has now expanded production from low-cost ethanol to now include the production of 2,3-Butanediol (2,3-BDO), a foundation chemical for polymers, plastics and hydrocarbon fuels, including jet fuel. 07/01/2011


AgrokorStarts Construction on 1 MWe Waste to Biogas Plant in Croatia

AgrokorCroatian firm Agrokor Group has signed a contract with Slovenian construction company G.H Holding to develop Agrokor Energija's first biogas to energy facility at Gradec near Vrbovec, northeast of the Croatian capital Zagreb. The 1 megawatt (MWe) biogas plant will use anaerobic digestion to convert agricultural and food waste. Agrokor is one of the country's largest privately held companies, with their business centered on production and distribution of food and drink. Agrokor Energija intends to establish a network of food processing biogas plants throughout the region totaling around 30 MWe installed power within the next five years. In addition to power generation the plan calls for provision of thermal energy for dry kilns and enclosed greenhouse facilities, while also producing organic-based fertilizers and soils amendments. The company notes that starting construction on this first biogas plant is in tune with 30-year old Agrokor's business strategy based on the principles of sustainable development, which are implemented in all of its business segments on a daily basis. 07/01/2011


CaliforniaARB Chair Nichols Proposes 1-Year Delay in Cap-and-Trade

California Air Resources BoardIn testimony during an informational hearing before the California Select Committee on Environment, Economy and Climate Change, Air Resources Board Chairperson Mary Nichols this week presented an overview of "AB 32 Market Mechanisms". Chair Nichols discussed how the cap and trade regulations would fit within the overall implementation of AB 32 policy, provided details of the proposed program, and outlined a plan that would initiate the regulatory program in January of 2012 as described in the agency's recent Fact Sheet, but postpone compliance requirements until 2013. Challenges to the proposed AB 32 overall program occasioned development and release of a Supplement to the Scoping Plan which is currently in a 45-day review and comment period; an ARB hearing will be held in August 2011 to consider adoption of the alternatives in the supplement. Ms Nichols informed the Committee that ARB staff would stage a public workshop within the next few weeks to receive input on the new Cap and Trade proposal and other elements needed to complete the regulatory development; a Discussion Draft will be posted with information on the rulemaking schedule to the program website prior to the workshop. 07/01/2011


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