June 2011 News and Matters of Interest

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RareEarth Element Recycling and Recovery Has Substantial Potential

"China has dominated global extractive mining of oxides and production of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) for over 15 years."A new life cycle assessment of rare earth elements (REE) by researchers at Yale University's Center for Industrial Ecology finds that the amount of such materials contained in the stock of in-use goods provides a substantial recoverable reservoir. REEs are indispensible to modern technology, especially electronics, because of their unique physical and chemical properties. Many countries have shown concern regarding availability because China has dominated in the mining extraction for these materials since about 1990. Increasing global use of a wide variety of REEs over the past 15 years has resulted in a significant quantity incorporated within marketed and in-use goods. Although data for oxide mining extraction rates is available, little cohesive study of in-stock REE amounts has been accomplished. The researchers calculated the flow of individual REEs into the marketplace, and used that data to estimate in-use stock. Their findings:  In-use stocks of the REE totaled around 440 Gg in 2007, with most of the stock in four elements: La, Ce, Nd, and Pr. That stock is some four times the 2007 annual extraction rate, which suggests that REE recycling and recovery may have the potential to offset a significant part of REE virgin extraction in the future. 06/30/2011


DupontDanesco to Build Iowa Corn Stover to Ethanol Biorefinery

Dupont Danesco Cellulosic Ethanol (DDCE)Dupont Danesco Cellulosic Ethanol (DDCE) is moving forward with the purchase of land in Nevada, Iowa to develop its first commercial cellulosic ethanol production facility. DDCE will use corn stover as feedstock: dried cobs, stalks and leaves left after harvest, scaling up agricultural waste conversion technology being successfully employed to produce ethanol at its pre-commercial facility in Vonore, Tennessee. DDCE is collaborating with Iowa State University in developing best management practices for feedstock collection efforts, and has already begun working with local grain producers for corn stover to be collected this fall. The Nevada facility will be adjacent to Lincolnway Energy's existing standard corn ethanol plant, and will join POET's Project Liberty in Emmetsburg about 300 miles to the northwest of DDCE's site as Iowa's second proposed cellulosic biorefinery. Dupont acquired an equity majority for Danesco A/S in May 2011; DDCE is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dupont. With acquisition of Danesco, Dupont also controls Genencor, a Danesco division, which this month released their newest cellulosic breakdown enzyme package, Acellerase® TRIO. “We’re producing cellulosic ethanol sustainably and economically today, and the market is ready and interested to deploy large-scale biorefineries,” says Joe Skurla, CEO of DDCE. 06/29/2011


Qteros,UMass Receive Patents for Ethanol-Producing Q Microbe Bioprocessing

QterosThe University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) and Qteros Inc, the institute's exclusive licensee, have received approval for Patent 7,943,363 B2 covering expanded bioprocessing methods for use of Clostridium phytofermentans or Q Microbe®. The unique bacterium has the ability to ferment almost any form of biomass to ethanol. It was discovered by UMass Professor Susan Leschine and her research team in soil of the Quabbin Reservoir near campus (thus, the "Q Microbe®"). The team has also been allowed a Japanese patent for "Systems and Methods for Producing Biofuels and Related Materials," which has already been issued a US patent. Qteros' proprietary Consolidated Bioprocessing (CBP) technique cuts costs while optimizing the Q Microbe® 's ability to naturally produce all the enzymes required for biomass breakdown to fermentable pentose and hexose sugars, then co-fermenting the sugars into ethanol as its natural metabolic end product. CBP can use a wide variety of non-food biomass as feedstock including many agricultural residues and by-products, as well as energy crops. 06/29/2011


EPASets Timeline for Reconsideration of CISWI, Boiler MACT Rules

US Environmental Protection AgencyThe US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a schedule for issuing updated air toxics standards for boilers and certain solid waste incinerators in accordance with the filing of a Motion for Abeyance by the American Forest and Paper Association and others with the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. The abeyance allows all parties to gather additional information and improve the Rulemaking accuracy. The proposed standards are scheduled to be released for review and comment in late October; the final standards should be issued by the end of April 2012. In response to federal court orders, the EPA issued final standards for major and area source boilers and commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators, and also filed a notice of reconsideration to allow additional public comment on February 21, 2011. Following the February release of the waste and combustion rules, the EPA acted in May to postpone scheduling final rule release without setting a schedule. This new action establishes that schedule. See the EPA's recent Fact Sheet on this group of rulemakings for further information. 06/28/2011


UKUniversity Partners with IIT for Ag Waste Conversion + Solar Plant in India

Aston UniversityAston University in the United Kingdom (UK) is partnering with the India Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi on a three year project to develop a 300 kilowatt hybrid biomass conversion / solar panel power plant for electricity, heat and steam production. The project is being constructed in a remote northern India village as a blueprint for additional rural development. The biomass plant will be fuelled with agricultural waste such as rice hulls; the combined heat and power (CHP) will be utilized by a rice mill, fruit and vegetable processing plant, and water distillation system also being constructed as part of the overall project. The project will coordinate with current research into renewable biomass technologies by Aston University and the European Bioenergy Research Institute. The replicable project design is intended to give regional farmers access to cheap, renewable and reliable energy, providing remote villages with a source of income and a means to escape the cycle of "fuel poverty". The three-year, £3m Science Bridges project is being supported by Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST). For further information contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications at 0121 204-4549 or email . 06/28/2011


SouthCarolina and Australia Universities Partner on Biofuels RD&D

University of QueenslandSouth Carolina based Clemson University has agreed to collaborate with the University of Queensland (UQ), Australia to share research on conversion of biomass to fuel, to jointly seek public and private funding, and to further the development and commercialization of ethanol and biodiesel. Clemson University has already been working with the Savannah River National Laboratory and has completed bench-scale processing for conversion of switchgrass and sweet sorghum to ethanol with research continuing in coastal loblolly pine. Australian-based research will be coordinated through the UQ's Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI); according to QAAFI's Director, Professor Robert Henry, both universities have impressive track records in biofuels research. “This collaboration will enable some of the world's best biofuels scientists to get new processing capacity and new biofuels out into the marketplace,” Professor Henry said. “UQ and Clemson will push the boundaries of biofuels development with alternative energy concepts that will benefit both Queensland and South Carolina.” 06/28/2011


GenencorLaunches Accellerase® TRIO for Cellulosic Pre-Treatment

GenencorCalifornia-based Genencor has released Accellerase® TRIO, its most advanced package of enzymes for pre-treatment of cellulosic feedstock prior to fermentation. Accellerase® TRIO is a “cocktail” of enzymes combined to break down carbohydrates in feedstocks into fermentable sugars, increasing yield and lowering viscosity, which in turn increases system through-put rate. TRIO should increase the amount of ethanol that can be fermented from many kinds of non-food biomass feedstock, including conversion of the biogenic fraction of municipal solid waste. In 2007, Genencor launched the first commercial-scale enzyme for cellulosic ethanol production, Accellerase® 1000, and later the company introduced Accellerase® 1500 and Accellerase® DUET. DuPont acquired a majority stake in Danisco A/S, which includes its Genencor division in May 2011. Genencor enzymes and enzyme production will now operate within DuPont Industrial Biosciences. 06/27/2011


EdmontonWaste-to-Biofuels Research Lab and Pilot Plant Opens

Alberta InnovatesA partnership between the City of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the non-profit Alberta Innovates, and Enerkem has resulted in the opening of a unique "plug-and-play" pilot plant and research laboratory for advancing the field of waste conversion to biofuels and biochemicals, a key element of the Edmonton Biofuels initiative. The $12.5 million city-owned Advanced Energy Research Facility (AERF) has been funded by the Government of Alberta through Energy and Environmental Solutions division of Alberta Innovates (AI-EES; $29 million) and Alberta Energy ($3.35 million), with City of Edmonton contributing $43.5 million to the total project. Enerkem is providing the core conversion technology, air/oxygen blown gasification with syngas catalysis to liquids. AERF opened adjacent to the City's municipal waste transfer and processing station and Enerkem's waste-to-biofuels facility currently under-construction. The company currently operates two facilities in Quebec and began construction of the Enerkem Alberta Biofuels project in 2010. For information about the project, contact Connie Boyce at the City of Edmonton, (780) 496-5407, . For details on research opportunities at the AERF contact Jim Schubert at 780-496-7293 or . 06/27/2011


SolarLicensing Fees Fund Biogas Plant to Aid Lake Clean-Up

City of CelinaIn Ohio, the local news reports that the City of Celina broke ground on the first phase of the Celina Renewable Energy Center on schedule on the northern 20 acres of the 60 acre tract purchased by the City this year adjacent to Grand Lake St. Mary's (GLSM), the City's drinking water source. SolarVision paid $600,000 in licensing fees to the City in May for the initial three megawatt, 12,000 panel installation, which the City will use to build the digesters to help regional commissions dredge the lake, filter blue-green algae and construct an artificial wetlands for tertiary water "polishing".  The complex will eventually include the solar field, an anaerobic digester / biogas facility, sediment ponds and manmade wetlands. The biogas facility will convert some of the lake's toxic algal bloom along with manure and potentially other waste biomass into biogas for power generation. SolarVision plans to install an additional two megawatts on another 10 acre parcel as Phase II, which will bring the City an additional $700,000 in fees. The biogas project is expected to augment efforts of the GLSM Restoration Commission by converting algae to biogas, providing an on-going revenue source for restoration efforts. The City of Celina has joined with the Mercer and Auglaize County Commissioners, City of St. Marys, Lake Improvement Association (LIA), Lake Development Corporation (LDC), and Grand Lake St. Marys State Park to support the Grand Lake St. Marys Restoration Initiative. For more information about the Grand Lake St. Mary’s Restoration Commission (LRC) or the Strategic Plan, contact Tom Knapke, LRC facilitator: . 06/27/2011


ISU Grad Students Bridging the Gap with Hybrid Waste Conversion Processing

Researchers, left to right, Zhiyou Wen, DongWon Choi, Laura Jarboe and Robert C. Brown are using Iowa State University's Hybrid Processing Laboratory to mix thermochemical and biochemical technologies to produce biorenewable fuels and chemicals. Bob Elbert photo, ISU. Dr. Robert Brown's students are bridging the long-standing scientific abyss lying between biological processing and thermochemical processing of waste and biomass in their Hybrid Processing Laboratory on the Ames campus of Iowa State University (ISU). By integrating conversion processing platforms with widely differing environmental parameters, the ISU lab is pushing past technical "bottlenecks" and advancing multi-technologic "hybrid" configurations. Current graduate student research includes (1) Laura Jarboe's work on microbial fermentation of the bio-oils produced by fast pyrolysis, (2) Associate Professor Zhiyou Wen and student Yanwen Shen's research into fermentation of syngas from gasification, and (3) DongWon Choi, Texas A&M University-Commerce, collaborative use of micro-algae to convert carbon dioxide into oil that can be used to produce biofuels. Dr. Brown's hybrid processing lab is housed within ISU's broadly collaborative Biorenewables Research Laboratory; he has said he's noticed the students who work in the hybrid lab seem to be comfortable crossing thermochemical and biochemical lines: "Just like children from different cultures often learn to communicate with one another more quickly than do their parents, graduate students seem to pick up cross disciplinary culture and language faster than their faculty advisers." 06/25/2011


BlueFire Completes Initial Site Work for Mississippi Waste to Ethanol Biorefinery

BlueFire RenewablesCalifornia-based BlueFire Renewables reports that their contractor Century Construction has completed site preparation for construction of their 19 million gallon per year waste to ethanol facility in Fulton, Mississippi. BlueFire Renewables (OTC BB: BFRE.OB) holds a license for the patented Arkenol concentrated acid hydrolysis to fermentation waste conversion processing. The company's goal is to develop and operate biorefinery facilities to provide a viable alternative to fossil fuels on a world-wide basis, to convert widely available, inexpensive, organic materials such as agricultural residues, high-content biomass crops, wood residues, and cellulose in post-sorted municipal solid wastes into ethanol, along with other fuels and green chemicals. BlueFire took their capabilities eastward and found a ready partner in the Fulton, Mississippi community: “Itawamba County is very pleased to join BlueFire Renewables in the effort to alleviate our dependence on foreign fuels, preserve our environment and spur our economy. BlueFire’s first phase of construction has already created 52 jobs in Fulton and, as BlueFire moves into its next phase of construction, will create numerous more,” said Greg Deakle, Itawamba County Executive Director. 06/25/2011


Xergi to Construct Biogas Plant in France for META-BIO Energies

XergiThe French fertilizer company META-BIO Energies has selected Xergi SAS, the French subsidiary of Danish firm Xergi, to design and construct a biogas plant that will convert multiple types of waste biomass to green energy and biomass residue for fertilizer. The plant will be located in the town of Bel-Air de Combrée in western France. META-BIO Energies produces an array of fertilizers and soils amendments from biomass; the new facility will provide combined heat and power (CHP) and sterilized fibrous residue. Xergi will supply multi-feedstock receiving stations, NiX® nitrogen extraction / ammonia sequestration, homogenization and pasteurization pre-treatment systems, anaerobic digesters, and biomethane to heat and power generation. The facility will convert food waste including animal fats, along with both solid and liquid biomass from agricultural and municipal wastes. The plant will be designed for an annual process capacity of 23,000 tons of biomass to produce about 1 megawatt of electricity. Hot water from cooling the engines will also be used; the production of green electricity and heat means that the plant will ensure a reduction in annual carbon emissions of 1,400 tons. The plant is expected to be operational by the end of this year. 06/24/2011


DECC Publishes National Energy Policy Statement, Microgeneration Strategy

United Kingdom Department of Energy and Climate ChangeThe United Kingdom's (UK) Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has published their Energy National Policy Statement (NPS) for debate by Parliament, a complex set of documents including a Microgeneration Strategy designed to promote microgeneration and decentralized energy production. The Energy NPS is intended to provide a blueprint for streamlined decision-making when considering individual energy generation applications. The Microgeneration Strategy is accompanied by an Action Plan, Certification Scheme and Impact Assessment, developed during lengthy a multi-year public consultation process; the package focuses on non-financial barriers to implementation of heat and power generation projects under 50kW for electricity and less than 300kW for heat. Chapter 2.5 of the Renewable Energy NPS (EN-3) specifically addresses conversion of waste and biomass. The policy complies with terms of the Green Energy Act 2009 and is primarily intended for England. A Feed-In Tariff (FIT) provides incentives, complementing UK's novel Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which will apply to commercial and multiple heat installations later this year, extending to domestic heat from 2012. Microgeneration technologies noted in the study as currently available on the market include solar photo-voltaic panels (PV),  solar thermal panels, ground and air source heat pumps, wind turbines, micro-hydro, micro-combined heat and power (CHP) units; and biomass. The date of the debate in Parliament is not yet finalized. 06/24/2011


ROC Receives Exclusive Dynamotive License for Australia Per Joint Venture

Dynamotive Energy Systems CorporationCanadian-based thermal conversion company Dynamotive Energy Systems Corporation has agreed to an exclusive all-Australia license to Renewable Oil Corporation Pty Ltd (ROC) of Melbourne, Australia, and extended ROC's current license covering New Zealand and the pacific Islands until August of 2013. Dynamotive's fast pyrolysis is a carbon/greenhouse gas neutral technology that uses medium temperatures and oxygen-less conditions to turn dry, waste cellulosic biomass into BioOil for power and heat generation. The system's residual is a biochar useful as a soils amendment. The exclusive license agreement is part of a joint venture (JV) between the two companies to develop the biofuels market in Australia. ROC will pay a $250,000 licensing fee and issue additional shares and warrants, increasing Dynamotive's share in ROC from 8% to 30%. Andrew Kingston, President & CEO of Dynamotive: "We have built a strong working relationship with ROC since our initial collaboration in 2006, our increase in shareholding reflects the confidence we have in the Australian market, the valuable work carried out by ROC and its partners and the project pipeline developed. I look forward to our continued collaboration." 06/23/2011


Canada's CCEMC Grants $15MM for Three Biomass Conversion Projects

Climate Change and Emissions Management CorporationThe Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC) has selected three biomass thermal conversion projects to receive $5 million each in project development grants. The CCEMC is a non-profit organization created by the Alberta, Canada government to incorporate a technology fund in Alberta’s regulatory approach; penalties collected for emissions violations are invested in renewable energy projects. To date, the CCEMC has invested about $113 million in renewable energy projects. Current awardees are: (1) West Fraser Timber's Slave Lake Pulp Bio-Methane project will develop anaerobic digestion as part of their existing effluent-treatment. The biogas will generate electricity and heat for the pulping process. (2) Growing Power Hairy Hill L.P. is developing an integrated biorefinery, a large-scale biofuel plant using agricultural waste to power its systems and produce ethanol, with fertilizer and high-nutrient cattle feed as byproducts, which the CCEMC said achieves net zero greenhouse gas emissions status. (3) High North BioResources L.P. is a partnership of forest products company Tolko Industries Ltd. and pyrolysis specialists Ensyn Technologies; their commercial fast pyrolysis plant will be capable of producing 75 million litres of pyrolysis oil a year from 400 tonnes per day of sawmill residual biomass. The oil will be used to produce renewable energy in Tolko’s High Level sawmill. 06/23/2011


Inbicon Study Supports North American Ag Waste Conversion to Ethanol

InbeconA technical feasibility study completed for Danish biorefinery company Inbicon has confirmed for them that "… North America's great abundance of corn stover and wheat straw is sufficiently concentrated in the prime grain-growing regions to make biomass collection practical and economical," says Benny Mai, General Manager, Inbicon. "Farmers and biomass refinery owners alike will benefit." Inbicon, a subsidiary of DONG energy, is now operating their first commercial biorefinery in Kalundborg, Denmark, which will eventually be the "heartbeat" of the Inbicon Biomass Technology Campus. The Kalundborg biorefinery is converting about 33,000 tons of wheat straw per year into 1.4 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol, 14,333 tons of lignin pellets, and 12,128 tons of C5 molasses. Inbicon's core technology is a three-stage process: mechanical, hydrothermal, and enzymatic treatment of biomass. Mr. Mai sees no technical or feedstock obstacles preventing "hundreds of commercial biomass refineries from dotting the U.S. and Canada, turning the leftovers of the harvest into billions of gallons of cellulosic ethanol and thousands of megawatts of green electricity." 06/23/2011 


Thesis Chemistry and SMET Partner for Green Chemical Biorefineries

Thesis Chemistry IncCanadian company Thesis Chemistry and Wisconsin-based SMET Construction Services are partnering to design and build commercial scale biorefineries for manufacturing green chemicals from lignocellulosic biomass feedstock. SMET was the primary investor in Thesis Chemistry's recent first tranche of equity financing. “We are extremely pleased to have SMET as an investor and bio-refinery construction partner”, said Christopher Forslund, Chief Executive Officer of Thesis. “SMET brings to the table the innovation, design, engineering and construction abilities required to deliver a turn-key bio-refinery facility over to Thesis”. Thesis has proprietary technologies that transform lignin from biomass into green aromatic chemicals; their patented processes are used to produce bulk specialty chemicals and can be licensed. The biomass-based chemicals are identical to petroleum-based counterparts, except for their sustainable sourcing. The company expects to bring a new product to market each year or two, and now is seeking expansion through outside investment and partnering. Thesis also received $180,380 from the Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE) last month to convert forest waste into green chemicals. 06/22/2011


CalRecycle Releases Final MSW Anaerobic Digestion PEIR

CalRecycleThe California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has released the Final Program Environmental Impact Report (SCH No. 2010042100) for "Statewide Anaerobic Digester Facilities for the Treatment of Municipal Organic Solid Waste". The document analyses potential environmental impacts associated with a broad program of facilities development, and is available on-line. The accompanying Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Plan is also available on-line, and provides specific and detailed methods to optimize benefits and minimize socio-environmental impacts of anaerobic digestion facility development. CalRecycle met June 21, 2011 to provide the public with an overview of changes since the draft was issued, to consider staff recommendations for final approval of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) "Findings", and to adopt the Anaerobic Digestion Initiative, the core implementation policy. A Guidance Document will be circulated in draft during July, meant to aid local agencies in "tiering" local CEQA assessment documents off of the Program EIR. For further information, contact Ken Decio at (916) 341-6313 or. 06/22/2011


Domtar Partners with Wisconsin Energy for Biomass Energy Plant

Wisconsin Electric Power CompanyThe Domtar Paper Company mill in Rothschild, Wisconsin will be the site of a $250 million, 50 megawatt biomass power plant, after signing revised agreements with Wisconsin Electric Power Company (We Energies). In May of this year, We Energies received approval to construct from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, but the final order required that the two companies raise an additional $10 million to reduce the financial impact on the public. Domtar's new agreement to the revised financials meets WPSC's order points, allowing the project to move forward. The biomass plant will be fueled with the mill's paper residues, forest timber harvest and vegetation management wastes, and other waste wood. The plant will power the mill and provide steam, with excess electricity for the state power grid. "This project is an innovative way to improve our mill's competitiveness and environmental performance while providing more green power to the State of Wisconsin," said John D. Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of Domtar. "Wood is a renewable resource that can be used for producing pulp, paper, and electricity, and we are proud to leverage our expertise in sustainable fiber procurement." 06/22/2011


Ontario Invests in Carcass Gasification to Energy

Ontario CanadaThe Rural Economic Development (RED) Program of Ontario, Canada is supporting a plant to sterilize and recover energy from "dead stock", or animal carcasses, with an investment of $3,652,809. Since 2003 when bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was discovered in dead cattle, the Perth County rendering company Atwood Pet Food Supplies no longer uses the rendering by-products as additives to animal food. The company still collects and renders carcasses, primarily from regional agriculture, and sells the tallow to biodiesel producers, sends the liquid effluent to the water treatment plant, and all solids are landfilled. The new facility will use advanced gasification to treat dead livestock and other Specified Risk Material (SRM), increasing processing capacity from 60 to 100 tonnes per day. "Through the Rural Economic Development Program the Ontario government is creating jobs by supporting our vital livestock industry and ensuring food safety,” stated Perth-Wellington MPP John Wilkinson. "This $3,652,809 expansion project will allow Atwood Pet to continue to grow and remain competitive, hire more people and send a strong signal that our province supports agriculture.” 06/21/2011


Addax Is Funded for Sierra Leone Integrated Sustainable Biorefinery

Addax BioenergyAddax Bioenergy has signed a €258 million loan agreement with a consortium of European and African development institutions for an integrated ethanol - bioenergy facility in Sierra Leone. A subsidiary of Swiss-based Addax and Oryx Group Ltd., Addax Bioenergy will develop and integrate operations of a Greenfield sugarcane plantation, ethanol production facility and biomass fueled bioenergy plant. The investment partners have spent over three years assessing potential regional impacts and developing a model that incorporates optimal socio-economic benefit. As part of the Food Safety aspect of the project, a unique Farmer Development Programme graduated its first 118 student-farmers this past January. “The extensive dialogue over more than two years with landowners, local chiefdom councils, national authorities, civil society, NGOs and others has been at the heart of a series of breakthrough solutions that we hope will set a good example for further sustainable investments in the future,” commented Nikolai Germann, Managing Director of Addax Bioenergy. Construction is scheduled to begin this year, with commissioning in 2013. 06/21/2011


DOE to Conduct Recycled Energy Tour of Successful Utah CHP Projects

US Department of Energy Clean Energy Application CenterThe US Department of Energy's (DOE) Intermountain Clean Energy Application Center will conduct a tour on July 13, 2011 of two successful recycled combined heat and power (CHP) projects in Utah. The installations at the Kennecott Utah Copper facilities and the Snowbird Resort reduce operational costs and improve air quality by reducing heating and cooling related emissions. The event will also offer presentations about Recycled Energy and group exploration of ways to increase Recycled Energy in Utah; the wrap-up session will discuss how Utah might move toward out-put based emissions. The first 20 to register attend for free; after that, the cost is $50 each. The event is also sponsored by Rocky Mountain Power and Ormat Technologies. The Intermountain Clean Energy Application Center offers detailed state-by-state Recycled Energy information, early-stage project feasibility assessment and on-going support for clean energy development. For further information about the Center's activities and services contact Patti Case, Director, (801)278-1927, . 06/21/2011 


Hybrid Waste to Energy and Bioproducts "Energy Works" Facility Proposed in UK

Proposed Energy Works FacilityUnited Kingdom (UK) developer C. Spencer Ltd has submitted plans to the Hull City Council for "Energy Works", a £150m integrated waste management, resource recovery, and renewable energy plant to be built next to the River Hull on the site of a former cocoa factory. The multi-purpose facility will receive over 200,000 tons of mixed municipal solid waste annually into multi-stage sorting and recycling front-end operations. Green waste, food waste and non-recyclable paper will be split between in-vessel aerobic composting (IVC) and anaerobic digestion (AD), with AD digestate going into the IVC and to the gasification system. Biomethane from the digesters will be prepared for national gas grid injection and/or vehicle fuel. The remaining solids will be processed by advanced gasification for 25 megawatts of power generation with heat returned to meet the AD system need, and most ash recovered as a building material. The Energy Works facility will also include large solar and wind energy installations. The integrated facility should meet about 25% of the city's electric need and be able to dramatically increase the waste tonnage that is locally processed and reduce waste transport out of the region. 06/20/2011


CEC Awards $500K to UC Davis for Community-Integrated AD Project

UC Davis West Village is a new campus neighborhood now under construction on UC Davis land adjacent to the core campus in Davis, California.The California Energy Commission (CEC) has awarded a $500,000 grant to the University of California (UC) Davis "West Village Energy Initiative" (WVEI) to support pre-construction engineering and post-construction monitoring for their community-integrated anaerobic digestion (AD) and biogas utilization project. The CEC approved Agreement PIR-10-061 to supplement the University's cost share match of their $2,500,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) award, with a total project cost of $4.8 million. The two-stage digester is a key component of the WVEI "Zero Net Energy" on-campus community development. The WVEI project includes a community waste receiving and handling facility / outreach center; the AD system which will create onsite renewable biogas from waste; integrated bio-methane upgrade system to remove H2S, CO2 and other impurities; and measuring, monitoring and verification equipment to validate system performance. The biogas will power a fuel cell to serve as baseline power for West Village, supporting the solar photovoltaic system and providing the principal source of electricity for West Village at night and during overcast conditions. 06/20/2011


Cambi Awarded Contract for Newcastle WWTP Biosolids Pretreatment

Northumbrian Water, United KingdomNorwegian thermal hydrolysis specialist Cambi has been awarded a contract to install its Thermal Hydrolysis Process (THP) for pre-treatment of biosolids at the Northumbrian Water's (NW) advanced wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) near Newcastle, United Kingdom. Cambi UK Ltd has been awarded a contract by GTM, a joint venture between Imtech Process Ltd and Galliford Try Infrastructure Services Ltd to furnish the thermal hydrolysis process for the Howdon sewage treatment works advanced digestion project. THP pre-treatment of the biosolids will allow better biogas generation and sludge sterilization at the Howdon sewage treatment works. NW has been using Cambi's process at Howdon's sister facility at Brad Sands since 2009, and is currently treating around 100 dry tons per day. The biogas from the digesters will be used to produce over 4 megawatts of renewable electricity, waste heat is also recycled to steam for Cambi THP and for other uses. Overall it has been estimated that the two projects using Cambi THP will reduce NW’s carbon footprint by about 50,000 tonnes CO2 per year. 06/20/2011


Biffa Opens 120,000 Tonnes/Year Food Waste to Energy AD Plant

Biffa's West Midlands Anaerobic Digestion Facility – development of an anaerobic digestion facility at the Poplars waste management site in Cannock Staffordshire, UK.United Kingdom (UK) waste management company Biffa has opened what may be the largest food waste anaerobic digestion (AD) facility in the United Kingdom, adjacent to its Poplars landfill in the West Midlands near Cannock, Staffordshire. Up to 120,000 tonnes of regional food waste per year will be sterilized at 70 degrees C for an hour to pass UK's Animal By-products regulations, then fed to four anaerobic digester tanks to produce biomethane for power generation and fibrous digestate as a PAS110-certified soils amendment. The Poplars accepts and landfills around 80,000 tonnes of food waste annually, has an on-site windrow composting operation for green waste, and has applied for permits for in-vessel composting. The advanced totally enclosed AD facility will allow Biffa to dramatically increase management capacity for food waste, while generating electricity and the heat needed for the pasteurization. At the grand opening, Biffa's Chief Executive Ian Wakelin said: “This is the future of waste. It is taking food that could once only be sent to landfill and turning it into something of value on a truly industrial scale. It is a key milestone in society’s drive to reduce waste, cut emissions and recover the inherent value in our waste.” 06/20/2011


CSBP Field Tests First US Sustainable Biomass Production Standard

Council on Sustainable Biomass ProductionThe Council on Sustainable Biomass Production (CSBP) is completing (501)(c)(3) filings in preparation for full non-profit status, electing Board members, hiring specialists and preparing to launch the first US standard for sustainable biomass production for bioenergy, biofuels and bioproducts. After four years of assessment, the agricultural biomass element of their provisional standard is now being field tested and should be ready for implementation by the summer of 2012. At that time, the CSBP hopes to enroll as many acres as possible in the production of biomass to ensure that production and harvest are all done in a sustainable manner. The CSBP is focused on ensuring that the projected large amounts of biomass needed to support the growing bioeconomy are produced sustainably, and that the resulting energy produced from that biomass is also produced sustainably. For further information, contact Interim Executive Director John Heissenbuttel at , (209) 296-4889 and visit CSBP's website. 06/17/2011


New BCAP Project Areas Announcement Coincides with House Vote to Defund

Biomass Crop Assistance ProgramUS Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced four additional Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) project areas to promote the cultivation of crops that can be processed into renewable energy. Acreage in Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania will be designated to grow giant Miscanthus, a sterile hybrid warm-season grass that can be converted into energy to be used for heat, power, liquid biofuels, and bio-based products. The announcement coincided with the US House of Representatives voting to eliminate 2012 funding for BCAP, which only last month authorized the first Project Area. When asked about the possibility of losing 2012 BCAP funding, Secretary Vilsack said that the USDA believes it has enough funding to support the projects announced so far, "We’re confident these project areas announced today are ones that we can fund, along with the one announced last month.” The sign-up period for these new project areas will begin on Monday, June 20, 2011. The deadline to sign up for the project areas will be announced at a later date. The Farm Service Agency (FSA), administering the program on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation with conservation planning assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and other partners, will enter into contracts with landowners and operators in these project areas. Producers interested in participating in the project areas should visit their local FSA county office. Further information is available on the BCAP program website. 06/17/2011


Gevo and Redfield Energy Form JV to Retrofit 2nd Ethanol Plant for Isobutanol

Gevo, IncColorado-based Gevo's Gevo Development, LLC has entered into a joint venture (JV) with Redfield Energy to retrofit Redfield's existing ethanol plant into an isobutanol plant with an expected production capacity of approximately 38 million gallons per year. Gevo will provide the technology and capital necessary to retrofit Redfield's ethanol facility in Redfield, South Dakota, and will receive an equity interest in Redfield. Gevo's first plant retrofit broke ground May 31, 2011 in Luverne, Minnesota, and is expected to bring its isobutanol capacity online in the first half of 2012. The Redfield plant will become Gevo's second production facility and is expected to bring total annual isobutanol capacity for 2012 to approximately 60 MGPY. In May 2011, Gevo announced a letter of intent for its third plant, also a JV, for an additional expected 50 MGPY of isobutanol production. Gevo plans to have approximately 110 MGPY of isobutanol capacity online in 2013. The Redfield retrofit groundbreaking should come by year end 2011; commercial production of isobutanol at the facility is anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2012. Gevo Development, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Gevo, Inc. 06/17/2011 


CA ARB Releases LCFS Guidance Document

CA ARB Low Carbon Fuel StandardThe California Air Resources Board (ARB) has released a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) - Question and Answer Guidance Document (Version 2.0) to draw the current LCFS understanding into one "living" public document, and intended to be updated as the program continues. The Guidance Document is presented in a plain English, question-and-answer (Q&A) format to address questions the ARB has received during formation of the LCFS regulatory process. The guide includes an Overview and provides chapters on Biofuel Producer Registration, Initial Demonstration of Physical Pathway, the LCFS Reporting Tool (LRT), Reporting Requirements, Determining Carbon Intensities (CIs), Commingling of Products, Product Transfer Documents (PTDs), and Interim Reporting of CIs. The Guidance Document will continue to evolve as questions are submitted and staff develops responses. Send comments to Stephen d’Esterhazy at and copied to Floyd Vergara at. 06/17/2011


Brazilian Landfill to Use FirmGreen Technology to Make Biogas for Heat

FirmGreenNewport Beach, California based FirmGreen Inc will supply their specialized landfill gas cleaning technology to the Novo Gramacho Landfill in Brazil. FirmGreen's systems will make clean, usable fuel gas or biogas from the "dirty gas" extracted from the landfill. The project developer and biogas plant’s owner-operator is Gás Verde, S.A. FirmGreen negotiated the agreement with Gás Verde in 2010, who will oversee project construction in Brazil and provide some of the plant components. FirmGreen selected Guild Associates of Dublin, Ohio to fabricate the specialized gas cleaning equipment required for the project; Guild employees will also assist with start-up of the Gás Verde’s Biogas Plant. Brazil's oil and gas giant Petrobras will use the biogas from the project to generate over 10% of the thermal energy needed to run its Duque de Caxias Refinery. The Novo Gramacho Biogas Plant should reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.4 million metric tons, annually, and is scheduled to begin commercial operations later this year. 06/17/2011 


Grand Canyon Trust: Context of 4FRI and the Wallow Fire

Wallow Fire Photo courtesy of Apache -Sitgreaves NF.The non-profit Grand Canyon Trust (GCT) has posted an article addressing the importance of the Four Forests Restoration Initiative (4FRI) in context with the massive Wallow Fire now raging across the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in the south-eastern portion of GCT's oversight territory. The article states that combining the acreage currently burning in the Wallow Fire with the Rodeo-Chedisk Fire, which burned over 460,000 acres in 2002, over a quarter of the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in North America has been burned severely in just the last 10 years. The GCT is an active stakeholder participating in the overall regional forest planning effort, and notes that following issuance of the revised Proposed Action by the US Forest Service, a Draft Environmental Impact Statement should be issued later this fall. The NEPA planning process is then expected to take another year to conclude, with a final Record of Decision in the fall of 2012. If approved the plan should provide, for the first time, long-term (10-year) Federal biomass supply contracts. GCT is headquartered in Flagstaff, Arizona and may be contacted at (928) 774-7488 or by email atfor further information. (See our Action Item: 4FRI Proposals are now due 08/12/2011) 06/16/2011 


Genomatica Produces Bio-BDO on Schedule at Tate & Lyle Demo Facility

GenomaticaSan Diego-based bio-engineering company Genomatica has successfully produced 1,4-butanediol strictly from biological processes (Bio-BDO) at demonstration scale in the 13,000 liter fermentation tanks of Illinois scale-up partner Tate & Lyle. The company's gene-engineered E. Coli bacteria and integrated fermentation processes convert sugars from biomass into the industrial foundation chemical BDO (butanediol), currently produced in petroleum refinery "crackers" and used in the manufacture of high performance polymers, solvents and fine chemicals. The demonstration-scale success helps validate the design and basic engineering package for construction of the first commercial-scale plant. Genomatica's funding record is impressive, with their $5 million Department of Energy award this month and a key strategic investment from Waste Management in February of this year. “This marks another milestone on our rapid path to commercialization”, said Christophe Schilling, CEO of Genomatica. “We expect to be in commercial production in late 2012, with world-scale plants in the U.S., Europe and Asia starting in 2014.” 06/16/2011


RSB Releases Online Biofuel Sustainability Assessment Tool

Roundtable on sustainable BiofuelsThe Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) now provides on-line access to the beta version of their Biofuel Sustainability Tool; use is free, but registration is required. Assessment begins with a Principles and Criteria Questionnaire with definitions and rankings for RSB's 12 Principles and their associated Criteria, and then proceeds to a weighting of Risk Factors. The module for calculation of a pathway's Greenhouse Gas impact remains under construction. The RSB Application Module allows self-assessment of biofuel pathway characteristics for pre-certification preparation. The primary use of the RSB Standard is a certification system involving independent 3rd party certification bodies; the Certification System has been active since March 23, 2011. The RSB certification model uses a risk management approach, which ensures security and robustness while remaining flexible for participating operators. To match the needs of operators, several "chain of custody" options are proposed (100% segregation, mass balance, etc.). It is also possible to certify groups of producers. For further Standards Development information visit the main RSB website or contact Sébastien Haye,. 06/16/2011


EPA Opens Two Chemical Assessment Databases for Public Use

US Environmental Protection AgencyThe US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened two on-line chemical assessment databases to public use, aiding efforts in many areas of the country for consideration of "green chemistry" alternatives to petroleum-sourced foundation chemicals and products, and to help efficiently understand biological processes impacted by chemicals that may lead to adverse health effects. The ToxCastDB screens 1,000 chemicals in over 500 rapid tests (called high-throughput screening assays). ToxCastDB benefits include: 1) Users can search and download data for all ToxCast chemicals, assays, genes, pathways and endpoints; 2) Database allows for statistical associations and biologically driven data mining; and 3) Database provides links to available animal data through ToxRefDB. The ExpoCastDB consolidates observational human exposure data, improving access and providing links to health related data. The database access should also provide a foundation for environmental quality compliance and certification for projects with the potential for human health related impacts. 06/16/2011


DTE Energy Receives Authority to Construct to Convert Coal Plant to Biomass

DTE Energy ServicesDTE Energy Services (DTEES) has received an Authority to Construct and Certificate of Conformity from the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District (SJAPCD) for conversion of the Port of Stockton District Energy Facility (POSDEF) from combustion of coal entirely to biomass fuel derived from urban wood waste, tree trimmings and agricultural residues. Once refueled, the facility will produce about 45 megawatts of power. POSDEF began operation in 1989 as a coal-fired power plant and ceased operation in April 2009. DTEES purchased the plant in June 2010 with plans to convert the plant, replacing the boiler and updating emissions control technologies. The company has completed a similar biomass conversion in Cassville, Wisconsin and has another under way in Bakersfield, California, and is operating biomass power plants in Woodland, California and Mobile, Alabama. 06/15/2011


Gates Foundation Backs Wastewater Sludge to Biofuels Research

Columbia University The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded Columbia University Earth and Environmental Engineering Associate Professor Kartik Chandran $1.5 million to develop simple and cost-effective systems for conversion of human waste to biodiesel and methane. Dr. Chandran has been working with his partners Ashley Murray, founder and director of American-lead Ghanaian company Waste Enterprisers, and Moses Mensah, a Chemical Engineering professor at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, to developing technology to transform fecal sludge into biodiesel and create the “Next-Generation Urban Sanitation Facility” in Accra, Ghana. Dr. Chandran has been associated with Ghana for two years as the faculty advisor for the Columbia University Engineers without Borders Ghana team; he says that potential outcomes of his work will also include integrating the bioprocess technology component into a social enterprise business model that will further promote widespread implementation of this approach and technology across the globe, especially in developing economies. 06/15/2011


UK DEFRA Publishes Detailed Review of Waste Management Policy in England

The Waste Management Hierarchy provides prioritization guidance for public and private action toward a Zero Waste Economy for the United Kingdom. Image: DEFRA, 2011The United Kingdom's Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has released their Government Review of Waste Policy in England 2011. The detailed 80-page assessment covers every aspect of waste management, with chapters following their waste hierarchy of Prevention, Preparation for Re-Use, Recycling, Other Recovery, and finally Disposal. The Coalition Government's intent to complete a comprehensive Waste Review was announced last year, committing the Government to “work towards a zero waste economy and encourage councils to pay people to recycle and reduce littering” and “measures to promote a huge increase in energy from waste through anaerobic digestion”. The Anaerobic Digestion Strategy and Action Plan has also just been published. The Government will publish a follow-up zero-waste action plan on waste prevention in December 2013, to check progress and address further developments under any new EU regulation. Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “Letting rubbish and waste rot in landfill is madness when we can use it to power our homes and cars. We are already making it financially attractive to turn waste into electricity under the Feed-in Tariffs scheme and soon there’ll be similar incentives to generate heat too. The Anaerobic Digestion Strategy and Action Plan will help us unlock the potential to get more energy from waste to reduce emissions in the fight against climate change.” 06/15/2011


Bacterial-Sourced Enzyme that Digests Biomass Could Aid Biofuel Production

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Researchers at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom (UK) have identified an enzyme in bacteria which could be used to make biofuel production from biomass more efficient. The work is a collaborative effort with a team at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and funded in part by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)-led Integrated Biorefining Research and Technology (IBTI) Club. The researchers identified the gene for breaking down lignin in a soil-living bacterium called Rhodococcus jostii. Such enzymes have been found in fungi, but this is the first for bacteria. The bacterium’s genome has already been sequenced, which means that it could be modified more easily to produce large amounts of the required enzyme. Team leader Professor Timothy Bugg at the University of Warwick said, “For biofuels to be a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels we need to extract the maximum possible energy available from plants. By raising the exciting possibility of being able to produce lignin-degrading enzymes from bacteria on an industrial scale this research could help unlock currently unattainable sources of biofuels. By making woody plants and the inedible by-products of crops economically viable the eventual hope is to be able to produce biofuels that don’t compete with food production.” The research is published in the June 14, 2011 Issue of the American Chemical Society's journal "Biochemistry". 06/14/2011


$3MM from CRIBE Funds G2 BioChem for Biorefinery Process RD&D

Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-EconomyThe Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE) is providing $3 million in support of a partnership between G2 BioChem and Lakehead University to advance biorefinery process design and demonstration. G2 BioChem is a recently formed joint venture between Canadian biofuels company Greenfield Ethanol, the industrial process giant Andritz, and the enzyme specialist Novozymes. Lakehead University's Biorefining Research Initiative will focus on the development of value-added chemicals from the process, developing new uses from these products, such as adhesives, biochemicals, and biopharmaceuticals. G2 BioChem's focus will be on design and development of biorefinery processes, using its new $42M demonstration plant at its Center of Excellence in Chatham, Ontario. CRIBE’s participation in this project will give access to the full research facility and industrial expertise at Chatham to LU researchers, students and CRIBE members. Results from work at the demonstration plant will be used by CRIBE, its clients in Northern Ontario and LU researchers to develop local projects that will generate revenue and bring new jobs to northern communities. “This is an unparalleled opportunity to move the North ahead leaps and bounds in the green technology industry,” said Lorne Morrow, CEO of CRIBE. “Finding new and innovative uses for our forest products is the main reason for CRIBE’s existence and this announcement brings us closer to success than ever.” 06/14/2011


KiOR Increases IPO Target to $241.5MM and Sets Price per Share

KiORTexas advanced biofuels and biochemicals company KiOR has modified their S-1 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Corporation for their Initial Public Offering (IPO) announced in April. KiOR has proposed a maximum aggregate offering price of $241,500,000 at $21.00 per share on 11,500,000 shares registered. The company has been successful in developing their fast pyrolysis process for "biomass catalytic cracking" to bio-oil, commercializing their Biomass Catalytic Cracking (BCC) technology. BCC technology catalytically converts lignocelluloses biomass into a high quality bio-crude which is suitable for refining directly to standard transportation fuels. Since the IPO filing, KiOR has signed two key offtake agreements, the first with the Chevron / Weyerhaeuser 50-50% joint venture company Catchlight Energy, the second a ground fuel supply agreement with FedEx. Most recently, a feedstock supply agreement was signed between KiOR and Catchlight, who will supply forest-sourced feedstock. "Securing a feedstock supply agreement for our first commercial facility in Columbus, MS is an important milestone," said Fred Cannon, KiOR’s President and CEO.  "We are pleased with the progress in securing contracts for the facility’s feedstock supply and for the offtake of the facility's output of renewable fuel blendstocks." 06/14/2011


DOE Awards $36MM for Drop-In Biofuels / Biochemical Projects

USDOE Biomass ProgramSix small-scale projects in California, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin will receive up to $36 million from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to improve technology and process integration for production of drop-in advanced biofuels and other valuable bio-based chemicals. The intent is to improve the economics and efficiency of biological and chemical processes for conversion of non-food biomass feedstocks into replacements for petroleum-based feedstocks, products, and fuels. Award recipients: (1) General Atomics: algal fermentation processes to increase production of algal oils for advanced biofuels; (2) Genomatic: engineered organisms and optimized fermentation for conversion of cellulosic sugars to 1,4-butanediol (BDO); (3) Michigan Biotechnology Institute: improvements to a pretreatment process for making stable, conversion-ready intermediates; (4) HCL CleanTech: pretreatment, conversion to sugars, and subsequent conversion of those sugars to fuels using concentrated hydrochloric acid hydrolysis; (5) Texas Engineering Experiment Station: pretreatment for cellulosic biomass feedstocks using a combination of chemical and mechanical processing; (6) Virent: integrated process to convert cellulosic biomass to a mix of hydrocarbons. The grants are part of DOE's Biomass Program. 06/13/2011


4RFI to Receive $3.5MM Collaborative Forest Restoration Funding

Four Forests Restoration Initiative MapThe Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) in Arizona was one of several projects nationwide that would receive Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration funding to promote healthier, safer and more productive public lands, a program which began receiving funding in 2010. For its second year of funding, the 4FRI will receive $3.5 million. The 4FRI is a collaborative, public/private landscape-scale initiative designed to restore fire-adapted ecosystems in Arizona forests. The first phase of 4FRI is expected to restore about 350,000 acres of ponderosa pines forests within the Kaibab and Coconino national forests in the northwestern region of the 4RFI in central Arizona. Businesses will benefit from the effort by harvesting, processing and selling wood products. Proposals for restoration contracts are due 8/1/2011. The eastern portion of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests within the 4RFI along the boundary with New Mexico is involved in the 443,989 acre Wallow Fire. The fire began on 05/29/2011 and is 10% contained according to the most recent Incident report. 06/13/2011


DTSC Green Chemistry Program's Science Panel Preparing for July Meeting

CA DTSC Green Chemistry InitiativeSubcommittees of the Green Ribbon Science Panel are holding teleconferences during June in preparation for a full-panel meeting on July 14-15, 2011 in Sacramento, California. The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the Green Ribbon Science Panel formed three subcommittees to more deeply discuss issues related to the Green Chemistry Program, authorized by two laws providing the Green Chemistry Initiative foundation. The law also created the Panel made up of experts to provide advice on scientific matters, chemical policy recommendations and implementation strategies. The Panel will ensure that implementation efforts are based on a strong scientific foundation. All Panel subcommittee meetings are open to the public, and will include an opportunity for the public to make comments. 06/13/2011 


General Biodiesel Uses Controlled Cavitation to Pre-Treat Waste Cooking Oil

General BiodieselSeattle, Washington based General Biodiesel pre-treats incoming waste cooking oil using a "Shockwave" Power Reactor (SPR) hydrodynamic cavitation system developed and manufactured by Hydro Dynamics, Inc and provided by Advanced Biofuel Solutions. As liquid passes through the SPR it is subjected to “controlled cavitation.” Microscopic hydrodynamics cavitation bubbles are produced and as they collapse, shockwaves are given off into the liquid and the force breaks up the process material into microscopic sizes. This increases the surface contact area between the reactants; “Controlled Cavitation” increases the mass transfer rate and drives the transesterification reaction further to completion than conventional mixing systems. “We have operated the SPR for more than six months using yellow grease to produce ASTM grade biodiesel. I am very impressed with the Shockwave PowerTM Reactor; it really does help with the speed up times of glycerin separation,” explained Yale Wong, CEO and Founder of General Biodiesel. 06/10/2011


NY Wood Pellet Plant Will Produce 85K Tons Annually from Clean Wood Waste

New England Wood Pellet LLCNew England Wood Pellet LLC (NEWP) held the grand opening of their $14.5 million wood pellet manufacturing facility in Deposit, New York. The plant will produce 85,000 tons per year, enough fuel to displace the need for 10 million gallons of imported heating oil. The plant is producing premium grade wood pellet fuel from a variety of clean wood waste, including sawdust, wood chips, shavings and grindings from wood product manufacturing plants throughout southern New York State and adjacent Pennsylvania. Based in Jaffrey NH, NEWP is among the five largest wood pellet fuel manufacturers and distributors in the United States. “Our plant will result in over $30 million annually staying in the local economy by displacing the need for heating oil and propane,” said Walker. “At current heating oil and propane prices a homeowner can save 50% or more on their heating bill by switching to a pellet heating appliance.” We’re especially eager to talk with larger commercial, institutional and industrial customers about heat and co-generation opportunities using pellet fuel,” he added. 06/10/2011  


Avantium Secures $43.5MM Funding for YXY Development

YXY TechnologyNetherlands-based biopolymer company Avantium has raised EUR 30 million (USD 43.5 million) from investors and the Dutch government to advance their pilot plant development and bioproducts commercialization. YXY technology enables the cost effective production of Furanics from biomass, creating the building block for green materials and biofuels. Avantium began production in May 2011 at their polyester plant on the Chemelot site in Geleen, the Netherlands. Tom van Aken, Chief Executive Officer of Avantium said: "We are privileged to welcome Sofinnova, Aster and De Hoge Dennen as new investors as we look to scale and commercialize our YXY technology." Denis Lucquin, General Partner at Sofinnova Partners, who will join Avantium's Supervisory Board, said: "The uniqueness of Avantium's YXY technology provide them the opportunity to be the first company able to put on the market a fully bio-sourced polyester suitable for water and soft drinks bottling, representing a huge market." 06/10/2011


Metso Furnishes 140MWe BioGas Plant to Replace Coal at Finnish Power Facility MetsoMetso will supply Vaskiluodon Voima Oy with a 140-megawatt bio-gasification plant for their coal-fired power plant in Vaasa, Finland. The bio-gasification plant will be constructed as part of the existing power plant, and will be fueled primarily with wood-based biomass, particularly forest residue. The produced gas will be combusted along with coal in the existing boiler, replacing from 25-40 percent of the coal with renewable energy, which will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 230,000 tons per year. The plant will use a Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) reactor developed by Metso and based on new licensed technology for indirect gasification developed by Austrian company REPOTEC. ”Metso has a great opportunity to offer a solution that includes biomass drying technology and gasification. This provides the possibility for a diverse range of biofuels and a significant share of biomass in the combustion process. At the same time, our cost- and eco-efficient solution provides an opportunity to significantly increase the use of biofuel. The size class of the delivery makes this delivery interesting to large coal-fired power plants around the world,” explains Juhani Isaksson, Metso’s Manager responsible for gasifiers and pyrolysis systems. The plant is scheduled for commissioning in December 2012. 06/10/2011


Elevance Acquires Natchez Biofuels Facility for Retrofit

Elevance Renewable Sciences IncIllinois-based green chemicals production company Elevance Renewable Sciences Inc. (ERSI) has acquired the Delta BioFuels facility in Natchez, Mississippi with plans to convert the facility to a biorefinery and derivatives operation. The $225 million multi-phase project will create 165 full-time jobs over the next five years, in addition to 300 construction jobs. ERSI uses a Nobel Prize-winning technology called olefin metathesis catalysis to convert renewable oils to foundation chemicals as ingredients for use in personal care products, detergents, fuels, lubricants and other specialty chemicals markets. The company's biorefinery platform couples the metathesis technology with more standard transesterification and hydrogenation to "swap" bond locations for long-chain carbon molecules and produce a wide array of sustainable bioproducts. The Mississippi Development Authority worked with the company and local officials to help facilitate the project. Through the Mississippi Industry Incentive Financing Revolving Fund, MDA provided assistance for upgrades at the Natchez/Adams County Port, as well as a $25 million loan to the company. Additionally, Adams County provided assistance for upgrades to the port to support this project. 06/10/2011


NativeEnergy Helps Finance Landfill Gas to Energy Project

NativeEnergyA Wewoka, Oklahoma landfill's gas (LFG) emissions will be used to fuel a nearby brick factory, financed in part by the purchase of NativeEnergy’s Help Build™ carbon offsets by eBay, Esurance, Designtex, Ceres, Brighter Planet, and College of the Atlantic. The Wewoka Biogas Project will use methane gas produced by WCA Waste’s Sooner Landfill to fire kilns at the nearby Commercial Brick Corporation, reducing approximately 30,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution per year in the process. The LFG project is NativeEnergy’s 50th Help Build™ project. By purchasing NativeEnergy’s Help Build™ carbon offsets, these companies are providing critical upfront funding to the project, enabling the gas collection system to be put in place. In return, they will receive a share of the project’s long-term verified carbon reductions. “Enabling entrepreneurship is at the heart of what we do at eBay,” explained Amy Skoczlas-Cole, eBay’s Head of Environment. “That’s why the Wewoka Biogas Project is an excellent match for us. We particularly like that our funding is supporting small business while catalyzing new greenhouse gas reduction activities.” The project developer is Enerdyne Power Systems of Charlotte, North Carolina. 06/10/2011


Diamond Green Diesel Secures Funding for Louisiana Biodiesel Plant

Valero Energy CorporationDiamond Green Diesel LLC, the joint venture project between Valero Energy Corporation and Darling International Inc., has secured funding for construction of its first biodiesel facility in Louisiana through a subsidiary of Valero Energy Corporation. The facility will be capable of producing over 9,300 barrels per day or 137 million gallons per year of renewable diesel. The facility will be located on a site adjacent to Valero's St. Charles refinery near Norco, Louisiana. The facility will convert grease, primarily animal fats and used cooking oil supplied by Darling into renewable diesel. Construction on the facility will begin this month with completion anticipated during the fourth quarter of 2012. Darling provides recycling of bakery waste, used cooking oil, as well as rendering beef, pork and poultry waste into feed and fuel ingredients. Valero has a combined refining capacity of around 26 million barrels of fuel per day, and has been aggressively investing in renewables. Randall C. Stuewe, Chairman and CEO of Darling, said, "We are pleased to have reached agreement with Valero to fund this critical project. Valero's support for this project is critical and this is another means of displaying their confidence in both the technology and viability of the project. Valero's financing commitment means that we will no longer require a funding guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy under the Energy Policy Act of 2005." 06/09/2011

University of North Dakota EERC Makes Jet Fuel from Coal + Biomass

University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Rresearch CenterThe University of North Dakota, Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) has successfully produced paraffinic kerosene, or jet fuel, by liquefaction and refining of combined coal and biomass. The fuel is produced under the Cooperative Agreement with the US Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). In partnership with the US Department of Defense, the EERC previously produced the first 100% renewable jet fuel from canola and soybean oil, using proprietary refining technology developed under the EERC's National Alternative Fuels Center (NAFC). "One of the critical parameters for coal-derived fuels is thermal stability," explained Ramesh Sharma, EERC Research Manager, who is leading the coal-biomass fuel production. "Not only did our fuel meet the standard fuel specifications, it also exceeds the thermal stability specification of military jet fuel. This means that the EERC fuel will burn cleanly without leaving deposits on important turbine engine parts. This was corroborated by an independent third-party laboratory." The new fuel is available for licensing through the EERC Foundation, a separate 501(c) 3, which provides a dedicated infrastructure to support commercialization activities and houses the rights to technologies developed by the EERC. 06/08/2011


SynGest Biomass to Ammonia Plant Will Use Honeywell Technology

SynGestSan Francisco based SynGest's proposed 400 ton per day biomass gasification to ammonia facility in Iowa will operate using Honeywell's controls, instrumentation and advanced automation through a Memorandum of Understanding between the two companies. Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) has agreed to provide front-end engineering (FEED) support and a wide range of technology that will comprise the plant's fully integrated control system, including its Experion® Process Knowledge System (PKS), UniSim® process simulators and field instrumentation. Additionally, the proposed facility will use a pressure swing adsorption technology developed by Honeywell UOP to purify hydrogen used in the plant's processes. "Honeywell's unparalleled skills in renewable fuels and bioproducts, and special expertise in automated process design and controls will add enormous value to SynGest's commercial-scale projects once implemented," said SynGest CEO Jack Oswald. "Honeywell's track record of success will help our projects be strong investment opportunities." 06/08/2011


Neste Oil Fuels Finish Tanker Trucks with 100% Biodiesel for One Year Trial

Neste OilNeste Oil's NExBTL renewable diesel will be assessed in day-to-day usage in Finland by a fleet of road tanker trucks for about a year beginning this month. The trial will involve 23 vehicles in Neste Oil's fleet operated by seven different companies, to monitor how NExBTL performs in trucks covering long distances and carrying heavy loads under a variety of climatic conditions. The vehicles will fill up with 100% NExBTL renewable diesel at their Porvoo refinery fuel distribution terminal. Neste Oil has previously proven NExBTL under field conditions in Greater Helsinki, with excellent results. A fleet of 14 standard Mercedes-Benz trucks and buses in Germany have used 100% NExBTL since mid-2008 and have driven over 1 million kilometers to date. Other trials have also been carried out in Canada and Germany. NExBTL renewable diesel is currently used in buses in Greater Helsinki and by a number of oil companies. Neste Green diesel, containing a minimum of 10% NExBTL renewable diesel, has been available to Finnish drivers since 2008. 06/08/2011 


DOE's Waste Heat to Power Presentations Are Now Available Online

DOE Clean Energy Center LocationsThe US Department of Energy's (DOE) Pacific Clean Energy Application Center (PCEAC) staged a webinar May 25, 2011 addressing recovery of waste industrial heat for generation of electricity, and have now posted the detailed and instructive presentations by UC Irvine's Combustion Lab guru, Vincent McDonell, and by Tom Tillman, TAS Energy, Houston, Texas. PCEAC has been screening and evaluating industrial, institutional and municipal facilities for potential waste heat recovery / energy efficiency opportunities, recommending combined heat and power (CHP) applications for all but two sites. Examples are provided from the case studies for use of organic Rankine and Kalina heat-driven engines, heat exchanger units, adsorption chillers and more. The eight Regional Application Centers (RACs) are intended to develop technology application knowledge and educational infrastructure necessary to advance deployment of clean energy technologies as viable energy options, while reducing perceived implementation risks. PCEAC serves Hawaii, California, and Nevada from its bases at the University of California, Berkeley and Irvine. 06/07/2011


Biofuels Center of NC Awards $1.6MM Statewide in Biofuels Grants

Biofuels Center of North CarolinaThe Biofuels Center of North Carolina (NC) released an awards list of biofuels development grants totaling about $1.6 million for 15 projects state-wide. 58 proposals were received in December 2010, responding to the Centers' request for three target areas: (1) County or regional analyses of assets available for site location of biofuels companies, (2) Needs analyses and plans for the conversion of municipal solid waste (MSW) into biofuels, and (3) The growing of energy grasses in the North Carolina Piedmont region. The two MSW conversion projects that received awards are 1) $145,988 for Assessment of Municipal Solid Wastes into Biofuels via Pyrolysis, to the N.C. A&T State University, Greensboro, and 2) $93,119 for Utilizing Municipal Solid Waste as a Biofuels Feedstock, to the Environmental Research and Education Foundation in Raleigh. For further information see the NC Biofuels Center website or contact Norman Smit, Director, Communications and Education, Biofuels Center of North Carolina, (919) 339-3509,. 06/07/2011


University of Montana OKs $16MM Nexterra Gasification Plant for CHP

University of MontanaThe Board of Regents of the University of Montana approved the $16 million installation of a Nexterra biomass gasification plant for combined heat and power (CHP) for their Missoula campus. The Nexterra system will convert locally sourced wood residues into 34,000 lbs/hr of clean renewable steam, displacing 70% of the University’s natural gas consumption, reducing GHG emissions by about 10,000 tonnes and generating about $1 million in annual energy savings. Seattle-based McKinstry Essention will install Nexterra's system and provide the balance of plant. The University will incorporate Nexterra’s gasification system into the curriculum for the College of Technology’s energy technician and forestry programs. “We chose Nexterra because they represent the state-of-the-art for converting biomass into clean energy that combines great technology with an unparalleled engineering team,” says Bob Duringer, Vice President Administration and Finance at the niversity. At the end of May, Nexterra secured equity investments from the Business Development Bank of Canada, bringing 2011 funding to about $17 million. 06/07/201

Gwinnett County Biogas Plant Now Generating Power from Waste

Gwinnett County, GeorgiaThe F. Wayne Hill Water Resources wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Gwinnett County, Georgia is now generating electricity from biomethane that previously had been flared as waste. The new waste-to-energy facility at the WWTP can produce up to 40 percent of the plant's energy needs plus all of the heat it needs to operate its anaerobic digesters. Local fats, oils and grease will go into the digesters by next fall to increase methane production while helping reduce clogs in county sewers. Disposal fees will be comparable to the cost of other disposal options. The project, known as POWER (Processing Organic Waste for Energy Recovery), won an environmental sustainability award from the Atlanta Regional Commission earlier this year. Water Resources used $5 million in federal stimulus funds, a $3.5 million federal grant and $500,000 of local water/sewer funds to build the new facilities. The County must repay $2 million over the next 20 years at 2 percent interest. Lynn Smarr, Acting Director of Water Resources, said, “We’re making good use of a renewable, previously wasted resource to help cut operating costs and keep water rates low for Gwinnett residents.” 06/06/2011


California's RPS Target Increases to 33% for All Utilities

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has released a notice that the agency intends to start implementation of Senate Bill X1 2 (Simitian, Chapter 1, Statutes of 2011, First Extraordinary Session). The bill was signed by Governor Brown on April 12, 2011, increasing the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) procurement target to 33 percent by 2020. The CEC, the Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the Air Resources Board (CARB) are jointly charged with coordinating implementation of the renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). In addition to increasing the percentage of renewable energy, this legislation also expanded the target to local publicly-owned electric utilities (POUs); previously only the Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) bore mandatory portfolio responsibilities. The CEC will initiate their own Rulemaking and set a schedule for the POU regulatory changes soon. SB X1 2 set a target date of July 1, 2011 to adopt the new POU regulations although pending legislation may extend this adoption date one year. Parties with questions on implementation are invited to provide them in writing to RPS33@energy.state.ca.us, which will be answered after the rulemaking process begins. For technical program questions, contact Angela Gould, at (916) 654-4881 or by e-mail at. 06/06/2011


Toronto Zoo to Fund "Zoo Poo" to Biogas Plant with RRSP Bonds

ZooShares Biogas CooperativeThe Toronto Zoo in Ontario, Canada and community partners have formed the ZooShare Biogas Co-operative, offering Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) bonds to community individuals to build and operate a 500 kilowatt anaerobic digestion (AD) biogas plant. Preliminary approval received November 25, 2010, start of construction is pending final approval from the Board of Management of the Toronto Zoo. The $5 million AD facility will use all of the zoo's animal manure plus up to 12,000 tons annually of locally-sourced food waste including fats, oils and grease (FOG) for feedstock. RRSP bonds are a relatively new Canadian investment tool that can provide tax shelters and deferments for Canadian individuals; ZooShares earn a fixed 7% return into an individual's RRSP account. The public-private non-profit partnership will generate and sell electricity to the Ontario Power Authority under a 20 year Feed-in tariff (FIT) contract for 16.4 cents/kWh (including a 0.4 cent adder for a community project). The design and development as well as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) are contracted to a Joint Venture comprised of Angus Power, Koenig & Consultants Inc., Riepma Consultants Inc. with experience in the biogas and community power industries. ZooShares says they are "an investment opportunity with poo-tential". 06/06/2011


Green Conversion Proposes 99% Landfill Diversion for City of Los Angeles  

Green Conversion SystemsThe City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, Bureau of Sanitation has been authorized to enter into negotiations with Green Conversion Systems (GCS), their top choice to provide facilities and services for municipal solid waste (MSW) conversion for resource recovery and energy. The City's search for alternative conversion technologies began in 2007 with the release of a Request for Proposals to process around 1,000 tons per day (tpd) of source segregated municipal solid waste. The City utilizes a four bin system to collect residential curbside solid waste from over 740,000 residences: green bin (green waste), blue bin (recyclables), brown bin (horse manure), and black bin (refuse). About 3,300 tpd of black bin refuse is collected, but only about 1% of this is currently recovered prior to landfill disposal. GCS proposes to process 1,100 tpd of black bin refuse: (1) Remove recyclable materials (about 29% of total) in an up-front pre-processing system, (2) Convert post-recycling residual through an Advanced Thermal Recovery (ATR) system, and (3) Process post-thermal ash residues for beneficial uses. ATR is a second generation advancement of waste-to-energy thermal technology that has been used in Europe for more than two decades. Cumulatively, GCS proposes to achieve greater than 99% landfill diversion of the processed waste. The Bureau will return to the Board, City Council, and Mayor with the results of the contract negotiations and recommendations for future action. 06/03/2011 


Virent Makes Drop-in BioGasoline from Corn Stover and Forest Residue 

VirentVirent has successfully produced drop-in "green gasoline" from cellulosic biomass feedstock. Virent's work was performed under the US Department of Energy's February 2010 grant to the National Advanced Biofuels Consortium (NABC). NABC collaborators Catchlight Energy, Iowa State University, Washington State University and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) performed oxidation and enzymatic hydrolysis treatments necessary to digest cellulose, then supplied the hydrolysate to Virent for conversion using their patented BioForming™ process of Aqueous Phase Reforming followed by their Catalytic Oxygenates to Aromatics (COTA) process. The result: high-octane biogasoline the company calls "BioFormate", which can be blended at high concentrations just as high-octane petroleum reformate is used in blending commercial gasolines today. “Producing gasoline from cellulosics is an important milestone for our company, and for the biofuels industry overall,” said Dr. Randy Cortright, Virent’s founder and chief technology officer. “We anticipate further development in our production of drop-in fuels and chemicals from biomass, giving our nation long-awaited access to a wider range of feedstock choices.” 06/03/2011


Waste-to-Biofuels Company Enerkem Closes $60MM Financing Round

EnerkemCanadian company Enerkem closed on a $59 million Canadian (US $60MM) financing round, supporting its current and future projects that convert municipal solid waste to biofuels and renewable products. Valero Energy Corp joins existing investors Waste Management, Rho Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, and Cycle Capital in the new equity round for which Credit Suisse acted as agent. Enerkem converts segregated municipal solid waste, utilizing oxygenated gasification to create a high-value synthetic fuel gas, or "syngas", then catalyzes the gas to make liquid fuels and foundation chemicals. The company operates two facilities in Canada, began construction of a third in Edmonton, Alberta, CA, and in January received support from US Departments of Agriculture and Energy for development of a plant in Pontotoc, Mississippi. “With Valero joining Waste Management as a strategic investor, Enerkem becomes one of the very few renewable products companies that is aligned with industry leaders from both upstream and downstream parts of the business,” said Vincent Chornet, president and chief executive officer of Enerkem. 06/03/2011


Deployable Waste To Energy Will Power Australian Troops with Rubbish

Troop deployment could be powered by rubbish.The Australian Minister for Defence Science & Personnel, Warren Snowdon, says the energy requirements for future troop deployments could be powered by rubbish. One of the biggest fuel usages in a deployed environment, excluding air operations, is power generation for headquarters, field hospitals, and humanitarian relief sites where most power infrastructure is destroyed. “The Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and Melbourne based HRL Technology are developing a deployable Waste To Energy concept capable of utilizing a range of solid wastes or rubbish to produce electricity,” Mr Snowdon said. “DSTO and HRL Technology have developed a concept that uses a technology capable of processing up to 5,000 kg of solid waste per day. The Waste to Energy system could potentially generate 200 kW of power, enough to power 240 homes and 3,000L of hot water per hour, utilizing some 2,000 kg of rubbish per day. That’s processing more than twice the amount of rubbish produced by a typical battalion.” Research by DSTO and HRL Technology scientists in Melbourne conducted over the last two and a half years found the most effective way to generate power was to utilize hot gases from waste combustion in a grate furnace, which heated compressed air for expansion through a turbine. The next stage of development involves the construction of a prototype unit to demonstrate the concept and this should be completed within 2 years. 06/03/2011


Shell Moves Codexis Stock to Brazilian Biofuels Joint Venture Raízen

CodexisRoyal Dutch Shell has shifted 5.6 million shares of common stock in biocatalyst specialist Codexis to Raízen Energia Participacoes S.A., the $12 billion Brazil-based biofuels joint venture between Shell and Cosan Limited. Codexis has commercialized its biocatalysts in the pharmaceutical industry and is developing biocatalysts for use in producing advanced biofuels, applying its CodeEvolver™ directed evolution technology to customize proprietary biocatalysts derived from living organisms. Raízen is now the largest Codexis shareholder and is expected to appoint a representative to Codexis' Board of Directors. The Raízen joint venture has an annual production capacity of over 2 billion liters of ethanol, a retail network of 4,500 fuel stations, 24 sugar mills and an installed capacity of 900MW of electric energy from sugar cane bagasse.Cosan brings experience in the commercial production of low-carbon biofuels with the potential to accelerate the commercial production of biofuels from crop waste and inedible plants. "This is a turning point in the search for alternative energy sources," says Rubens Ometto Silveira Mello, Cosan's Chairman of the Board. "Raízen is one of Brazil's largest companies and is ready to offer international markets a clean, renewable and economically viable solution." Brazil leads the world in the use of biofuels for transport. 06/03/2011


BION Receives First Nutrient Control Credit Certification

BION TechnologiesColorado-based BION Technologies has received its first nutrient control credit certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for reduction of over a half million pounds of nitrogen (N) from the treatment of Kreider Farms (KF) poultry waste stream otherwise lost to the watershed and destined to contaminate the Chesapeake Bay (CB). Kreider Farms operates a 2,000 head dairy in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The final "CB-N" credits to be transferred will depend on final verification by DEP. BION's technology provides comprehensive treatment of livestock waste, achieving substantial reductions in nitrogen and phosphorus, ammonia, greenhouse and other gases, as well as pathogens, hormones, herbicides and pesticides while recovering cellulosic biomass from the waste stream to produce renewable energy. The BION Nutrient Management System has been commercially proven and externally verified in 2004 at the 1.1 million gallon treatment capacity De Vries Dairy installation near Dublin, Texas. BION’s Kreider Farms project will meet the PA DEP’s Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) goal of promoting a ‘Million Pound Project’ to comply with federal Chesapeake Bay nutrient reduction mandates. 06/03/2011


Gevo Begins Retrofit of Ethanol Plant for Biobased IsoButanol Production

gevoColorado-based Gevo has begun the retrofit of their 18 million gallon per year ethanol plant in Luverne, Minnesota. Gevo acquired the plant from Agri-Energy in September of 2010, and expects to complete the retrofit by summer 2012 as the world's first commercial-scale biobased isobutanol plant. Gevo employs their proprietary engineered E. coli bacteria for specialized fermentation, followed by catalysis to produce biobased isobutanol. Isobutanol is a chemical that is a solvent, a fuel blendstock, and a precursor to four carbon butenes, which are foundation chemicals used to make 40 percent of all petrochemicals and a 100 percent of all hydrocarbon fuels. In early May of this year, Gevo signed a key down-stream processing agreement with Mustang Engineering to convert their isobutanol into paraffinic kerosene, or jet fuel. 06/02/2011


Myriant Proposes IPO to Complete 30 Mppy Biosuccinic Acid Louisiana Plant

Myriant CorporationMassachusetts based Myriant Corporation has registered their proposed Initial Public Offering (IPO) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The initial per share price has not been set. A portion of the proceeds will be used to complete the 30 million pounds per year (Mppy) biosuccinic acid plant in Lake Providence, Louisiana, which is currently under construction. The Louisiana Plant is funded in part with a $50 million cost-sharing award from the US Department of Energy. The plant is expected to begin commercial operations during 2013 and to scale up to about 170 million pounds annually by 2014. Myriant is also in the early stages of developing additional biochemical production facilities in Germany and Asia. Myriant's biocatalysts are feedstock flexible and can consume both pentose (C5s such as xylose) and hexose (C6s such as glucose) sugars from a variety of sources, including glucose from corn and grain sorghum, sucrose from sugarcane, cellulosic sugars from waste biomass and glycerol. The company's conversion platform is based on a single-step anaerobic fermentation process that allows microorganisms to grow and produce target products simultaneously, resulting in greater productivity and yield relative to other known bioproduction processes. 06/02/2011


ZeaChem Signs Multi-Year Development Agreement with Proctor & Gamble

ZeaChemColorado's advanced biofuels and biochemicals company ZeaChem has entered into a binding multi-year joint development agreement with Proctor & Gamble. The agreement will speed commercialization and expand market potential for ZeaChem's hybrid fermentation / gasification platform for conversion of biomass feedstock to "drop-in" biochemicals and biofuels. The two companies will utilize ZeaChem's existing infrastructure at its lab in Menlo Park, California, its pilot facility at Hazen Research in Golden, Colorado, and its demonstration-scale biorefinery in Boardman, Oregon, where ZeaChem last month entered into a long-term feedstock supply agreement. “We're very pleased to partner with Procter & Gamble, a global leader in consumer products and sustainable operations,” said Jim Imbler, president and CEO of ZeaChem. “This definitive agreement will accelerate the time to market for our new product platform and the commercial production of economical and sustainable biofuels and bio-based chemicals using ZeaChem's highly efficient technology.” 06/02/2011


APL's GEK 2011 Power Pallet Design Shifts to Stainless

2011 GEK Power Pallet KitBerkeley-based developer All Power Labs (APL) has released the 2011 GEK Power Pallet development package, their newest open-platform Gasification Experimenter's Kit (GEK). All gasifier plans on APL's site are distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License; forums and wiki developer dialogues encourage do-it-yourself gasification-based production of heat, electricity and biochar from a wide variety of biomass fuels. APL says the GEK project is "an experiment in collaborative science and open source engineering." In the 2011 systems design at 10 and 20 kilowatt electric (kWe) generation capacity, most of the main elements are now made of stainless instead of mild steel as in their earlier models. Last month, APL shipped their first two 100 kWe modules, which fit within a standard shipping container. Reminder: their 2-day workshop kicks off 7:30pm June 17th and runs through June 19, 2011. 06/01/2011


ARB Updates LCFS Biorefinery Registration Tables

California Air Resources Board's Low Carbon Fuel StandardThe California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has updated carbon intensities (CIs) and other information about registered biorefineries; the updated information can be found at the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) biorefinery-registration webpage. Three updated tables are provided: (1) Facilities with Complete Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Registration Biofuel, production facilities that have completed the registration process, including Physical Pathway information, Fuel Pathway Description, and CI Value identification; (2) Facilities with Physical Pathway Pending, facilities that have submitted their registration to the ARB but have an incomplete physical pathway demonstration to show the route of the fuels from the point of production to California, and (3) Facilities with Carbon Intensity (CI) and Fuel Pathway Description Pending, facilities that have obtained ARB approval of the physical pathway demonstration but produce biofuel using a fuel pathway that is not identified in the LCFS Lookup Table. The LCFS regulation is intended to reduce the carbon intensity of fuels sold in California ten percent by 2020, 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. Questions may be addressed to Susan Solarz at or at (916) 323-2790; or Jing Yuan at or at (916) 322-8875. 06/01/2011


New Zealand Biosolids Thermal Decomposition Plant Opens

Crown Research Institute ScionA thermal conversion pilot facility installed at Rotorua District Council’s Wastewater Treatment Plant was officially opened yesterday by the New Zealand Minister for the Environment Honorable Dr. Nick Smith. Crown Research Institute Scion and the Council began a partnership in 2008 to develop a new approach to the management of organic waste. The pilot plant “cooks” the biosolids (sewage sludge) to significantly reduce solids volume, while producing energy and a range of other by products including acetic acid and other chemicals for the production of bioplastics and biofuels. “If successful, a full-scale plant in Rotorua could initially remove thousands of tonnes of biosolid waste now going to landfill per year, and ultimately achieve net benefits (in terms of cost reduction and value creation) of around $4 million per year for the council and community,” says Rotorua District Council Chief Executive Peter Guerin. “This really brings the concept of “Waste 2 Gold” to life with significant benefits for ratepayers and the environment.” 06/01/2011


CEPSA Completes R&D for New Biodiesel Production Method

Compañía Española de Petróleos, S.A.Spanish petroleum giant Compañía Española de Petróleos, S.A. (CEPSA) has completed research and development of a new hydro-treatment process for the production of biodiesel using vegetable oil. The work is in response to the new EU Directives and Spanish legislation to promote the use of biofuels, which establish a minimum 10% biofuel usage target by 2020. The process uses the same hydrotreating units used to remove sulfur from conventional diesel fuels. The La Rábida Refinery (Huelva) will begin producing biofuel with the new method in July, and the Gibraltar-San Roque Refinery (Cádiz) is scheduled to begin in November. The manufacturing process will use crude palm oil, animal fats and other waste products. Tests have been conducted since 2007 at both the Tenerife and La Rábida Refineries; the initial production capacity at CEPSA’s three refineries is estimated to exceed 100,000 m3 per year. 06/01/2011  

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