May 2012 News and Matters of Interest

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Phoenix Energy Australia, John Holland Collaborate on Kwinana W2E Project

Phoenix Energy AustraliaMelbourne-based Phoenix Energy Australia Pty Ltd has announced an agreement to collaborate with the John Holland engineering and construction firm on a $400 million (AUD) waste to energy (W2E) project in the Kwinana Industrial Area near Perth in Western Australia. The project is currently entering final engineering design and formal permitting. Phoenix Energy Australia holds the exclusive license for application of the Alter NRG / Westinghouse Plasma technology, and is also closely aligned with Mitsubishi heavy Industry Environment and Chemicals Company (MHIEC); last year, Phoenix Energy AU was part of a team including Alter NRG and Coskata testing waste to fuels capability using the Westinghouse Plasma technology. Earlier this month, Peter Dyson, Managing Director of Phoenix, accompanied Australian Premier Colin Barnett on a tour of the Ariake Waste to Energy facility in Tokyo to observe the Mitsubishi technology in operation. John Holland, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leighton Holdings Limited (ASX: LEI), is one of Australia’s leading engineering, contracting and services providers to the infrastructure, energy and resources and transport services sectors. “The plant will use technology that has been proven at hundreds of similar facilities internationally,” said Greg Taylor, General Manager of John Holland’s Water and Enviro business, “and we are excited to be able to deliver it in Australia. We have also been impressed by the robustness of the work already done by Phoenix Energy and its partners, and look forward to collaborating closely with them.” 05/31/2012

GESI Enters $45MM Funding Round for Waste Railroad Ties-to-Energy Project

Green Energy Solution IndustriesHouston, Texas based Green Energy Solution Industries Inc. (GESI), a renewable energy developer for Canadian projects, has announced that in collaboration with its strategic partner InREFCo, a project funding round of up to $45 million is now being launched. GESI received award funding in 2011 for a grant from Alberta Energy to develop a feasibility study on utilization of the region's wood waste, especially creosote-saturated railroad ties, telephone poles, bridge timbers, and similarly treated materials that constitute hazardous waste when discarded. GESI has now identified a functional site and narrowed the initial feedstock supply to railroad ties to be supplied by Canadian based On-Track Railway Services, Ltd. Canada's two major railroad companies operate constant programs that remove and replace around 3.5 million ties annually to maintain about 30,000 miles of track. GESI then selected InREFCo to provide the starved-air gasification technology and package the project financing. GESI expects that the 200 ton per day waste conversion project's revenues should completely cover the commercial financing. InREFCo's financial partners can provide a variety of project and equity loan solutions for its renewable energy and clean water investment grade project developers. 05/31/2012

adaptiveARC Is Finalist for San Diego Business Journal Innovation Awards

adaptiveARCCalifornia's thermal waste conversion company adaptiveARC has announced its selection as a Finalist in the San Diego Business Journal's first round Innovator's Award, developed to honor those that "stretch the boundaries." The company's Cool Plasma®-assisted gasification converts a variety of urban and agricultural wastes into synthetic gas, or syngas, a clean-burning fuel for renewable energy, within a small-footprint module processing 25 tons per day of waste to generate 500 kilowatts of renewable electricity. The modules may be interconnected for up to 100 tons per day of processing capacity, and each ce25 is designed to be easily trucked to a feedstock source. The process uses 'regenerative syngas cleaning, recirculating the syngas through the gasification chamber until reduced to its simplest cleanest syngas form. The San Diego Business Journal's inaugural Innovation Awards will be presented June 20, 2012 to recognize those individuals and companies who demonstrate how the innovative spirit drives economic value. 05/31/2012

Novozymes Opens $200MM Enzyme Plant for Biofuels in Nebraska

NovozymesDanish enzyme developer Novozymes announced the grand opening of its Blair, Nebraska biofuel-enzyme production facility, leveraging a $200 million investment with 48C manufacturing tax credits that brought the plant on-line quickly. Nebraska's governor Dave Heineman was joined for the celebration by US Department of Energy Senior Advisor Jason Walsh and Blair Mayor James Realph. Novozyme's Executive Vice President Peder Holk Nielsen considers the plant as a critical part of Novozymes global production chain, adding to its existing plants in China, Brazil, Denmark and the United States: “Advanced biofuels are taking off. With private investments like those demonstrated here, biofuel plants are opening around the world – and we're proud our Blair facility is prepared to supply enzymes to some of the first advanced biorefineries, as well as to the existing industry. The United States is the world’s largest biofuel market today, and many of the new advanced biofuel plants will be located in the U.S. Midwest, one of the main reasons we chose Nebraska for our new site.” 05/31/2012

National Biodiesel Board & Genscape Launch RIN Integrity Network

National Biodiesel BoardThe National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has announced a new tool intended to help stabilize the federal renewable fuels marketplace in collaboration with Genscape, Inc., with the launch of RIN Integrity NetworkTM on-line dashboard. Renewable Identification Numbers, or RINs, are the credit mechanism created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an element of the federal Renewable Fuels Standard through which fuels that meet the RFS criteria are tracked and logged. A RIN is a "serial number" assigned to each gallon of renewable fuel that allows certification for obligated parties to gauge progress toward mandated volumes, managed within the EPA's Moderated Transaction System (EMTS) database to monitor RIN transfer activities between interested parties. The NBB established a RIN Integrity Task Force to aid accounting and counter fraud in the RIN system; the new dashboard facilitates that tracking and accounting process by providing ready access to key real-time information. Renewable fuel is produced from both waste and virgin feedstock by an ever-growing number of conversion pathways, adding to the complexity and unfortunately creating opportunities for abuse of the system. "A handful of isolated fraud cases have paralyzed the biodiesel RIN markets, but the launch of a comprehensive auditing and real-time monitoring program will give the market a great deal of confidence in any biodiesel producer that is participating in the Genscape program," said National Biodiesel Board CEO, Joe Jobe. 05/30/2012

PyroGenesis Receives Coup de Coeur Award for Waste Management Plan

PyroGenesisQuebec-based plasma waste conversion company PyroGenesis Canada, Inc. has received the prestigious Coup de Coeur award for Partnership and Innovation in recognition of PyroGenesis' participation in development of an integrated waste management plan and unique solution for the Iles-de-la-Madeleine project. The award was presented by the Association pour le développement de la recherche et de l'innovation du Québec (ADRIQ; in French only). The project is a collaborative effort that also involved the Université de Sherbrooke, the municipality of Iles-de-la-Madeleine and the Centre de recherche sur les milieux insulaires et maritimes (CERMIM; in French only). PyroGenesis has developed and is currently engaged in US Air Force testing and commercial demonstration of its patented Plasma Resource recovery System (PRRS) for gasification of waste for combined heat and power generation, and vitrification of residuals to an inert glassy slag. The project solution proposed was to integrate the PRRS with a bio-methanization process. "The main objective of this integrated process is to convert nearly all of the processed waste into usable products namely: energy (heat and electricity) and slag (construction material). The project is also exploring the use of slag as a cimentious substitute in the production of concrete or granular material for road construction," says Arezki Tagnit-Amou, civil engineering professor at Université de Sherbrooke. 05/30/2012

European Parliament Calls for Waste Recovery Instead of Landfills, Incinerators

European ParliamentFollowing the plenary session meetings last week of the European Parliament and the European Commission, the Parliament has announced passage of a resolution Thursday calling for member states to gradually phase out landfilling and incineration of any waste that can otherwise be recovered as a resource. The resolution calls for highest value first, favoring recycling, reuse, and composting over bioenergy. The resolution for a Resource-Efficient Europe was adopted on a vote of 479 in favor, 66 against and 63 abstaining. The detailed and lengthy resolution to take into account "the waste hierarchy and the need to bring residual waste close to zero; calls on the Commission, therefore, to make proposals by 2014 with a view to gradually introducing a general ban on waste landfill at European level and for the phasing-out, by the end of this decade, of incineration of recyclable and compostable waste." Among the recommendations: consider existing landfills as "raw materials depots for urban mining"; and promote a "cascading approach in the case of use of biomass, favouring recycling and highest value-added and resource-efficient products, such as bio-based products and industrial materials, over bioenergy." Member of European Parliament (MEP) rapporteur Gerban-Jan Gerbrandy (ALDE, NL) after the resolution was adopted: "The European Parliament and the European Commission have laid down ambitious plans to tackle resource use. It is now up to the member states to pick up the gauntlet and fight for resource efficiency. Implementation of my report would mean economic growth, creation of jobs and protection of the environment. What are we waiting for?" 05/29/2012

City of Surrey BC Receives $165K Energy & Climate Action Grant

City of Surrey, British Columbia, CanadaThe City of Surrey, second largest municipality in British Columbia, Canada, announced receipt of a Green Municipal Fund government grant of $165,000 disbursed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FMC) from $550 million in national funds allocated for municipal assistance in "going green."  The money will help develop and implement the city's Climate Action Strategy, which includes a Climate Adaptation Strategy and a Community Energy and Emissions Plan addressing buildings, land use, transportation, waste, and district energy. The city initiated the Surrey EnergyShift program of web-based and direct contact outreach this past February, to move the community toward localized, sustainable and efficient energy development and use. Part of this strategy integrated a broad program of food waste collection and conversion to methane via anaerobic digestion, with use of the cleaned and compressed methane to fuel the heavy trucks used to collect the food waste. “Surrey residents and businesses spend over $1 billion every year on energy, and most of that money is spent on transportation. Our new Climate Adaption Strategy will refine a plan for reducing carbon emissions and waste, which will create healthier communities and reduce costs,” said Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts. 05/29/2012

Gevo Starts Commercial Production of Biobased Isobutanol on Schedule

GevoColorado based Gevo Inc., has announced start of commercial scale production of the biofuel isobutanol at its Luverne, Minnesota facility. Gevo retrofitted the existing ethanol plant to utilize its proprietary yeast within the Gevo Integrated Fermentation Technology® (GIFT); the "bolt-on" approach reflects the company's intent to create a network of isobutanol biorefineries integrated with or completely replacing first-generation ethanol production plants. Gevo's fermentation of all available cellulosic biomass sugars into isobutanol dramatically increases the range of feedstock the re-designed biorefineries can utilize, and makes a high value drop-in biofuel and biochemical alternative to fossil analogues. Dr. Patrick Gruber, CEO of Gevo: “One year ago, we broke ground with a startup goal of less than 12 months and we’ve succeeded. It’s an extremely proud moment for Gevo and a tribute to the drive and ambition of our scientists, chemical engineers and production team. The startup of our Luverne plant represents a major milestone for the industry and validation of our commitment to commercially produce biobased isobutanol in the first half of 2012. The next milestone will be to successfully ship product to our customers.” 05/25/2012

CalRecycle Releases Final Agenda: Digesting Urban Organics Residuals Forum

CalRecycleCalifornia's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has released the final agenda for its Digesting Urban Organics Residuals (DUOR) forum to be held May 30, 2012 at the CalEPA Building in downtown Sacramento. The forum has attracted speakers well versed in the leading anaerobic digestion projects. On-going efforts of CR&R at its Perris Materials Recovery Facility in Riverside County, dry fermentation developments in the City of San Jose and the status of the long-in-development Santa Barbara County project will be explored in the first morning session. Jeorg Blischke of AECOM will present the project design, construction and operation of Toronto's Green Bin Program and AD facilities in the second morning session, joined by presentations on East Bay MUD advanced wastewater treatment plant developments and by a thorough case study of the Inland Empire AD Project in Southern California. Following lunch, sessions will first cover the economics and financing of AD projects, then delve into AD plant products and by-product utilization. Registration is available on-line. The event is organized in collaboration with the California Biomass Collaborative, the California Organic Recycling Council, and the City of San Jose. 05/25/2012

Whitesand First Nation Considers Shift from Diesel Power to Bioenergy CHP

Providence of Ontario, CanadaThe Ontario, Canada Ministry of Northern Development and Mines has announced its assistance to the Whitesand First Nation 300-person community in assessing feasibility of converting from diesel power generation to biomass-fueled combined heat and power. In addition to the biopower plant, the First Nation community is also considering development of a wood pellet manufacturing facility, capitalizing on abundant biomass resources and the need for strong jobs growth to improve the regional economy. Programmatic support for the collaborative socio-economic and environmental feasibility study comes from the government's Growth Plan for Northern Ontario, which includes the Province's three-part Energy directive: (1) seek ways to improve the transmission and distribution grid, (2) study alternatives to diesel power for off-grid communities, and (3) increase community energy efficiency. Funding comes in large part come from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation's (NOHFC) Northern Energy Program, focused on renewable energy and distributed or "internal" energy generation. Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs: "This initiative builds on our government's commitment to working with First Nations on green energy projects to create opportunities and achieve long term successes. This investment is a step in the right direction." 05/25/2012

Feedstox Buys Advanced Biomass Harvesting Equipment for Lease to Farmers

FeedstoxKansas based Feedstox has announced key additions to its fleet of advanced agricultural residual harvesting equipment to reduce the cost of cellulosic biofuels production. The equipment is available to lease to farmers, contractors and other parties involved in the harvesting of biomass materials. Feedstox is a subsidiary of the non-profit, industry led Kansas Alliance for Biorefining and Bioenergy (KABB). KABB was established with a $4.1 million seed investment from the Kansas Bioscience Authority as a Center of Innovation, to develop alternative fuels and chemicals, commercialize efficient biomass resources and improve carbon capture. The organization assists and evaluates the cellulosic biomass conversion process, teaming with companies and institutions in connecting research to field projects. Formation of KABB's equipment arm Feedstox was funded through $4.8 million in ARRA investment, administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce, to assemble a fleet of advanced equipment to improve the harvest, storage and transportation efficiency of biomass, and to collect cost and system efficacy data along the entire supply chain. The newly acquired residuals harvesting equipment allows a one-pass cut to bale operation that eliminates ground contact with the stray and stover. "According to our calculations, the use of this equipment -- along with our new- generation bale stacking, load and unloading equipment -- has the potential to cut biomass harvesting costs by about 40 percent on a fully allocated cost basis,” said Jeff Roskam, CEO of KABB. “In a time when corn input costs to an ethanol plant are about $2.00 per gallon, cellulosic refiners using corn stover could cut input costs in one-half while reducing price pressure on corn supplies.” 05/24/2012

AFS BioOil Invites Tours of Algae Demo Plant at Fairfield Suisun WWTP

AFS BioOil CoAFS BioOil Co, subsidiary and licensee of Algal Floating Systems, Inc, has announced that it has opened its demonstration facility on the grounds of the Fairfield Suisun Sewer District's wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Fairfield, California. Beginning June 1st, potential strategic partners and customers are invited to tour the facility. AFS' current modular scale of 150 cubic meters of photobioreactor is rated to produce 55 tons of algae biomass annually; costs are minimized through integration with existing industrial sources of emissions and nutrient-laden wastewater. The parent company has developed proprietary photobioreactor microalgal production systems, harvesting systems and oil extraction systems and aims for deployment in the future on the open ocean. The full-scale design algae "BioFarm" of 500 acres would produce 10 million gallons of biodiesel annually, while absorbing and converting 250,000 metric tons of industrially-sourced carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. The AFS BioOil's modules are focused on industrial plant integration. The company has developed and filed a patent application for automated recovering of nutrients from the dewatering step of wastewater plant sludge management, and controlled-dose deliver of those nutrients to microbial growth reactors. In addition to returning cleaned water, the systems can collect oxygen enriched gas while providing bio-oil for transesterification to biodiesel. Interested parties should contact Vadim Krifuks, CEO of AFS BioOil, at (415) 828-5846, or by email at  . 05/24/2012

Eunomia Releases Bi-Annual Residuals Conversion Update for UK

Eunomia research and ConsultingUnited Kingdom (UK) based Eunomia Research and Consulting has updated its assessment of the UK's "Residual Waste Infrastructure Review", releasing a useful free 29-page "high level" summary extracting detail from its full report that is available for purchase on its website. The company continues to focus on the country's waste treatment capacity for conversion of all forms of waste to commodities, as compared to the amounts of residual actually available for conversion. Four main categories of residual waste treatment are assessed: direct incineration, gasification / pyrolysis, mechanical / biological treatment (MBT) and other pre-treatment methods, and WID (EU's Waste Incineration Directive)-compliant biomass / cement kilns. Among the finds: (1) the 2011 report overestimated tonnage of available construction and demolition waste; (2) tonnage of waste generated has dropped significantly in the UK as elsewhere globally, reducing the amount available by about 1.5 million tonnes for the six month assessment period; (3) Different stages in the design and permitting process entail different levels of risk to bringing proposed processing capacity on-line, requiring separation of that permitting process for analysis and reporting; (4) Eunomia has cut the projected capacity of waste incineration facility development in half, in recognition of the difficulty in first permitting and then processing waste derived fuels at such plants. The summary provides its comparisons by region, and includes an excellent list of data sources. 05/24/2012

Beta Renewables Licenses PROESA to GraalBio for Brazilian Ethanol Plant

Beta RenewablesM&G Group/TPG joint venture Beta Renewables has announced licensing of its proprietary Chemtex PROESA™ biomass pre-treatment technology to the South American firm GraalBio, part of the Graal Investment Corporation Group. GraalBio intends to build a 65,000 metric ton (22 million gallon) non-food cellulosic biomass fermentation to ethanol facility in Nord Est, Alagoas, Brazil co-located and integrated with an existing sugarcane to ethanol plant. The facility will use locally-sourced residuals from the sugar cane harvesting and processing as primary feedstock. Beta Renewables is currently developing a commercial-scale (60,000 metric ton (20 million gallon) production facility in Cresentino, Italy, scheduled for start of production later this year. The PROESA platform combines enzymatic and hydrothermal processes to break down the cellulosic biomass to a mixed sugar syrup while also recovering lignin; the lignin by-product will at the GraalBio plant be used as fuel to generate power. GraalBio also plans to develop a large research facility focused on development and commercialization of industrial technologies for conversion of biomass to biofuels and chemicals. GraalBio joins multiple leading biotechnology companies who have already chosen PROESA, including Colbiocel in Columbia for biofuels, and Amyris, Genomatica and Codexis for biochemicals. 05/24/2012

Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative Launched in 12 State Region

Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels InitiativeBoeing, United Airlines, Honeywell's subsidiary UPO, the Chicago Department of Aviation and the Clean Energy Trust released a joint announcement this week on the formation of the Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative (MASBI). The MASBI is designed "to advance aviation biofuel development in a 12-state region holding significant promise for biomass feedstock, technology development, job creation and sustainable commercialization." The MASBI plans to first produce a comprehensive evaluation of the Midwest region's feedstock options, advanced biofuel technologies, commercialization requirements and opportunities for acceleration, logistics and infrastructure needs, and regional policy measures focused on economic development, job creation, and market acceleration; then from this develop an "actionable roadmap." The organization's Advisory Council will include representatives from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Defense, with appointment of other state, federal, industry and institutional members. The industry's trade organization, Airlines for America (A4A) applauded the formation of the MASBI: “Today’s announcement further demonstrates that the airline industry is committed to public-private partnerships to turn advanced biofuels for aviation into reality, enhancing America’s energy security, building on our environmental commitment and creating U.S. jobs,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “We commend A4A member United Airlines and the other industry partners of MASBI for advancing sustainable aviation biofuels in the Midwest.” 05/24/2012

GreenWorld Acquires Natures Earth and North Carolina Pellet Plant

GreenWorld Development, IncWaste to energy company GreenWorld Development, Inc announced executing a binding framework agreement to acquire Natures Earth LLC and its 120,000 metric tons per year wood pellet manufacturing facility in North Carolina. The acquisition cost of $16.5 million for the pellet plant is estimated to result in an income in excess of $20 million in annual revenues. With this acquisition, GreenWorld hopes to expand development of its waste to energy plants in both the US and in Europe. The acquisition agreement includes the Equine Pine & Freedom Fuel brands owned by Natures Earth LLC. GreenWorld is in the process of raising capital for its acquisition and expansion program with a long term financing bond from a US prime financial institution. GreenWorld’s first UK Waste to Energy Centre will be based in Market Warsop in Nottinghamshire, installing the company's equipment on a 2.5 acres to convert 100 tonnes of waste tires per day to generate 7 megawatts of renewable energy. The site has a waste transfer license, sufficient feedstock supply and space for the storage of 500,000 tires. GreenWorld intends to convert Municipal Solid Waste to Energy as part of the expansion of this site in the future. 05/23/2012

Delft University Partners with CSM and Royal DSM for Bioprocess Pilot Facility

Bioprocess Pilot FacilityThe Delft University of Technology, Netherlands,  has announced a joint venture with the global specialty chemicals and fuels company Royal DSM and the food processing giant CSM to form the company Bioprocess Pilot Facility BV (BPF). Located in Delft, the Netherlands, the new facility was formally launched May 15, 2012 to provide a center of expertise and technology open to all participants developing the biobased economy, including small start-up companies. The BPF will focus on biomass pre-processing, biomass pre-treatment, fermentation and downstream processing. Much of the initial equipment will be transferred from DSM facilities to the Delft joint venture with additional subsystems to be integrated over the next twelve to eighteen months. This is one element of a new €100 million Royal DSM investment program in biotechnology. Mr Gerard Hoetmer (CEO CSM), Mr Feike Sijbesma (CEO DSM) and Mr Dirk Jan van den Berg (President of the Technical University of Delft) and Chris Buijink, Secretary General of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation were on hand for the inauguration. The BPF is funded by universities, companies, the European Union, the Dutch Ministries of Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality and Economic Affairs, the Province of South Holland and the Municipalities of Rotterdam, Delft and The Hague. 05/23/2012

HELCO Signs PPA with Hū Honua Bioenergy for Biomass Power

Hū Honua BioenergyHawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) and Hū Honua Bioenergy today announced signing a Power Purchase Agreement to provide Hawaiʻi Island with 21.5 megawatts (MW) of renewable electricity, about 10% of the island's electricity demand. The Hū Honua facility at Pepeʻekeo on the Hamakua Coast will supply dispatchable firm electricity capacity fueled by locally grown biomass under a 20-year contract.  Hū Honua Bioenergy is converting the former Pepe‘ekeo Sugar Mill for electric generation using biofuel including locally grown biomass, such as eucalyptus. The facility will include a biomass fuel yard, steam boiler, turbine and generator. The previous sugar production facility's power plant used sugar cane waste (bagasse) and later, coal. The project will create from 80 to 100 jobs during the refurbishment phase and about 30 jobs when the facility begins operation. The agreement requires approval by the Hawaiʻi Public Utilities Commission (PUC), with input from the state Division of Consumer Advocacy. “Hū Honua will displace about 250,000 barrels of oil per year, keeping that money in the local economy,” said John Sylvia, CEO of Hū Honua. “We look forward to providing dispatchable renewable energy to the grid, which complements the integration of intermittent sources such as wind and solar. Our biomass-to-electricity process is cleaner than fossil fuel, is efficient and makes use of existing sustainable biomass on the island.” 05/23/2012

Due 08/26/2012: Papers for Biogas Engineering and Application - Volume 3

Biogas Engineering and ApplicationThe Sino-German Project for Optimization of Biomass Utilization - Biogas has announced a Call for Papers for Volume 3 of "Biogas Engineering and Application". Publication is scheduled for December 2012. This third volume is the product of the GIZ Biomass Project, an on-going collaboration between the Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit, Deutschland (GIZ) and the Energy Engineering and Low Carbon Technology Laboratory, CAU (China Agricultural University). The Sino-German Project on Optimization of Biomass Utilization is a 5-year project launched in January 2009 that cooperates closely with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), aiming at strengthening both private- and state-sector interest in investing in the generation and use of biomass energy, and the improvement of the technical standards and operational performance of medium- and large-scale biogas plants. The GIZ Biomass Project website provides a ling to the Call for Papers along with Instructions for Authors. Submission deadline for articles is August 26, 2012. Contact co-editor and project director Dr. Bernard Raninger,  , or. 05/23/2012

Update: Addendum No.1 Issued to Biosolids to Energy Project RFQ

Bay Area Biosolids to EnergyThe Bay Area Biosolids to Energy (BAB2E) Coalition released Addendum No. 1 last week to its April 5, 2012 solicitation, issuing a Revised Request for Qualifications (RFQ). The Addendum includes a RFQ Response Package Checklist that must be submitted as Page 1 of all Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) packets. A key regulatory driver for this activity is the need for an industry-wide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) generated from transport of the biosolids out of the bay area for remote management and disposal. The Coalition currently estimates that transport miles collectively exceed 800,000 per year. Parties who intend to submit a SOQ must have at least one member of a team registered with BAB2E by June 15, 2012. Today is the final day for submission of questions to BAB2E, which should be addressed to Caroline Quinn at  . Responses to all questions will be posted on the project website www.bayareabiosolids.com. All due dates are unchanged and SOQs are still due Tuesday, June 19, 2012 by 5:00pm. 05/22/2012

Heliae Breaks Ground on Commercial Scale Algae Production Demo Facility

Heliae Development LLCArizona based Heliae Development, LLC has announced ground-breaking for its commercial-scale algae production demonstration facility. The company's technology platform is vertically integrated from initial algal native strain selection (not genetically engineered) through proprietary photo bioreactor design, turn-key integration with industry for CO2 emissions and nitrogenous waste utilization, dewatering and product separation to production of drop-in biodiesel and aviation fuel. The 20-acre plant site is adjacent to Heliae's research and development headquarters offices in Gilbert; construction is expected to occur in phases over 18 months. Concurrent with and at the ground-breaking, Heliae sold its first barrel of jet fuel to its distribution partner SkyNRG, to commemorate a long-sought milestone. Earlier this month, the company secured a $15 million investment from the Indonesian food and products giant the Salim Group, a partnership designed to dramatically open the Asian market to Heliae's advanced "bolt-on" systems deployment. “Over the last two years, we have made significant strides in research and development to create a comprehensive algae technology solution.” stated Dan Simon, president and CEO of Heliae. “Today, we ‘walk the talk’ as we roll-out and prove the technology that will allow our partners to grow, harvest, and extract algae on a commercial scale.” 05/21/2012

W2 Energy Completes 100% Aquisition of Agri-Green Biodiesel

W2 Energy, IncOntario, Canada based W2 Energy, Inc has announced 100% purchase of the Canadian firm Agri-Green Biodiesel, Inc. including the company's physical biodiesel plant in Fernie, British Columbia, Canada. Initial discussions in 2010 considered a 60% acquisition; W2 Energy indicates the favorable terms of a Definitive Agreement allowed full purchase in exchange for assumption of the biodiesel firm's corporate debt. W2 Energy's multi-technologic platform includes the non-thermal (NT) Plasmatron system for conversion of organics to synthesis gas, catalytic conversion of syngas to a variety of liquid transportation fuels, the SunFilter photo bio-reactors for algal growth / CO2 capture, and other sub-systems. Agri-Green converts waste vegetable and animal oil to biodiesel by methanol-driven transesterification; W2 Energy's reactor train can convert most organics to methanol. Mike McLaren, President and CEO of W2 Energy, stated, "Biodiesel is one of the main renewable fuels used worldwide by commercial and government fuel consumers. Because of this, biodiesel production has tripled over the last 12 months. We consider this acquisition of Agri-Green a strategic opportunity for us, because of our ability to produce biodiesel less expensively by using our low-temperature plasma technology. We can use W2 Energy's NT Plasmatron and MultiFuel gas-to-liquid reactor to make its own methanol, electricity and heat from waste sources, thereby reducing the costs of the methanol used in the biodiesel process. This gives us a competitive advantage in the production of biodiesel and should add significantly to our bottom line." 05/20/2012

Pioneer Forest Products Selected by USFS for 4FRI Restoration Contract

United States Forest ServiceThe US Forest Service (USFS) has announced selection of Pioneer Forest Products, a subsidiary of Forest Associates, Inc, for the largest forest stewardship contract ever developed in the agency's history. The locally-headquartered restoration services to be provided by Pioneer include restoration-based thinning and management of roughly 300,000 acres in Northern Arizona over 10 years. Pioneer Forest Products intends to develop a mill site in Winslow, Arizona that can process timber and smaller biomass to be extracted during the 10-year contract term. Materials removed from the forest restoration work will be milled to high value lumber, laminate wood panels, door and doorframe, window frames, furniture, cabinetry, and specialty components. Some of the residual from the forest operations and mill waste will fuel the on-site kiln used to dry the products. The remainder will be converted to electricity and biofuels in a facility co-located with the mill as part of the overall operation. “The importance of this contract cannot be overstated,” said Arthur “Butch” Blazer, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment. “It will help meet Secretary Vilsack’s vision for increasing the size and pace of restoration and will make a difference not only on the landscape, but also to people and communities across Arizona.” This contract is the first major implementation of efforts agreed upon within the Four Forests Restoration Initiative (4FRI) to reduce fire hazards and improve forest health. 4FRI represents around a decade of collaboration among more than 30 local, state and federal stakeholder organizations, culminating at this stage with a 20-year, 2.4 million acre restoration plan. The application of this Forest Plan comes during the transition by UFSF between 1982 Forest Management Act occurring standards and the new Forest Planning Rule recently ratified, and will further provide a pilot case study for assessment of how the new Plan and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) can fit together. 05/18/2012

White House Fights Cuts in Biofuels Spending in Proposed National Defense Bill

The White HouseThe President's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a Statement of Administrative Policy on Tuesday expressing disappointment in the proposed military budget bill HR 4310. The Administration specifically objected to sections 313 and 314, which would "affect the Department of Defense's DOD) ability to procure alternative fuels and would further increase American reliance on fossil fuels, thereby contributing to geopolitical instability and endangering our interests abroad." The OMB noted that it would advise the President to veto the bill if such provisions remained, and specifically called attention to the following issues: HR 4310 proposed to "(1) depart from the President's fiscal year (FY) 2013 Budget request – in particular, increases to the topline request for the base budget; (2) constrain the ability of the Armed Forces to carry out their missions consistent with the new defense strategy; or (3) impede the ability of the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Energy to make and implement management decisions that eliminate unnecessary overhead or programs to ensure scarce resources are directed to the highest priorities for the national security." The veto would be recommended if, in OMB's opinion, "… overall funding level supported by H.R. 4310 would violate the Budget Control Act of 2011 … [and if] the cumulative effects of the bill impede the ability of the Administration to execute the new defense strategy and to properly direct scarce resources, the President's senior advisors would recommend to the President that he veto the bill." The House of Representatives passed the bill today. 05/18/2012

BHS Selected by SITA UK to Build Four MRFs in United Kingdom

Bulk Handling SystemsOregon, United States based company Bulk Handling Systems (BHS) has announced its selection by the United Kingdom's (UK) waste management giant SITA UK to design, manufacture and install the sorting systems for four materials recovery facilities (MRFs) in the UK. The new MRFs will be located in Avonmouth, Birmingham, Darwin, and South London, and together will process more than 250,000 metric tonnes of commercial recyclables a year. BHS' flagship MSW conversion and resource recovery facility is in San Jose, California, where the MRF's recovery and diversion from landfilling has been in excess of 75%. BHS is now partnered with Zero Waste Energy LLC to increase the recycling, resource recovery and renewable energy generation capacity for San Jose, applying both its sorting and materials handling systems and its license for application of the German dry fermentation system KompoFerm. SITA UK has over 300 project and office locations in the United Kingdom to support its resource recovery and waste management services, and is a subsidiary of Suez Environment, active on five continents. Both SITA and BHS are expanding their capabilities in the waste and recycling markets, including upcoming projects such as plastics-to-energy and organics processing. CEO Steve Miller, “SITA UK is the type of visionary company that we believe make the best customers for BHS.  We are thrilled to be entrusted with helping them grow their business for the future.” 05/17/2012

Diageo Connects with Invest Northern Ireland to Achieve Zero Waste to Landfill

Invest Northern IrelandThe economic development agency Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI) has announced that Scotland-based beverage production company Diageo plc has joined other companies working with Invest NI's "Industrial Symbiosis Service" to reduce the amount of waste the partners send to landfill to near zero. The program links business and communities in supply chains, where one concern's waste becomes another's feedstock, reducing both disposal and transport impacts. Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation and Technology Development: “As well as the obvious costs associated with waste disposal, there are a lot of hidden costs such as skip hire and collection charges. Add in the cost of raw materials and the processing time and energy used to get waste into the skip, and the real cost of waste escalates. The fact is that waste is costing businesses a lot of money so it makes sense for companies to reduce or eliminate the amount of waste that has to go to landfill.” Diageo has been active in conversion of its manufacturing wastes, turning residuals and effluent into renewable energy with its Sustainable Scotch Whisky program. Now, Diageo's Belfast plants will become a focus of similar waste conversion. Diageo’s Smallpack Compliance Manager Joanne Doak, says: “The Industrial Symbiosis Service has helped our company divert over 450 tonnes of waste, including hazardous waste, from landfill and now we are well on the way to achieving zero waste. Diageo is proud of this achievement and we have agreed to host an industrial symbiosis workshop at our Marshall’s Road site so that other businesses can learn from and share in our success.” 05/17/2012

California ARB Schedules Public Consultation on Cap & Trade Investment Plan

California Air Resources BoardThe California Air Resources Board (ARB) has posted a Meeting Notice for the Public Consultation on Investment of Cap and Trade Auction Proceeds, to be held on May 24, 2012 in Sacramento. The Consultation is intended to encourage the public to engage in California's development of an investment plan for the auction proceeds that will be generated from the cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gases. Comments may be submitted at the meeting on May 24th and up to June 22, 2012. For the meeting, representatives from the Administration and the Legislature have been invited to hear from two panels of speakers, followed by the open public comment session. Panel 1 will explore auction proceed investment options; Pane 2 will discuss what criteria should be prioritized in the development of an investment plan, and why. ARB asks that consultation participants also follow this agenda and focus their remarks on one or both of the following questions: (1) How California can effectively invest the auction funds to meet the goals of Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32) including support of long-term, transformative efforts to improve public health and develop a clean energy economy, and (2) What criteria should be prioritized in the development of an investment plan for auction funds and why? Following the meeting, ARB will provide instructions on how to submit written comments and will make those written comments publicly available. 05/17/2012

CEC Posts PIER Program Waste to Product Report Fact Sheets On-Line

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission's (CEC) Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program sponsors a wide variety of research, development, and demonstration efforts, and periodically updates its program page on the CEC website with concise 2-page new research project report "Fact Sheets". Seven updates have been posted so far this month. Of these, three are directly relevant to the conversion of waste to biofuel: (1) New Microalgae Fermentation Process Used to Produce Biofuel summarizes PIER-supported research of Solazyme’s commercial oil bio-manufacturing process to use heterotrophic (not reliant on light and photosynthesis) algal fermentation to process sustainable, nonfood, cellulosic feedstocks; (2) Capturing, Purifying, and Liquefying Landfill Gas for Transportation Fuel describes PIER work with the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) that will evaluate and analyze methods to overcome the technological challenges of landfill gas purification and demonstrate liquefaction technology for the conversion of renewable landfill biomethane to liquefied natural gas for use as transportation fuel; (3) Bacterial Fermentation of California Agricultural Waste into Advanced Biofuel reports on research by Menon & Associates to demonstrate the production of fuel, from nonfood sources, in a manner less complex and more efficient than competing processes using only cellulosic (woody) biomass feedstock. PIER and contract awardee contact information is provide with each Fact Sheet, encouraging interested parties to initiate follow-up discussions. 05/16/2012

Gemma Power Systems Receives Notice to Proceed on Texas Biopower Plant

Gemma Power SystemsGemma Power Systems (GPS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Maryland-based Argan, Inc, has received Full Notice to Proceed from the East Texas Electric Cooperative (ETEC) on its contract to build Woodville Biomass, a 49.9 megawatt biomass fueled power plant near Woodville, Texas. GPS was awarded the engineering, contracting and procurement (EPC) contract in October of last year for the $165 million, 65 acre south Texas biopower facility, which is co-located with the existing NAPCO wood chipping mill. The plant has a contract with the city of Woodville for reuse of its wastewater, and just last month received a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) from the Rural Utility Service of the US Department of Agriculture. The project is estimated to be completed in December 2014. Rainer Bosselmann, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Argan, stated, “We look forward to working with ETEC toward the successful, on-time completion of this important project.” Argan’s primary business is designing and building energy plants through its Gemma Power Systems subsidiary. These energy plants include traditional gas as well as alternative energy including biodiesel, ethanol, and renewable energy sources such as biomass, wind and solar. 05/16/2012

JBEI Research Identifies Ionic Liquid Resistant Microbe for Cellulosic Biofuels

Joint BioEnergy InstituteJoint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) researchers have published on a strain (SCF1) of the sugar-fermenting microbe Enterobacter lignolyticus that can withstand high concentrations of ionic liquid solvents. Most microbes capable of fermenting the sugars this technique releases find the liquids particularly toxic due to the high osmotic pressures created. The team also defined the biological mechanisms through which the rainforest microbe can accomplish this, and can now apply this knowledge to engineer reproducible bacterial capable of fermentation while in contact with the destructive liquids.The team found SCF1 in the El Yunque National Forest, a tropical rain forest in Puerto Rico. The JBEI has been researching the promising use of ionic liquids to decompose cellulose as a pre-treatment to fermentation for a number of years. Co-author Michael Thelen is a member of JBEI's Deconstruction Division; he explains: “Our model suggests that SCF1 bacteria resist the toxic effect of the [C2mim]Cl ionic liquid by altering the permeability of their cell membrane and pumping the toxic chemical out of the cell before damage occurs. These detoxifying mechanisms are known to be involved in bacterial responses to stress, but not in a coordinated manner as we have shown for the response of SCF1 to ionic liquid. Our study also demonstrates that vigorous efforts to discover and analyze the unique properties of microorganisms can provide an important basis for understanding microbial stress and adaptation responses to anthropogenic chemicals used in industry." The JBEI is one of three US Department of Energy Bioenergy Research Centers and is located in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a scientific partnership led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and includes the Sandia National Laboratories, the University of California (UC) campuses of Berkeley and Davis, the Carnegie Institution for Science, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. 05/16/2012

GETH Tire and Plastic Conversion Oil Acceptable to Major Oil Company

Green EnviroTech Holdings Corp.Green EnviroTech Holdings Corp. (GETH) has realized a major step toward full commercialization. First, the company announced last week that parallel testing of its waste-to-oil product in two separate outside labs surpassed crude oil refining industry specifications. This week, GETH received notice that its waste-sourced oil samples submitted to a major oil company had been accepted, based upon the oil company's own laboratory findings that all the qualities of the samples were within the typical specifications for their refinery. GETH has combined advanced materials separation technology from Missouri-based Ebbros Energy Partners LLC with Agilyx thermal platform for conversion of rubber and plastics to oil, and recently added elite contaminant removal upgrading capabilities. GETH is currently negotiating a site lease in California and has secured feedstock supplies of waste tires and non-recyclable plastics from the region surround the site. CEO Gary M De Laurentiis stated, "This is another huge leap forward for GETH and our tire and plastic to oil project with Ebbros Energy LLC. This is the final piece of what was needed to move forward with our first plant. We are finalizing our agreement with Ebbros so we can move from the non-binding LOI to a finance and purchase agreement next week. Terms of a purchase agreement between Ebbros and the oil company are now being negotiated as to the delivery point and financial terms. We anticipate the contract to be completed in the next few weeks." 05/15/2012

JBI Secures $10MM to Advance Commercialization of Plastic2Oil Process

Plastic2OilCanadian waste plastic to oil specialist JBI, Inc. has announced that investments of $10 million have been made in the company's equity through private placement. Concurrent with the funding, JBI has received a positive independent review of its Plastic2Oil® (P2O) technology from Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). The 3-day SAIC audit tested the P2O processor running in continuous mode, processing over 120,000 pounds (60 tons) of waste plastic to produce over 10,000 gallons of No. 6 Fuel and over 4,000 gallons of Naphtha. In January of this year JBI secured $2.8 million for technology commercialization based on its initial Rock-Tenn demonstration installation, allowing it to open its second processing line in Niagara Falls in February. The $10 million private equity placement of unregistered securities set at $0.08 per share will be used "to accelerate the commercial roll-out of our P2O processors at our Niagara Falls plant and the initial Rock-Tenn sites, endeavoring to achieve our near term goal of becoming cash flow positive.” The funding is also accompanied by management changes; JBI's founder and now CTO John Bordynuik welcomed the new CEO: “I’m pleased to introduce Kevin Rauber as our new Chief Executive Officer. Kevin comes to us from Rock-Tenn Company, where he was Vice President of Waste Solutions overseeing a large global business.” Mr. Bordynuik continued, “Having Kevin onboard will allow me to step away from the demands of the CEO role and focus on the technological aspects of the commercial P2O roll-out.” 05/15/2012

Neste Produces NExBTL Biodiesel from Fish Processing Waste

Neste OilFinland's fuels and chemicals giant Neste Oil has announced successful conversion of fats derived from fish processing wastes into its premium-quality NExBTL renewable diesel. The testing has taken place in Neste' biorefinery in Singapore, with conversion of source-identified residuals following removal of fillets for human consumption from farmed fish. For this specific fish, a freshwater Pangsius farmed in Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh and the surrounding region, the oil has little human nutritional value, containing large oil percentages per fish but with very small amounts of the important omega 3 and 6 fatty acids present in saltwater fish such as salmon. Further, Neste notes that the antibiotics and other chemicals commonly used in regional fish farming tend to be stored in the fatty tissues, to the extent that human consumption is sometimes unadvisable. The chain of custody documentation ensures that the biofuels meet the European Renewable Energy Directive as sustainable, and allows calculation of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 84% for the new biofuel, when compared to petroleum-derived diesel. Neste has been progressively expanding the use of waste-sourced feedstock in its oil production. A partnership between Neste and RaisioAgro announced this past February integrated the process of agricultural waste conversion to fuel with regional food production. "It makes good ecological sense to use waste and sidestreams to produce advanced, premium-quality renewable fuel, which is why our goal this year is to increase the amount of by-products and waste we use as raw materials by hundreds of thousands of tons compared to 2011," says Matti Lehmus, Neste Oil's Executive Vice President, Oil Products and Renewables. 05/15/2012

UK Parliament's Sustainable Food Report includes Waste Conversion

United Kingdom ParliamentThe Environmental Audit Committee of the United Kingdom's (UK) Parliament has released its Eleventh Report on Sustainable Food, proposing a very holistic approach to the problem of providing sufficient healthy food in a sustainable way to the country and the world's growing population. Using a Life Cycle Analysis approach, the Committee provides recommendations for advanced analysis, quantification and policy development to address the impacts of food production, distribution, consumer use and disposal. Guidance for more sustainable management includes scrapping the use of "sell-by" dates, which aid stock rotation instead of indicating freshness, and using sound science to redirect non-animal food waste for use as livestock food. The report recognizes that the Government now enables local authorities to use the UK's £250 million Weekly Collection Support Scheme to initiate food waste collections in support of waste conversion by anaerobic digestion to energy. The report states: "Without such collections, there is a risk to the use of food waste in anaerobic digestion, as well as for packaging recycling rates. The Government must ensure that there is sufficient funding available for all councils to be able to make sufficiently regular and separated food collections, to help develop a healthy anaerobic digestion sector." 05/14/2012

ENER-G Combines Romanian Businesses in New Premises

ENER-GUnited Kingdom (UK) based multi-technologic energy development company ENER-G has announced its expansion of waste conversion services in the Romanian market. The company has brought two business relationships into one Bucharest office, combining the strength of the larger ENER-G Technologii Energetice (ETE) team with EnALT Engineering and Contracting, a power engineering consultancy in which ENER-G is a majority shareholder. Fresh from successful start-up of its Aguascalientes, Mexico landfill gas to power project, ENER-G's network of business development divisions and affiliates also has a firm presence in Europe, with multiple waste gasification plants operating in Norway and Germany. The company offers co- and tri-generation, landfill gas collection and conversion to heat and power, two-stage gasification-based waste to energy and a full complement of energy efficiency and optimization services. The new Romanian office of ENER-G was officially opened by British Ambassador to Bucharest Martin Harris, and shares the building complex with Ford and Coca-Cola. Derek Duffill, Group Managing Director for ENER-G: "By bringing together our two Romanian businesses into prestigious new premises we have established an even stronger commercial and technical team with the expertise and experience to accelerate clean technology development in Romania and the wider fast-growing markets of Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to the projects we have underway in Romania, there's an exciting pipeline of opportunity for our world class biogas generation, combined heat and power and clean energy recovery from waste technologies and services." 05/14/2012

Iowa Energy Center Awards 3 Grants for Thermal Biomass Conversion Research

Iowa Energy CenterIowa State University's Iowa Energy Center has announced the award of three grants to university research teams, all focused on the thermochemical conversion of biomass to biofuels and biochemicals. The one year research and demonstration grants have negotiated renewal terms of up to three years, potentially resulting in up to $983,000 in total funding for the three teams. The teams are associated with Iowa State University's Bioeconomy Institute, which "provides cohesion among the diverse efforts in biorenewable resources on campus and encourages collaboration within departments, colleges and research units." Researchers from the Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies led by Dr. Song-Charng Kong combines fast pyrolysis for conversion of biomass to bio-oil with a newly designed pressurized high temperature gasifier for further conversion of the bio-oil to synthesis gas. The second team, led by Assistant Professor Laura Jarboe, will use pyrolysis to convert biomass to bio-oil, and then study the economics and physical characteristics of microbial fermentation of the bio-oil to biofuels. The third team, led by Dr. Robert Brown, will advance methodology for conversion of biochar to activated carbon, exploring how that material then might be used to clean the synthesis gas, and purify the bio-oil. Chitra Rajan, interim director of the center and an associate vice president for research at Iowa State, said, "These research projects can help to decrease our dependence on imported fuels while increasing opportunities for our state’s economy." 05/13/2012

DOE Biofuels Pathway Analysis Favors Fast Pyrolysis for Green Gasoline

US Department of EnergyLast month, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Biomass Program released a little-heralded presentation entitled "Biofuel Design Cases", following its presentation to the office's Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDi). The TAC Biofuels Design Cases annually assesses the availability, efficacy and commercial status of the most prominent biomass to biofuels and bioproducts conversion tools and methods, and compares costs over time as part of the Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP). The 12-slide presentation authored by the Biomass Office's Dr. Zia Haq sends a clear signal to many levels of the US government. When it comes to decisions regarding which technology the federal government should be spending money on to get to high volume to-specification biofuels, one pathway stands out: pyrolytic production of green gasoline provides the lowest overall cost per unit fuel now at $4.56 per gallon, and in projections to 2017, at $2.32 per gallon. As lain out in the TAC Quarterly Meeting in March, TAC advises BRDI with technical review and recommendations, informing the Secretaries of Energy and Agriculture, and the points of contact on the technical focus and direction of the BRDi Request for Proposals (RFP), and on procedures for reviewing and evaluating the proposals. The Committee also evaluates and performs strategic planning on BRDi activities, which are focused on developing competitive annual grants, focused contracts and other financial assistance for biofuels and biobased product development. BRDi in turn receives policy guidance and administrative assistance from the Biomass R&D Board, an eleven-agency body co-chaired by the Departments of Energy and Agriculture. 05/11/2012

Emerald Biofuels Licenses Honeywell Green Diesel for New Louisiana Plant

Emerald Biofuels LLCIllinois based Emerald Biofuels LLC has agreed to license Honeywell's Eni EcofiningTM biodiesel production technology for its new 85 million gallon per year drop-in biodiesel plant, "Emerald One." The permitted plant will lease property and infrastructure services at the existing facilities of Dow Chemical Company in Plaquemine, Louisiana near Baton Rouge, which offers ship, barge, rail and truck access. Emerald selected International Alliance Group (IAG) to will provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the project, and Fieldstone Private Capital Group, inc. to help complete and close financing later this year. Honeywell’s UOP and the Italian company Eni SpA jointly developed the UOP/Eni Ecofining process, which uses catalytic hydroprocessing technology to convert non-edible natural oils and animal fats to Honeywell Green DieselTM, with an industry-leading high cetane value around 80, excellent cold-flow performance and reduced emissions over both biodiesel and petroleum-based diesel. Honeywell's UOP catalysis platform is also effective for reforming the hydrogen-rich synthetic gas produced by Ensyn's Rapid Thermal Processing (RTP) pyrolytic retort; Ensyn and Honeywell UOP formed the joint venture Envergent in 2008 to commercialize this complementary pathway to advanced biofuels; Teru's sources indicate Honeywell pulled back from a well-formed woody-waste to green diesel thermal conversion project earlier this month, also being considered for Louisiana; Dow's massive plant site may offer further multi-technologic integration opportunities. For Emerald Biofuels, the project includes a license to the Eni Ecofining platform at the Plaquemine site; whether this license includes rights to expand to other sites was not clear. David Drew, Emerald's CEO, said, "Emerald is excited to have the opportunity to work with the world-class capabilities and experience of Dow and Honeywell's UOP." 05/11/2012

EdeniQ Secures $30MM+ to Advance Biomass Pre-Treatment for Biofuels

EdeniQCalifornia's biomass feedstock pre-treatment specialist EdeniQ has announced a successful funding round, securing over $30 million in combined equity and debt financing. The company's combined mechanical and biological pre-treatment approach provides an easily-integrated method capable of increasing biofuels production at standard fermentation ethanol plants, while providing means to ensure cost-effective transition to cellulosic ethanol. EdeniQ's 2009 global partnership with IKA Works last year provided the CellunatorTM milling technology; collaboration with Novozymes for enzymatics and state and federal labs for facilitated systems integration at EdeniQ's research, development and demonstration plant in Visalia, California. The current investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Cyrus Capital, The Westly Group, Angeleno Group, I2BF Global Ventures and Element Partners as well as a new investor, Flint Hills Resources Renewables LLC, a subsidiary of privately held Koch Industries, Inc. Flint Hills Resources Renewables LLC is among the largest ethanol producers in the United States with four ethanol plants in Iowa. Comerica and ATEL Ventures provided the debt facility. “EdeniQ has demonstrated significant promise in its effort to create a scalable, cost-competitive and high-quality supply of sugars,” said John Denniston, Investment Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. “EdeniQ’s approach – integrating specialized enzymes with its proprietary mechanical equipment for plant material milling – has the potential to deliver consistently improved costs in cellulosic sugar production.” 05/11/2012

California Energy Commission Approves RPS Guidebook Changes

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission unanimously voted to adopt the Lead Commissioner Carla Peterman's proposed changes to the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Eligibility Guidebook and to the Overall Guidebook during its Business Meeting on May 9, 2012. Kate Zocchetti, Technical RPS Program Director and council Gabe Herrera presented a clear and thorough overview of the revisions. Of these, many touched on issues surrounding waste and/or biomass conversion to renewable power and fuels including the recent suspension of eligibility guidelines and certification procedures for "wheeling" biomethane through the standard natural gas pipeline infrastructure. The Commissioners did not use the hearing to change this suspension, and had no answer when the public sought a timeline for an end to the suspension. For multi-fuel facilities, the amount of non-renewable fuel and its timing of use were clarified; facilities can adjust up to 5% annual usage while maintaining full RPS eligibility, as long as the total usage dies not exceed 10% annually. These changes were recently added; a Summary of Major Revisions is provided on-line for modifications not included in prior published drafts. 05/11/2012

BioTork & NCERC Succeed in Breeding New Xylose-Converting Yeast for Ethanol

BioTork LLCFlorida-based BioTork LLC has announced that the first stage of practical research has successfully used adaptive evolution techniques to optimize a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) genetically modified yeast strain to ferment the C5 sugar D-xylose at high rates. BioTork utilized methods developed by the firm Evolugate, in partnership with Southern Illinois University's National Corn-to-Ethanol Center (NCERC), to progressively evolve an engineered yeast strain to cost-effectively convert xylose instead of sucrose to ethanol. Xylose is the second most abundant sugar in ligno-cellulosic biomass after glucose, accounting for about 30% of the dry weight, but normally cannot be fermented by industry-standard Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast. The USDA genetically engineered a strain of the yeast to ferment xylose, but conversion rates were too slow to allow commercial scale-up. The BioTork team started with the USDA strain and optimized it to use xylose as the sole carbon source while tripling the fermentation rate. This allows the ethanol industry to ferment the dried distiller's grains and even stover residuals to produce additional ethanol, potentially increasing a plant's output by 10% from the same corn harvest. By proving that genetically engineered microbes can be optimized through adaptive evolution for real-world performance, a much broader range of non-food biomass can become feedstock for economical ethanol production. “While improvements to the growth rate and initial scale up of its performance in an industrial setting are underway, this strain has the potential to be one of the first economically viable xylose-fermenting strains, and represents a fruitful combination of genetic engineering and adaptive evolution,” says Tom Lyons, Chief Scientific Officer of BioTork. 05/08/2012

Brazilian Researchers Convert Biodiesel Refinery Waste to Commodity

Biotechnology for BiofuelsA collaborative research team from several Brazilian universities has released a pre-publication paper in the journal Biotechnology for Biofuels describing successful microbial conversion of the complex wastes of biodiesel refining to form high-value products. The paper describes testing and selection of yeasts isolated from dairy effluent to convert the complex organic residuals caught during filtration into "bioemulsifiers", chemicals classified as high molecular weight surface-active compounds (SACs) that are effective in stabilizing oil-in-water emulsions. Microbially-produced SACs show "marked advantages" over chemically-synthesized emulsifying mixtures, but past efforts have been uneconomical. The yeast strain Trichosporon mycotoxinivorans (CLA2) created high-quality emulsifying biopolymers when grown on the diatomaceous earth filter cake from biodiesel refining, which contained primarily methanol and crude glycerine created during transesterification. Oils, waxes and many fuels such as kerosene and gasoline are hydrophobic; a cost-effective bio-sourced emulsifier would aid many cleaning and processing stages in both the bio-sourced and petroleum-sourced industrial arenas. Use of this biodiesel production waste as a substrate for the yeast's growth potentially could make bioemulsifier production cost-effective, while eliminating the costly pretreatment and disposal of the waste usually considered a requisite part of biodiesel production. Researcher's conclusion: "The biodiesel residue is an economical substrate, therefore seems to be very promising for the low-cost production of active emulsifiers in the emulsification of aromatics, aliphatic hydrocarbons, and kerosene." 05/08/2012

Alter NRG Converts Waste to Syngas to Replace Fuel Oil in Coen Boilers

Alter NRG CorpThe Canadian company Alter NRG Corp, owners of the Westinghouse Plasma technology, has announced successful completion of syngas testing with Coen Company Inc., a global leader in design and manufacture of combustion systems. Originating in California, Coen specializes in the design, manufacture, service and maintenance of combustion systems with a focus on improving a customer's energy efficiency, environmental quality, fuel flexibility and system reliability. The testing has confirmed that Alter NRG's plasma conversion of waste produces a clean-burning synthetic fuel gas, or syngas, that is a viable fuel alternative to use of standard fuel oil in Coen's boiler systems used in power plants. Alter NRG's plasma technology can cost-effectively convert household, commercial and industrial waste into syngas while meeting the most stringent environmental controls; where waste disposal fees approach $60 per ton, the net operating cost per million Btu of syngas fuel is about zero. Tim Webster, President of Coen Company states, "We have reviewed the Westinghouse Plasma Gasification system by Alter NRG and believe it may offer a viable alternative to Fuel Oil.  The syngas created from different types of waste materials can be co-fired through Coen's burner technology to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels at existing power plants.  We are excited to be pursuing this market opportunity with Alter NRG as it may offer compelling economic and environmental benefits for customers who are looking to reduce their dependence on fuel oil as well as their overall carbon footprint." 05/08/2012

Xebec Completes Successful Testing for High N2 and O2 Removal from Biogas

Xebec Adsorption IncCanadian gas upgrading and purification specialist Xebec Adsorption Inc announced successful completion of initial phase testing for the removal of high concentrations of nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2) from both landfill and wastewater treatment biogas. Past demonstration of Xebec's single-stage kinetic pressure swing adsorption (kPSA) technology installed in California at the Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility at the City of Escondido's Wastewater Treatment Plant has proven effective at removal of low to medium N2 and O2 concentrations at high recovery rates. The new testing validates Xebec's ability to use two-stage kPSA for removal of increased concentrations targeting more than 90% removal of N2 at concentrations over 10%. The company was recently strengthened by acquisition by Air Products Corporation, providing significant working capital while allowing Xebec to continue expanding its business. Kurt Sorschak, President and CEO of Xebec said, “We are very pleased with the initial phase test results which verifiably demonstrate that our biogas upgrading technology will remove high levels of nitrogen and oxygen with exceptional recovery rates. After the successful completion of the test program in the second half of 2012, Xebec will offer customers an upgrading solution that will remove high levels of N2 and O2 from landfill and waste water treatment gas with superior recovery rates than currently available on the market. This will directly translate into increased revenues and profits for our customers, and make our products more competitive compared to power generation and other upgrading solutions. Xebec is focused on the landfill and waste water treatment segment, since both generate biogas with medium to high levels of nitrogen and oxygen, and it is in these segments that Xebec’s upgrading solutions offer a clear competitive advantage to our customers.” 05/08/2012

US Forest Service PNW Station Debuts Forest Research Podcast Service

US Forest ServiceAnyone seeking to better understand modern national forest research and management in the western US has a new information source. The Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW Station) has launched "PNW Ecotone", a podcast series supported with on-line images, a full transcript and background materials. Given the recent sweeping changes to the Forest Planning Rule and implications for access to forest-sourced biomass, the new series is a timely and creative means of scientific research outreach. The PNW Station is one of seven regional US Forest Service research centers and is comprised of eleven forest research laboratories located in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. The labs develop partnerships with universities, national forests, state agencies, nonprofits, private industry, and other federal agencies; funding from research comes both from federal appropriations and form partner clients seeking research assistance. The new and highly-collaborative forest landscape restoration efforts crucial to the revamped Forest Planning Rule can turn to the Stations in each region to provide the federal scientific basis for monitoring and assessment, and the new outreach service serves to bring such research to a broader audience. “In the research branch of the Forest Service, we’re working to better deliver what we’re learning about forests,” said Cindy Miner, the station’s Assistant Director for Communications and Applications. “We think people will find that our podcasts provide a quick and enjoyable way to stay current with science.” 05/07/2012

Fibrek Mill Signs PPA with Hydro-Québec for 33.23 MWe Bioenergy

FibrekThe Canadian pulp and paper company Fibrek has announced entering a new renewable power purchase agreement with Hydro-Québec Distribution for sale of 33.23 megawatts of bioenergy, generated at its Saint-Félicien mill. Located in the Lac Saint-Jean region (about 450 kilometres north of Montréal), the Saint-Félicien Mill manufactures 375,000 metric tonnes of high-quality NBSK pulp annually. The sale is part of the Hydro-Québec's Power Purchase Program under a forest biomass cogeneration request for proposals released last December. Sale of green power from conversion of the woody mill wastes was scheduled to begin May 5, 2012, at a purchase price of $106 per megawatt per hour indexed to the consumer price index (CPI) for a 25-year period. The contract will generate approximately $16 million a year for Fibrek. The company is currently investing approximately $37 million in the construction of a new power plant that will be used to produce the additional 9.56 MWe of bioenergy. “This production will further increase the previously announced 9.56 MW that Fibrek will be supplying to the government corporation starting in December 2012. By the end of this year, the Saint-Félicien mill will be producing 42.79 MW in green energy for Hydro-Québec Distribution,” said Pierre Gabriel Côté of Fibrek. “Revenue diversification is a key component of our business plan. In addition, increasing our green energy production fits well within our sustainable development plan and reflects our vision when it comes to innovation for growth." 05/07/2012

IEP Partners with Government of Haiti for 30 MWe Waste-to-Energy

Project PhoenixPennsylvania-based International Electric Power LLC (IEP) has entered into a public-private partnership for municipal waste management and energy recovery with the government of Haiti called Project Phoenix. IEP Waste Management S.A. has partnered with the Spanish waste collection and processing specialist Ros Roca for the main project components of power generation and waste collection. The companies will work with the Haitian company Boucard Waste Management, the government's Metropolitan Waste Collection Services, and private collectors. The consortium will collect and process municipal solid waste (MSW) from the Port au Prince community, then thermally convert over 3,000 tons per day into about 30 megawatts of renewable energy. Project Phoenix will require a total investment of around $250 million to establish the labor-intensive collection infrastructure and the state-of-the-art waste-to-energy facility. “Project Phoenix is a key building block for our country,” said Haiti's Secretary of State for Energy. “It is of critical interest in the development of our country. It will provide simultaneously for clean streets in the Capital city and surroundings, reliable electric power from a renewable local fuel source, thousands of jobs and cleaner air. It will also protect the aquifer and coastal waters of the region from contamination. The Project, being a Public-Private Partnership, will help generate a continuous cash flow for Haiti which will contribute greatly to our progress”. 05/07/2012

UA Researchers Extract Chitin from Waste Shrimp Shells for New Bandage

University of AlabamaThe University of Alabama reports that researchers have made significant progress in extraction of pure long-chain molecular chitin from waste shrimp shells to develop a new type of antibacterial bandage. Dr. Whitney Hough works on the project in UA's Alabama Innovation and Mentoring of Entrepreneurs (AIME) program under Professor Robin Rogers, Director of the Center for Green Manufacturing (CGM). One key area of the CGM's research involves use of a relatively new class of solvent called ionic liquids that exhibit unique biomass pre-treatment capabilities. Discovering the cell-wall-swelling properties of ionic liquids to extract pure chitin from shrimp shells brought the effort a $150,000 award from the National Science Foundation's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Treating finely powered shrimp shells with ionic liquids separates the pure chitin, which then precipitates when washed in de-ionized water. Mixing the purified chitin with another polymer derived from seaweed, alginate, creates a material that can be extruded as an antiseptic moisture-holding fiber well suited to the difficult task for bandaging diabetic lesions. A local news report noted that Professor Rogers had met with shrimpers following the Deep Water Horizon disaster, telling them that a polymer called chitin in the shrimp shells could become a stand-alone product more valuable than the shrimp themselves. Dr. Hough: “Our technology works to mix those two polymers together into a fiber that has both a gel-property and an anti-bacterial one. We also are working to infuse minerals and vitamins into the fibers so that when it comes into contact with the wound it would help promote cellular growth and help to close the wound faster.” 05/06/2012

Lignol Energy Joins Oak Ridge Carbon Fiber Composites Consortium

Lignol Energy CorporationCanadian biomass fractionation specialist Lignol Energy Corporation has announced it is now a member of the Carbon Fiber Composites Consortium. The Consortium is an alliance of about 40 members managed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and dedicated to development and commercialization of new carbon fiber and composite materials. Lignol initially focused on proprietary solvent based "de-lignification" pre-treatment of low-value biomass to facilitate further biorefining processes, and then partnered with Novozymes to integrate enzymatic development and is currently optimizing the integration of this pre-treatment with recently acquired saccharification and fermentation process capabilities. This technology platform economically manufactures ethanol, lignin and a number of other foundation chemicals. In February, Lignol was awarded support funding of over $2 million under the Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) program. The company has established a Cellulosic Ethanol Development Centre in Vancouver, and has plans to design a commercial demonstration plant. Under ORNL's leadership, the Consortium now will develop a pilot plant for production of up to 25 tons of new carbon fiber materials from various feedstock, including Lignol's purified HP-LTM lignin. "We are delighted to have been invited to join the Oak Ridge Carbon Fiber Composites Consortium and are truly impressed with the caliber and diversity of the membership that ORNL has attracted to the consortium," said Lignol's President and Chief Executive Officer, Ross MacLachlan. "The recent meeting was extremely valuable for us to make contact with players in this developing industry sector and to discuss our progress in Lignin-Carbon Fiber development with many of them. We were gratified with the depth of interest that we received in our HP-L™ lignin among members." 05/05/2012

Solazyme to Supply Dow with Algae-Sourced Dielectric Oil

SolazymeSan Francisco's heterotrophic algae company Solazyme announced it has entered into a four-year contingent offtake agreement to supply Dow Chemical Company with non-vegetable, microbially produced oils for use as bio-sourced dielectric fluids. Concurrent with the new global supply agreement, the two companies also entered into a Phase 2 Joint Development Agreement (JDA2) extending their exclusive collaboration to accelerate scale-up and commercialization. Solazyme's technology platform uses heterotrophic algae strains to convert low-cost plant sugars into high-value to-specification oils for the biofuels and chemicals, nutrition, and skin care markets. Heterotrophic micro algae have the ability to metabolize diverse plant sugars in absence of sunlight, allowing the conversion to be closely controlled within closed, dark reactors. Solazyme's proprietary strains of microalgae have been modified to produce an order of magnitude more oil per than wild strains. Global progress in pre-treatment of low-value waste biomass is now creating a reliable biomass to sugar pathway; Solazyme's precision processing completes the progression to commodity. “Solazyme’s unique biotechnology-based oils platform has created a new market opportunity to develop and produce the next-generation of safe, renewable, dielectric insulating fluids that provide increased performance benefits,” said Jonathan Wolfson, CEO, Solazyme. “We have continued to reach technological advancements ahead of schedule with Dow, enabling us to further progress our commercial relationship.” 05/05/2012

OriginOil and Algasol Partner for Algal Growth and Harvesting System

OriginOilCalifornia based OriginOil has announced its intent to create a new collaborative partnership with the Spanish firm Algasol Renewables to accelerate both company's algal cultivation and harvesting. OriginOil's process "quantum-fractionates" (micronizes) nutrients, instantaneously mixes this with its microalgae in their Helix BioReactor, then harvests the resulting biomass in a single-step process; the company is currently working with the Idaho National Laboratory to integrate an advanced biofuel conversion process with its algal production and harvesting methods. Algasol has developed floating membrane photo-bioreactors that can be deployed on saltwater or on wastewater lagoons, and recently began working with the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. NASA's Ames Research Center has been experimenting with floating membrane bioreactors, exploring their ability to absorb wastewater nutrients while emitting oxygen. The algal companies and their federal collaborators feel the partnership will result in rapid advancement by combining their proprietary methods. “With customer demand for an integrated algae production process rising, we need to offer our customers a means of harvesting as well,” said Miguel Verhein, executive director of Algasol Renewables. “We plan to recommend OriginOil’s field-proven chemical-free, high flow and low-energy harvesting system, and once available, the integrated biocrude system they are developing with the Department of Energy.” 05/05/2012

EERC, DenYon Energy Test Poultry Waste Gasifier to Energy System

University of North Dakota, Energy & Environmental Research CenterThe University of North Dakota, Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) has announced a project to test the EERC's proprietary Advanced Fixed Bed Gasification (AFBG) for conversion of poultry waste to energy and products. DenYon Energy, LLC and the US Department of Energy (DOE)  are collaborating with the EERC on the project. The EERC estimates that a farm generating 3,000 tons per year of waste could convert that to synthetic gas (syngas) and fuel generation of about 280 kilowatts of electricity. The AFBG technology has been licensed through the EERC Foundation for poultry litter conversion; the collaborative team will now test a variety of feedstock types and blends to determine what is needed for full commercialization. "We are trying to achieve a complete solution for the poultry industry with this distributed energy technology," said Nikhil Patel, Research Scientist, Project Manager, and inventor of the technology. "A distributed-scale energy and by-product recovery process is an emerging need in the poultry industry. This project can lead to environmental and economic sustainability by helping a major food processing industry eliminate waste and become more energy self-reliant. In essence, poultry farms around the globe could use their own waste to supply lower-cost energy to their operations and reduce disposal challenges." Questions about technology transfer and licensing from UND's EERC should be directed to Tom Erickson, Associate Director for Business and Operations at  or (701) 777-5000. 05/04/2012

Ribbon Cut for First Landfill Gas Fueling Station in Louisiana

BioCNG, LLCBioCNG, LLC has completed commissioning of a turnkey landfill gas conversion system producing biomethane compressed natural gas for vehicle fueling at the St. Landry Parish Solid Waste Disposal Landfill, Washington, Louisiana. State and local officials attended a ribbon cutting ceremony two days ago celebrating the opening of the landfill gas fueling station. The BioCNG™ vehicle fuel is produced by piping landfill biogas into the conditioning unit, where moisture (H20) is reduced, and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including siloxane, and carbon dioxide (CO2) are removed. After conditioning, the fuel is routed to a CNG fueling station where it is further dried and compressed for use in CNG vehicles. The conditioned biogas can be used directly in CNG vehicles or mixed with pipeline CNG. BioCNG can supply fueling systems to deliver from 200 to over a thousand gasoline gallon equivalent per day (GGE/day). The St Landry Parish site is the first landfill gas to vehicle CNG in Louisiana; it will supply up to 250 GGE/day compressed biomethane per day. The Parish recently began fueling vehicles with natural gas; initially, 15 Parrish vehicles will use the new fueling station including 10 sheriff's cars, and the agency is now converting some older units and acquiring additional new natural gas fueled transport and heavy equipment vehicles to eventually utilize the BioCNG fuel. BioCNG, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of New York based Cornerstone Environmental Group, LLC. 05/04/2012

TMO Moves 2G Ethanol Produced from Cassava Stalks to Demo Scale Testing

TMO Renewables LtdThe United Kingdom company TMO Renewables Ltd has announced progress from bench to demonstration scale in use of cassava stalks, a cheap and abundant agricultural residue in China, as feedstock for its proprietary cellulosic biomass to fuel process. TMO teamed with Chinese fuel and food producers to pursue conversion of cassava residuals with the expectation that the demonstration plant will produce bioethanol at around $2 per gallon. The TMO process begins with steam pre-treatment of waste biomass to form a slurry, followed by introduction of enzymes and finally fermentation of the broad range of sugars using the group's genetically-modified TM242 thermophyllic bacterial strain. The company, founded in 2002, has been operating its ethanol process demonstration unit since 2008 and in 2010, entered its first commercial agreement with Maryland-based Fiberight LLC to develop 15 municipal solid waste (MSW) to ethanol plants in the US, breaking ground on the first plant in 2011. The company has a close and long-standing collaborative relationship with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), one of 7 Research Councils that work together as Research Councils UK (RCUK) funded by the UK Government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). BBSRC's budget for 2011-12 is around £445M, supporting around 1600 scientists and 2000 research students in universities and institutes across the UK. "With more and more countries seeking affordable fuels, abundant cassava stalk will play a vital role in expanding cellulosic biofuels production," said TMO acting CEO Robert Parker. "TMO's technology is primed to meet growing market demand by economically converting waste cassava stalk to bioethanol at commercial scale." 05/04/2012

APP Licenses Plasma Green Energy for Global Construction and Operation

Advanced Plasma PowerUnited Kingdom-based Advanced Plasma Power (APP) has announced an exclusive global licensing agreement with Plasma Green Energy LLP (PGE) to construct and operate Gasplasma® plants for conversion of certain industrial wastes. PGE is a joint venture (JV) between APP and Leveraged Green Energy, LLC, a private equity investment fund; APP holds a 20% interest in the JV. The deal brings £6.25m immediately, plus facility license fees and royalties over time. PGE now has rights to process oil, petrochemical, coal and paper industry wastes during an initial five-year period during which the company must secure sales of 540,000 tons per year throughput rate, the equivalent of six of APP's standard Gasplasma® plants; the sales and production requirements vary beyond the first term agreement. The agreement also allows PGE non-exclusive marketing rights for use of the Tetronics Ltd plasma systems (equipment suppliers to APP) for treatment of hazardous waste solutions in the same specified markets. The APP Gasplasma® processing platform combines an EPI (now owned by Outotec) fluidized bed gasifier front stage with Tetronic's plasma system for back-end completion of waste conversion to clean-burning synthetic gas, or syngas. The syngas can be used to generate electricity directly in gas engines, gas turbines and fuel cells or it can be converted to bio substitute natural gas (Bio-SNG) or liquid fuels. The solid product, Plasmarok® is an inert slag valuable as a building material. Rolf Stein, CEO of Advanced Plasma Power said, “This commercial licence deal with Plasma Green Energy is a notable milestone for APP further endorsing its ground-breaking Gasplasma® technology and its breadth of application. We have secured sector expertise and extended our reach into specialist waste markets in which we are not currently active. The considerable resources which our partner has committed to put behind this will I am confident result in early penetration of these markets whilst allowing APP to focus on its existing extensive project pipeline.” 05/04/2012

Biogas-CHP Upgrade Starts Up at Schenectady Wastewater Plant

New York State Energy Research and Development AuthorityThe New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced that the City of Schenectady has unveiled its $7 million biogas to combined heat and power upgrade to the city's wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).  NYSERDA provided $1 million in support, adding to a US Department of Energy grant of $600,000. The WWTP is over 50 years old and treats an average of 14 million gallons of wastewater per day. Biomethane from anaerobic digestion of the sewage sludge is cleaned and used to fuel engines for generation of about 200 kilowatts of electricity (1,800 megawatt-hours annually). Heat from the engines is recovered and used to maintain temperature in the digester. The City expects to save about $300,000 per year in energy costs. “By generating electricity from biogas and capturing the extra heat to help with processing waste, the City of Schenectady is getting a two-for-one deal in clean energy,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “Combining anaerobic digestion and CHP makes sense at any facility that processes a large amount of organic waste materials. The city should be commended for its effort to reduce its energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.” 05/03/2012

Babcock & Wilcox Receives Full Notice to Proceed on Florida WtE Plant

The Babcock & Wilcox CompanyThe Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) has announced that its subsidiary Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc. (B&W PGG) has received Full Notice to Proceed (FNTP) for the remainder of the design/build contract for the 95 megawatt, 3,000 ton per day municipal solid waste to energy (WtE) plant in West Palm Beach, Florida. A consortium consisting of subsidiaries of KBR and B&W received the $688 million design/build contract award from the Solid Waste Authority (SWA) of West Palm Beach in April 2011, along with a 20-year operations and maintenance contract estimated to be worth an additional $498 million. The construction phase of the project was kicked off by KBR and SWA with a groundbreaking ceremony on April 4, 2012. The new Renewable Energy Facility No. 2 is being constructed adjacent to SWA's Renewable Energy Facility No. 1; the plant is now scheduled to begin full operation in the spring of 2015. B&W PGG designs, manufactures and constructs steam generating systems to accommodate any fuel requirements, and has operating and engineering experience with diverse combustion technologies to optimize fuel efficiency while meeting strict emissions requirements. The group now has a worldwide installed capacity of more than 300,000 megawatts. "B&W has been working diligently with its consortium partner and its customer to make the SWA's waste-to-energy project a success," B&W PGG President and Chief Operating Officer J. Randall Data said. "This notice from the SWA is welcome news and allows us to continue our work on this important project." 05/03/2012

Pratt & Whitney Advances Biomass Heat Recovery and Power in UK, Canada

Pratt & Whitney Power SystemsConnecticut based Pratt & Whitney Power Systems has announced receipt of a contract award from West Fraser Timber Company in British Columbia, Canada to furnish a 13 megawatt biomass heat recovery to renewable power system. Pratt & Whitney will deliver two Turboden Organic Rankin Cycle (ORC) turbogenerators to the West Fraser Timber 's Chetwynd Forest Industries mill site for commissioning in 2014. The ORC systems will be driven by heat from the mill site's new bioenergy system and fueled by locally sourced mill and logging residues, improving operational efficiency with on-site generation. West Fraser received an award of 20-year electricity purchase agreements for a total of 180 GWh/year generated from wood biomass from BC Hydro under the utility company's Bioenergy Phase II Call for Power program for biopower development at two mill sites. Concurrent with the Canadian agreement Pratt & Whitney has also announced entry into the United Kingdom market with contracts for two biomass-fueled power plants based on the Turboden ORC system for provision of combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP). A one megawatt electric (MWe) biopower installation now serves CCHP to the British Sky Broadcasting Company campus in Hounslow, West London, using 32 tons of wood chips from local sources. A second and larger facility is now under construction at London's Heathrow Airport, scheduled for completion later this summer. The Turboden CCHP ORC plant will provide 1.8 megawatts of electricity and 8 megawatts thermal energy to heat, cool and power heathrow's Terminal T2a and T2b, while serving heat only to Terminal T5. The Italian turbogenerator design, manufacturing and servicing firm Turboden is a Pratt & Whitney Power Systems company, and Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. (UTC) company. 05/02/2012

Core BioFuel Selects Technip for Biomass to Gasoline Refinery Build-Out

CORE BioFuel IncCanadian drop-in biofuel specialist CORE BioFuel Inc. has announced selection of Technip to complete the construction engineering on its first commercial scale, 67 million litre (about 18 million gallon) renewable gasoline biorefinery. CORE's patented MKS technology platform gasifies wood waste and subjects the synthetic gas (syngas) to a two-step reforming and catalysis process to generate biofuel, electricity, heat, water, and sequestered carbon dioxide. The current 18 million gallon production plant would produce just over 5 million gallons of water. CORE's 4.4 million gallon per year demonstration plant in Houston, British Columbia Canada has progressively increased the energy content of its green gasoline to at least 94 octane. Technip's global engineering, construction and project management experience and close strategic relationship with Air Products will facilitate both the biorefinery design and development and the dimethyl ether (DME) catalysis second synthesis step. Core is considering build-out of the demo site, also potential eastern Canada development integrating into an existing timber, pulp and paper mill site; this will depend largely on securing additional equity and project financing. George Stanko, President of CORE BioFuel, states: "We are very excited about working with Technip to provide the next step in our commercialization process, which is to complete the engineering for our first plant. Technip, as a leader in syngas plant design, is uniquely positioned to support CORE through the critical engineering phase of commercialization. One of the critical factors in our selection of the Technip team is their established working relationship with key component suppliers such as Air Products and Chemicals and Energy Products of Idaho (now Outotec). Both firms have agreements with CORE for development of production equipment." 05/02/2012 

ACC Study: Conversion of Waste to Energy Offers Environmental, Cost Benefits

American Chemistry CouncilThe American Chemistry Council has announced the release of a study on emerging technologies for conversion of waste to energy, fuels and other commodities. The new report, “Environmental and Economic Analysis of Emerging Plastics Conversion Technologies,” was sponsored by the ACC’s Plastics Division and conducted by RTI International. The study provides broad definitions for pyrolysis, gasification, plasma arc and anaerobic digestion, and then presents vendor-specific case studies for the thermal conversion technologies. Using a Life Cycle Analysis approach, the authors contrast and compare environmental and economic costs and benefits of thermal waste conversion to industry-standard landfill disposal, presenting findings and recommendations backed in the Appendices by detailed data on both gasification and pyrolysis. The assessment provides considerable detail regarding pyrolysis of non-recyclable plastics and gasification technologies that accept all municipal solid waste (MSW). “This study is the latest in a growing body of information showing that many of the things we’ve viewed as waste actually have tremendous potential as energy resources,” said Steve Russell, Vice President of Plastics for ACC. “As a complement to a robust recycling infrastructure, conversion technologies offer environmental benefits and cost savings over traditional waste disposal processes.” 05/01/2012

Dyadic Expands Abengoa's Enzyme License Rights to World Wide

Dyadic InternationalFlorida-based enzyme specialist Dyadic International, Inc. has announced an expansion of its license rights to Abengoa Bioenergy New Technologies for $5.5 million. The original 2009 licensing agreement restricted both territory and application rights; the new agreement allows Abengoa world-wide rights for  development, manufacture, use and sale Dyadic's C1 enzyme in both first and second generation biofuels and bio-sourced chemicals and commodities production. Dyadic will receive additional royalties on Abengoa's application of the enzyme technology platform, which is based on development of the Hyperproducing Protein Expression system using the patented strain of the fungal microorganism Chrysosporium lucknowense (C1 Express) and the company's High Through-put Rate Screening system (HTRS). The two companies have been in close collaboration since 2007, with Abengoa producing commercial scale quantities of enzymes using Dyadic's platform and demonstrating the enzyme's ability to convert biomass to sugar in Abengoa's cellulosic ethanol plant in Salamanca, Spain. Dyadic completed a $3.3 million private placement funding round last October as working capital to support its research, development and new products placement. At the same time, Abengoa secured an equity investment of almost $400 million from First Reserve Corporation, adding to the $134 million USDA loan guarantee the company received in August 2012. Dyadic’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Mark Emalfarb: “We are proud and excited to be working with such a world class organization to integrate our respective technologies to produce products that can help the world reduce its dependence on oil while utilizing more sustainable alternatives.” 05/01/2012

Due 05/02/2012: Comments to CEC on Draft RPS Guidebook Changes (Update)

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission has released a Revised Notice regarding the agency's Business Meeting on May 9, 2012, including substantial modification of the Lead Commissioner's Draft changes to the Overall Program Guidebook for the Renewable Energy Program (REP) and the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) Eligibility Guidebook. A Summary of Major Revisions accompanies the revised notice, providing additional proposed changes beyond those announced with the April 18, 2012 Notice to Consider Adoption of Revisions to the Renewables Portfolio Standard Eligibility Guidebook and the Overall Program Guidebook for the Renewable Energy Program. The new changes impact two elements of the Draft, including sections of Section II Eligibility Requirements, (C) Renewable Facilities Using Multiple Energy Resources, (1) Measuring the Renewable Generation From Multifuel Facilities; (2) De Minimis Quantity of Nonrenewable Fuels or Energy Resources; (3) Counting Nonrenewable Fuel Use as RPS-Eligible; and Section IV RPS Tracking, Reporting and Verification, (B) PRS Procurement Verification Reports, (2) Verification Method Using WREGIS. For technical questions on the subject matter, please contact Kate Zocchetti, RPS Technical Director, at (916) 653-4710 or by e-mail at   . This is an update to Teru Talk's original Action Item on this issue. The meeting and comment due dates are unchanged. 05/01/2012

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