Southern California Conversion Technology


Conversion Technology E-Newsletter - March 2017


Alternative Technology Advisory Subcommittee Meeting (ATAS)
March 16, 2017
Alhambra, CA
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

CEAC Spring Conference
March 22-24, 2017
San Diego, CA
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

March 27-30, 2017
Reno, NV
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

BioCycle East Coast 17
April 4-7, 2017
Baltimore, MD
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

International Biomass Conference and Expo
April 10-12, 2017
Minneapolis, MN
For more information on this event, please visit the website: 



Organics May Offer Most Growth Potential for Creating Renewable Energy from Waste 

Creating energy from waste has been a part of the waste industry for decades, but has yet to live up to its economic potential. However, while several factors seem to be limiting growth at the moment for thermal conversion, there is still great interest in creating energy from landfill gas and anaerobic digestion. While there is potential in waste-to-energy technologies there are still some obstacles to overcome such as public perception and low landfill tip fees. Areas where landfilling waste is not cheap could be good areas to take these technologies. Co-digestion is being eyed by the waste industries of many cites as a key to food waste diversion programs. With interest in new technologies and new public policies in place, the future looks bright for organics to bring waste industries into the fold of clean energy markets.  To read more, click here.

Report Analyzes the Use of Biogas-Derived Electricity to Power Electric Vehicles 

The Vehicle Technologies Office of Oak Ridge National Library (ORNL) and Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) published a report analyzing the potential implications of an electric vehicle purchase incentive with renewable fuel credits. The Environmental Protection Agency can track how much renewable fuel is generated and used, and is using that information to consider who to give credit to for biogas derived electricity that is used for electric vehicles. The report by ORNL and BETO show that this credit could reduce the purchase price of electric vehicles positively affecting the market. The data that is collected by the EPA could also be used to analyze what conditions would best advance both biogas production and deployment of electric vehicles.  To read more, click here.

Maximizing the Revenue in a Bio-based Economy 

Imperial College Londons Dr. Roberto Rinaldi leads a joint team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute to discover more economic ways to convert plant dry matter to useful products that could replace petroleum-based products. One example is pyrolysis bio-oil that is produced from the thermal processing of waste biomass. Valuable organic compounds called alkylphenols can be separated from the pyrolysis bio-oil and can potentially replace compounds that are currently being produced from petroleum in materials such as agrochemicals, surfactants, and lubricant or polymer additives. Currently, the process to extract alkylphenols is expensive but Dr. Rindaldis research aims to create a simpler and more efficient means of separating the compound from pyrolysis bio-oil.  To read more, click here.

Challenges Remain for Bringing Wisconsin Biogas to the Market

Focus on Energy is a utilities program in Wisconsin that promote statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource projects. They recently issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) of biodigester projects for up to $20 million in funding. This RFP, due in May of this year, is aimed towards farm areas where manure affects local water quality and the market for manure digesters faces some challenges. Focus on Energys ten-year program for incentivizing biogas energy is coming to a close soon, meaning electricity sold back into the grid will be scaled back to standard market rate. Biogas cannot be injected into utility gas pipelines due to, among other reasons, assurance issues of quality control, and while interstate lines are an option there is not a large enough network to make this a viable option. While the biogas market in Wisconsin faces challenges, cooperation between elected officials, farmer, institutions, and the like will help ensure a place for biodigesters in the energy landscape.  To read more, click here.

REG Biomass-Based Diesel Sales Top 2 Billion Gallons

Renewable Energy Group Inc. (REG) took 18 years to sell its first billion gallons of biofuel and only 33 months to exceed that this past January. Domestic success and expansion into the European market were key in this milestone. REG Geismar, the companys biorefinery facility located in Geismar, Lousiana, successfully managed to operate at full production capacity after improvements made in response to two incidents in 2015. At a nameplate capacity of 75 million gallons per year, the facility has been continuously running at or above 100% capacity since October 2016. REG also acquired Petrotec, a leader in used cooking oil to biodiesel producer in Continental Europe. The acquisition brings REG into Europe and increases their worldwide capacity to 500 million gallons per year placing them in a position for international trade.  To read more, click here.

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