Southern California Conversion Technology


Conversion Technology E-Newsletter - January 2017


U.S. Composting Council Conference & Tradeshow
January 23 -26, 2017
Los Angeles, CA
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

VerdeXchange Conference
January 29-31, 2017
Los Angeles, CA
For more information on this event, please visit the website: 

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

Zero Waste Symposium 2017
February 21, 2017
San Diego, CA
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

Rethink Methane
February 21-22, 2017
Sacramento, CA
For more information on this event, please visit the website:


Iowa State to Manage Waste Conversion Projects as Part of New Manufacturing USA Institute

Manufacturing USA is a network of research institutes founded to foster innovative manufacturing technologies through public-private partnerships. Iowa State will be bringing their biorenewable technologies expertise to manage the tenth Manufacturing USA institute, and manage the pilot plants biorefinery efforts. The Department of Energys approval includes $8 million in support and development of the institute. Two of the highlighted projects from the application include (1) a new pyrolysis system that introduces a small amount of air to the reaction to partially burn some of the biomass as a source of heat for the reactor, and (2) anaerobic digestion of grassy biomass and wet wastes to produce carboxylic acids that can be then converted into industrial chemicals and fuels such as gasoline.  To read more click here.

Biofuel Made from Human Excrement has Become Easier to Produce 

Human waste has not been a good source of biofuel because sewage sludge is too wet to carry out the usual processes. Drying the material would be an extra step that would cost more money However, researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a new process to treat human waste called hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL). This new process mimics geological conditions to create a biocrude oil similar to petroleum. Wastewater treatment plants across the country treat approximately 34 billion gallons of sewage a day, which if treated via HTL, could produce the equivalent of about 30 million barrels of oil per year. A single person could be able to generate 2-3 gallons of biocrude per year. PNNL has licensed this method to a private company, and hopes to have demonstration plants in design phase across several locations British Columbia, Canada by the end of 2017.  To read more click here.

Kenyas Croton Tree Touted as New Biofuels Crop

Eco Fuels Kenya
was founded in 2012 and hopes to bring in a new era of sustainability to Kenya by transforming the nuts of the ubiquitous croton tree into biofuel, poultry feed, and fertilizer. Despite the fact that Kenya imports all of its oil, the East African nation is apprehensive to dive head first into the promise of the croton nut biofuel industry. In 2000, the Kenyan government invested in the Central American native jaitropha plant only to result in poor yields affecting the farm economy in the process. However, the biofuels industry in Kenya shows signs of positive growth proceeding in such a way to minimize the risks that were taken with jaitropha crops, with the croton tree breathing new life into the biofuel industry.  To read more click here.

Stockholms Ingenious Plan to Recycle Yard Waste

About ten years ago, Bjrn Embrn led the charge on a Swedish urban soil management process called the Stockholm Solution that would turn local green waste into heat and hot water. The process synergized Stockholms parks department, waste disposal service, energy providers, and urban gardeners to recycle yard waste. Closing the circle would be achieved when the resulting biochar is used in local urban gardens and public green areas. The pilot plant alone resulted in enough sustainable energy to provide heat and hot water for 80 apartments, according to the article. California officials have shown interest in the projects use of biochar as a means of reducing the need for irrigation in the drought-heavy state.  To read more click here.

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