Southern California Conversion Technology


Conversion Technology E-Newsletter - May 2017


Southern California Waste Management Forum Annual Business Meeting
May 17, 2017

Yorba Linda, CA
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

Renewable Natural Gas Symposium
May 17, 2017
Riverside, CA
For more information on this event, please visit the website: 

SB 1383 Workshops
May 17 and 25, 2017
Sacramento and Oceanside, CA (respectively)
More information about the workshops will be added when available on the following website:

Alternative Technology Advisory Subcommittee Meeting (ATAS)
May 18, 2017
Alhambra, CA
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

SoCal SWANA Chapter Workshop
June 8, 2017
Buena Park, CA
For more information on this event, please visit the website:

BioEconomy 2017
July 11 12, 2017
Arlington, VA
For more information on this event, please visit the website:


LAX to Pilot Organic Waste Recycling Program

The Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation (LASAN) have teamed up with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to install a food waste recycling pilot program at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Food waste will be collected from a group of a handful of participating food establishments and transported off-site to LASANs Hyperion treatment plant to be converted into natural gas. The Organics Waste Recycling Pilot will run for 90 days after which LAWA will evaluate the results of the program. LAWA CEO Deborah Flint expects the program will become a part of the wide variety of environmentally-conscious programs now underway at LAX and Van Nuys. President Sean Burton of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners is optimistic that it will open the door to expand efforts into other terminals.  To read more, click here.

Impact Bioenergy Producing Two New Anaerobic Digestion Systems

Impact Bioenergy in Seattle has developed two new anaerobic digestion (AD) systems for a corporate campus catering operation and a small farm that produces chicken, eggs, and pork. According to Jan Allen, Impact Bioenergy CEO, the demand for these digesters are at an all-time high and Impact is paced to book out into March 2018. Impact is looking to tap into the foreign markets by creating offshore fabrication sites and evaluating capital partners. To address domestic needs, there are several systems of on-site AD that they offer. Some projects that have been successfully put into operation are craft food and beverage producers, dairy and food processing plants, wholesale and retail food services, farm-to-fork producers, fork-to-farm services, and resiliency services. In March of 2017, Impact made an arrangement with Lease Corporation of America to allow customers to use their AD systems without making upfront expenditures necessary.  To read more, click here.

Canadian City Ready to Launch Anaerobic Digestion and Composting Facility

It has taken eight years of planning and construction but the City of Surrey and Orgaworld Canada Limited are set to open an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility that is expected to convert up to 127,000 tons of food waste and yard trimmings into renewable natural gas (RNG) and high quality compost. The facility contributes to a goal set by the Canadian Gas Association to have 5% RNG derived from AD and gasification of forestry and agricultural waste in the national pipeline distribution by 2025 and 10% by 2030. Orgaworld guarantees production of a minimum of 100,000 gigajoules with Surrey guaranteeing to deliver at least 64,000 tons of residential organics annually. These organics are specifically collected such that no pet waste, sanitary products, or diapers are allowed, and any bags used must be paper as even compostable plastics are not allowed. The facility is under negative air pressure which helps limit the odors to the contracted limit of one unit per million.  To read more, click here.

Supermarket Chain Transforms Old Onion Rings (And Other Expired Goodies) Into Electricity

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the most common material to reach landfills and incinerators is food waste. Old food was typically thrown away, which meant potential profit was being discarded as well. One New England supermarket chain called Stop & Shop looks to take some of that money back by sending old and expired food from over 200 stores to an anaerobic digester instead of the landfill. The resulting biogas is then used to power Stop & Shops distribution center where all the food waste is collected. This system currently contributes 1 megawatt of power to one million square foot distribution center, with a maximum output that could fulfill approximately 40% of the centers needs. According to Dana Gunders of the Natural Resources Defense Council, grocers looking to divert food waste away from landfills is a nationwide trend. Converting old and expired food into useful energy provides a cost-efficient option to what has, until recently, been considered by the industry as acceptable losses.  To read more, click here.

More Efficient Way to Make Oil from Dead Trees

Mountain pine beetles introduce a fungus and their eggs into trees, which can kill the host tree within a few weeks of the initial attack. The actions of this species of beetle results in more than 40 million acres of forest in the western United States being destroyed. The dead wood cannot be harvested for lumber because the wood stains and cracks as a result of the beetle infestation. However a team from the University of Washington (UW) refined a faster form of pyrolysis, aptly named fast pyrolysis, that converts larger pieces of dead wood into bio-oil. The researchers from the UW were aiming to reduce the costs of processing the infested wood, while making the resulting bio-oil more commercially viable. The university along with other outside researchers are looking to add catalysts to upgrade the bio-oil into transportation fuels and other high-value chemicals. Infested wood tends to be dried out allowing UW to skip a step for their system which can process log sized pieces of wood. Normally the material had to be chipped into 1-2 mm length pieces and dried out before undergoing pyrolysis. UWs method could potentially allow for mobile pyrolysis units so that dead wood can be processed on site making it much more efficient and cost effective.  To read more, click here

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