Diamond Green Diesel

Darling’s Renewable Diesel Diamond

In July 2013, Darling Ingredients (DAR:  NYSE) and its joint venture partner Valero Energy (VLO:  NYSE) commissioned the largest facility in North America to convert waste animal fats into renewable diesel.  The facility was strategic located adjacent to Valero’s petroleum refining installation in Norco, Louisiana. At the time the facility was capable of pumping out 12,000 barrels of renewable diesel per day that could be dropped directly into Valero’s distribution network and blended with fossil fuel.  Even at that production level the facility showed promise to deliver strong dividends back to its owners.  The partners named their venture Diamond Green Diesel and celebrated the unparalleled achievement. The two partners in Diamond Green...

UTC Power Introduces the PureCycle 200 Power System: Recycles Waste Heat to Produce Electricity...

United Technologies Corp (UTX) states that their UTC Power division has announced the arrival of the PureCycle(TM) 200 power system, a unique heat-to-electricity technology that recycles waste heat as free fuel to generate electricity. The PureCycle(TM) 200 system operates without emissions and is completely pollution-free, employing a closed-cycle process using technology developed by UTC's Carrier division. In principle, the PureCycle(TM) 200 works like a reverse air-conditioner. Energy is absorbed into the system by a liquid refrigerant that vaporizes when heated. The hot vapor turns a turbine, which drives a generator to create electricity. Later, the hot vapor circulates...

Blue Sphere’s Eyes On The Horizon

by Debra Fiakas CFA Renewable energy companies have to worry about flagging commodity prices that make it even more difficult to prove the competitive potential of alternative fuels, as well as possible disruption in the capital markets and valuation multiples which are concerns of all public companies. Shlomi Palas, the CEO of  Blue Sphere, Inc. (BLSP:  OTC/QB), a microcap in the Crystal Equity Research coverage group, is not dissuaded.  He continues to push forward with the company’s strategy to own and operate biofuel-powered, grid-connected generation facilities.  Blue Sphere has two food-waste-to-energy plants under construction...
MagneGas treatment installation

Plasma Arcs For Pig Waste

This week MagneGas (MNGA:  NASDAQ) announced new work completed toward plans to enter the commercial pork sector with a proprietary manure processing and disposal solution.  Management held a meeting with the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to discuss MagneGas technology to treat agriculture waste and the state’s required environmental permit protocols.  MagneGas aims to sell to pig farmers equipment based on its innovations. The company wants to help pig farmers address environmental problems cause by manure accumulation with its proprietary waste sterilization process.  Handling pig waste using conventional methods can be costly, but failure to...

Covanta Turns Waste into Cash

Debra Fiakas, CFA The Waste Hierarchy, with energy from waste highlighted The self-styled “energy-from-waste” company Covanta Holding (CVA:  NYSE) turns municipal waste into electricity and recycled metals.  The operations also turned 21.9% of its revenue into cash in 2011.  We note that the conversation ratio has declined over the last three years from 28.7% in 2009 and 27.2% in 2010, but we are still impressed with any cash conversion rate over 20%. The company operates forty-one mass-burn facilities around the U.S. that burn all manner...

N-Viro: Sludge Into Fuel

by Debra Fiakas CFA After ethanol producers figured out that pricey feedstock could rapidly erode profits, the renewable energy industry began casting about for alternative feedstock.  What is cheaper than ‘free?’  Waste of all kinds  -  sewage, mixed municipal trash, animal manure, food and agriculture waste, wood pulp, exhaust gases, steam  -  can be virtually free.  Sometimes waste generators are even willing to pay a fee to anyone willing to accept their nasty stuff. N-Viro International (NVIC:  OTC/PK) is one of those renewable fuel producers with its arms wide open.  The company has lengthy experience in treating...

Carbon Negative Impacts from Biomass Conversion

By Andrew Grant, Biomass Power Projects, LLC, Lee Enterprises Consulting Canada, New England, and California all have Carbon Credit programs to achieve GHG reduction goals. Several forms of biomass diversion from landfills, farms, and other biomass – dependent GHG sources are already in operation to support significant GHG reductions. Examples of GHG reductions are given, and the carbon impact of the different commercially available biomass to GHG reduction processes are described. The three groups of commercially guaranteed biomass conversion processes are: 1. Power Generation, Steam Generation, and CHP: from the combustion of biomass wastes. This industry, with about 100...
zero waste-to-landfill

Covanta Accelerating Zero-Waste-to-Landfill

Last week Covanta (CVA:  NYSE) opened a new materials processing facility in Indianapolis, increasing waste handling capacity by 500%.   The waste handler has been in operation in the community for three decades, collecting and processing over 2,100 tons of solid waste every day to steam energy in a waste-to-energy incinerator.  Citizen Thermal Energy buys the steam to heat the buildings of its commercial customers. The new materials processing facility increases Covanta’s waste handling capacity.  The company is targeting manufacturers in the Indianapolis area that are still sending wastes to landfills.  Covanta wants to collect more waste as well as attract waste types unique to manufacturers that need...

$3 Billion For Cleantech & Alt Energy

Charles Morand The DOE made public earlier today the amount of money that will awarded to clean power projects in lieu of the usual tax breaks: $3 billion. This will allow project proponents to receive a direct cash grant now instead of a Production Tax Credit or an Investment Tax Credit later on. The guidance document notes the following: "Section 1603 of the Act’s tax title, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act, appropriates funds for payments to persons who place in service specified energy property during 2009 or 2010 or after 2010 if construction began...
fishing gear waste-to-energy

List of Waste-to-Energy Stocks

Waste-to-energy stocks are publicly traded companies whose business involves using municipal or other waste as a feedstock to create fuel or electricity.  Organic matter and plastics in a waste stream can be converted to fuel and/or electricity chemically, by means of pyrolysis, biologically such as in anaerobic digestion, or by incineration.  Alternatively, energy from waste can be captured from natural processes, such as in the collection of methane gas from landfills. This list was last updated on 11/9/2019. Attis Industries, Inc. (ATIS) Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, Inc. (BW) Blue Sphere (BLSP) Capstone Microturbine (CPST) China Recycling Energy Corp. (CREG) Clearford Water Systems Inc. (CLI.V) Covanta Holding Corp....

Casella Back In The Dumps, But Ready To Pick Up?

by Debra Fiakas CFA Casella Plants Flag in Waste-to-Energy The solid waste collection and disposal industry has been transformed by the building enthusiasm for waste recycling.  Founded in 1975, Casella Waste Systems (CWST:  Nasdaq) has been around to experience a lot of change and has been quick to get on the bandwagon.  The company is a self-described recycler and resource manager as well as a solid waste collector. Granted the company is still heavily focused on its conventional solid waste business.  Casella management has outlined a four-point plan to grow the company and increase profits.  Top on...

Another Look at the Algonquin Power Income Fund

Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA The Algonquin Power Income Fund (AGQNF.PK) has been one of my star performers in an excellent year.  Is it still a good investment at these prices?  Since I recommended the Algonquin Power Income Fund (AGQNF.PK/APF-UN.TO) in January as a renewable energy income stock for 2009, the company is up 69%, in addition to the C$0.02 monthly dividend, worth approximately another 8% through August on the US$1.82 purchase price, making it the second-best performing of my ten picks (after Cree, Inc (CREE).)  However, since the major basis for my recommendation at the time was the...

Advanced biofuels pioneer Terrabon files for chapter 7 bankruptcy: One-off or trend?

Jim Lane Closely-watched green gasoline producer collapses as Waste Management (WM) declines next financing round. What does it mean for companies like Fulcrum Bioenergy, Enerkem, Agilyx, Agnion, Renmatix, Genomatica, and InEnTec? The Digest looks at the inside story. In Texas, Terrabon filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection; the company’s operations will cease and a trustee will be tasked with liquidating the company’s assets for the benefit of creditors. The complete Chapter 7 announcement is here. In a statement, Terrabon’s leadership said that company could not obtain additional corporate funding to finish developing and engineering its...

Global Resource Corporation: Needed Technology; Unanswered Questions About Management

On July 3, The Energy Blog told us about a process of turning old tires back into valuable oil and gasses.  Given the problems of Peak Oil and plastic waste which can mimic almost anything in the environment, I was intrigued, and I had the feeling that other watchers of the alternative energy space would be, too.  After a quick review to make sure that the technology was based on sound science (I believe it is, although that is no guarantee that it can be commercialized), and a search for information about their governance policies and a board list...

Fiberight: A Deep-Dive Into Trash To Find Cash

by Jim Lane. Biofuels Digest This week Fiberight secured $70 million for a municipal solid waste center that should be in operation by this May. The high-tech facility will convert 180,000 tons of trash each year from more than 100 Maine towns into biofuel at a 144,000-square-foot steel frame facility that began construction last July. We visually profile the technology and company in our Multi-Slide Guide here. The underlying facility is what’s known as a Dirty MRF, or materials recovery facility. That’s where the receiving happens and the sortation begins — and the process of recovering value back from the waste stream begins. The bottom line...
WM recycling

Plastic Bottle-neck

by Debra Fiakas, CFA In September 2019, the California State Assembly sent out legislation that sets a 10% recycled plastic mandate by 2021 and increases the hurdle rate to 50% by 2030.  The law covers plastic bottles that are already covered under the state’s container redemption program.  Companies will need to use plastic bottles made from recycled plastic such that at least a minimum percentage of the plastic used meets the mandate. Environmentalists and even consumers might be celebrating the new law, but the plastic recycling industry could be less than jubilant.  The recycling news feed is peppered with headlines that reveal some fraying...