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...

The Light On Blue Sphere’s Horizon

by Debra Fiakas CFA The stakes were high at the beginning of its fiscal year 2015, as Blue Sphere, Inc. (BLSP:  OTC/QB), a developer of waste-to-energy projects, was facing deadlines to fulfill its contractual commitments to the sellers of its two ‘front burner’ waste-to-energy projects in North Carolina and Rhode Island.  In the four intervening months it appears Blue Sphere has won all bets. Blue Sphere had purchased a biogas project from original owner Orbit Energy and had received an equipment financing commitment from Caterpillar.  Unfortunately, an equity financing source withdrew its interest as...

Focus On Clean Power Income Trusts

Last week, Tom brought you a piece on the Algonquin Power Income Fund (AGQNF.PK), in which he opined that shift in investor attention away from capital gains toward yield might eventually provide a catalyst for the prices of yield-focused securities such as income trusts to rise. So-called utility trusts, or income trusts where the underlying corporation is engaged in utility activities such as power generation, are a common feature of the Canadian income trust sector (the mother of all income trust sectors). A sub-set of utility trusts is the clean power utility trust, where the power generation...

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...

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...

In the Middle(sex) of the Organics-to-Power Sector

by Debra Fiakas CFA A post in June featured Middlesex Water Company (MSEX: Nasdaq) as an unlikely player in the waste-to-energy game.  However, Middlesex has proven a capable project integrator, capitalizing on its collective knowledge of process engineering to launch a turnkey alternative energy service.  A successful waste-to-energy project in the Village of Ridgewood, New Jersey has placed Middlesex squarely in the middle of the organics-to-power sector.  Ridgewood taps its waste water for methane to power an electric generator.  The power is used at the Ridgewood Water Pollution Control Plant, making the plant self-sufficient for electricity. The...

Blue Sphere To Start Biogas Commercial Operations

by Debra Fiakas CFA The Blue Sphere, Inc. (BLSP:  OTC/QB), stock price has weakened in recent months as investors registered their apparent frustration with fundamental developments.  Proposed acquisitions of operating biogas power plants in Italy have taken much longer than expected and majority interest in planned biogas plants in the U.S. were sold into joint venture arrangements rather than held as 100% equity positions.  Despite these developments, Blue Sphere management has doggedly moved forward on all fronts and there has been measurable progress toward first revenue. Commercial operation dates have been set for...

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...

RDX: Waste Water-to-Energy

by Debra Fiakas CFA Last week RDX Technologies, Inc. (RGDEF:  OTCQX or RDX: TSXV) announced an agreement to supply renewable diesel to the Tyson Farms’ Temperanceville Facility in Virginia.  The Energy Division of RDX sells three grades of methyl ester fuels that can be used in boilers and small generators.  RDX did not disclose the value or size of the Tyson Farms contract.  However, the contract apparently is for one year with a second year option. RDX operates renewable fuel plants in Missouri and California.  Waste streams are aggregated at the two plants by truck and processed...

The Muscle Car Of Energy Efficiency

Tom Konrad CFA Disclosure: I am long TSX:PRI / PENGF. The poster child of energy efficiency has long been changing a light bulb.  First, it was swapping out an incandescent for a compact fluorescent, now the swap is to an LED.  Changing a light bulb is a small step that anyone can take, and it’s so cost effective that it can pay for itself in months if the bulb is used frequently. This is a good example of household energy efficiency measures: a small action requiring a limited investment that anyone can take that pays back quickly....

China Recycling Energy: Profiting From Murky Air, But How Much?

by Debra Fiakas CFA   Shanghai at sunset as the sun fades into the smog. Photo source: Suicup China’s industrial pollution problems are mounting.  Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) increased by 3% in 2011, reaching an all-time high of 34 billion tons.  China contributed a whopping 29% of that carbon dioxide  -  nearly twice that of the second worst polluter, the U.S., which spit out 5.4 million tons or 16% of the total CO2 emissions.  Policy makers in China have been slow to move against industrial polluters...

$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...

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...

MagneGas’ Industrial Plasma

by Debra Fiakas CFA Alternative chemicals developer MagneGas Corporation (MNGA:  Nasdaq) is posting another guard at the gate.  The company recently filed a patent application to protect new enhancements of its plasma arc technology and gasification system.  Plasma is any gas taken to a whole new phase through extremely high temperatures.  For perspective the sun is actually a very large ball of plasma.  Here on Earth MagneGas is using its proprietary system to gasify carbon-rich liquids such as municipal wastewater to produce hydrogen gas for industrial applications and vehicle fuel.  Many investors have probably heard about...

WSTE Not, Want Not

Tom Konrad CFA A truly sustainable economy would produce no waste: everything would be recycled or reused for some productive purpose.  We're a long way from that ideal today, but the rising cost of commodities makes recovering used material through recycling increasingly economic. Further, the rising cost of energy makes converting municipal and industrial waste into advanced biofuels or combusting it to produce electricity an increasingly economic option. Attempting to guess which advanced biofuel technology will be successful strikes me as a fool's errand.  Why not instead invest in the owners of the feedstock?  While I don't...
covanta rookery project

Covanta’s Q1: Ten Clean Energy Stocks For 2019

by Tom Konrad Ph.D., CFA Covanta Holding Corp. (NYSE:CVA) 12/31/18 Price: $13.42.  Annual Dividend: $1.00. Expected 2019 dividend: $1.00.  Low Target: $13.  High Target: $25. 3/26/19 Price: $17.86. YTD Dividend: $0.25. YTD Yield: 1.9%  YTD Appreciation: 33.1% YTD Total Return: 34.9% Leading waste-to-energy operator Covanta's stock has been the second best performing holding in my 10 Clean Energy Stocks for 2019 model portfolio.  While in many ways the company is similar to the clean energy Yieldcos that dominate the model portfolio, it is different in that it develops its own projects, while most Yieldcos depend on a sponsor to develop projects which...