Business Briefs

By Biomass Magazine | March 07, 2019

Q.E.D. releases LANDTEC SEM5000 methane detector
Q.E.D. Environmental Systems Inc., environmental product manufacturer and subsidiary of Graco Inc., announced the new LANDTEC SEM5000 methane detector, ideal for landfill surface emissions monitoring (SEM). The SEM5000 meets or exceeds U.S. EPA Method 21, Determination of Volatile Organic Compound Leaks requirements for quarterly SEM monitoring. The SEM5000 uses patented laser technology with a frequency dialed specifically to methane. Unlike flame ionization devices (FIDs), the SEM5000 uses laser technology, so there is no cross-gas effect or false readings due to the presence of other gases or hydrocarbons as with FIDs.

Kotrba receives National Biodiesel Board award
The National Biodiesel Board has named its annual award recipients, this year recognizing Ron Kotrba, editor of Biodiesel Magazine, with its Influence Award. NBB’s awards recognize a diverse group of individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to biodiesel.

 Kotrba has served as editor of Biodiesel Magazine for nearly a decade, providing key insights into the industry and covering every nuanced topic in the space with precision. Kotrba also serves as senior editor for Pellet Mill Magazine and Biomass Magazine. Before becoming editor of Biodiesel Magazine, he was a senior writer for all of BBI International’s publications, writing for the company since January 2005.

Prior to his time with BBI International, Kotrba was an advanced engineering laboratory technician for an OEM exhaust supplier and was involved in developmental work on diesel aftertreatment systems such as diesel particulate filters, urea SCR and lean NOx traps. Kotrba earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University.

B&W turns over Denmark waste-to-energy project to Amager Ressourcecenter
Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises Inc. announced that its subsidiary, Babcock & Wilcox Vølund A/S, successfully turned over the leading-edge Amager Bakke/Copenhill waste-to-energy plant near Copenhagen, Denmark, to its customer, Amager Ressourcecenter.

B&W previously announced it expects to turn over four plants in the first and second quarters of 2019; the Amager Bakke/Copenhill project project is the second of the four.

Jointly owned by five Copenhagen-area municipalities, the Copenhill project a state-of-the-art renewable energy plant featuring a modern and novel architectural design that includes a publicly accessible ski slope on its roof. The plant is capable of processing approximately 560,000 metric tons of waste annually to supply more than 50,000 homes and businesses with electricity, and 120,000 households with district heating.

B&W Vølund’s project scope included the design and supply of the plant’s boiler, B&W Vølund’s DynaGrate combustion system, slag and ash-handling equipment and advanced environmental technology.

Kusano joins FutureMetrics
FutureMetrics Inc. has hired Yoshinobu Kusano as policy advisor regarding the Asian wood pellet markets. Kusano has extensive experience in the wood pellet sector and will provide FutureMetrics with updates and analysis on current and evolving policy in the high-growth regions of northeast and southeast Asia. Kusano’s experience, contacts andknowledge about policy will enhance FutureMetrics' understanding of the current and future Japanese and South Korean markets for industrial wood pellets. He is currently the executive advisor and the head of the fuel procurement group for Biomass Energy at Renova, a Japanese developer and operator of renewable power projects. Prior to Renova, he spent several decades with Sumitomo Corp., leading its wood chip and wood pellet group.

Player Design, Unitemp hire Nesbitt
Unitemp Dry Kilns and Player Design Inc. have hired Kevin Nesbitt as national sales manager for the Unitemp Dry Kiln and Player Design rotary wood dryer and energy system product lines. Nesbitt has over 24 years of capital equipment sales in air pollution control and dryers.  He received a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, College Station, and a master’s degree the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Nesbitt serves on the board of directors for the Carolinas Air Pollution Control Association. In his new role at Unitemp Dry Kilns and Player Design, he is responsible for North American sales and marketing.

Skeena Sawmills, PacBio enter wood pellet offtake agreement
Skeena Sawmills Ltd. and Pacific BioEnergy Corp. have entered into a long term off-take agreement for wood pellets. Under the terms of the agreement, PacBio will purchase all of the pellets produced at Skeena Sawmills’ new, state-of-the-art pellet plant, in support of PacBio’s long term supply agreements with power producers in Japan. Skeena’s pellet plant is built adjacent to the company’s sawmill in Terrace, British Columbia, and will commence production in Q1 2019.

Groups launch RFS Power Coalition
The Biomass Power Association, American Biogas Council and Energy Recovery Council have announced the launch of the RFS Power Coalition, which has a mission of prompting the U.S. EPA to act on inclusion of qualifying renewable electricity under the Renewable Fuel Standard. 

 The three trade organizations represent domestic biomass power producers who use organic fuels like forest residues, biogas-to-electricity producers such as dairy farmers and wastewater treatment facilities, and waste-to-energy producers. All three qualify as renewable transportation fuels that should be included in the D3 cellulosic and D5 advanced fuel categories of the RFS. To get EPA to act, in early February, the three groups filed a petition in the D.C. Circuit federal appeals court challenging the EPA’s 2019 renewable volume obligation, which excluded electricity from its targets for renewable fuel production for this year.

 The RFS Power Coalition estimates that the inclusion of electricity would result in about 200 million gasoline gallon equivalents added to the D3 cellulosic fuel category of the RFS. A website has been launched at

RNG Coalition adds former CARB transportation fuel chief to staff
The Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas  has announced the hire of Sam Wade, former chief of the transportation fuel branch at the California Air Resources Board, as the organization’s director of state regulatory affairs, effective Jan. 15.

Wade joins the RNG Coalition after spending the past four years leading CARB’s transportation fuel branch. He previously served as deputy director of legislative affairs and as an air resources engineer for the state agency.

Wade holds a master’s degree in environmental science and policy from Columbia University, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from University of Hawaii, and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from University of California, Davis.

Simmons heads US DOE’s EERE program
Daniel Simmons has been sworn in as the U.S. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy assistant secretary.

Simmons was confirmed for the post by the U.S. Senate on Jan. 2, and officially sworn in to the assistant secretary role on Jan. 16. On Feb. 6, he was ceremonially sworn in by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.

Simmons previously served as the principal deputy assistant secretary for the DOE’s EERE, where he oversaw technology development in the energy efficiency, renewable power and sustainable transportation sectors. Prior to his government service, Simmons served as vice president for policy at the Institute for Energy Research. He also served as the director of the Natural Resources Task Force at the American Legislative Exchange Council, was a research fellow at the Mercatus Center, and worked as professional staff on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Resources.

In his new role, Simmons will oversee technology development in the energy efficiency, renewable power and sustainable transportations sectors.