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Partnered with Shanghai company
Priv's career: a few cellulosic ethanol company, then Lanza Tech
Look at places where Construction/Demolition Debris is free.
Feedstocks is the oppurtunity, what you can do with these feedstocks are where the upcycle is....
municipal solid waste - the big problems are associated with sorting.... much of it is done manually

In India, little piles of trash. Not much wasted but it isn't dealt with properly. If you could incentivize rickshaw drivers to collect waste this is a potential oppurtunity
Tony: getting waste and turning it into something else is one way to think about it, but what about lowering the amount of material used initially?

Priv: example of Ford and using crates that were used to carry things to make cars actually used in the production of cars
Company like recylce bank but for upcycle, to institutionalize thinking of upcycle. Sphere something. Search for \"Sandeep Ahuja\"
Look at carbon and if you can design something that can reduce this that would be beneficial
Tony; What do you think about biochar?

Priv: you sequestor carbon, then what do you with it?

Chiara T: tranform biomass in lignite (stable form of carbon) + water without drying the biomass

Priv: organosalt treatement at Harvard.... if you can justify use of biomass for this process, yes. Pyrolis is considered incomplete combustion

Syngas to energy is the lowest use of the carbon in this form...

Technilogically feesible, but economically and energy must also be considered. Apply these lenses also!
fishertrop - been around for 50 years

valero looking at coal gasification

harvest power
Priv: Recommendations: shorten the list....
Lauren: take the 80 ideas that you have, each person to come up with a three minute pitch for each...
Priv: If you look at feedstocks, what kind of conversions are you creating? You may be able to see some things that just don't make sense. Maybe pick one specifc area for each topic (only biochar for biomass for example....)
Lauren: how do you drilldown to something short-term that makes sense? Balance between short-term low-hanging fruit to help fund future ideas....
Priv: depending on your outcome, money may not be a criteria. drop the lenses that don't make sense for your focus! Even if you go door to door in villages, ultimately this is what should be considered.
Tony: previous job, found solutions by going to experts in the field and asked them what they need or are lacking. Maybe for site visits, go on separate trips and ask around. like interviewing. Cannot come up with world-changing solution sitting in this room.



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share slides from problem space research assignment
1. Post-Consumer - Everson (See Note#3 below)

2. Food/Compost/Agriculture - Brad, Luca, Francesco

3. Paper/Wood - Tony, Bryce, Zain

4. Construction - Vincent, JC, Kidist

5. Mining/Metals - Andrew, Alison, Chiara T.

6. Chemicals (medical, plastics, and many other things) - Chiara G., Kausar, Matt, Steve

7. Radioactive - Connor
Some people need more time to finish research/slides and have more time to discuss slides.

Friday - ETIR report due.
ETIR strategy....
Only one person per meeting should go to other TP meetings. (Francesco, Luca, Vincent, Alison, Chiara T. - 5 people missing today).
Order of presenting will be

1 Radioactive waste/Nuclear

2 Wood/Paper

3 Chemicals

4 Food/Agri/Compost

5 Post consumer

6 construction isn't ready will present later

7 metals/mining

8 paper
1. Radioactive/Nuclear Problem Space = Connor D.
not focusing on Tritium.

plentiful U235. not much interest in recycling. big cheap find in Nigeria.

Major problem - red tape, policy, regulation. should avoid this highly regulated problem space.
Cool development - kelp = bioengineered kelp for uranium sequestering/leeching from sea water. harvest kelp and burn it. left with uranium resource. kelp idea is relatively scalable.
canada supplies best quality uranium 20% purity in uranium ore. Nigeria is 3%. industry ave is 3-6%.
almost all nuclear is U235 only 4% of U235 is used... 96% of the material is left over and not recycled. there maybe an opportunity to recycling U235 but there's plenty of U235 so it's not being recycled much.
plutonium is used in nuclear bombs

has the most regulartory concerns so there are probably better opportunities for us as it's regulated so much.
0.003% uranium found in kelp in sea water
Canadian uranium in ore is ~20% - industry average is 3-6%

2 Wood/Paper

50-80% of amazon logging is illegal (people are just cutting down the trees and taking it)

10% of industry is illegal $150+ billions

80% of the worlds forest have been logged and cut down

20% are remaining; many earth species have been killed as a result
Contributes to air pollution 60% of fine particles in Mebourne Australia
Just because it's cheaper doesn't mean it's a good decision

Real time monitoring of logging, it's an interesting idea to know any time a tree falls
Wood pellets are made from compacted saw dust, produced with low humidity content

Locally produced wood pellets is a more sustainable solution...
Micro waves treatment of wood... university of melbourne in australia

This solution would be used instead of pesticides This solution would probably only work to eliminate bugs inititally in the wood, but bugs would likely still be able to attack the wood later.
CCA chemical is banned but is still used
Crowd-sourcing for detecting/monitor deforestation? Click yes if someone is cutting a tree down...
Bryce: US Government spent $3.2B on attempting to stop illegal logging.
Zain: Have statistics about how many logs a company uses, \"\"?
Everson: Has friend with wood factory in Brazil. Some authorities are benefiting from the legally tree extraction. It's cheaper to just extract wood from existing trees at this point

3 Chemicals

2005 report solutions chemical wastes are managed

Thermal destruction


Chemical treatment $2.5 billion


Biological treatment


Steve C. - Petrochemicals

recycling plastic opportunity. \x3c5% Plastic bag are recycled.

Highly regulated in terms of petrochemicals? Not sure about polymers/plastic

Difficult to separate out various polymers from each other.

Lots of waste and environmental destruction due to extraction of oil and natural gas from the earth. Need more time to fully investigate the opportunity
Chiara G. - Medical/Biological Waste

majority of this waste goes to inceration...then land fill

3 big problems

1. environmental pollution - water, land and air pollution.

2. risk of exposure to people

3. peak capacity is quickly exceeded

Matt Kern/Kausar - Chemicals

Neighborhoods use hazardous chemicals that are ending up in landfills and eventually into groundwater

Aren't sufficient enough of decentralized waste management

some companies sell their waste stream to other companies...

so there could be heavy metal waste in the fertilizer steams such as phosphous, nitrates, etc

Iraq: US leaving 11M lbs of hazardous waste behind

multiple layers, how do you manage this waste?, hazardous/non-hazardous waste isn't correctly separated - logistics problem - oppurtunity here...

Safe chemicals act of 2010
66,000 chemicals are now needed to be studied vs the current 5 that have been...

Have to develop a dynamic model in this field because of the regulations changing

4 Food/Agri/Compost
Water is the main problem with agriculture... water pollution being one of the primary problems
25% of food is thrown away
31 of the 32 million tons of food being generated each year is going to landfill
aerobic process
anaerobic process

Wasterwater consist mainly of



solutions and opportunities

compost gold a two pronged approach

encourage smart agricultural practices

reduce nutrient and pesticide pollution
wastewater infrastruture is lacking in many big cities wastewater is an opportunity for investments
brad there's a sugar based polymer which is biodegradable it's in the solution space.?

brian: i'm a composter...

There are several ways to approach this

It would be an interesting exercise to collect the waste,
how are oils used in the food industry?

5 Post consumer
500 kilos per year x 390 million people = alot

consumer packaging is one of the primary sources and wastes

paper is used more than plastic for packaging
paper packaging is about 3 times as large in volume compared to plastic packaging.

we also have electronics waste and others...

coke is pursuing possibly having soda despensed without packaging

packaging helps solve the a very real wasting problem.. packaging has a purpose
ola: if you add packaging that says \"this packaging takes away food from three african children\" may influence peoples' buying
bryce: what if you ship concentrated coke and then at point of use add carbonated water?
chiarra g: taking as much soap as you want at the store.

Zain: edible packaging... university of minnesota
Andrew: keep in mind, what's the scale and what's the impact? Making chip bags edible going to impact a billion people?
Everson: company's would love to have their packaging back....
Kausar: a lot of biotech companies have customers ship the packing back

Often times the packaging is actually more expensive than the contents.
Bryan: Stanford hospitals have eliminated packing and now use reusable bins
6 construction and demolition waste...
construction and demolition
35-40% of municipal solid waste stream (136 m tons in 1996)

up to 90% could be reusable or recycled
reuse the actual object not just the material, don't recreate the object from materials, just reuse the object itself such as a window
majority is demolition ~ > 50%
DEMOLISH -- done in a few days

RECYCLE --> need contractors to handle this task from a project management standpoint

RECOVER -- > how much can be recovered? generally 50% of the for new cost
DECONSTRUCTION --- takes a few weeks

Several big cities don't have any landfill space left so they send the material elsewhere
construction waste by weight:

42% wood ---> how good is the wood really?

26% drywall

15% other

11% masontry

are companies that do this already where they basically help deconstruct the buildings and recover the materials...
andrew: this is probably less than 1% overall waste...
brick walls aren't really feasible as they mortar breaks down and you can't really transport the walls...

Luca - Energy meeting minutes.
shortage of Thorium? and Indium shortage - used for LCDs.
indium Tellurium materials for solar cells which are rare and toxic
less than $1/w? solar

7 metals/mining

8. Paper

what are the best metrics that we could use...
volume x value ?

barrier to entry

human factors...

90% of problem space SEE 3 below --> near and long term

30% of solution space
ETIR high-level outline
1. Executive Summary

(we suggest you write this after the rest of the report)
2. Scope of the report

A statement of the Grand Challenge and the scope of the Team Project
3. State of the Problem Space

\u2022 Short description of the entire Problem Space

\u2022 Detailed description of the aspects of the problem being addressed (different parts of the problem being examined)

\u2022 Current state of the art of technology and other solutions within the detailed problem being addressed

\u2022 Summary list of the exponential technology subject areas (a short list of what you considered, based on the SU tracks, for example)

\u2022 Definitions used to classify or label the opportunities (what 'near term' vs 'long term' means, etc)
4. Exponential Technology Opportunities Within the Detailed Problem Space

For each opportunity you choose to describe:

\u2022 assess the current state of the technology

\u2022 identify companies, researchers, etc working in this area, with links and references

\u2022 make an estimate of the potential benefit of this technology

\u2022 estimate if this is near term or longer term, or other labels to measure the opportunity

\u2022 identify if there is a convergence (or mutual benefit) from other technologies

\u2022 identify potential barriers to the development or adoption of this technology

\u2022 identify significant bottlenecks in technology, process, law, policy, regulation, and approaches and potential solutions to these bottlenecks (this detailed assessment would be applied to opportunities you chose to highlight)
Note that some opportunities can have more detail than others
Capture all relevant references and source notes (as you find them) to aid in the examination of alternatives later

CEO of Terradex to speak on Thursday

Bryan to talk on Tuesday



Monday, 7/12/2010
ETIR Report:
-first develop common language (pyramid)

-second, redefine the pyramid

-create a matrix of problems, solutions (technological, social or policy), links, companies etc

-match problems with solutions, strong, weak correlation and also note whether it's scalable to 10^9 people

-after matching, go into more detail around a few of these
7/23, v0.1, 90% of problem space, 30% of solution space

8/03, v1, 99% of problem space, 90% of solution space

The Big Picture

3.8B years for creation of life on Earth
What is life?

-fighting entropy on an energy gradient




-metabolism (waste generation relative to producer)

-recurssive loop
Group Questions:

When does waste become a problem?

Waste management problem before humans, how did evolution solve this?

Blue-Green Bacteria, story of converting O2 in atmosphere:

Group Questions:

What made humans diverge to be the unique species?


-reflection of community



-dexterity of hands


-meta pattern recognition



-living in eastern African planes during dry season in woodlands, there were frequent fires. Eventually cromagnons, homosapiens etc learned to harness this

-no need to spend 8hrs a day eating leaves

-more calories with each bite (of meat)

-brain uses ~20% of calories

-can't imagine human life without fire

-we developed exometabolism (cooking, pottery, metalurgy), creates toxic waste for life

-evolution can't keep up with our waste production


2nd law of thermodynamics, efficiency always \x3c100%

Adam Smith, efficiency related to specialization

types: time, material, energy, investment, resources

Efficiency is the measure of one thing to something else that is considered a constraint

Biomimicry: abalone (

mother of pearl created by this sea creature at \"ambient\" conditions - low E input - takes years to build a thin layer

we can do this also really fast - requires high E input

Upcycling will likely require the input of energy - example of tree growing requires input of not only soil/water/co2, but sunlight
Palo Alto Anaerobic Waste Project (Bryan Long), power 1400 homes
VIDEO: \"The Story of Stuff\"
Waste -> excrement

Wasting -> throwing away potential value
Shorter consumption/production cycles make economies look \"healthier\" (Gross National Product)
Other measurement systems:

Gross National Health

Human Development Index

Work for next meeting: Why do you care about the waste management problem?

This pad is for additional links:
Main Etherpad

Waste-to-Energy Could Provide Half of U.K. Renewable Energy by 2020

except that...waste to energy is not renewable!

Anonymous, May 9, 2010 - 07:57

Turning mostly non renewable resources into energy does not renewable energy make!

Most of the environmental impacts of our products come from the mining and primary processing of resources. Burning those resources instead of recycling them is a waste of energy, not a net creator of it. Incineration captures only a small part of the energy embedded in products. Recycling saves much more energy than burning creates.


The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) works to reduce the health and environmental impacts of consumer products.
Kyoto Protocol

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC), aimed at fighting global warming

(check out the map of who has signed and who has not -- the USA)
Also known as Product Stewardship, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) uses political means to hold producers liable for the costs of managing their products at end of life.

The first recorded use of the term upcycling was by Reiner Pilz of Pilz GmbH in an interview by Thornton Kay of Salvo in 1994[1].

We talked about the impending EU Demolition Waste Streams directive. \"Recycling, he said, \"I call it downcycling. They smash bricks, they smash everything. What we need is upcycling where old products are given more value not less.\"

Cradle to Cradle

Six Creative Upcycling Projects
Recycling Today
Bryan Long: A question was asked during the June 23rd presentation about sources for waste characterization -- i.e., what waste is out there? Here are links to various studies and resources:
United States Waste Characterization

International Waste Characterization
International Source Book on Environmentally Sound Technologies for Municipal Solid Waste Management
Tonga: Household survey and waste characterization for Nukuhetulu, Tonga
Vietnam: Solid Waste Management - Vietnam (EXCELLENT, with photos)
Waste Management Studies & other publications (free)
United Nations Environment Programme, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, Waste Management Publications
Building Deconstruction & Recovery Case Studies & Resources
Technical Support Times online on mine waste characterization ...
Studies & Papers (may require purchase)
Solid Waste Characterization and Recycling Potential for a University Campus
Characterization of solid waste disposed at Columbia Sanitary Landfill in Missouri
Landfill mining and waste characterization: a strategy for remediation of contaminated areas



by Eric Dahlstrom:
Lauren Fletcher - chair

Senior systems engineer at NASA (20 years)

Worked on life support systems for space station, shuttle

Worked with Japanese and Russian programs

Running around the world - deserts, exotic places

Many fields

Focus on Latin America

9:08 am

Unacknowledged truth: stuff we throw away.

What is that global problem?

Waste is a noun.

Wasting is a verb. It is not waste until you throw it away.
Priv Bradoo - Co-Chair (also working in the water team project)

Ola Abraham - teaching fellow

brian long - advisor, knows people in local area - talk about palo alto land fill that will be full in ~2yr

[The Palo Alto community has set the goal of Zero Waste (no waste to landfills) by 2021.]
Sandra Cointreau

Waste, reduction, recycling, reprocessing, and recovery to sustainably optimize energy and material value recapture

Sandra's linkedin profile:

Sandra's presentations:
optimize in sustainable way a material's value

Two parts in the talk: (i) The Challenge -global waste context (ii) The Opportunity

The Challenge:
Global Context:

80% of world's people and 40% of world's livestock live in developing countries, no environmental protection incentives or regulation

Over 50% of the world's population live in cities

One third of the world's urban population lives below the poverty level of $2/day

1/3 of world's urban populations lives on \x3c$2/day (poverty level)

Remember there is a huge world out there with very little money.
things we can accomplish in europe/america are not as easy as in developing world
Waste: Anything discarded (non air and non liquid)

By-products: material that can be reutilized from the source - never enters waste cycle

Governements tend to define waste as anything that is discarded (ie put out for collection).

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW): institutioinal commercial, residential, small - scale industrial wates - only about 20% of the total waste

Other wastes that require management - medical, livestock, large-scal industrial, construction/demolition debris, ashes...
Developed countries: 1.0Bb, 1.4 mm tonnes/day, 1.4kg/capita/day

Developing countries: 3.0BB, 2.4mm tonnes/day, 0.8kg capita/day

Developing countries 2.4 BB, 1.4mm tonnes/day, 0.6kg capita/day
Upper income brackets we have laws and incentives, systems, and remanufacturing waste has now decoupled and now plateued
in developed world waste has decoupled from economic growth. billion people in developed (high income) countries so we do not have (in an absolute sense) as much waste as in middle or low income countries. 1.4 MM tonnes/day high income, 2.4 middle income
Developing Countries - Low Income

-population 2.4 BB (~65 of city dwellers live in slums)

-MSW - 1.4 MM tonnes/day (.06kg/capita/day)
Middle and low income countries generate 5.4MM tonnes of waste per day, much higher than developed countries. The problem is that these countries dont have the money to mange the generated waste, compared to wealthier developed countries.
last year China produced more waste than USA
*Waste decoupled from economic growth, plateaued in developed countries, higher wastage rate but lower tonnage due to laws/incentives, majority of waste in low income countries

The waste is not the same around the World because people produce waste depending on how much they buy. Fifteen years ago in China a major component of waste was ash because that's o
Produced waste in relationship in relationship to how much they buy. 15 years ago in china major waste was ash, up to 40 -50% ash in sh
10 years ago - china - major component of waste was ash from heating homes
In high income countries there is a lot of packaging, a lot of which is recyclable. Therefore there is a smaller fraction of water. Developing countries have high volumes of compostable material and therefore high fraction of water.
Developing countries aren't clean (??) because they dont' have enough money, most of things they need are imported, costs are higher in developing world then in developed world, lower taxation rate
Available Local finances

In developing countries, most of the facilities and equipment needed to manage waste are imported.

The govt gets approximately only 11% of income to govt. translating to only $64/yr per person to govt to provide all services.
MSW Services

High income countries collect approx 100% of waste of which 50% are recycled and 50% are in sanitary landfills.

Developing countries middle income collection is 60%, disposal 30% and recycling 20%

Low income collection 40%, safe disposal 5%

Due to high poverty a lot of waste in developing countries is recycled and reused. People make a living from this.


Developed Countries: 34,500$/capita/year and 18% taxes

Developing Countries with middle income: 2,833$/capita/year, less texes (11%)
end result: developed countries have avg $6000 per capita to play with, developing avg $64
How are we tackling this in different countries?

Developed countries: collection 100%, landfill 50%, recycling 50%

Developing countries, low income: collection 40%, safe disposal 5%, recycling 30%
In the sixties there were only dumps in the US, no sanitary landfills
Now in developed world, 1/2 sanitary landfill, 1/2 recycling/resource recovery, 100% collection; in developing world 40 - 60% collection, safe disposal 5 - 30%, recycling resource recovery 20 - 30%, lowest income recycle more (waste pickers)


40 years ago there was virtually no safe disposal. Streams and oceans were clogged. Now all disposal is considered safe.
Developing World Trends

Waste generation still coupled to economic growth

Recycling rates decreased in middle income countries
Incineration of materials; example: composting:

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