2 Calif. biogas projects awarded more than $4.4 million

By Chris Hanson | February 19, 2013

The California Energy Commission awarded more than $4.4 million to Blue Line Transfer and Sacramento Municipal Utility District biogas projects. “These awards are helping to support the expansion of alternative fuels and zero-emission vehicles in California,” said Robert Weisenmiller, energy commission chair. “Additionally, the funded projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants to protect our environment and improve the health of all Californians.”

Blue Line Transfer received $2.59 million from the CEC for its biogas project, which is currently in the pre-construction phase. BLT will utilize a dry anaerobic digester and a compressed natural gas (CNG) system to fuel five refuse and recycling collection vehicles in South San Francisco, Calif. The anaerobic digester, developed by Zero Waste Energy, will convert 9,000 tons of food and plant waste to biomethane and occupy approximately 6,000 square feet of land. The biomethane is upgraded to meet fuel specifications using a BioCNG system from Cornerstone Engineering before it is pumped into vehicles. The project is expected to produce 56,000 diesel \-equivalent gallons per year of CNG.

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District also received $1.81 million to complete Clean World Partner’s $13 million anaerobic digestion project in southern Sacramento. The project  will demonstrated a process developed at Argonne National Laboratory to reduce carbon dioxide production from anaerobic digestion. The project will convert 9,000 tons of food waste annually. According the Dave Sikich, CEO of Atlas Disposal, the digester will be used to produce biobased natural gas for Atlas’s truck fleet. He hopes to fuel more than 100 trucks and school buses with biogas within five years. Upon completion, the plant will replace 1 million gallons of diesel fuel and produce 2 million kWh a year.

The monetary awards are made through the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The commission is investing $90 million this fiscal year and is focused on developing new transportation technologies, as well as alternative and renewable fuels.