The California Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research program is mobilizing up to $2.45 million to support research and development activity aimed at creating technologies that produce renewable natural gas for transportation applications.
The solicitation is looking specifically at projects that ‘incorporate bench-scale research and development and/or prototype-scale demonstration of advanced technologies,’ according to the commission. Up to five projects will likely receive grant funds, and these projects will run four years each. Private companies, federal entities (such as the national laboratories) and applicants from the University of California system are all eligible.
The solicitation targets technologies for transportation fuels, rather than pipeline natural gas. In turn, the renewable natural gas that is produced would most appropriately be suited for on-site use, private pipeline transportation or virtual pipeline (tube trailer) transportation to transportation end-use applications.
Examples of acceptable feedstocks include waste-based biomass (both pre- and post-landfilled); agricultural residues; purpose-grown fuel crops; woody biomass and forest residues; animal manures; food waste; municipal solid waste; and sewage. Different processes are also acceptable, whether fermentation, thermochemical or others.