Public-Private Partnership Works on ‘Economical’ Biomethane Production


Xebec Adsorption Inc. is working with federal research facility Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) and a California treatment facility on a research project to improve biomethane production.

The project received $500,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which awarded a total of $24 million to 77 projects, supported by the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF). With matching funds from the private sector, the OTT TCF aims to advance the commercialization of promising energy technologies and strengthen partnerships between the DOE’s national laboratories and private-sector companies to deploy the technologies in the marketplace.

The funding will be used to research new composite sorbent technology to more effectively remove CO2 from biogas. The proposed technology has the potential for significant improvements over current adsorbents used for biogas upgrading, the partners say. If the technology proves successful in early stages, it could potentially be commercialized in a small-scale biogas upgrading plant.

With expertise in sorbents and biomethane production, Xebec will serve in an advisory role for the project, which is being conducted through LLNL by lead researcher Sarah Baker.

“LLNL is excited to work with Xebec, who has decades of experience with biogas upgrading technology, to rigorously test LLNL’s biogas upgrading materials and move them toward commercialization,” says Baker, a staff scientist with LNNL.

“We are proud to be working alongside LLNL and SoCalGas to research how new sorbents can enable more economical biomethane production,” says Dr. Prabhu Rao, chief operating officer of Xebec. “This is the first time Xebec has participated in a DOE-funded project, and we look forward to vigorously testing LLNL’s biogas upgrading materials. The renewable natural gas industry is seeing unprecedented growth, and cost reduction will be important in developing the market further.”

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