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UC Riverside and SoCalGas Open New Renewable Natural Gas Research Center

The University of California, Riverside and Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) marked the establishment of a new Center for Renewable Natural Gas. The Center is the first academic establishment in the United States dedicated to the study and applied research of renewable gas (RNG) technologies. It was funded in part by SoCalGas with a matching donation from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and the National Center for Sustainable Transportation (NCST) and is part of UC Riverside’s Center for Environmental Research & Technology (CE-CERT).

The Center will focus on improving technologies and removing barriers to increase RNG use in California and beyond. The Center will conduct research on:

  • Technologies that can increase renewable gas use in heavy-duty trucking and other transportation
  • High-yield renewable natural gas production
  • Storing renewable energy with power-to-gas technology
  • Market and policy issues
  • Potential sites for renewable gas production projects

“Renewable gas can play a key role in reducing greenhouse gases and meeting California’s renewable energy goals,” said Lisa Alexander, vice president of customer solutions and communications for SoCalGas. “In California, the agriculture and waste industries produce a great deal of methane that could—and should—be used as renewable gas to heat homes, and fuel power plants and near-zero-emissions trucks.”

The Center says California could produce enough renewable gas each year to replace 75 percent of the smog-producing diesel fuel used by vehicles in the state.