May 29, 2012 {authors} {/authors}

CA funds UC natural gas research

Studies will accelerate cleantech development

{authors} By CA funds UC natural gas research {/authors}

By Kelly Kell, the California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission has awarded more than $3 million to the University of California for research improving natural gas production, fuel infrastructure, and pipeline reliability.

Funds for the projects come from the Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program.

"Our investment in natural gas research will accelerate the development of clean energy technology in California," said Energy Commission Chair Dr. Robert Weisenmiller. "Through this partnership with the University of California, we move one step closer to achieving our state's greenhouse gas reduction goals, while maintaining safety and reliability."

UC, Riverside was awarded $1.4 million to research and develop a more efficient thermochemical method of renewable gas production. This method aims to utilize biomass resources within California, such as green and organic waste from landfills, to produce natural gas in a way that releases less greenhouse gas emissions into the environment.

Currently, California receives 87 percent of its natural gas from out-of-state sources. Use of this new technology has the potential of replacing 30 percent of the total natural gas used annually in California thereby decreasing the state's reliance on outside energy sources.

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