Researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have successfully produced renewable methane from a biomass-based synthesis gas mixture in their pilot plant for methanation using a new honeycomb catalyst. The quality of this synthetic natural gas (SNG) is comparable to that of fossil natural gas and can be used... Details →


Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) will soon begin using renewable natural gas for the first time at the 25 utility-owned natural gas vehicle fueling stations across its service territory, as well as at six fueling stations in the San Diego area. Last month, the utility received approval from the California... Details →


DOE issues 4 funding opportunities totaling $78M for advanced biofuels, bioenergy and bioproducts

The US Department of Energy (DOE) issued four funding opportunities (FOAs) totaling up to $78 million to support early-stage bioenergy research and development under the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO). These include: BioEnergy Engineering for Products Synthesis (BEEPS) (up to $28 million) (DE-FOA-0001916) This... Details →


In Japan, Aichi Prefecture, Chita City, Toyota City, Chubu Electric Power, Toho Gas, Toyota Motor Corporation, and Toyota Industries have launched the Chita City and Toyota City Renewable Energy-use Low-carbon Hydrogen Project. The project is a first step toward realizing the 2030 vision of a low-carbon hydrogen supply chain formulated... Details →


In collaboration with Linköping-based energy recovery specialists Tekniska verken, Scania Engines is currently testing one of its engines using raw gas, biogas that is untreated—i.e., not cleaned or upgraded to remove wastewater, CO2 and other particles, as happens with the production of compressed natural gas for vehicle fuels. Instead, the... Details →


European Commission approves €4.7B public support scheme for advanced biomethane and biofuels in Italy

The European Commission has approved under EU State aid rules an Italian support scheme for the production and distribution of advanced biofuels, including advanced biomethane. The measure will contribute to reaching EU energy and climate change goals while limiting distortions of competition. The Italian scheme supports the production and distribution... Details →


The US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and the sustainable energy NGO Energy Vision released two case studies assessing the results of projects that were among the first to produce Renewable Compressed Natural Gas (R-CNG) vehicle fuel by using anaerobic digesters to capture the biogases from decomposing organic waste.... Details →


UPS to purchase 10 million gallon equivalents a year of renewable natural gas from Big Ox Energy; largest RNG commitment to date

UPS announced an agreement with Big Ox Energy (a wholly owned subsidiary of Environmental Energy Capital LLC) to purchase 10 million gallon equivalents of renewable natural gas (RNG) per year. This is the largest investment in RNG to date for the company, and the agreement runs through 2024. Use of... Details →


FPT Industrial has introduced its newest and most powerful natural engine. The Cursor 13 Natural Gas is the most powerful 100% natural gas engine available on the on-road segment market today, and is the first purely NG engine on the market specially developed for long-haul missions. The Cursor 13 NG... Details →


The technology group Wärtsilä has reached an agreement to acquire Puregas Solutions, a Sweden-based provider of turnkey biogas upgrading solutions. Puregas is a leading player in its field with subsidiary companies in Germany, Denmark, the UK, and the US. The company utilizes a unique CApure process to convert raw biogas... Details →


Volvo Trucks is now introducing Euro 6-compliant heavy duty trucks running on liquefied natural gas or biogas. The new trucks have the same performance, driveability and fuel consumption as Volvo’s diesel-powered models. Furthermore, the new trucks’ CO₂ emissions are 20–100% lower compared with diesel, depending on choice of fuel. The... Details →


Audi’s two latest natural-gas alternatives in the midsize category—the new A4 Avant g-tron (earlier post) and the new A5 Sportback g-tron—are now available for order in Europe. Both models are powered by a bivalent 2.0 TFSI engine developing 170 hp. Like the A3 Sportback g-tron that is already on the... Details →


Audi offers up to €10,000 trade-in bonus for switching from Euro 1-4 diesels to Euro 6; biomethane benefit

Audi AG is offering trade-in bonuses to customers who switch to an Audi with Euro 6 standard from diesel-powered cars with emission standards Euro 1 through Euro 4. The price advantage is scaled by model. Depending on the category of the new car, it amounts to between €3,000 and €10,000.... Details →


Cenex involved in large-scale UK trial of biomethane-fueled heavy-duty trucks

Cenex—the UK’s first Center of Excellence for low carbon technologies—announced its involvement in the UK’s largest trial of biomethane-fueled trucks. Led by Air Liquide and funded in part by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in partnership with Innovate UK via the recently launched Low Emission Freight and Logistics... Details →


BP acquiring upstream portion of Clean Energy’s renewable gas business for $155M

BP will acquire the upstream portion of Clean Energy’s renewable natural gas business and sign a long-term supply contract with Clean Energy to support the firm’s continuing downstream renewable natural gas business. The deal enables both companies to accelerate the growth in renewable natural gas supply and meet the growing... Details →


DOE to award up to $1.2M to project converting wastewater solids to biogas and liquid fuels; hydrothermal processing

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced a pilot hydrothermal wastewater processing project has been selected by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to receive up to $1.2 million in federal funding. SoCalGas is part of a consortium conducting the pilot, which will be required to share the cost at a... Details →


DuPont Industrial Biosciences awarded grant for high-efficiency biogas enzyme production

DuPont Industrial Biosciences has been awarded a grant from the European Commission to demonstrate high-efficiency enzyme production to increase biogas yields as part of the DEMETER project, funded from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program. Enzyme technology has been proven... Details →


Cummins Westport’s ISB6.7 G, a 6.7 liter midrange, factory-built natural gas engine is now fully available as a production engine for shuttle bus, medium duty truck, and vocational applications in North America. (Earlier post.) As previously announced, the engine has been available for school bus applications since May 2016 from... Details →


Study finds renewable natural gas could meet ~85% of current natural gas use in transport in California by 2020s; much higher volumes possible with right policies

A study by a team from UC Davis for the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has found that the state could produce 14 bcf (billion cubic feet) per year of renewable natural gas (RNG) (biomethane) by the 2020s, meeting roughly 85% of current natural gas use in transport California at... Details →


In the UK, CNG Fuels launched its renewable biomethane fuel, the most cost-effective and lowest-carbon alternative to diesel for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). The fuel is 35%-40% cheaper than diesel, and emits 70% less CO2 on a well-to-wheel basis. It therefore offers fleet operators the chance to significantly reduce running... Details →


Big Blue Bus receives nearly $900K to purchase 58 new Cummins-Westport Near-Zero NOx engines

In California, Big Blue Bus (BBB) will receive $870,000 from the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee’s (MSRC) Near Zero Engine Incentive Program. Big Blue Bus will use the grant approved by the MSRC partially to fund the purchase of 58 new Cummins-Westport 8.9L ISL G Near-Zero (NZ) 0.02... Details →


CarboSax: new joint venture for more sustainable carbon fiber production forms in Germany

PD Glasseiden, a Germany-based producer of fiberglass; European Carbon Fiber GmbH; and the ForschungsCampus Open Hybrid LabFactory e.V., established under the auspices of the Lower Saxony Research Centre for Vehicle Technology at the TU Braunschweig and Volkswagen AG have formed a joint venture—CarboSax GmbH—to pursue developing, manufacturing and distributing more... Details →


Siluria Technologies has entered into a strategic partnership with Air Liquide Global E&C Solutions, the engineering and construction business of the Air Liquide Group, to collaborate on the development of novel catalytic processes utilizing both companies’ expertise in gas conversion technologies. The novel process offering will be developed using the... Details →


The City of Santa Monica, California has awarded Clean Energy a multi-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) contract to fuel its Big Blue Bus (BBB) fleet of vehicles. The 5-year deal, worth an estimated $3 million per year, will enable BBB to continue using Clean Energy’s Redeem brand of renewable natural... Details →


UK-based CNG Fuels, in partnership with National Grid, has unveiled a new state-of-the-art filling station in Leyland, Lancashire, allowing vehicles to fill up on compressed natural gas (CNG) directly from the high-pressure local transmission system. The new facility is the first of its kind in the UK and features a... Details →


A team from Chonnam National University in Korea has developed a new pretreatment method for lignocellulosic biomass that is more efficient and effective for the downstream biocatalytic hydrolysis of various lignocellulosic materials. This, they suggest, will accelerate bioethanol commercialization. The new hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-acetic acid (CH3COOH) (HPAC) pretreatment removes lignin... Details →


Connecticut-based FuelCell Energy (FCE) has applied for a prospective pathway for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) for the production of hydrogen fuel produced from biogas derived from the mesophilic anaerobic digestion of wastewater sludge at a publicly owned treatment works (POTW). The biogas is cleaned, then internally reformed in... Details →


UPS to use biomethane for Memphis and Jackson alternative fuel fleet

UPS will supply its fleet in Memphis, Tenn., and Jackson, Miss., with an estimated 15 million diesel gallon gas equivalents of renewable natural gas (RNG)—biomethane—as part of a multi-year agreement with Memphis Light, Gas and Water and Atmos Energy Marketing, LLC. Atmos will secure landfill gas and provide it to... Details →


Hydrogen from biomethane; gasoline & diesel from tree residue; cellulosic ethanol among new proposed California LCFS fuel pathways

California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff posted 32 new Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) fuel pathway applications for comments at the LCFS website. Among the multiple applications for different processing pathways of corn or sorghum ethanol are four pathways from LytEn for hydrogen produced from biomethane; four pathways for renewable... Details →


Audi presented a range of its ongoing work on electromobility and efficiency—from fuels and systems to full vehicles—under the “Future Performance Days 2015” banner. On the full vehicle side, Audi put forward the Audi Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro plug-in hybrid (earlier post); the Audi A7 h-tron quattro fuel cell... Details →


Ryder to fuel natural gas fleets in California with 100% biomethane from Clean Energy Fuels

Ryder System, Inc. and Clean Energy Fuels Corp. announced an agreement for Ryder to switch the fuel at their stations in Orange and Fontana, CA, to Clean Energy’s Redeem renewable natural gas (RNG)—i.e., biomethane. (Earlier post.) The fuel at the two stations will be available in both compressed natural gas... Details →


The Audi e-gas plant in the city of Werlte in Lower Saxony (earlier post) produces CO2 neutral-fuel (synthetic methane from water, renewable electricity and CO2); it now also contributes toward stabilizing the public power grid. After successfully completing a test sequence, the plant is now qualified for participating in the... Details →


UPS enters agreement with Clean Energy Fuels for renewable natural gas (biomethane) in the US

UPS has entered into an agreement to purchase renewable natural gas (RNG) for its delivery vehicle fleet from Clean Energy Fuels Corp. RNG (biomethane) can be derived from many abundant and renewable sources, including decomposing organic waste in landfills, wastewater treatment and agriculture. The deal signifies UPS’ plan to expand... Details →


A new study by Energy Environmental Economics (E3) consulting suggests that low-carbon gas fuels are a viable option for meeting California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals and can simultaneously help achieve pollution emission reduction targets. Low-carbon gas fuels or “decarbonized gas” refers to gaseous fuels with a net-zero, or very... Details →


California makes first investments in $100M energy research & development program; also biogas and H2

The California Energy Commission approved its first $10 million to fund Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) research and development (R&D) projects during its monthly business meeting today. The Commission also approved grants for the operation of a hydrogen fueling station, biofuel production, geothermal exploration and rooftop solar for schools. EPIC... Details →


California Energy Commission to award up to $3M for advanced biofuel projects

The California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) announced (PON-14-602) the availability of up to $3 million in grant funds for biofuels projects that are in the early/pre-commercial technology development stage. This solicitation is emphasizing transformative technology solutions to significant biofuels industry problems that increase... Details →


Oberon’s biogas-based DME now eligible for D3 and D5 RINs under the RFS

Oberon Fuels Inc., the first company to announce plans to commercialize biogas-based dimethyl ether (DME) fuel production in North America (earlier post), announced that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved Oberon’s biogas-based DME for inclusion under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Oberon’s biogas-based DME is now eligible for... Details →


California Energy Commission selects 11 advanced biofuels projects for $43.6M in awards

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has selected 11 biofuel projects projects—including gasoline substitutes, diesel substitutes and biomethane projects—for $43,633,421 in awards under a grant solicitation released in January for the development of new, or the modification of, existing California-based biofuel production facilities that can sustainably produce low carbon transportation fuels.... Details →


EPA qualifies new biogas and electricity pathways for cellulosic biofuel requirement under RFS; defers decision on other proposed pathways

In a newly released rule, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has clarified the number of cellulosic biofuel renewable identification numbers (RINs, earlier post) that may be generated for fuel made with feedstocks of varying cellulosic content; qualified additional fuel pathways to meet the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction requirements... Details →


ARB: carbon intensity of biomethane from wastewater sludge could be as low as -65.27 g CO2e/MJ

The staff of the California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has posted three new Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) fuel pathway applications to the LCFS public comments website: one for corn ethanol (from Heartland Corn Products in Minnesota) and one ARB staff-developed pathway (with two scenarios) for the production of... Details →


Velocys, Waste Management, NRG Energy and Ventech form JV for small-scale gas-to-liquids plants

Velocys plc, a developer of smaller-scale microchannel gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology, has entered a joint venture (JV) with Waste Management, NRG Energy (NRG), and Ventech Engineers International (Ventech) to develop gas-to-liquids (GTL) plants in the United States and other select geographies. The JV will pursue the development of multiple plants utilizing... Details →


Iogen proposes new method to increase renewable content of transportation fuels; renewable hydrogen from biogas for refinery hydrogenation units

Cellulosic biofuel and biochemical company Iogen Corporation has developed and filed for patents on a new method to increase the renewable energy content of liquid transportation fuels. The production method involves processing biogas to deliver renewable hydrogen and then incorporating the renewable hydrogen into conventional liquid fuels via selected refinery... Details →


California Energy Commission to award up to $24M for new biofuel projects

The California Energy Commission announced the availability of up to $24 million in grant funds for the development of new, or the modification of existing, California-based biofuel production facilities that can sustainably produce low-carbon transportation fuels. (PON-13-609) Eligible biofuels are diesel substitutes, gasoline substitutes, and biomethane as defined in the... Details →


WTW energy demand and GHG emissions for EV and PHEV drivetrains for various electricity sources; gasoline ICE vehicle is solid square, hybrid the hollow square. Click to enlarge. A comprehensive analysis of well-to-wheel (WTW) primary energy demand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the operation of conventional and alternative passenger... Details →


Clean Energy Fuels to distribute biomethane vehicle fuel to fleets and public stations

Clean Energy Fuels Corp., North America’s largest provider of natural gas for transportation, is commercially offering a biomethane vehicle fuel—Redeem—made from waste streams such as landfills, large dairies and sewage plants directly to fleets around the country and at 35 public Clean Energy stations throughout California. Redeem will be available... Details →


Volvo VNL D13 with DME. Click to enlarge. At an event in Sacramento, California, Volvo Trucks announced that it will commercialize dimethyl ether (DME)-powered heavy-duty commercial vehicles in North America, with limited production beginning in 2015. Volvo also revealed ongoing customer field testing of DME trucks in the US (with... Details →


PNNL’s thermochemical conversion device is installed in front of a concentrating solar power dish. Photo: PNNL. Click to enlarge. A new concentrating solar power system developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) can reduce the fuel consumption of a modified natural-gas combined-cycle (NGCC) power plant by about 20%. The system... Details →


Cartoon of the process. Click to enlarge. Researchers at Columbia University have developed a biological process utilizing autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) for the conversion of methane (CH4) to methanol (CH3OH). A paper on their work is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. In fed-batch reactors using mixed... Details →


Audi A3 Sportback g-tron. Click to enlarge. Audi will introduce the compact A3 Sportback g-tron—which can be powered by the CO2-neutral Audi e-gas, synthetic methane generated from eco-electricity in the Audi e-gas project (earlier post)—at the end of the year. The e-gas fuel will be produced in the power-to-gas plant... Details →


California Energy Commission awards more than $17M to support alternative fuel and infrastructure projects

The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved $17,223,593 for eight projects including alternative fuel production, plug-in truck demonstrations, EV charging station deployment, and infrastructure planning. The awards were made through the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118. This program is slated to invest... Details →