Air Quality Implications of Using Biogas (AQIB) to Replace Natural GAs in California

Summary

SCH Number
2014068529
Lead Agency
Energy Commission (California Energy Commission)
Document Title
Air Quality Implications of Using Biogas (AQIB) to Replace Natural GAs in California
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Received
Posted
6/30/2014

Document Description
The purpose of this research is to identify biological and chemical hazards found in biogas/biomethane that have the potential to adversely impact air quality either in their unburned state or after their combustion products age in the atmosphere. Biological and chemical composition of biogas/biomethane and biogas/biomethane combustion emissions under atmospherically relevant conditions will be measured. Biogas produced at 5 different facilities will be evaluated: one landfill, two organic waste anaerobic digesters, and 2 dairy anaerobic digesters. The chemical and biological analyses of biogas/biomethane gas and combustion emissions will screen for toxic organic compounds, semi-volatile metals, bacteria, viruses, and fungus that could pose an air quality threat for California residents under some adoption scenarios. The health-effects assay results for biogas/biomethane at different stages of utilization will provide an absolute measure of health impacts and a relatively ranking for biogas/biomethane at different stages of utilization will provide an absolute measure of health impacts and a relative ranking for biogas/biomethane. Emissions will be diluted to atmospherically relevant concentrations and aged in the dark and in photochemical reaction chambers that simulate atmospheric chemical reactions. Biological and chemical analysis will be performed using state-of-the-science instrumentation available at UC Davis. Air quality models that track emissions from select sources through chemical reaction systems will be used to estimate population exposure to biogas/biomethane and their combustion emissions under scenarios for widespread adoption. Biogas adoption strategies that best develop this valuable natural resource while protecting air quality for the residents of California will be identified. This project will provide a wealth of new data that will be used to further evaluate constituents in biogas/biomethane that may be introduced into the natural gas pipeline and pose health risks and establishing health protective limits for those constituents.

Contact Information
Maria Mueller
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-48
Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone : (916) 327-1716

Location

Cities
Davis
Counties
Yolo

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
S:15306, Class 6
Reasons for Exemption
Basic Data collection, research, experimental management, and resource evaluation activities that do not result in major disturbances to an environmental resource.
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