Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
Clean Air Technology Initiative:
EPA Pacific Southwest has provided funding to both the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to help spur early-stage, innovative technologies that need further testing and demonstration prior to massive deployment and commercialization. Please note that not all of the projects listed below are necessarily finalized and confirmed. Once finalized, these projects will reflect such.
South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) Technology Advancement
- Heavy-Duty Class 8 Electric Trucks: TransPower will develop and demonstrate two heavy-duty battery electric Class 8 trucks as well as develop the manufacturing capability for the electric drive system in California. The initial focus will be on the drayage market where the low-range duty-cycle will match well with the operational restrictions of a large, all battery-electric vehicle. The project has two overarching objectives: to demonstrate a superior electric drive technology for heavy-duty trucks, and to use this demonstration project as a springboard for rapid commercialization of a modular electric drive system. The electrification of transportation technologies has the potential to significantly reduce criteria pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions. This can provide substantial benefits to communities, neighborhoods, and school areas where these vehicles operate. Press release announcing showcased trucks
- Air Filtration Systems in Schools: IQAir North America will perform assessments on schools and community centers to determine the feasibility of installing air filtration systems in San Bernardino and Boyle Heights. Following the assessment phase, air filtration systems will be installed and verification of the satisfactory performance of the systems will take place with air flow testing and PM monitoring. Air flow testing will use wireless remote sensors installed by IQAir and periodic PM monitoring will be conducted by U.C. Riverside’s College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology. The air filtration projects support the implementation of AQMD’s Clean Communities Plan (CCP) which identifies San Bernardino and Boyle Heights as two areas to begin development of a Community Exposure Reduction Plan to identify strategies to reduce exposures of criteria and toxic pollutants.
- Vehicle Maintenance: Vehicle maintenance shops, including auto repair and refinishing, are important area source contributors of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PM) in the South Coast Basin. Operations of particular concern are brake cleaning and auto body painting. Improved technology can reduce waste and emissions from these operations at a relatively low cost. This project supports the reduction of VOC emissions leading to reduced ozone formation; particulate emission reductions from reduced overspray; and qualitative but unspecified reductions of PM2.5 formed secondarily from organic gases. The project will help vehicle maintenance and auto refinishing shops reduce the costs for consumables (paint and brake cleaner). The laser targeted paint application will also provide an increased quality of finished product.
- Commercial Green Cleaners: Currently, it is estimated that 0.9 pounds of VOC per 1,000 square feet cleaned are emitted annually (Western, 2010). Many cleaning suppliers have developed environmentally preferable cleaners that have much lower VOC content. While the “green” cleaning products themselves are the same price, the dilution system necessary costs $300 each. This project would provide an incentive program for the purchase of dilution systems for use with green cleaning products. This supports reduction of VOC emissions leading to reduced ozone formation, and qualitative but unspecified reductions of PM2.5 formed secondarily from organic gases. It also improves knowledge about cleaners, and improves working conditions through less exposure to mutagens and other toxics for janitorial staff.
- Fireplace Gas Log Buy-down: Under the Gas Log Buy-Down program, residents are able to visit sixty-three authorized retailers throughout the region and may choose any model available from two participating manufacturers. A discount off the retailer’s best price is provided to customers that purchase gas log sets and receive professional installation services. Natural gas log inserts reduce emissions associated with wood smoke (NOx , CO, PM2.5, toxics, and VOCs). Installation of the Gas Log Inserts into fireplaces provides employment opportunities to local contractors.
- Residential Yard Equipment and Commercial Leaf Blower Exchange: Gasoline powered lawnmowers have a lifetime of ten to fifteen years. These small engines are a significant source of CO, NOx , PM2.5, and VOCs. One lawnmower operated once a week emits more criteria pollutants than a car driven 22,000 miles in a year (Christensen, 2001). This project directly removes older gasoline powered yard equipment through an exchange program, resulting in NOx , PM2.5, CO, and VOC emission reductions. Evaporative emissions from the equipment and gasoline containers are also reduced. The exchanged yard equipment allows for new equipment to be obtained for decreased prices. Community benefits, aside from improved air quality, include decreased noise from the operation of this equipment.
- Boiler and Process Heater Efficiency Upgrades: Boilers and Process Heaters (B/PH) have a 30 to 50 year equipment life. Within the South Coast Basin there are thousands of these units (nearly 67,000 units ranging from 75,000 Btu/hr to 110 MMBtu/hr). Two main efficiency improvements can be installed on existing B/PH, these include an economizer and oxygen trim system. A rebate available through the local gas utilities pays up to 50% of the efficiency upgrade; however, B/PH owners are not electing to purchase these efficiency improvements, despite relatively short payback periods, due to the high upfront costs of these efficiency upgrades. This project will identify one or two publicly owned Boiler and Process Heaters within the City of San Bernardino. Funding through this grant will cover the remaining cost of the efficiency upgrade after the cost of the current utility rebate incentive is included. These efforts would also focus on achieving these efficiency upgrades in the most cost effective manner. Once they have been retrofitted, the emissions benefits will be determined through measurements conducted before and after the retrofit.
- Architectural Coating Rebates: South Coast AQMD has studied the cumulative VOC emissions from architectural painting operations and has found that these emissions exceed the combined emissions from a variety of industrial operations. The project will provide rebates to consumers and institutions purchasing Super Compliant coatings from retail establishments in San Bernardino. The rebates will pay for the incremental cost increase over conventional paints. This project supports reduction of VOC emissions leading to reduced ozone formation, and qualitative but unspecified reductions of PM2.5 formed secondarily from organic gases. The project allows for low VOC coatings to be obtained for decreased prices.
- UPS Zero-Emission Electric Delivery Trucks: This project will replace up to 40 UPS delivery diesel trucks located in San Bernardino with zero-emission medium-duty trucks. This project will further the development and deployment of low-emission technology in two ways. First, this project deploys cleaner engines on a large scale to end-users who may be considering retaining or rebuilding their old diesel vehicles. Finally, it creates an atmosphere of competition among engine manufacturers, thereby driving technology advancement of low to zero-emission engines. Clearly, operating an increased number of zero-emission or clean burning diesel trucks will offer critical emissions reductions to areas that already experience high levels of NOx and PM emissions from diesel vehicles and equipment. This project is funded, in part, by the California Air Resources Board's Hybrid Truck and Bus Voucher Program (HVIP) , launched in 2009 to help businesses replace fleets with low carbon emitting hybrid vehicles. The California Energy Commission recently committed an additional $4 million to the HVIP fund while promising greater incentive for vehicles assembled in California. Fleets are limited to 100 vouchers and must operate in California for three years before being approved.
San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District
- Electric Autonomous Agricultural Spray Vehicle: demonstrate the world’s first zero-emission, completely autonomous agricultural spray vehicle at farms. Successful implementation of this technology could have a significant impact on the inventory of emissions from agricultural tractors, which are numerous in the Valley.
- Biomethane to Energy: Near-Zero NOx Emission Control at Dairy Digester: the digester gas system currently uses a non-selective catalytic reduction (NSCR) system. The project will tune the NSCR system to achieve very low NOx emissions, and install a second after-treatment system that uses hydrogen selective catalytic reduction to reach near-zero NOx emissions. The District is interested in the success of clean bioenergy production through the use of biowaste, particularly in terms of developing ultra low-NOx technologies to mitigate the potential impact from the large-scale development of these types of projects. Projects such as this one, if successful, move the Valley closer to that goal.
- NOx reduction retrofit with selective catalytic reduction in medium-duty diesel trucks: demonstrate and test a NOx reduction retrofit system with selective catalytic reduction and a rechargeable, solid-state ammonia after-treatment system. The project proponent will demonstrate this technology on two 2007-2009 model year medium heavy-duty diesel trucks in the Valley. The proposal indicates that the after-treatment system will sufficiently reduce NOx to meet the current 2010 emissions limit.
- Plug-in Hybrid Wheel Loader at a Dairy: convert a wheel loader to plug-in hybrid operation, and identify fuel savings and emission reductions at a dairy. Hybrid electric technology, which has been available in the light-duty vehicle category in the past, is only recently being applied to off-road vehicles. This proposal will advance the transfer of this technology into this category, and serve to verify and quantify the emission reductions associated with the system. The proposed hybridization includes electric-only operation, idle elimination, and provides power for electric attachments.
- Conversion from Diesel to Natural Gas Locomotive Engines: demonstrate ECI 100% natural gas pre-chamber conversion kits on large, locomotive diesel engines. The first stage of the project will test two large, 2-stroke diesel engines equipped with ECI conversion kits. After conversion, the engines will be tested to determine if they meet Tier-2 emissions standards for locomotive and marine engines, which will be installed on one short-line locomotive and test the other engine for Tier-4 standards when equipped with exhaust-gas recirculation and a diesel-oxidization catalyst.
- Low NOx emissions from Burning Pater Raisin Trays during Grape Harvest: modify and test a mobile prototype device, which will lead to significant emissions resulting from the burning of paper raisin trays used during the grape harvest. The technology has been shown to significantly reduce visible smoke and NOx emissions compared to open burning. The grape harvest coincides with District’s highest ozone levels; reductions of these emissions greatly benefit air quality. Therefore, this proposal scored high in the relevance-to-plans category. The relatively low requested funding amount, combined with the readiness of the project to move forward, helped this project score high overall.
- Concentrated Solar Steam Generation System: demonstrate a pilot-scale roof-top concentrated solar-powered steam generation system to offset fossil-fuel used in conventional industrial boiler systems. The solar-driven system provides maximum NOx reduction when it’s needed most—during the daytime and in the summer. Potential NOx reductions from the Valley industries with the need to generate steam and appropriate solar access result in a strong relevance-to-plans category score. The offset of fossil fuels for steam generation additionally resulted in a high co-benefit score.
- Plug-in Electric Hybrid Propane Utility Work Truck: demonstrate a plug-in electric-hybrid propane utility truck using a Ford F-250 truck base at a farm. The demonstration and testing will identify NOx emission reductions, greenhouse gas reductions, and fuel savings. The outcome of this proposal has the potential to affect a large segment of the on-road vehicle emissions inventory, in light of the extensive use of utility truck in agriculture and other industries.
- Recover Wasted Energy from Ultra-Low NOx Burners (ULNB): the system integrates a gas-fired microturbine with a new ULNB into a system that can replace a burner on any boiler larger than 5 MMBtu/hr. The Power Burner recoups the energy lost with other ULNBs to cogenerate 100 kW of electricity with the same amount of fuel. This technology’s ability to provide boiler owners a faster payback on their investment has the potential to accelerate the adoption of ultra-low NOx boilers in the valley; early reductions from this emissions category benefited this projects relevance-to-plans score. The use of waste heat to generate electricity also raised the proposals co-benefit category score.
- Advanced Series Hybrid Refuse Vehicle: demonstrate two new refuse vehicles fitted with an advanced series hybrid-drive technology to reduce diesel fuel consumption, and associated NOx and other emissions, by up to 45%. The City of Manteca will purchase the trucks, monitor the vehicles and and collect data from the hybrid truck and a conventional diesel truck, for comparison purposes. Successful implementation of this project will show the ability to reduce emissions through reduced fuel use in the medium heavy-duty diesel truck off-road category, which helped this proposal score relatively high in the relevance-to-plans category
- Aerated Static Pile Method of Composting: design and testing of the aerated static pile method of composting for a large-scale composting facility. The proposed system consists of three components: substitution of diesel-powered loaders with electronic conveyor systems to build piles, the use of solar-powered electric blowers to replace diesel-powered windrow turners during the active phase of composting, and to build positively aerated static piles with finished compost biofilter covers. Potential reductions in PM, NOx , and greenhouse gas emissions resulted in high scores for both the relevance-to-plans and co-benefits categories.
- Extended-Range Electric-Drive Bucket Work Truck with Electric Worksite Operations: demonstrate an extended-range electric-drive Class-6 bucket truck with electric worksite operation capability. The system will improve on-road fuel efficiency and allow crews to work on-site without running the diesel engine. Emission reductions will be achieved by reducing consumption of 4,895 gallons of diesel fuel per vehicle per year. Because of the number of class-6 utility work trucks that operate in the Valley, this project has the potential to demonstrate significant emissions reductions in the on-road vehicle category; therefore, this project ranked relatively high in the relevance-to-plans category. The reduced use in diesel fuel also positively impacted the scoring in the co-benefit and cost-effectiveness categories.
- Advanced Selective Catalytic Reductions at a biogas to energy: This proposed project will demonstrate an advanced compact selective catalytic reduction (SCR) device on a biogas powered engine to be installed at a dairy farm. This innovative next step in SCR technology is expected to reduce emissions from biogas power generation systems to ultra low-NOx levels. The proposed system will include advanced monitoring and reductant metering equipment to prevent ammonia slip, and reduce or eliminate the need for an ammonia slip catalyst.
- Long-haul trucks with Selective Catalytic Reductions: This project proposes a Hydrocarbon Lean NOx Catalyst (HC LNC) System in diesel off-road construction engines. This new technology will enable effective NOx aftertreatment without requiring urea, and the associated infrastructure requirements, allowing for more rapid and widespread adoption. The proposed system will be capable of operating from E85 or diesel as a reductant precursor, rather than urea.
- Solar agriculture irrigation pumps: This project will demonstrate a renewable solar power generation system as an alternative option for remote diesel-powered agricultural irrigation pumping systems through the combination of a thermal solar concentration system with two reciprocating steam engines and a pressurized steam storage system. While many of the Valley’s agricultural pumping stations have been electrified, there remain a number of installations which are not cost-effective to electrify due to the lack of electrical infrastructure. The project will be installed parallel to a diesel backup power system to operate the pump in cases where there is a need for emergency freeze protection occurring with two cloudy days in a row. While the applicability of the technology is focused on agricultural pumping engines, successful demonstration of the technology may prove a low cost thermal storage alternation for additional applications reducing the barrier to adoption of solar thermal technology.
- UPS Zero-Emission Electric Delivery Trucks: This project will replace 50 UPS diesel trucks located throughout the San Joaquin Valley with zero-emission medium-duty trucks. This project will further the development and deployment of low-emission technology in two ways. First, this project deploys cleaner engines on a large scale to end-users who may be considering retaining or rebuilding their old diesel vehicles. Finally, it creates an atmosphere of competition among engine manufacturers, thereby driving technology advancement of low to zero-emission engines. Clearly, operating an increased number of zero-emission or clean burning diesel trucks will offer critical emissions reductions to areas that already experience high levels of NOx and PM emissions from diesel vehicles and equipment. This project is funded, in part, by the California Air Resources Board's Hybrid Truck and Bus Voucher Program (HVIP) , launched in 2009 to help businesses replace fleets with low carbon emitting hybrid vehicles. The California Energy Commission recently committed an additional $4 million to the HVIP fund while promising greater incentive for vehicles assembled in California. Fleets are limited to 100 vouchers and must operate in California for three years before being approved.
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