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
- Hybrid Natural Gas-Electric and Fully Electric Class 8 Trucks
This project will demonstrate two different truck technologies, which will have overhead catenary accessibility. The first truck utilizes a battery electric drive system and will be converted to operate on the catenary system. The second truck will be a compressed natural gas-hybrid truck that incorporates an electric drive system on the chassis. This vehicle may operate in three modes battery-only, overhead electric catenary, and natural gas to extend the operating range. The zero-tail pipe emission battery-only mode will allow the truck to have a small all-electric range to operate without the engine for short durations while the natural gas hybrid will allow the truck to have regional applicability as well. This project will include the design, development and testing of new components that enable trucks using electric drive architecture to acquire and convert power from overhead catenary lines. While connected to the catenary system the truck will operate on wayside power while also recharging the batteries.
- Zero Emission Heavy-Duty Class 8 Electric Trucks
This project 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
- Zero- and Near-Zero Emission School Buses
This project, funding through the West Coast Collaborative, will remove approximately three Type C and eight Type D old diesel school buses from the road. The target fleet types are captive fleets of school buses serving in, and the surrounding cities of, San Bernardino, Long Beach and Los Angeles, and the neighborhood of Boyle Heights in the City of Los Angeles. These diesel school buses will be replaced and/or repowered with fully-electric battery-powered and model year 2010 natural gas compliant engines. The District may consider using some of the fully-electric battery-powered school buses in a future demonstration program to evaluate the capability, reliability and revenue-saving potential of a vehicle-to-grid technology on zero-emission vehicles.
- Electric Delivery Trucks
Through the West Coast Collaborative, this project will remove at least 50 older on-highway medium heavy-duty diesel trucks with fully-electric battery-powered medium duty vehicles. These trucks may be deployed in San Bernardino, Long Beach and Los Angeles, and the neighborhood of Boyle Heights in the City of Los Angeles, which are disproportionately impacted by heavy diesel traffic along the goods movement corridors and by diesel goods movement activities at Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and nearby Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific rail yards. The South Coast Air Quality Management District is still determining the fleets.
- 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.
- 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 up-front 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.
San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District
The Technology Advancement Program (TAP) is the District's strategic approach to encouraging innovation and development of new emission reduction technologies. The TAP will consist of an ongoing review of new technology concepts, interagency partnerships, funding for technology advancement programs, and collaborations to build and expand local capacity for research and development in the San Joaquin Valley. Additional information about the District's TAP can be found here. EPA Region 9 has supported the following TAP activities:
- Zero-Emission Electric Yard Tractor
This heavy-duty truck will be used at IKEA's distribution center in Lebec. The electric yard tractor would replace diesel rigs currently used to move trailers around the facility. Key innovations that will be demonstrated with this project include the use of onboard "inverter-charger units" that simplify and accelerate battery charging. By demonstrating the feasibility of using two inverter-charger units on each vehicle, charging time will be cut in half.
- Dimethyl Ether (DME) from Renewable Biogas as a Replacement for Diesel in Safeway Trucks
This project proposes to demonstrate two heavy-duty trucks modified to use DME as a replacement for diesel for Safeway trucks in Tracy. This DME may be produced from biogas sources at a facility in California. The proposed demonstration will provide a real world use of this alternative fuel and demonstrate emissions benefits, with potential application to heavy duty trucks used in goods movement, the primary contributor to ozone and fine particulate matter problems in the Valley.
- Hybrid CNG-Turbine Powered Range Extended Series Electric Truck
This project proposes to demonstrate a CNG-turbine powered range extended series electric truck in the Valley. The project seeks to demonstrate near-term commercialization and production capabilities in this class as well as illustrate the zero tailpipe emission pathway represented by electric-traction truck architecture proposed in this project. This technology has the potential of demonstrating near zero emissions technology in the goods movement sector.
- Anaerobic Digester Facility for Natural Gas Pipeline Injection
This project proposes to develop and demonstrate a novel packaged hardware system for gas purification and injection into the natural gas pipeline in Tulare. The packaged hardware will have a smaller footprint, and enable much simpler future installations. Gas cleaning systems, which are used to upgrade biogas to pipeline quality for export to the utility, prevent emissions from the alternative use of the gas in power production systems. Development of a packaged combination of hardware capable of cost-effective gas purification may provide an option for reducing future emissions from power generation that use gas from digester systems. California State University, Fresno will be involved in the project in a technical advisory role and in the project will include paid internships for students.
- Wet-Scrubber Based After-Treatment Biogas System
The proposed system, located at a wastewater treatment facility in Bakersfield, has the potential to reduce NOx and other emissions from electricity generation projects at anaerobic digesters to levels lower than the current Best Available Control Technology, with far lower operating expenses than the currently used catalyst-based systems.
- Battery Electric Powered Leaf Blower
This zero-emission backpack leaf blower will use the most advanced battery and blower technology available designed for commercial use in Fresno and Visalia. The project will integrate the blower units into the daily institutional grounds maintenance schedules and demonstrate the technology will be capable of replacing high emitting gasoline powered leaf blowers in commercial lawn maintenance operations. Given the neighborhood-level impacts of conventional gas powered lawn maintenance equipment, development of zero emissions alternatives has the potential of providing significant health benefits to Valley residents and lawn care workers.
- 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.
- Electric Autonomous Agricultural Spray Vehicle
This project will 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.
- Plug-in Hybrid Wheel Loader at a Dairy
This project will 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.
- Low NOx Emissions from Burning Pater Raisin Trays during Grape Harvest
x emissions compared to open burning. The grape harvest coincides with District’s highest ozone levels; reductions of these emissions greatly benefit air quality. The overall finding from the testing is satisfying the requirement to reduce visible smoke emissions from the burning of raisin paper trays and vineyard removal materials. Visible smoke was found to be eliminated in tests with both wood and paper materials and there is confidence the device will also greatly reduce or eliminate PM2.5 emissions. The unit proves to be a viable alternative to burning paper trays and vineyard removal materials. Additional information and the final report can be found here.
- Plug-in Electric Hybrid Propane Utility Work Truck
This project will 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.
- Advanced Series Hydraulic Hybrid Refuse Vehicle
This project will demonstrate two new refuse vehicles fitted with an advanced series hydraulic 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 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
- Solar-Powered Aerated Static Pile Method of Composting
Additional information or the final report can be found here.
- Advanced Selective Catalytic Reductions - 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.
- 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.
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