Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) have signed a contract targeting the design of a novel system in which CO2 emissions are consumed by algae from natural gas combustion and they are economically converted into valuable byproducts such as biodiesel, biomethane and animal feed.
This partnership between SoCalGas and Scripps comprises systems engineering study and investigative research to study how algae productions systems that are presently being developed can efficiently capture industrial carbon dioxide emissions. Special sources of carbon dioxide include large engines used in natural gas compression, natural gas power plants, boilers and water pumping equipment used for steam production for industrial processes like improved oil recovery.
According to Dominick Mendola, a Scripps biologist exploring marine algae for their possibility as a new biofuel source, in case the Phase I analysis is successful then they will enter into a Phase II contract to enable SoCalGas design and operate a module of a commercially scaled system and evaluate its capabilities at a site chosen within Southern California.
The VP of customer solutions for SoCalGas, Hal D. Snyder stated that the company is dedicated to support the development of near-zero and zero-emission natural gas technologies. He said that the process of recovery of carbon dioxide and converting the same to biodiesel is beneficial for the environment and is made possible only by collaborating with leading scientific institutes like Scripps.