UC Riverside and SoCalGas Announce Opening of New Research Center

Above: This gasifier extracts clean-burning syngas from organic materials, and is part of the research performed at UC Riverside’s Center for Renewable Natural Gas.

For Renewable Natural Gas focuses on reduction of carbon emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy in California

Riverside, Ca – The University of California, Riverside and Southern California Gas today marked the establishment of a new Center for Renewable Natural Gas. The Center is the first academic establishment in the United States dedicated to the study and applied research of renewable gas technologies. It was funded in part by SoCalGas with a matching donation from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and the National Center for Sustainable Transportation (NCST) and is part of UC Riverside’s Center for Environmental Research & Technology (CE-CERT).

“Renewable gas can play a key role in reducing greenhouse gases and meeting California’s renewable energy goals,”

— Lisa Alexander, Vice President of SoCalGas

Just like electricity, natural gas can be made from renewable sources. The Center will focus on improving technologies and removing barriers to increase renewable gas use in California and beyond. To do so it will conduct research on:

  • High-yield renewable natural gas production
  • Storing renewable energy with power-to-gas technology
  • Technologies that can increase renewable gas use in heavy-duty trucking and other transportation
  • Market and policy issues
  • Potential sites for renewable gas production projects

“Renewable gas can play a key role in reducing greenhouse gases and meeting California’s renewable energy goals,” said Lisa Alexander, vice president of customer solutions and communications for SoCalGas. “In California, the agriculture and waste industries produce a great deal of methane that could—and should—be used as renewable gas to heat homes, and fuel power plants and near-zero-emissions trucks. We applaud the leadership of the university in establishing an academic center to prove out and advance the technologies needed to develop renewable gas on a large scale in the state.”

Arun Raju, director of the Center for Renewable Natural Gas, said this partnership will help California meet several Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and renewable energy targets.

“Renewable natural gas is an important alternative fuel that can help utilize local renewable resources and eliminate waste disposal problems. Through the Center for Renewable Natural Gas we will work with our partners in government and industry to advance research, development and demonstration towards increasing commercial RNG production and use,” Raju said.

About UC Riverside

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California’s diverse culture, UCR’s enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion. A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

Related News – UC Riverside Study to Evaluate Best Ways to Achieve California’s Renewable Energy Targets