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Clean air innovations get funding boost
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An emission-reducing raisin tray burning system, a natural gas conversion kit for locomotive engines, and an all-electric agricultural sprayer are just a few of the new technologies being developed with the goal of improving air quality in the Central Valley.
The San Joaquin Valley Air District's Governing Board granted $2,947,694 to 11 projects targeted at reducing the Valley's air quality emissions through new technology. The board also authorized an additional $3 million for an additional round of funding to bring more technology-advancement entrepreneurs in the Valley.
The innovations are part of the district's Technology Advancement Program. TAP is a strategic approach to encouraging innovation and development of new emission reduction technologies. It consists of ongoing reviews of new concepts and collaborations and provides funding for qualified research and development.
The latest round of competitive proposals resulted in numerous submissions. District staff carefully evaluated the proposals for a variety of criteria, including relevance to attainment plans, co-benefits, cost-effectiveness, funding requested and leveraging, and project readiness. Funding was recommended for 11.
"We are encouraged by the response we received to this funding availability," said Seyed Sadredin, the district's executive director and air pollution control officer. "Not only are these new projects innovations that will help clean up the Valley, but they are also vital to supporting the Valley's technology development community and economic vitality."
Emission-reducing efforts are of vital importance to the Valley, because the area has the unfortunate distinction of having some of the poorest air quality in the nation, according to the American Lung Association. Air pollution can cause respiratory and heart problems, especially among children, the elderly and those with existing health concerns.
The California Department of Public Health reports that San Joaquin Valley residents experience three times California's state average for asthma attacks and five times the national average for asthma attacks.
The newly funded projects and amounts are:
• $350,000 for Pure Power Technologies' proposal to demonstrate a non-urea NOx reduction retrofit system for diesel trucks;
• $300,000 for California Bioenergy's proposal to demonstrate advanced two-stage controls to a biogas engine system to achieve near-zero NOx;
• $258,000 for U.S. Hybrid Corp.'s proposal to demonstrate a plug-in hybrid wheel loader in a dairy application, and $292,830 for their demonstration of a plug-in hybrid propane/electric work truck;
• $75,580 for Energy Conversions Inc.'s proposal to demonstrate a natural gas conversion kit for two-stroke diesel locomotive engines;
• $370,534 for Electricore Inc.'s proposal to demonstrate a fully autonomous agricultural sprayer based on a zero-emission, all-electric vehicle platform;
• $28,250 for Sun-Maid Growers of California's proposal to demonstrate an emission-reducing raisin tray burning system;
• $300,000 for Thermata's proposal to demonstrate a concentrating solar steam system to offset boiler fuel consumption and emissions;
• $250,000 for Leva Energy Inc.'s proposal to demonstrate a power-generating burner that recovers wasted energy through a microturbine;
• $242,500 for the City of Manteca's proposal to demonstrate a serial hybrid hydraulic refuse truck;
• $230,000 for the Association of Compost Producer's proposal to demonstrate a positively aerated static compost pile system;
• $350,000 for PG&E Fleet Engineering's proposal to demonstrate an extended range electric drive Class 6 bucket truck with electric worksite operation capacity.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.