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California Room

University of California, Merced

5200 Lake Road

Merced, CA 95343

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Event description
Waste treatment plants and dairies generate biogas. This workshop shares experiences for using this resource.

About this Event

Waste treatment plants, dairies and other industries across California are generating biogas at an increasing rate, exceeding their need for heating digester feed materials.

What are the best options for using the biogas? And what remaining questions need more exploration?

This one-day workshop at the University of California, Merced will bring together experts, who have years of experience with biogas, and newcomers, who have recently installed new equipment or are thinking of upgrading their equipment.

The goal is to share experiences and insights and identify what questions remain unanswered.

8:00 Meet & Greet

9:00 Morning session I: Applications for biogas

In addition to heating material entering the digester, biogas may be used for electricity generation including CHP and fuel cells, transportation, or cleaned for any application of natural gas. Each application requires some purification of the biogas. Electricity generators vary in efficiency, capital cost and operations and maintenance cost. The advantages and challenges of the various approaches will be compared and debated.


  • Keith Davidson, "Combined Heat and Power Options fo Biogas," DOE CHP Technical Assistance Partnership
  • Doug Bryant, "Pipeline Injection and Other Options for Natural Gas," Maas Energy

Panelists (in addition to the above):

  • Kyle Tos or Andrè Brasil, California Bioenergy

10:30 Break

11:00 Morning session II: Financial considerations for biogas

The Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), RINs and a range of types of incentive programs strive to enable use of biogas to replace natural gas. The rules for participation can be quite complicated, but the programs may be what makes a new project feasible. Practical guidance will be given and questions answered.


  • David Williams, "Getting Your Arms Around Financial Options for Biogas," CalCom Energy
  • Anthy Alexiades, "Low Carbon Fuel Standard: Opportunities for Biogas in Transportation," California Air Resources Board
  • Will Overly, "How to Navigate the Renewable Fuel Standard and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard at the Same Time," Bluesource

12:30 Complimentary Lunch, Networking, and Posters


  • Gerardo Diaz, UC Merced “Mobile Biochar Production for Methane Emission Reduction and Soil Amendment”
  • Julia Brumistrova and Marc Beutel, UC Merced “Local and Sustainable Energy Production and Waste Treatment Using Co-digestion of Food Waste and Wastewater Solids in Yosemite National Park, USA”

13:30 Afternoon session I: Bringing a project to completion

Some waste treatment plants may require investments of tens of millions of dollars and the return on investment may be questionable. What have been successful strategies for putting together a project, raising the funds, bringing the project to completion and continued successful operation.


  • Bret Swain: "Lessons Learned from Upgrading the Manteca Waste Water System," Manteca Public Works
  • Kyle Tos: "From Dairy Biogas to R-CNG & Electric Vehicle Fuel," California Bioenergy
  • Doug Bryant: "How Bundling of Projects can Benefit All," Maas Energy

15:00 Break

15:30 Afternoon session II: Breakout sessions

Participants will be invited to join smaller groups to obtain answers to detailed questions about technical options, policy options, regulatory requirements, and other issues.

Break-out sessions:

  • Using Biogas from Dairies
  • Using Biogas from Waste Water Treatment

16:30 Closing session: Wrap up

Summary and sharing of what was learned and identification of opportunities for continued discussions.

17:00 Adjourn

Questions? Please contact Sarah Kurtz, Professor, UC Merced at

Co-convened by UC Merced, CITRIS, CalCom Energy, CWEA.

Thank you for registering for the “What should we do with our biogas?” Workshop!

Driving Directions

Driving directions for travelers coming to campus by way of Highway 99 — the nearby state route that stretches nearly the entire length of California’s Central Valley — are:

Directions from southbound Highway 99

1. Head southeast on CA-99 South.2. Take Exit 187B toward Martin Luther King Jr. Way.3. Turn left onto CA-59 North/Martin Luther King Jr. Way.4. Take the third right onto West 16th Street.5. Take the third left onto G Street.6. Turn right onto East Bellevue Road.7. Turn left at Lake Road (stop light).8. Turn right onto Scholar’s Lane to enter campus.9. Turn right into Scholar’s parking lot.10. Arrive at main entrance to the UC Merced campus.

Directions from northbound Highway 991. Head northwest on CA-99 North.2. Take exit 187A for G Street.3. Turn right onto G Street.4. Turn right onto East Bellevue Road.5. Turn left at Lake Road.6. Drive through the stop light and turn right onto Scholar’s Lane. 7. Turn right into Scholar’s parking lot.8. Arrive at main entrance to the UC Merced campus.

ParkingYour parking is in Scholar’s Lot close to the entrance of campus. This is not the first parking lot by the stop light, though you can park there with a WayToPark Mobile parking app in Zone 1111. It would be better to park in any unmarked space in the Scholar’s lot.

Walk to the nearby yellow pay station and use your credit card (VISA, AMEX, Discover, MC) and license plate number to purchase an all day parking permit for $8.

Google map to parking: Campus Map attached.

If you would like assistance, please let us know and we can have a golf cart available to help with transportation. If you get a ticket, please let us know and we will help you!

Meeting VenueThe California Room is a .2 mile walk from the Scholar’s Lot. Please walk up Scholar’s Lane to the Terrace Center/Visitor Center. If you pass the Dining Center you have gone too far up the road.The California Room is in the main building, but the entrance is on the back side.Campus Map attached. Contact Leigh Bernacchi at 209-382-4216 if you cannot find it.

Questions?For any questions, please contact Sarah Kurtz at or Leigh Bernacchi at 209-382-4216 and

Date and Time


California Room

University of California, Merced

5200 Lake Road

Merced, CA 95343

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