SoCalGas, CSULB Partnership Advances Research of Sustainable Energy Solutions

Photos courtesy of SoCalGas.

Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) faculty and students attended the university’s annual Engineering Innovation Expo where undergraduate seniors of the College of Engineering presented research projects funded by Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), the company announced Monday.

Students presented research projects focused on modernizing natural gas technologies, reducing methane emissions and advancing renewable natural gas in response to three assignments given by SoCalGas:

  • Develop a low-nitrogen-oxide-emitting cooktop that uses a less polluting combination of hydrogen and natural gas. The burner could serve in various applications including cooking, space and water heating, or clothes drying.
  • Create a hydrogen pipe that would fit inside existing natural gas pipelines to save on the cost of digging new pipelines to advance the transport of pure hydrogen from producers to consumers.
  • Design an economically feasible prototype that utilizes food waste and other organics from campus and the surrounding community to produce renewable natural gas to heat buildings on campus.

“SoCalGas challenges our top engineering students to develop new solutions to technical problems as their Senior Design Project,” Professor Parviz Yavari in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at CSULB said in a statement. “It’s exciting for our students to come up with solutions that may end up benefiting individuals and families in the real world.”

For the past several years SoCalGas has partnered with CSULB College of Engineering to give students an opportunity to showcase their problem-solving capabilities by developing solutions to difficult topics, according to Rodger R. Schwecke, SoCalGas senior vice president of Gas Transmission, Storage and Engineering and a 1983 chemical engineering graduate.

“Some of these projects continue our efforts in developing equipment and applications that deliver meaningful emissions reductions,” Schwecke said in a statement. “Since 1990, our energy efficiency programs have reduced emissions equal to taking 700,000 cars off the road. Every year these students amaze me with their work and real-world solutions showing the engineering students at CSULB are well-positioned to be the future leaders in the energy industry.”

In 2017, SoCalGas provided nearly $1.3 million in grants to hundreds of Southern California educational organizations, while over the last five years has provided $400,000 in grants to CSULB’s College of Engineering to fund research. SoCalGas supports technology-based learning and encouraging success in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), according to the release.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.
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