For Immediate Release: August 25, 2010
Media Contact: Sandy Louey - 916-654-4989


CA Energy Commission Awards $1.6 Million for Research Projects

SACRAMENTO – The California Energy Commission today awarded $1,626,587 for variety of research projects including an industrial and commercial laundry system that uses less water. Funds for the four research projects come from the Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program.

"The research projects we approved today demonstrate California's commitment to conserve water as well as energy, said Energy Commissioner Jeffrey Byron. By investing in innovative R&D projects, California continues to invest in technological advances that improve the financial bottom line for businesses, while improving the environment."

CO2Nexus, Inc. will receive $396,200 to demonstrate the performance and energy savings of a commercial supercritical-carbon dioxide textile cleaning machine that will reduce water consumption and cut energy use by eliminating the associated dryers. The Hermosa Beach-based company will provide match funding of $200,000.

The project will compare the operation, energy and water savings, and cost comparisons between the company's carbon dioxide machine and water-based textile cleaning machines. Some advantages include significant reduction in the use of potable water onsite, the elimination/reduction for the need to dry textiles and the reduction/elimination of the used laundry water waste stream going to the local wastewater treatment plant.

The demonstration site for the project will be an ARAMARK Cleanroom Services facility in Los Angeles. The technology has the potential of being deployed in the estimated 8,800 industrial/commercial laundry facilities in California including hospitals, industrial laundries, industrial cleaning facilities, prisons, nursing homes, universities and hotels, according to the project proposal.

The Commission also approved three other research projects. The others are:

  • The University of California at Davis will receive $580,907 to provide new location data and enhanced habitat suitability models for predicting the potential habitat and distribution of rare plants in the Mojave and Colorado deserts. The research will help provide information that can be used to help assess the impacts of renewable energy projects in the desert and in crafting effective mitigation measures for such projects. Partners involved in the research include the Jepson Herbarium at the University of California at Berkeley, the California Native Plant Society, and the California Department of Fish and Game.
  • American Biodiesel, Inc. of Encinitas, which does business as Community Fuels, will receive $349,524 to demonstrate the performance of an integrated system to reduce water consumption and wastewater discharge in biodiesel production facilities. Match funding of $179,556 will come from American Biodiesel.

    The proposal calls for demonstrating the use of distillation, ultrafiltration, and reverse osmosis technologies to treat and recycle spent biodiesel wash water. Doing so could reduce water consumption for biodiesel washing by an estimated 85 percent and result in a zero-discharge wash process. The site for the proposed project will be a biodiesel production facility that Community Fuels operates at the Port of Stockton.
  • Kennedy/Jenks Consultants, Inc. of Irvine will receive $299,956 to research the use of innovative additives to reduce the water content in sewage sludge. The project could decrease the energy needed to dry the sludge and the fuel used for shipping and disposal. The proposal calls for tests to be conducted at the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County's Joint Water Pollution Control Plant in Carson. Match funding of $174,989 will come from Kennedy/Jenks.

The Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program supports public interest research and development that helps improve the quality of life in California by bringing environmentally safe, reliable, and affordable energy services and products to the marketplace. For more information, visit

Created by the California Legislature in 1974, the California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. The Energy Commission has five major responsibilities: forecasting future energy needs and keeping historical energy data; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency through appliance and building standards; developing energy technologies and supporting renewable energy; and planning for and directing state response to energy emergency.

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