A big rig running on natural gas… a propane-fueled trimmer… gas from a wastewater treatment plant burned to make electricity… these are just some of the projects the Environmental Protection Agency has recognized in its annual Clean Air Excellence Awards Program.
For the ninth year, EPA is honoring 15 recipients from across the United States for their environmental achievements in community action, education, and science and technology. These innovative air quality programs provide environmental benefits and create green products and jobs.
“Each year, our Clean Air Excellence Award winners offer amazing new examples of how we keep our air safe and clean,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This year’s winners have built on that tradition of innovation to show what is possible in protecting human health and the environment.”
Here are some of the winners using renewable energy projects (from the EPA’s Web site):
The Kenworth Natural Gas Powered Vehicle was developed in partnership with Westport Innovations. This truck uses a small injection of diesel to ignite the high pressure natural gas, which gives the performance and longevity equivalent to a diesel engine, while using domestically available fuel. Fuel is stored as liquid natural gas (LNG) for increased energy density. The factory-built Kenworth T800 LNG truck reduces emissions for NOx by 27 percent, particulate matter by 40 percent, and CO2 by 24 percent.
LEHR Incorporated has developed the LEHR Eco Trimmer, the first hand-held garden tool fueled by propane. The benefits of this fuel have previously only been available for vehicles, forklifts, and large equipment over 12 horsepower. LEHR’s new technology addresses the need for the clean air benefits of propane in the handheld and portable power tool market.
The City of Tulare, in California’s San Joaquin Valley, is committed to the adoption of clean air technology. The city shows this commitment with their Renewable Biogas Fuel Cell Project that uses digester gas from the city‘s wastewater treatment plant for cogeneration of electricity, while maintaining a nearly zero emission standard. The project was designed and constructed by Alliance Power Inc. of Littleton, Colorado and consists of three Fuel Cell Energy 300 kW DCF300MA biogas fuel cells preceded by a biogas treatment system designed by Applied Filter Technology.