Arun Raju, an Indian American researcher at the University of California Riverside, has received a National Innovation Award along with Chan Park and Alexander Balandin.
According to a university press release, Raju and Park have developed a steam hydrogasification system that uses high pressure and heat to break down plant waste, known as biomass, into renewable natural gas, which can then be converted into liquid fuel or electricity.
Conventional gasification involves subjecting the dried material to high temperatures without allowing it to burn by controlling the amount of oxygen or steam in order to reduce it to a gas.
The new method allows wet biomass to be processed without an expensive drying step. The invention offers more efficient and cost-effective production of renewable natural gas converted from waste that could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Raju is currently the director of the Center for Renewable Natural Gas.
He has a doctorate in chemical engineering from U.C. Riverside with a focus on gasification and related processes.
According to his university bio, Raju has experience in research related to synthetic fuels and chemicals production as well as power generation via thermochemical pathways including waste to energy processes.
Before joining CE-CERT, Raju was the director of research at Viresco Energy LLC and later served as the director of technology development at Combustion Associates Inc.
The three received their awards at the TechConnect convention in Anaheim, California.
TechConnect is a global technology outreach organization dedicated to locating the world’s most promising intellectual property and startup companies across all industries with technology in focus.
The TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo connects top applied research and early stage innovations from universities, labs and startups with industry end-users as well as prospectors.
The TechConnect Innovation Awards identify the top 15 percent of submitted technologies as ranked by the TechConnect Corporate & Investment Partner Committee, whose members come from many major corporations and venture capital firms.