Innovative Technology That Uses Solar Energy to Convert 100% Renewable Biogas to Hydrogen and Graphitic Carbon on Display During the United Nations’ Cop 28 Meeting in Dubai

By December 1, 2023 4   min read  (800 words)

December 1, 2023 |

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The technology developed by UCLA with support from the California Energy Commission (CEC), and if approved, potentially by SoCalGas’ Research, Development, and Demonstration Program, is part of one of 100 applications selected among 3,000 worldwide to be showcased at the Conference of Parties.

LOS ANGELES— Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) announced today that an innovative technology developed by UCLA researchers with potential project support from SoCalGas if approved by the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC), is currently on display at the 28th session of the Conference of Parties (COP 28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The work is part of the technology showcase selected and organized by the group Prototypes for Humanity from November 29th – December 2nd. The goal of the technology is to use renewable solar energy and biogas to produce hydrogen and high-quality cylindrical graphite through an environmentally sustainable process. If developed at scale, this technology has the potential to be applicable to fuel cells, microgrids, and utility-scale hydrogen production.

“Having this innovative technology showcased during COP28 alongside 99 other innovative technologies highlights the importance of cultivating a broad range of climate solutions to help meet the global needs specific to each economy,” said Neil Navin, Chief Clean Fuels Officer at SoCalGas. “This technology could be capable of producing hydrogen, which could potentially be stored for later use. Additionally, the associated solid carbon developed from this process could be used to produce key components of batteries, which might help reduce battery production costs in the energy transition.”

Over the past two years, the technology was successfully developed and demonstrated in a laboratory setting and is now advancing from the laboratory to a real-world demonstration. The next phase of the UCLA lead project is to secure additional funding, with five potential demonstration sites under consideration with SoCalGas if approved by the CPUC.

“Further development of this project could help generate the environmental and economic data needed to support greater adoption and commercialization of emerging low, zero, and even negative carbon hydrogen production technology,” said Timothy Fisher, Professor at UCLA Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. “The field demonstration is slated to begin in the second half of 2024 and if scaled up further, could have the potential to be deployed at sizes ranging from modular fuel cells or microgrid backup systems to industrial or utility scale hydrogen production and storage systems. We also believe that the process offers significant potential to make hydrogen production more affordable because the high-value graphite co-product could be a crucial element to widespread electrification.”

Clean energy innovations designed to decarbonize hard-to-electrify sectors are a key component of California’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. To that end, SoCalGas continues to develop Angeles Link, a proposed clean renewable hydrogen pipeline system to serve Southern and Central CaliforniaAngeles Link could be the nation’s largest clean renewable hydrogen pipeline system and help significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, electric generation, industrial processes, and other hard-to-electrify sectors of the California economy.

SoCalGas is also working to help develop a state hydrogen blending standard by proposing pilot projects for approval by the CPUC. These projects could help to better understand how clean fuels like clean renewable hydrogen could be delivered through California’s natural gas system. As the CPUC noted in a recent decision, “Pilot projects and further study can also help the development of the clean renewable hydrogen market, enable a variety of uses cases, and contribute to achieving California’s Climate goals.”

For more information about SoCalGas’ hydrogen innovation, visit

About SoCalGas

Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, and increasingly renewable gas service to over 21 million consumers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California. We believe gas delivered through the company’s pipelines will continue to play a key role in California’s clean energy transition—providing electric grid reliability and supporting wind and solar energy deployment.

SoCalGas’ mission is to build the cleanest, safest and most innovative energy infrastructure company in America. In support of that mission, SoCalGas aspires to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and delivery of energy by 2045 and to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply to core customers with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for customers. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra (NYSE: SRE), an energy infrastructure company based in San Diego.

For more information visit or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.

SOURCE: Southern California Gas Company

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