Fuel-flexible, hybrid CHP at San Bernardino Municipal Water Department

A fuel flexible, hybrid generation system for combined heat and power.

Gas Technology Institute


Des Plaines, IL

Recipient Location



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Result

The project aimed to conduct short- and long-term testing and operation of the Hybrid POGT-ICE to demonstrate stable operation and prove the performances especially NOx emissions below 11 ppm (@15%O2) as required by the new SCAQMD Rule 1110.2. The project had technical delays and by the end of the agreement term, POGT was developed, built and tested while the integration of POGT and ICE was about 90% completed. Short- and long-term testing is planned to be completed by October 2016, and then the researchers will submit a revised Final Report to the CEC.

The Issue

Operators of reciprocating engines fueled with renewable, carbon-neutral fuels such as biogas (primarily methane and carbon dioxide) produced from sanitary landfills and biological wastewater treatment processes, are facing ever tightening limits on emissions of regulated air pollutants from their engines. Faced with the significant capital costs to comply with tight limits such as the SCAQMD Rule 1110.2, operators of landfill and digester gas fueled engines and Public Owned Treatment Works (POTW's) are faced with ceasing on-site power generation from this free and biogenic fuel source and have indicated that they will have to flare 100% of these gases rather than use them for DG/CHP.

Project Innovation

The goal of this project was to demonstrate a fuel-flexible hybrid generation CHP system, consisting of an innovative partial oxidation gas turbine (POGT) and an internal combustion engine (ICE) in a highly efficient combined heat and power application at the San Bernardino Water Reclamation Plant (SBWRP) located in a California investor-owned utility service area served by Southern California Gas Company and Southern California Edison. The innovative gas turbine has a proven component for reforming or converting biogas to generate hydrogen. In this system, a portion of the biogas is converted into a hydrogen-rich gas and blended with natural gas and remaining biogas. The blended fuel allows the gas turbine and the internal combustion engine to operate at a desirable condition that will result in reduced NOx and VOCs emissions to levels that are significantly below the South Coast Air Quality Management District's limits and the 2007 CARB standards for distributed generation.

Project Benefits

The innovative integration of a partial oxidation gas turbine and an internal combustion engine results in a highly efficient and fuel-flexible combined heat and power system that are capable of using a range of fuels including natural gas and biogas produced from wastewater and other organic waste digesters; providing a pathway to meet challenging emissions limits, increasing the capacity of biogas power generation, and advancing the state's climate and renewable energy goals.

Lower Costs


The fuel-flexible power generation system which produces hydrogen-rich biogas allows lean engine operation that reduces the need for costly emission control systems while providing supplemental power that could result in overall reduction in the use of fossil natural gas and lower cost of electricity.

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental Sustainability

The hybrid generation system developed by this project targeted stringent emissions regulation while providing a reliable renewable power generation source. Successful deployment of the technology will contribute to overall improvement in air quality and to reductions in fossil fuel usage.

Greater Reliability


The fuel-flexible hybrid generation system which generates power from a gas turbine and a reciprocating engine, and can run on biogas or natural gas, enhances the facility’s electrical power reliability and reduces the load to the grid.

Key Project Members

Project Member

john Pratrapas

Senior Engineer





Vronay Engineering


TRITEK Energy Consulting


Match Partners


San Bernardino Municipal Water Department


Contact the Team