ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

2014 New Call for Positions

2014 URS Call for Positions

This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2014 cycle.

Position Details

095 Microbial Biogas/Fuel Cell Development Specialist

Proposed Location/Housing

Berkeley Department of Plant and Microbial Biology

Proposed Area of Coverage

Entire State of California


Associated Documents



I am pleased to support the proposal for a CE specialist to work on the development and use of biogas and microbial fuel cell solutions. While biogas and related microbial pathways are most commonly associated with applications to manure and other semi-liquid feedstocks, from my perspective as a forestry specialist, this position could also have major breakthrough potential in the utilization of forest based residues at the initial harvest, sawmilling, and post-consumer phases. While the direct combustion of wood feedstocks for combined heat and power is a well developed and constantly improving area, biogas technologies is more scalable to smaller scale production units. Having worked with many of the scientists associated with the Energy Biosciences Institute, it is clear that deepening the skill levels here at Berkeley across a range of feedstocks and technologies is necessary for renewable energies to reach their potential in replacing fossil fuel based energy sources. Expanding our skills in cooperative extension specialists in this arena promises to have both direct benefits as well as spill-over benefits to others working in the wider field of renewable resources.

Bill Stewart
Forestry Specialist
Posted Jul 9, 2014 9:07 PM by Bill Stewart
Dipl.-Ing. Michael R. Schuppenhauer, Ph.D., President
Dipl.-Ök. Sven Kollbach, Chairman & Director
EIN 45-3696752 • JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A. • Account 403 586 022 • ABA 322 271 627 • SWIFT CHASUS33
One Market Street
Spear Tower – Suite 3600
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone +1 415 367-3682
FARMATIC Inc. · One Market Street · Spear Tower Suite 3600 · San Francisco, CA 94105
Professor Robert L. Fischer
Chair, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
231A Koshland Hall
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720
Cooperative Extension Specialist Anaerobic Digestion / Biogas
Dear Prof. Fischer,
Farmatic Inc. is pleased to learn from the American Biogas Council that the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, UC Berkeley, is proposing to recruit a Cooperative Extension Specialist focused on converting biogas into value-added products including bioenergy. Farmatic Inc. strongly supports opening such a position.
Biogas systems use anaerobic digestion to recycle organic waste, crop residues and manure, turning it into biogas, for energy (the gas), and valuable soil products (liquid and solids), using a natural, biological, process (no combustion or thermal conversion). After simple processing, biogas is a renewable substitute for natural gas and vehicle fuels, and the digested materials — the liquid and solids — can be turned into a wide variety of useful soil products, similar or identical to peat moss, pellets and finished compost.
The timing for this Cooperative Extension Specialist could not be more appropriate considering that the EPA ruled on July 2, 2014 that CNG/LNG from biogas is a cellulosic fuel and qualified to meet the requirement of the RFS2. In fact the current potential for biogas from organic MSW, landfill gas, waste water treatment, manure and crop residues is approximately 34.6 billion GGE, and an additional 38.6 billion GGE for energy crops, for a total of 73 bn GGE or 51% of US transportation fuel demand, based upon numbers from recent research supported by the DOE and UC Berkeley’s Vice Chancellor for Research. These fuels can be produced at about half the capital cost of current (ethanol) cellulosic fuel plants, and half of current fossil fuel street prices, while offering the potential to create between 2.5 million and 5.4 million jobs in decentralized production facilities at the lowest available carbon intensity. Such plants have been constructed and are operating around the world, with our company having executed more than 300 such projects, and Germany alone having more than 7,600 such plants.
Page 2 of 2 from July 18, 2014
It is our strong belief that biogas production is both a critical component in realizing greenhouse gas reduction, as well as a viable means to improve our bioeconomy deserving all the support of UC Berkeley.
A biogas focused UC Cooperative Extension Specialist would play a critical role in interpreting the latest scientific breakthroughs and help promote California as a leader in this field. We look for technical partners to help Californians realize the potential of deriving clean-burning fuels from the diverse waste streams available in the state. This is a very exciting opportunity to optimize our use of natural resources that Farmatic fully supports.
Warmest regards,
Michael R. Schuppenhauer, Ph.D.
M.S. ChemE ‘91
Posted Jul 18, 2014 9:05 PM by Michael Schuppenhauer

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