Gaz Metro, one of the largest natural gas distribution companies in Quebec, says that it has been conducting a demonstration project over the past several months aimed at converting forestry biomass into second-generation renewable natural gas.
According to the company, the trials were carried out in collaboration with the British Columbia firm G4 Insights at the Natural Gas Technologies Centre in Boucherville.
The two companies assert that they used a thermochemical process called PyroCatalytic Hydrogenation (PCH) to transform wood chips from Quebec into renewable natural gas, and they say the process is now ready to be tested in a larger pilot project to produce greater volumes.
“With this small-scale project, we proved that PCH is technologically viable,” says Martin Imbleau, vice president of development and renewable energies at Gaz Metro. “It is now essential that we press ahead with our efforts so as to determine how we can improve the process even further and increase its production potential. Our goal is to use forestry biomass and produce a ‘green’ energy supply of Quebec-sourced and renewable natural gas.
“This natural gas, over the coming years, could be used locally or injected into our network to supplement the renewable natural gas being generated by the biomethanization projects of Quebec municipalities that have opted to transform organic waste into energy,” Imbleau adds.
Gaz Metro is actively involved in developing and operating innovative energy projects, including natural gas as fuel, liquefied natural gas as a replacement for higher emission-producing energies, and the development of biomethane.