​G4 Insights converts Alberta forestry residues into pipeline-quality gas

A field pilot has successfully demonstrated that Alberta forestry industry residues can be turned into renewable natural gas, project partners announced on Monday.

Vancouver-based energy cleantech start up G4 Insights Inc. ran a test of its PyroCatalytic Hydrogenation technology for six months at a facility in Edmonton owned by ATCO.

During that period, for the first time in Alberta produced renewable natural gas was tested and injected into the ATCO distribution grid, according to a joint statement from the consortium Natural Resources Canada, the Natural Gas Innovation Fund, Alberta Innovates, ATCO and FPInnovations.

Those partners provided $2.8 million in grants and in-kind funding for the project.

Renewable natural gas produced from sustainably managed forest residue can emit up to 85 per cent fewer GHG emissions than traditional fuels, the project partners said.

“Forest residue, which includes every part of the tree, can be converted into solid, liquid or gaseous biofuels such as RNG. It can then be used as an alternative energy source to fuel transportation or in industrial processes. The G4 technology can also be used to convert agricultural crop wastes into RNG,” the partners said.

G4 Insights’ technology, when commercialized, will convert forestry biomass into RNG that can be added to the existing natural gas distribution system and used interchangeably by customers without any equipment modifications, said a joint statement by the project partners, they said.

“Renewable natural gas from wood waste is a largely untapped renewable resource that Canadians can use to heat and power their homes and businesses using a carbon-neutral fuel,” said ATCO vice-president Graeme Feltham.

Timothy Egan, CEO of the Canadian Gas Association, added that the G4 Insights project can help put Canada on track to help meet an aspirational target set by the natural gas delivery industry of 10 per cent RNG content by 2030.

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