Canadian natural gas distributor Gaz Métro has announced that it has been conducting a demonstration project aimed at converting wood chips into natural gas using a new thermochemical process.
The company has been running the project over several months. It has been in collaboration with British Columbia-based cleantech company G4 Insights.
The demonstration-scale project uses a thermochemical, or heat-induced, process known as PyroCatalytic Hydrogenation (PCH) to convert forest industry biomass to natural gas.
The process is now ready to be tested in a larger pilot project that will produce greater volumes.
“With this small-scale project, we proved that PCH is technologically viable. 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,” said Martin Imbleau, vice president, Development and Renewable Energies at Gaz Métro.
He added: “Our goal is to use forestry biomass and produce a ‘green’ energy supply of Québec-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 Québec municipalities that have opted to transform organic waste into energy.”