Natural gas provides almost a quarter of the world’s energy, and deriving this valuable resource from forestry waste, instead of fossil fuels, can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of burning natural gas by 85 per cent.

G4 Insights Inc., a Burnaby, B.C.-based firm, has developed a process to convert forest industry residue into renewable natural gas (RNG) that can be used in the same capacities as fossil fuel gas and distributed through existing pipelines in Canada.

With the help of strategic partners, G4 Insights is set to build a RNG demonstration plant. The process will be tested under operational conditions with a range of biomass types to generate relevant technical operating and economic data.

The optimal site location has been chosen in Edmonton to support all-season operation in outdoor conditions.

The federal government announced Mar. 15 that it is investing $800,000 in G4 Insights for the project.

G4 Insights is also partnering with Canadian Gas Association members Enbridge Gas Distribution, FortisBC, Gaz Metro, Union Gas, utility host ATCO, the Natural Gas Innovation Fund, Alberta Innovates and FPInnovations; who are contributing a combined $1.35 million towards the plant.

Forest residue can be converted into solid, liquid or gaseous biofuels, such as RNG, that can then be burned for energy or used as fuel substitutes for transportation or industrial processes.

“The support from Natural Resources Canada for renewable natural gas is essential to creating a pathway to greenhouse gas reductions that are affordable, reliable and sustainable,” said Edson NG, principal, G4 Insights.