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Breakthrough technologies to increase Canadian RNG production from forest residues

Strategic Area

Forestry - Technology and Innovation
GHG & Air Emissions




BC Pulp & Paper BioAlliance
BC Knowledge Development Fund
Canada Foundation for Innovation
Delta Photonics
Mandel Scientific
Swedish Power Chippers


Clean Growth Program



CGP Contribution

$ 1,160,587

Project Total

$ 1,927,545



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BioProducts Institute UBC
Biomass Research at UBC

Lead Proponent

The University of British Columbia

Project Objectives

The goal of this project is to create breakthrough advances in thermochemical processes to economically produce renewable natural gas (RNG) from forest residues. The project will provide technical design information for the construction of an approximately 500 GJ/day demonstration plant at a BC pulp mill.

Supply chain optimization and advanced biomass preprocessing will be used to reduce feedstock costs. The thermochemical conversion pathways will be enhanced using novel catalysts. The integration of feedstock supply and preparation, gasification, gas clean-up and methanation will be optimized through pilot-scale testing and process simulation.

Expected Results

The new process technology will address key bottlenecks and failures from past biomass to RNG processes and will provide BC BioAlliance members and others access to new technology for RNG production.

RNG technology based on forest biomass has the potential for significant environmental benefits across Canada by replacing fossil fuel natural gas (NG) with carbon-neutral RNG. With 10% of Canada’s NG consumption replaced by RNG, the associated GHG reductions (about 14 MtCO2e/y) would provide 10% of Canada’s Copenhagen Climate Change Commitment. In addition, replacing the NG used in BC pulp mills with RNG, would make this industry fossil fuel free.

The BC BioAlliance includes 16 pulp mills with the potential to replace NG with RNG in their lime kiln operations. Each RNG facility would provide significant financial benefits, reduce GHGs and provide additional employment opportunities in the community.

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