G4's proprietary PyroCatalytic Hydrogenation (PCH) process is a low temperature thermochemical process that enables large scale, economic production of RNG from lignocellulosic biomass. G4 RNG can be produced on a distributed basis in forestry regions and delivered to end users through existing natural gas (NG) pipelines. The G4 RNG can be used in any unmodified natural gas equipment, appliance, vehicle, industrial process, or power generator. The major markets for G4 RNG are renewable natural gas to grid, renewable power generation in existing NG power plants, and low carbon transportation fuels. RNG does not compete with fossil natural gas because fossil NG (including shale gas at record low prices) cannot be used to fulfill the demand for renewable energy. Unlike most other renewable energy vectors, G4 RNG generates and supports significant permanent jobs and local economic development with a small environmental footprint.
Natural gas supplies 23% of the world energy requirements and 33% of NG consumption is for electric power generation. There is sufficient available and sustainable waste forestry biomass in the US and EU alone to support $40 billion/year in RNG sales (~4% of global natural gas demand). Western Europe and China are consuming more natural gas than available domestically. Consequently, there is a strong global trend towards increasing energy independence and energy security. Climate change is also a global concern and the consumption of fossil natural gas is a significant contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. The G4 PCH technology contributes towards greater energy independence and reduction of greenhouse gases by generating carbon neutral, pipeline grade renewable natural gas using domestically supplied and renewable biomass.
The G4 process exhibits compelling economic value through high energy conversion efficiency and the ability to use low value feedstock. When the gas is used in a combined cycle power generator, the combined conversion efficiency of wood energy to power is over 50% higher than any other biomass to energy technology and the LCOE is 20% lower than wind power.
G4 intends to build two sizes of commercial plant: a large plant with a nominal output of 10,000 GJ/day, and a small plant with an output of 400 GJ/day. Commercial plants consume wood waste (sawdust, slash, thinning, hog fuel), and produce pipeline grade natural gas with 98+% methane content. The plant delivers compressed methane directly into a local or transport natural gas line or compressor station.
Small Commercial Plant (400 GJ/day):
Large Commercial Plant (10,000 GJ/day):
Personnel and equipment for collecting and transporting the waste wood is assumed to be part of the cost of biomass supply and not part of plant operations. The small commercial unit can be located in areas containing relatively small forest operations such as remote or suburban communities. Abandoned hog fuel piles can also supply the small unit for a number of years. The large commercial units require industrial scale forestry operations to supply enough waste wood to feed the plant. For medium commercial sawmills in BC, Canada and assuming typical forest densities, a harvest area of 40 to 50 km radius will have sufficient forest re-growth to support sawmill operations in a sustainable manner indefinitely.
The commercial scale unit will generate 115 MWth (10,000 GJ/day, 10,500 NCMH) of pressurized methane from 750 BDT/day of biomass feedstock. Forest residue and sawmill waste with up to 35% moisture content are typical feedstock. The power requirement for the plant is under 5 MW. A closed loop water cooling system minimizes the use of external water and eliminates liquid effluent. The char combustion process in the reformer is highly efficient, minimizing flue gas emissions. The produced bio-ash solids from the G4 process are suitable for soil amendment applications.
The G4 RNG process lends itself to production of methane from excess power generation from intermittent wind and solar power sources. Extra electrical generation energy can be converted into hydrogen which is fed into the G4 RNG process to be converted to pipeline grade methane. The G4 Power to Gas (P2G) process eliminates the issues associated with injecting hydrogen into the gas grid. The process is fully renewable and sustainable.