Biomass can be converted to gas by biological processes such as anaerobic digestion or gasification, which is a thermochemical process.
In anaerobic digestion, biogas is produced from the fermentation of an organic matter or feedstock. Feedstock can be wet organic material such as manure, sewage sludge, industrial effluents, and agricultural and forest residues. Biogas from anaerobic digesters are composed primarily of methane, which can be used as a fuel or chemical feedstock.
Gasification is a thermochemical process that occurs when biomass is heated in an oxygen-starved environment (containing approximately 1/3 of the air needed for complete combustion) to produce a synthetic gas (i.e. “syngas”), which contains carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Any reasonably dry biomass can be converted to syngas, which can also be used as a fuel or chemical feedstock.
CanmetENERGY in Ottawa focuses on researching and developing new innovations in biogas energy technology and processes throughout the commercialization cycle, from basic research to market uptake. Our interests include expertise involvement in product development concepts and program/market support such as providing technical advice, standards and guidelines, and specifications.
Biogas production in Canada has a wide range of potential applications, including landfills, municipal wastewater treatment facilities, farm-based operations, municipal solid waste (MSW) digestion, the pulp and paper industry, and the food and beverage industry.
Our current research and development focuses on:
- Feedstock recipes for farm-scale digesters
- Digestion of source separated organics from MSW
- Opportunities for energy use and production at MWW plants
- Digestion and/or gasification of pulp and paper wastes