A facility in Kirkland Lake proposes to transform wood waste into natural gas

By Aya Dufour
CBC News
March 13, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada East

High-temperature pyrolysis is a technical term that can scare some people away – but over the years, CHAR Technologies CEO Andrew White has developed a succinct way to explain it. “We heat up wood in the absence of oxygen. We heat it up to 900 degrees celsius, with no oxygen so the wood can’t burn, but it cracks apart into a gas and a carbon,” he said. The gas is then upgraded to renewable natural gas and pumped directly into the pipeline. The carbon can be converted into biochar, an environmentally friendly substitute to the coal-based fuels used in steel making or nickel smelting. This is the process that underpins a new proposed biomass conversion facility in Kirkland Lake in northeastern Ontario. Some elements of this technology are very old, and others, like controlling the environment more tightly, are relatively new, according to White.

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