Sustainability and Sound Environmental Governance
RNG as a Sustainable Fuel
CanaGas believes sustainability requires that we meet our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In addition to natural resources, we also need social and economic resources. Sustainability is not just environmental-ism.
With that understanding, we believe natural gas to be a forever fuel! Over time, natural gas taken from deep reservoirs and shale deposits will give way to Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) made at the surface. As our children are further educated on how RNG is made, it will continue to heat homes and generate electricity when renewable power is not available.
RNG is derived from biogas which, is produced from the decomposition of organic materials, food waste, and sewage. Food waste, and sewage are easily urban sourced. However, large volumes of organic matter are more easily sourced from rural or remote locations. The largest sources being farms and forestry operations. Manure is one of the largest sources of biogas throughout the world. Currently though, naturally occurring biogas from such decomposing material is a very large source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) emissions. If we do not start to capture biogas in volume and clean it into RNG, we will never truly reach net zero.
Biogas, created in an anaerobic digester, is a sustainable source of energy. However, the methane produced cannot be considered “Renewable” until the co-produced CO2 is removed and sequestered. Anaerobic biogas contains between 25% to 40% CO2.
RNG production is growing fast. Though, most newly installed bio-digesters and upgrade facilities to produce RNG are being established where there is an existing tie-in to a natural gas distribution line. This leaves an enormous number of farms and forestry operations naturally producing non-sustainable biogas into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas. It is currently a problem that CanaGas believes can be turned into a Smart Energy solution.
Using CanaGas low-temperature-compatibly type-4 pressure vessels, biogas is easily stored on site. CanaGas is currently working with others to provide a solar and battery powered biogas chiller and positive displacement pump. The system would be autonomous. The biogas is then transfer to a CanaGas Transport Module (CTM) for transport to a centrally located upgrade facility for removal of the CO2. The liquid CO2 is then transported in a CTM for sequestration or commercial use.
As the RNG produced at the upgrade facility is cold, it is then easily liquefied as P-LNG for transport in a CTM to a domestic pipeline tie-in or commercial customer. Where the CO2 produced from the burning of the RNG is captured, the energy produced is carbon negative. Such technologies are growing fast. Now that is a very Smart Energy solution!
A secondary benefit of locating digesters on or near a farm is the reduced need (cost) to transport feedstock to a centrally located digester, and then transport the digested matter (organic fertilizer) back to the farm. Smaller, simple digesters can be easily operated by farmers. They have a vested interest in the income generated and the organic fertilizer.
Other Initiatives for Sustainability
The transition to renewable energy will take a long time. Likely, a lot longer than we hope for. During the transition, people still need heat for their homes and to cook their food. Thus, CanaGas will provide low-cost transport of propane and LPG to support the billions of people (mostly outside of Canada and the USA) that currently need such fuel to live. Without such low-emission fuel, billions of people will fall into energy poverty. In desperation, they will burn every last tree standing to stay warm and cook their food.
In addition, CanaGas will provide easier and lower-cost access to conventionally-produced natural gas (transported as P-LNG) to help reduce the disparity of cost for such a relatively clean fuel, even in North America. Near-term sustainability includes economic equalization. Access to energy in developing countries will also help maintain social sustainability.
In looking at the world as a whole, we need to help other countries rely less on coal for electricity. The short and immediate solution is to provide natural gas. It may not be a long term solution, but at least it will reduce CO2 emissions by 50% from hence forth. In addition, the use of natural gas in combined cycle applications, increases efficiency (lowers emissions further still) and lowers the exhaust temperature, making it easier to capture the CO2 with advancing technologies.
As our network grows, we will be able to introduce and deliver increasing proportions of RNG from biogas, throughout the world. A future hope and focus of CanaGas is methanation (the synthetic production of methane from CO2 using renewable wind or solar power). Recent demonstrations have shown that the energy efficiency of making methane from renewable sources was higher than making just hydrogen ions or H2 as a burnable fuel. Where the CO2 is captured from industrial and power-generation sources, the carbon is recycled. Therefore, the natural gas made from such recycled CO2 is renewable, maybe even carbon negative. That is really Smart Energy!
In addition to the above, CanaGas offers its low-pressure CTM for the safe transport of methanol, DME, or ammonia. Each of these fuels can now be made from renewable sources. Of particular interest is ammonia, which is used to make fertilizer or, can be burned as a zero-carbon fuel. Ammonia can also be cracked to release hydrogen ions for fuel cells.
Through the efficient and low-cost intermodal delivery of ammonia as fertilizer, especially by rail, CanaGas will help maintain the sustainability of life and well being of families and communities. Ammonia becomes a rich fertilizer when diluted with water. (1 tbs to 1 gal).
With a focus on making the world a better place to live, both today and tomorrow, CanaGas is proud of its environmental and sustainability governance. When looking to the horizon, we keep a balanced view between environmental protection and sustainability. In looking beyond the horizon, we expect such harmony between the two to become one.