Your garbage cans have potential

by in Energy

Gaz naturel renouvelable
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In nature, nothing is lost, everything can be transformed. Food waste, agricultural residue and other organic matter can be transformed into 100% renewable natural gas thanks to a process called biomethanization.

Municipalities are increasingly interested in this technology, as it can kill three birds with one stone: reduce pollutant emissions from their landfill sites, produce their own 100% renewable natural gas, and reach energy self-sufficiency.

Already this spring, the City of Saint-Hyacinthe is launching its Centre de valorisation des matières organiques (organic waste reclamation centre), which will produce 13 million cubic metres of biomethane per year from 25,000 tonnes of food waste and agricultural residue. The city expects that it will save half a million dollars each year, enough to make other communities envious. Elsewhere in the province, more than 15 projects are underway, from Montérégie to Bas-Saint-Laurent. Garbage has never been this popular!

A gold mine in your garbage

When waste decomposes, it gives off methane, a powerful greenhouse gas (GHG). However, methane can be collected in a biodigester, where it ferments for about 40 days, then changes into biogas. It is purified to produce natural gas. The product obtained is similar in all aspects to conventional natural gas, and can therefore be injected into the gas system.

Énergir actively supports the development of biomethane, as it allows the company to offer alternative forms of energy to its customers, who can thus reduce their carbon footprint. The company wishes to contribute to the fight against GHGs, in accordance with Québec’s energy policy.

Don’t bury, biomethanize!

Each year, more than 13 million tonnes of organic waste is thrown out in Québec. With biomethanization, this waste could generate from 700 to 1,000 cubic metres of natural gas that is 100% renewable and produced locally. The province could reduce both its import of and dependence on fossil fuels.

Biomethane isn’t just used for heating: it can also be used as fuel for heavy trucks. Several domestic waste collection companies already fuel their vehicles with natural gas that they produce themselves… from their cargo!

Along with other sources of renewable energy, such as wind and solar power and hydroelectricity, biomethane is an effective solution to ensure Québec’s energy future. Who would have thought that our garbage was worth that much?

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