G4 Insights Forest Biomass-to-Biomethane


With the help of a $1.2 million Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) grant from the California Energy Commission, G4 partnered with Placer County to test and refine their thermo-chemical process for converting forest wood waste to pipeline-quality, renewable, low-carbon biomethane for transportation use.

G4 and Placer County tested the biomethane performance in one of Placer County’s compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, and assessed the feasibility of serving more than 50 CNG vehicles operating in the county, including 12 CNG buses.

Widespread implementation of G4’s technology could divert a large fraction of the wood waste generated from forest restoration and forest fuel reduction projects, helping to offset project costs, lower fire risk, and produce enough biomethane to displace significant volumes of fossil fuel in California.

In addition to converting wood waste to biomethane, G4's thermo-chemical process generates surplus water and heat. The latter can be used to produce surplus power. A full-scale plant would be able to export over 15 megawatts of power while providing all of its heating and water needs. 

ARFVTP Award Amount
$1.2 million

Funding Category
Biofuel Production and Supply

Location
Auburn, Placer County


Top Photo: G4 Insight’s demonstration and test unit, which tests and refines their thermo-chemical process technology for converting forest biomass to pipeline quality biomethane for transportation end uses.
            Bottom Photo: A woman fueling a vehicle from G4 Insight’s demonstration and test unit, which tests and refines their thermo-chemical process technology for converting forest biomass to pipeline quality biomethane for transportation end uses.
Photos courtesy of G4 Insights Inc.

"We must demonstrate that reducing carbon is compatible with an
abundant economy and human well-being."

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.