McGill University to partner with Xebec to develop Power-to Gas process for renewable energy storage


NSERC-funded project will be first of its kind in Canada, as industry targets increasing distribution of Renewable Natural Gas
Published: 20Sep2018

McGill University today announces it will co-develop with Xebec Adsorption Inc. (TSXV: XBC) a prototype reactor to produce Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) using the Power-to-Gas (P2G) process which combines electricity generated by renewable sources and CO2 generated from waste. The project is being partially funded by a Collaborative Research and Development grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The value of the grant is $360,000 for a period of three years.

Electricity generation from renewable energy sources (e.g., wind and solar) is increasing worldwide. In 2016, the installed wind power in Canada was ~12,000 MW (6% of the electricity demand), with Quebec and Ontario having the highest share1. However, wind energy is fluctuating and intermittent; therefore, energy storage becomes very important to not only bridge the temporal, but also the geographical gap between energy supply and demand.

The P2G process offers a much larger storage capacity and discharge time than technologies currently in use, such as batteries and pumped hydro storage. The P2G process uses renewable electricity to produce hydrogen via water electrolysis which is then further converted into RNG (i.e., methane) using the carbon dioxide captured from municipal waste. Thus, the already existing gas distribution infrastructure and mature end-use technology can be fully utilized to alleviate energy storage issues posed by renewable energy systems. The prototype reactor will have an output of 0.3 to 0.5 kW, with plans to scale up the project in a second phase.

The Canadian Gas Association has set a target of 5% RNG-blended natural gas in the pipeline distribution system by 2025 and 10% by 2030 across Canada. Nationally, the increased RNG content would result in 14 megatonnes (MT) of greenhouse gas emission reductions per year by 2030, equivalent to removing 3 million passenger cars from the road. In Quebec, The Régie de l’energie has proposed a target of 1% RNG to be distributed by 2020 and 5% by 2025.

“The Power-to-Gas process has been proven extensively in other markets but there is a real lack of this technology here in Canada that must be filled,” said Professor Jan Kopyscinski, Department of Chemical Engineering and Principal Investigator on the project. “We are looking forward to a successful partnership with Xebec for the realization of this project which has the potential to have a dramatic impact on greenhouse gas reduction in Quebec and Canada.”

“Collaboration with industry is a key strategic goal for our Faculty and this project exemplifies our approach,” said Professor Jim Nicell, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. “In so doing, we are positioning the Faculty to become an active player in the struggle to make our world a more sustainable one.”

“We are delighted to be working with Dr. Jan Kopyscinski on the development of a cost effective methanizing reactor,” said Dr. Prabhu Rao, Chief Operating Officer, Xebec Adsorption Inc. “Methanization is one viable way of capturing carbon dioxide and converting it to renewable gas. This is especially relevant in Quebec where low cost renewable electric power is a great enabler for the generation of hydrogen needed for the methanization reaction. This research program will focus on achieving high performance while being sensitive to the commercial requirements of cost and size as Xebec continues to develop a portfolio of renewable fuel product offerings.”

“NSERC’s Collaborative Research and Development Grants create and support partnerships that economically, socially and environmentally benefit Canadians,” said Dr. Marc Fortin, Vice-President, Research Partnerships at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. “With the use of renewable energy on the rise, the continued collaboration between Dr. Kopyscinski and Xebec will generate fundamental knowledge and help develop technology that could significantly shape the energy storage market in Canada.”

About McGill University

Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1821, McGill is a leading Canadian post-secondary institution. It has two campuses, 10 faculties, 12 professional schools, 300 programs of study and almost 41,000 students, including more than 9,700 graduate students. McGill attracts students from over 150 countries around the world, its 12,000 international students making up 30% per cent of the student body. Over half of McGill students claim a first language other than English, including approximately 20% of our students who say French is their mother tongue. Find out more at

About Xebec Adsorption Inc.

Xebec Adsorption Inc. is a global provider of gas generation, purification and filtration solutions for the industrial, energy and renewables marketplace. Its customers range from small to multi-national corporations and governments looking to reduce their carbon footprints. Headquartered in Montreal (QC), Xebec designs, engineers and manufactures innovative and transformative products, and has more than 1,500 customers worldwide. With two manufacturing facilities in Montreal and Shanghai, as well as

a sales and distribution network in North America, Europe, and Asia, Xebec trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol XBC. For additional information on the company, its products and services, visit Xebec at

About The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) NSERC invests over $1.2 billion each year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada. Our investments deliver discoveries—valuable world-firsts in knowledge claimed by a brain trust of over 11,000 professors. Our investments enable partnerships and collaborations that connect industry with discoveries and the people behind them. Researcher-industry partnerships established by NSERC help inform research and development and solve scale-up challenges. NSERC also provides scholarships and hands-on training experience for more than 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows. These young researchers will be the next generation of science and engineering leaders in Canada. Find out more at

Cautionary Statement

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. This forward looking information includes, but is not limited to, the expectations and/or claims of management of Xebec with respect to information regarding the business, operations and financial condition of Xebec. Forward-looking information contained in this press release involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Xebec or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect forward-looking information contained in this press release. When used in this press release, such statements use such words as "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "may", "will" and other similar terminology. These statements reflect current expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date of this presentation. Forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties, should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether or not such results will be achieved. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements.

For more information on this release contact:

Junji Nishihata Faculty Communications
Officer Faculty of Engineering
McGill University
T: +1-514-398-2454
junji.nishihata [at]

Sandi Murphy
Director Investor Relations and Communications
Xebec Adsorption Inc.
T: +- 450-979-8718 smurphy [at]

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