Lab Canada

Biodiesel to be tested in long-term Canadian demonstration pilot

Calgary, AB – A two-phase biodiesel pilot project has been launched in Alberta, in anticipation of a federal renewable fuels strategy.

Applications for funding have been made by the members of the Alberta Biodiesel Demonstration Project steering committee who all have a role to play in the future development of renewable fuels. The demonstration pilot is a joint undertaking of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association and the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute.

“All participants are supporting the initiative to provide certainty regarding key quality aspects of biodiesel use in Canada,” says John Rilett, director, Climate Change Central.

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel derived from agricultural oil seed crops like canola and soy. It can also be produced from animal fats and recycled greases.

Barb Isman, president, Canola Council of Canada, supports the pilot. “We need this new industry, which represents several million tonnes of oils and fats demand, to be sustainable over the long-term,” she says. “This pilot project is critical in starting off on the right foot with the end-users of biodiesel in Canada.”

The project will address the primary fuel quality areas of interest related to the adoption of biodiesel. This includes extreme cold weather operations and the introduction of ultra low sulphur diesel. Designed with a two-phased approach, the project will involve laboratory testing followed by on-road long-haul fleet use, which will include use of 2007 engines running on Canadian General Standards Board 3.520 specification biodiesel blends.

The field trial is confined to Alberta long-haul fleets as the Alberta climate will pose some of the most extreme challenges to biodiesel use. The biodiesel demonstration project is expected to get underway in early 2007, with project completion in 2008, contingent upon confirmation of financial support.

“Participation in this project will provide Shell the ability to be at the forefront of new test methods and specifications,” says David Aldous, senior vice president, oil products, Shell Canada. “Biofuels have a place in Canada’s long-term fuel supply, so we must ensure we maximize the environmental benefits and continue to supply Canadians with the reliable, quality fuels they expect.”