What is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is a clean-burning, biodegradable, and renewable fuel made from a variety of feedstocks including canola and soy oils, animal fats, recycled cooking oils and restaurant grease. Biodiesel reduces harmful greenhouse gases, smog-causing particles, and acid-rain causing emissions. It also offers a major economic advantage over other renewable energy sources: in a 20% blend (B20), no changes are needed either to the existing infrastructure for fuel distribution and delivery or to the diesel engines.
Can I use biodiesel in my vehicle?
Most diesel engines are warranted to run on anywhere between B5 (5% biodiesel) to B20 (20% biodiesel).
What are the benefits?
Biodiesel helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) because it comes from animal or plant biomass with a lifecycle of a few years. On the other hand, petro diesel is a fossil fuel that releases into the atmosphere carbon that has been tied up for hundreds of millions of years, and all of it adds to GHGs. Fossil fuels also release more tailpipe emissions than does biodiesel.
The biodiesel industry has contributed significantly to the domestic economy and helps reduce the amount of non-renewable resources Canada purchases from foreign countries. The industry contributes to regional economic growth by supporting local agriculture producers and industries by using seed oils and residual fats as its raw material.
Biodiesel has several environmental benefits:
- It is a renewable fuel
- It reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
- It reduces tailpipe emissions, including smog-causing particulate matter and harmful carcinogens
- It is 10 times less toxic than table salt and as biodegradable as sugar. This makes biodiesel ideal for use in environmentally sensitive areas, including inland waterways
- It is sulfur and benzene free
Can I use biodiesel year-round?
The government of Canada has subjected biodiesel to a thorough series of on and off road testing. The Alberta Renewable Diesel Demonstration (ARDD) was Canada’s largest cold-weather study of renewable diesel fuels. This project successfully demonstrated the on-road use of low level renewable diesel blends in a range of Canadian climatic conditions.
Does biodiesel affect fuel consumption?
Biodiesel-powered engines have been shown to deliver similar torque and horsepower as diesel-powered engines. Biodiesel has a higher cetane rating, which can improve starting and reduce smoke emissions.
From the Canola Council of Canada:
The canola based biodiesel jet funny car is a 2007 Chevrolet Corvette powered by a J60 Pratt and Whitney Jet Engine. It is the world's first jet car running on B100 which means 100% canola based biodiesel. It has gone 6.3 sec. in the 1/4 mile and a speed of 254 miles per hour, produces 7500 horse power. This clean burning speed machine can be seen travelling across Canada and the United States. Check out the video to see this amazing car in action and learn more about canola based biodiesel.
Report Card on the Industry