Canada preps on-road biodiesel regulations

Canada preps on-road biodiesel regulations

The Government of Canada will introduce a national on-road biodiesel mandate as soon as 2010 and no later than 2012, as long as all practical and technical issues involving the interaction compatibility, availability and distribution of biodiesel with heavy trucks are addressed prior to the introduction, the Canadian Trucking Assn. (CTA) reported

The Government of Canada will introduce a national on-road biodiesel mandate as soon as 2010 and no later than 2012, as long as all practical and technical issues involving the interaction compatibility, availability and distribution of biodiesel with heavy trucks are addressed prior to the introduction, the Canadian Trucking Assn. (CTA) reported.

The announcement comes on the heels of the completion of the Alberta Renewable Diesel Demonstration (ARDD), a two-pronged project that involved a combination of laboratory testing and long-haul fleet use of 2007 emissions-compliant engines running on Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) 3.520 specification biodiesel blends.

ARDD’s demonstration ran from December 2007 to September 2008, putting first- and second-generation renewable diesel fuels on the road in 59 long-haul commercial vehicles across the province. All fuels dispensed in the demonstration blended with a commercial-grade injection blending system, typical of what would be used once the Renewable Fuel Standard is implemented.

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The Government of Canada will introduce a national on-road biodiesel mandate as soon as 2010 and no later than 2012, as long as all practical and technical issues involving the interaction compatibility, availability and distribution of biodiesel with heavy trucks are addressed prior to the introduction, the Canadian Trucking Assn. (CTA) reported.

The announcement comes on the heels of the completion of the Alberta Renewable Diesel Demonstration (ARDD), a two-pronged project that involved a combination of laboratory testing and long-haul fleet use of 2007 emissions-compliant engines running on Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) 3.520 specification biodiesel blends.

ARDD’s demonstration ran from December 2007 to September 2008, putting first- and second-generation renewable diesel fuels on the road in 59 long-haul commercial vehicles across the province. All fuels dispensed in the demonstration blended with a commercial-grade injection blending system, typical of what would be used once the Renewable Fuel Standard is implemented.

ARDD said the Alberta testing demonstrated that low-level renewable diesel blends work well in a range of climate conditions. However, while ARDD concluded that biodiesel blends can be used in heavy-duty vehicles at 2% level (B2) in the winter and up to 5% (B5) in the rest of the year, CTA noted that “it is not clear how biodiesel will interact with” urea in model-year 2010 Class 8 vehicles.

“This critical demonstration project confirms similar adverse condition tests in the USA and Europe,” said Gordon Quaiattini, president of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association. “Biodiesel is a viable tool in diversifying our energy supply and reducing greenhouse gases in some of the harshest of Canadian weather conditions.”

However, CTA feels that not enough data is currently available to analyze biodiesel feasibility. “CTA believes another round of tests involving 2010 model-year truck engines is warranted to determine if there are any potential issues involving the use of biodiesel and urea on the performance of the new emission control systems,” the trucking lobby said. “These tests must also include blends from B2 to B5, or higher, during all seasonal conditions.”

In addition, CTA said that transitioning from a small-scale demonstration project to full commercial implementation presents significant challenges, including teaching the safe handling and storage of biodiesel and the long-term impact of temperature cycling on biofuel storage.

“The ARDD was an important first step in determining key conditions and parameters needed to ensure a successful introduction of biodiesel into the Canadian marketplace,” CTA said. “There is more work to do.”

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