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.
Most diesel engines are warranted to run on anywhere between B5 (5% biodiesel) to B20 (20% biodiesel).
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:
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.
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.