ADVANCED BIOFUELS

  • Advanced biofuels have significant (>50%) greenhouse gas emission reductions below gasoline and diesel and are made from sustainable biomass.

  • The ‘advanced biofuel’ category in the regulations of the world’s largest biofuels market (US, EPA) includes biodiesel, hydrogenation-derived renewable diesel, and advanced/cellulosic ethanol.

  • Canadian biofuel producers and marketers work within a fully integrated North America market.

  • Advanced biofuels are blended into fossil fuels at varying blend levels depending on temperature, engine standards, carbon intensity, and cost.

  • They can be used as ‘drop in’ fuels that function similarly to gasoline and diesel, and others.

  • Years of advanced biofuels use in Canada have proven them to be fully operable across the range of Canadian climatic conditions and end user needs.

Biofuels and Carbon Reductions

Biofuels are made from primarily renewable feedstocks. Plant-based biofuel feedstocks absorb carbon from the atmosphere as they grow, and release that plant-based carbon back into the air to repeat the cycle. Lifecycle analyses include fossil inputs to biofuels production process. Biofuels produced from the residues of other processes (e.g., rendering, agricultural residues) can have negative carbon emissions.

Fossil fuels are the leading source of greenhouse gases (GHG) because their production takes carbon stored underground through longterm geologic processes and releases it to the atmosphere. Crude oils have generally become ‘heavier’ over time, making them more difficult to transport and more energy-intensive to refine, resulting in higher carbon footprints.

Biodiesel made in Canada reduces emissions between 80% and 117% below those of fossil diesel, depending upon feedstocks and production processes. Advanced ethanol (cellulosic and waste-derived) reduces GHG emissions between 60% and 100%. Biofuels provide the majority of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions achieved in renewable fuel regulations and low carbon fuel standards in Canadian provinces.

In British Columbia, registered low-carbon fuels are eligible for use to comply with the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. LINK
Biodiesel and ethanol fuels made from feedstocks available in western Canada are amongst the lowest carbon-intensity fuels available for use in the LCFS.

Sustainability

Canadian-produced biofuels are made from grains, oilseeds, rendered by-products, and processed municipal solid waste. Canadian crops have been certified under a number of international sustainability programs that assess social, environmental and economic impacts.

High-Carbon Biofuel Feedstocks — Biodiesel and hydrogenated renewable diesel (HDRD) are produced in a number of countries with palm oil and palm oil by-products. Renewable diesels made from palm oil products are generally not eligible for RFS2 compliance in the United States, and are restricted in other jurisdictions based on relatively high Carbon Intensity, land use change and biodiversity impacts.

ABFC promotes responsible use of agricultural and land resources for biofuel production. The use of a very small portion of Canada’s agricultural land base for production of low carbon intensity biofuel is helping to establish favorable conditions for other advanced biofuels. Our support for renewable and low carbon fuel regulations in Canada is premised on the availability of sustainable feedstocks that offer significant improvements over the current social and environmental costs of fuel use in Canada.

Economic Benefits

For every dollar spent operating an advanced biofuel plant in Canada – spending for feedstocks, processing and transportation – an additional dollar of economic activity is created in the regional economy.

Market diversification for feedstock producers is another benefit of domestic production and use of advanced biofuels. For instance, more than 85 per cent of Canadian canola growers’ annual production now goes for export as seed, oil or meal. Additionally, non-tariff trade barriers can create demand volatility that hurts the farm sector and leaves it vulnerable.

Chronic diesel shortages each spring and summer have resulted from demand outpacing supply, a problem predicted to challenge access to diesel in the near to medium term if unanticipated supply disruptions occur. Western Canada imports 40,000 barrels a day of diesel fuel; western biodiesel production capacity of over 5,600 barrels a day can diversity and expand fuel supplies.

Current and Emerging Biofuel Pathways

Current and Emerging Biofuel Pathways