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Operability & Fuels

Biodiesel Handling and Use Guidelines (Fifth Edition)

This document is a guide for those who blend, distribute, and use biodiesel and biodiesel blends. It provides basic information on the proper and safe use of biodiesel and biodiesel blends in engines and boilers, and is intended to help fleets, individual users, blenders, distributors, and those involved in related activities understand procedures for handling and using biodiesel fuels.

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Handbook for Handling, Storing, and Dispensing E85 and Other Ethanol-Gasoline Blends (February 2016)

This document provides information on ethanol fuel properties, standards, codes, best practices, and equipment information for those who blend, distribute, store, sell, or use E15 (gasoline blended with 10.5% to 15% ethanol), E85 (marketing term for ethanol-gasoline blends containing 51% to 83% ethanol, depending on geography and season), and other ethanol blends.

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Long-term storage stability of biodiesel and biodiesel blends (NREL, 2014)

This NREL/DOE study studied the properties necessary to store B100 up to 1 year and B5 and B20 up to 3 years. The study shows that adding antioxidants after the onset of oxidation is effective at restoring stability, and that biodiesel blends are shown to be stable for 3 years in suitable storage conditions.

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Impact of a Diesel High Pressure Common Rail Fuel System and Onboard Vehicle Storage on B20 Biodiesel Blend Stability (2016)

Study results showed no measurable impact on B20 stability from the short- term, high-temperature HPCR stressing over the drive cycle used. High pressure fuel pumps showed no deposits or abnormal wear. By the end of long-term storage in hot, dry environment all fuels showed a measurable, but not problematic increase in peroxides and decrease in Rancimat induction period (IP). Results indicate that a 6 hr IP B20 can remain stable after exposure to HPCR conditions and subsequent storage for up to 6 months under the ambient conditions of this study.

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Review and Evaluation of Studies on the Use of E15 in Light-Duty Vehicles (NREL 2013)

This study evaluated research conducted on the effects of E15 on Model Year 2001 and newer cars, and drew objective conclusions based on the entire available dataset (to 2013). Several of the studies tested relatively large numbers of engines or vehicles, finding no evidence of deterioration in engine durability or maintenance issues for E15 (or E20) in comparison to E0 and E10 (when tested). Materials compatibility testing provided no evidence that 15 volume percent ethanol blends will cause increased rates of metal corrosion in comparison to 10 percent blends. In most cases increasing ethanol content from 10 to 15 volume percent had no significant effect on elastomer swell. For 2001 and newer cars emission studies also show that engine control units are able to adequately compensate for the higher oxygen and lower energy content of E15. The engine performance and durability expectations from the materials compatibility and emission test results were confirmed by studies of fuel system, engine, and whole vehicle durability.

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Biodiesel Farm Equipment Study 2011

The study was conducted at Foam Lake, Saskatchewan, and included eight agricultural producers using over 50 pieces of farm equipment ranging from sub-100-horsepower yard tractors to +500-horsepower, 4-wheel drive tractors. A wide range of combines and swathers and several engine brands and types were represented. Biodiesel-blended fuel was incorporated into the participants’ existing farm operations with no modifications to equipment, fuel storage facilities, or fuel handling practices.

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Effects of Long-Term Storage on Biodiesel Quality

In 2008, PAMI participated in a biodiesel demonstration project that included the cooperation of ten farmers who agreed to use biodiesel in their harvest equipment. Upon completion of this project, the biodiesel was left in the fuel tanks of the combines. Approximately nine months later, in August 2009, PAMI collected biodiesel samples for analysis of the remaining fuel in three of these combines. Fuel filters were also removed for analysis, to determine the composition of residual compounds on the filters.

In addition, PAMI also collected diesel, B5, B10, and B20 canola-based biodiesel blend samples that have been stored for approximately two years in outdoor above-ground storage tanks, without the use of any additives.

The results of this testing demonstrate that long-term storage of biodiesel blends up to concentrations of B20, for periods of up to two years, does not adversely affect the quality of the biodiesel to the point where it fails specification testing.

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Biodiesel Integration Pilot Study 2011

The key conclusion of the BISP is that biodiesel blends can be integrated in the Canadian climate through all seasonal conditions provided quality biodiesel is used, proper injection blending techniques are employed, and equipment is adequately maintained.

Other significant findings:
There were no engine performance or maintenance issues related to the use of biodiesel blends during the study period.
Based on the above analysis the JK Trucking fleet integrating B10 caused no mechanical or performance related concerns.
The JK Trucking fleet operated from December 14, 2008 to March 14, 2009 and experienced no change in operation while employing a B10 blend. JK Trucking continues to operate a B10 in the trucking fleet. To date the fleet has used more than 2,500,000 litres of biodiesel-blended fuel.

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Alberta Renewable Diesel Demonstration 2010

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.

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Climate Change Central – Industry Review – Fleet Operability in BC and Manitoba under Renewable Fuel Requirements for On-Road Diesel

The purpose of this review was to gather and share relevant information on fuel-related operability in transport markets in BC and Manitoba, where renewable fuels have been in the market for at least one year. It was carried out to inform and support Alberta’s transport fleets during the transition to blended fuels in Alberta.

C3 interviewed representatives from four stakeholder groups regarding their experiences since the addition of biofuels in the mandated markets of BC and Manitoba:

Fleets – a large cross-section of different sized fleets ranging in size from 10 to over 1,000 trucks representing over 2,500 trucks;
Motor Transport Associations – in BC and Manitoba;
Engine manufacturers – the three major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that represent the majority market share of heavy vehicle engines in western
Canada; Government regulators – in BC and Manitoba.

The conclusion of this review is that the use of renewable content in diesel fuel in BC and Manitoba has not caused any discernable impacts on overall fleet operability.

Note: Responses from motor transport industry representatives in western Canada in early 2013 are consistent the C3 review; biodiesel has been fully operable with no reported instances of negative impact on users.

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Policy, Markets & Decarbonization

Roadmap to 2030 – Clean Fuels Investment in Canada

The report identifies private sector investment potential of over $6 billion to build production capacity and infrastructure to transition to expanded non-fossil, low carbon fuels use by 2030.

Canada’s clean liquid fuels sector targets growth in production capacity from 3 million litres per year to 8.5 billion litres by 2030 to reduce incremental greenhouse gas emission reductions by at least 15 million tonnes and contribute over $15 billion per year in new economic activity.

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Biofuels in Canada 2010 – 2015

Advanced Biofuels Canada (ABFC) announced the release today (June 15, 2017) of the most comprehensive study to date of biofuel use in Canada. The study was conducted by Navius Research and follows a study last year by Clean Energy Canada and Navius Research on 2010-2014 biofuel use in Canada. The study catalogs biofuel blending rates, biofuel types, and feedstocks utilized at the provincial level. Greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions are assessed annually by fuel type, and coverage in this new study now estimates the impact of biofuels on consumer fuel expenditures, GHG abatement costs, and the impact of taxation policies on lower carbon fuels.

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Alberta Bioenergy Producer Report Card

The Alberta Bioenergy Producers Group (ABPG) represents the companies that produce, or are developing projects to produce, bioenergy in the province of Alberta. The group represents an unprecedented collaboration across all bioenergy platforms (liquid biofuels, biogas, wood pellets and biomass heat and power), which have come together to articulate a strong vision and clear recommendations as to how to sustain and grow a vibrant bioenergy production sector.

The Bioenergy Producers Map identifies the 25 APBG member plants in Alberta; collectively, these companies represent 44 individual bioenergy projects. The Bioenergy Strategy Framework details specific recommendations to support growth in the sector to meet the twin goals of economic diversification and effective climate action. The Bioenergy Producer Report Card contains key industry details on investment, jobs, growth in bioenergy production, and greenhouse gas emission reductions, of bioenergy producers operating under the Bioenergy Producer Credit Program between 2007 – 2014. The Future Projections report extends the analysis to 2020, and includes new production facilities which are under development and construction now.

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Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project

The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP), an initiative of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), aims to demonstrate how countries can transform their energy systems by 2050 in order to achieve a low-carbon economy and significantly reduce the global risk of catastrophic climate change. DDPP Canada identifies global decarbonization trends that will affect Canada and our ability to achieve deep decarbonization. It focuses on identifying resilient pathways that policy can target regardless of eventual ambition, whether it is tentative, short-term steps or longer term shifts towards deeper reductions.

The project was developed in the context of 16 Country Research Teams, composed of leading research institutions from countries representing about 70% of global GHG emissions.

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Trottier Energy Futures Project (TEFP) – Canada’s Challenge & Opportunity (Transformations for major reduction in Canada, 2016)

This comprehensive study assigned immediate actions to transforming the end uses of energy away from fossil fuels to electricity and biofuels/biomass, and to decarbonizing the supply chains for the two latter energy sources. The overall target of the study calls for the role of electricity to increase from its current 22% to 60%, to increase the role of biomass/biofuels from 4% to 15%, and to reduce the role of fossil fuels for end use combustion from 74% to 25%.

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Technology and Policy Options for a Low-Emission Energy System in Canada

The Council of Canadian Academies assembled an expert panel to conduct an independent, evidence-based assessment of the technology and policy options for transitioning to a low-emission energy system in Canada. Overall the Panel acknowledged that the technologies to move toward a low-emission energy system, and the policies that promote the use of those technologies, already exist, are well-understood, and are constantly improving.

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