The on-road testing phase of the Alberta Renewable Diesel Demonstration, Canada’s largest evaluation and demonstration of renewable diesel fuels to date, has officially begun. More than 60 trucks of various sizes are operating throughout Alberta on B2 and B5 blends of various renewable diesel fuels to test for performance, cold weather operability and impact on engine components.
Alberta’s climate poses extreme challenges to renewable diesel use. The demonstration will provide hands-on, cold-weather experience for fuel blenders, distributors, long-haul trucking fleets and drivers.
The federal government has announced plans to implement a Renewable Fuels Standard requiring 2% renewable content in the Canadian diesel supply by 2012. The standard is dependent upon the successful demonstration of renewable diesel use under a range of Canadian conditions.
The Government of Canada and Province of Alberta are investing C$2.6 million into the project, which is managed by Climate Change Central, a public-private not-for-profit organization in Alberta focused on reducing greenhouse gases.
The on-road demonstration comes after months of laboratory testing of various fuel feedstocks and production processes, including NExBTL from Neste Oil, one of the project’s sponsors.
Shell Canada is the demonstration’s ultra low sulphur diesel supplier and the renewable diesel blender and distributor through the project’s temporary facility being operated by Shell Canada at its Sherwood Terminal.
Additional sponsors and supporters include the Canola Council of Canada, Canadian Petroleum Products Institute, Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, Canadian Bioenergy, Neste Oil and Milligan BioTech.
The demonstration included a lab testing phase and is now going beyond the laboratory to put renewable diesel through typical on-road use by trucking companies. Participating trucking companies include: Rosenau Transport Ltd., Hi-Way 9, First Bus Canada and Gibson Energy Ltd. Road testing will continue until October 2008.