Natural Resources Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Office of Energy Efficiency Links

 

Personal: Transportation

Biodiesel

What is biodiesel?
Benefits
Applications
Availability and Cost
Safety and Performance
Research
Government Programs and Regulations
Links

Research

Before biodiesel can enjoy widespread commercial viability in Canada, more research and development must be conducted to identify cost-effective ways for production and distribution and address on-road performance including cold weather issues.

As part of the Climate Change Action Fund, the Government of Canada, through Natural Resources Canada and the National Research Council , helped to fund the construction of a small demonstration plant in Oakville, Ontario. As a pilot plant, it has the capacity to produce 1 million litres of biodiesel from vegetable oils and waste animal fat, using a new method called the BIOXTM process, developed by Professor David Boocock of the University of Toronto.

The BIOXTM process eliminates one of the chemical steps traditionally needed to create biodiesel. The equipment is also designed to work without specialized technicians. Ultimately, transport trucks could dock at a BIOXTM plant, pipe in raw material, then truck it away after it is processed into biodiesel. In addition, this method promises to cut biodiesel-processing costs. It could produce biodiesel at costs similar to those of petroleum diesel.

In June 2004, BIOX Corporation announced its intention to construct a 60-million-litre-per-year commercial-scale demonstration plant. The plant is now complete and producing biodiesel. Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) committed $5 million towards the construction cost. Full information is publicly available

Biodiesel (B-5 and B-20) has been tested in 155 buses in downtown Montréal as part of a demonstration project funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Quebec provincial government. The aim was to study how biodiesel works in real-life conditions, particularly in cold weather, and to determine the feasibility of supplying biodiesel to a mass transit company such as the Société de transport de Montréal (STM). The project also assessed the economic and environmental impact of using biodiesel.

Saskatoon Transit Services is testing biodiesel by running two buses on B-5, along with two “control” buses that run on conventional diesel. Over two years, each bus will be monitored and evaluated for emissions, fuel economy and engine wear.

Fundamental research continues in Canada, with grassroots research increasing through Canadian universities and organizations.