Canadian Pacific Announces Industry-Leading Biodiesel Testing

Canadian Pacific's biodiesel test locomotiv

Canadian Pacific and Natural Resources Canada are partnering on an industry-leading biodiesel fuel pilot project under the National Renewable Diesel Demonstration Initiative.

“The Government of Canada is working closely with industry partners like Canadian Pacific to support the use of renewable diesel in the Canadian fuel market,” said Mr. Lee Richardson, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre. “Our Government is investing over $800,000 in this important step forward to help reduce Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Government of Canada has announced its intent to regulate an average five percent renewable fuel content based on the national gasoline pool by 2010 as well as a requirement for an average two percent renewable content in diesel fuel and heating oil by 2011 or earlier, subject to technical feasibility. The National Renewable Diesel Demonstration Initiative provides an opportunity for real-world testing and performance evaluation in advance of regulatory action.

“Rail is already the most efficient means to move goods long-haul,” said Fred Green, Canadian Pacific President and CEO. “This initiative positions CP to make a lasting impact by further reducing our network’s environmental footprint. This partnership with the Government of Canada is an opportunity to test the reliability of biodiesel in cold weather, ensuring we continue to provide safe and efficient operations for customers across North America.”

Biodiesel is a cleaner renewable alternative to traditional fuels, made from either vegetable oil or animal fats. Biodiesel reduces emissions of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter and also acts as a natural lubricant.

As part of the five-month test cycle, CP will operate four GE AC4400 Diesel Locomotives with FDL-16 engines in captive service between Calgary and Edmonton. General Electric and Calgary-based fuel supplier 4Refuels are cooperating with CP during this testing phase, which began in early November and will run through the end of March.

Canadian Pacific will undertake routine detailed mechanical examinations of the locomotives in the pilot project. The information gathered will be used to determine if a biodiesel mixture of five percent (B5) has any significant adverse effects on a locomotive or its associated systems in cold-climate operation. Impact to reliability, potential changes to the overhaul or maintenance work scope, and reviews of specific components on the locomotives will also be monitored.

The National Renewable Diesel Demonstration Initiative (NRDDI) supports projects that demonstrate how renewable diesel fuel will perform under Canadian conditions. This research is in support of the Government’s intention to regulate renewable fuel content, specifically the proposed requirement for an average of two percent renewable fuel content in diesel fuel and heating oil by 2011 or earlier. This requirement is however conditional upon the technical feasibility of biodiesel use being demonstrated under a range of Canadian conditions. This is a part of the Government of Canada’s Renewable Fuels Strategy.

The Government of Canada has committed up to $2.2 billion to support an integrated Renewable Fuels Strategy. The ecoENERGY for Biofuels program is a key component of this strategy and will invest up to $1.5 billion to increase the supply and availability of cleaner, renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. Proposed regulations will require a five percent renewable fuel content based on the national gasoline pool by 2010. When the two percent mandate is implemented, it is expected that Canada will need close to three billion litres of renewable fuels.

Compared to gasoline, grain-based ethanol can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 40 percent on a life-cycle basis. The GHG reduction for biodiesel can be at least 60 percent compared to diesel. Once the five percent and two percent mandates are in place, it is estimated that these regulations, in conjunction with existing provincial regulations, could reduce Canada’s annual GHG emissions by four million tonnes.

Canadian Pacific, through the ingenuity of its employees located across Canada and in the United States, remains committed to being the safest, most fluid railway in North America. The company delivers innovative transportation solutions in more than 1,100 communities. Canadian Pacific is the official rail freight services provider for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Read Biofuels and Bioenergy: Processes and Technologies from Amazon.

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