Biodiesel: a clean burning renewable fuel

Biodiesel is an alternative energy source that can alleviate Montreal’s urban air pollution problems and reduce Canada’s net output of greenhouse gases. It is produced through a process which lowers the viscosity of vegetable oils, such as canola oil, allowing them to be burned in existing diesel engines without modification. Biodiesel can be produced from a wide range of oils including inedible low-grade green canola oil or recycled oil from restaurant fryers. This makes it an affordable alternative fuel, which can be used immediately with minimal capital cost to the user.

Since oil seeds incorporate carbon-dioxide from the atmosphere while growing, the burning of Biodiesel results in no net output of greenhouse gases. Furthermore, burning Biodiesel in existing engines significantly reduces the emissions of sulfur, carbon-monoxide, aromatic hydrocarbons and particulates, - all major components of smog - compared to burning petroleum diesel. Because Biodiesel is a lubricating sulfur-free fuel it can be burned alone or mixed with zero-sulfur petroleum diesel without causing the fuel-pump wear problems encountered when existing low-sulfur diesel is used. As a result Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Cummins have approved the use of Biodiesel under their warrantees.

Biodiesel is today`s cheapest most effective alternative fuel

Due to its low cost and utility in existing vehicles Biodiesel is clearly the best renewable alternative fuel source available today. Moreover, Biodiesel can be used in combination with other green technologies in the future, such as hybrid diesel-electric buses and trucks, to further reduce the emissions of polluting gases. Biodiesel is already being produced and used in the USA and in many European countries. It is available at roadside fueling stations in Germany, where sales are increasing at about 12% annually over the past five years. The first Canadian industrial scale Biodiesel facility is being planned for Toronto using the new Biodiesel production technology developed by Professor Boocock of the University of Toronto.

Establishing a Biodiesel production industry in Quebec would provide a new market for many of Quebec’s existing agricultural by-products and used vegetable oils. At the same time it would limit Québec’s dependence on imported fuels. This new industry would create employment and help to establish Québec and Canada as leaders in the alternative fuels industry which will lead to income through the export of technology, expertise and fuel products.


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Biodiesel's place in the carbon cycle

“Biodiesel represents one of the best alternatives as a renewable fuel for diesel engines from economic, energy and environmental protection perspectives”

A Comparative Cost Analysis of Biodiesel,
University of Georgia,
Dept. of Agriculture and Applied Economics

Biodiesel Facts
  • 195,000 Tons / yr.
    Produced in Europe (2000 est. )
  • Biodiesel has been approved for use under the warrantees of Volkswagen, Mecedez and Cummins
  • The USEPA has approved Biodiesel as a Green fuel eligible for tax exemtion