January 9, 2006

Biodiesel not affected by Canadian cold weather

Toronto, Ontario – Following a decision in Minnesota last month to implement an emergency 21-day waiver of its new B2 biodiesel mandate in response to equipment malfunctions in cold weather, the Green Car Congress looked at Canadian facilities and found no ill effects.

Minnesota’s biodiesel problems were widely blamed on the fuel’s performance in cold weather; testing continues in an effort to find the root cause. Canada’s first retail biodiesel pump began operation last March in Toronto, Ontario, pumping a B20 blend of 20 per cent biodiesel and 80 per cent petroleum diesel, supplied by Topia, Canada’s largest biodiesel distributor. Govindh Jayaraman, president of Topia Energy Production Limited, said that his four retail B20 pumps, the oldest of which has been running for almost two years, have experienced no cold-related problems. During that time, the weather has been as cold as -30 degrees C.

Topia says his biodiesel fuel has low levels of contamination because of the waterwasing filtering system, which effectively removes contaminants from the fuel during the refining process. Topia has reported no incidents where glycerin or other contaminant levels have affected product quality.

In British Columbia, Whistler has been aggressively implementing a community-wide sustainability plan since 2002. As part of the plan, the municipality’s diesel-fueled vehicles now run on biodiesel. Over the period, temperatures have been as low as -20 degrees C.

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