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Study will examine biodiesel use in forestry

Mar. 19, 2010, Vancouver – FPInnovations, in partnership with Natural Resources Canada's National Renewable Diesel Demonstration Initiative, is conducting a $1.7-million field study on the potential use of biodiesel for off-road machinery in highway construction and forest operations.


March 19, 2010
By Canadian Biomass

Mar.
19, 2010, Vancouver – FPInnovations, in partnership with Natural Resources
Canada's National Renewable Diesel Demonstration Initiative, is conducting a
$1.7-million field study on the potential use of biodiesel for off-road
machinery in highway construction and forest operations. The study's purpose is
to gain better understanding of the economical and technical issues related to
renewable diesel, as well as to identify the best means and methods required to
overcome likely challenges to biodiesel implementation in Canadian operations.

The
National Renewable Diesel Demonstration Initiative (NRDDI) provides an
opportunity for real-world testing and performance evaluation in advance of
regulatory action. Through the NRDDI, Natural Resources Canada is providing
$810,000 for the study, with the balance provided by the forest industry and
FPInnovations.

The
study involves three project locations and industrial activities in British
Columbia: highway construction in Coquitlam, sawmill yard operation in Prince
George, and forest harvest operations in Merritt. The Prince George location
highlights the main challenges facing biodiesel users, including challenging
climate conditions for heavy equipment operations, cold temperatures, and a
remote location in which distribution and storage can be difficult.

The
logging and sawmill operations consume an average of 60,000 litres of fuel each
month, the equivalent of a tanker truck. Therefore, several deliveries are
anticipated this year. Fuel is delivered from the bulk terminal in Vancouver
and transferred into a stationary aboveground storage tank at the mill and two
or three aboveground storage tanks at the logging site. It is then transferred
to 500-litre portable tanks in the back of pickup trucks, which deliver fuel to
the machinery in the woods.

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Peter
Lister, vice-president for FPInnovations states, "The importance of this
study lies in demonstrating the operational and economic practicalities of
using various blends of biodiesels (up to 10%) by off-road heavy equipment, for
both Canadian operations and for construction equipment since the forest
industry builds more roads in Canada than all combined governments.”

The
project also includes a technolology transfer campaign across the country for
heavy equipment owners and operators. A series of workshops will be implemented
to inform potential users of challenges and best practices associated with
biodiesel.


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