BIOBUS project Cuts Montreal CO2 Emissions

Press release

BIOBUS project Cuts Montreal CO2 Emissions
by Roughly 1,300 Tons

Montreal, 27 may 2003 With Thomas J. Mulcair, Quebec Minister of the Environment, and the Regional Director General, Environment Canada – Quebec region, Mimi Breton in attendance, the BIOBUS project’s primary partners presented this morning the findings and conclusions of the biodiesel demonstration and assessment project with the Société de transport de Montréal (STM). The one-year project was completed at the end of March 2003.

The BIOBUS project demonstrated, under actual operating conditions, that using biodiesel is viable in a region like Montreal where winter temperatures can plummet to -30°C and that it is feasible to continuously supply an urban transit company the size of the STM. The project also assessed the economic and environmental impact of using this fuel, which is made from recovered and recycled sub-food-grade vegetable oil or animal fat.

There is a convincing impact on annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions when urban transit authorities use biodiesel. By using B5 and B20 (5% or 20% blends of biodiesel in 95% or 80% petrodiesel), the 155 Frontenac terminal buses took part in the BIOBUS project helped reduced CO2 emissions by roughly 1,300 tons. Had all Frontenac terminal buses run on B20 throughout the year, CO2 emissions would have been lowered by 2,100 tons. The annual CO2 reduction with B20 would have been 22,000 tons for the entire STM fleet, 42,000 tons for all Quebec urban transit authorities and 171,500 tons for transit authorities across Canada. Since it helps reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, biodiesel is a prime alternative fuel for public transit.

The scale of the BIOBUS project made it the most important initiative of its kind in North America. It has opened the way to a more environmentally conscious view of public transit and now serves as a showcase for transit authorities and users alike.

Partners committed to sustainable transportation
Canadian government funding for the project came from Canada Economic Development (CED) and from the Technology Early Action Measures (TEAM) component of the Climate Change Action Fund (CCAF). "This initiative is part of the Canadian government's strategy to promote concrete projects that could bring about a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions," declared Mimi Breton, who spoke at the event in the name of Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, David Anderson, Minister of Environment Canada, and Claude Drouin, Secretary of State in charge of Canada Economic Development. "The project helped assess the environmental, economic and social benefits of introducing biodiesel in Canada and promoted the emerging market of renewable fuels like biodiesel."

The BIOBUS project was of interest to six Quebec government bodies, which provided financial support. The organizations involved were the departments responsible for the environment, transportation, municipal affairs, sports and recreation, regional economic development, and natural resources, wildlife and parks, as well as the Agence de l'efficacité �nerg�tique.

Minister Thomas J. Mulcair stressed that the project demonstrated biodiesel’s potential to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants, showed how agro-industry waste could be put to use, and contributed to the move from fossil fuels to clean sources of energy. "The project thus goes hand in hand with implementing Quebec's climate change action plan, is part of the move toward sustainable transportation, and also helps achieve objectives under the Québec Residual Materials Management Policy, 1998-2008," he concluded.

Montreal partners happy with project results
The project was an initiative of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA) and the Fédération des producteurs de cultures commerciales du Québec (FPCCQ). "One of the goals in using biodiesel," stated FPCCQ President Denis Couture, "is to provide new, less polluting and less environmentally harmful fuels made from vegetable oil and agro-industry by-products, opening new markets for oilseed and livestock producers."

Rothsay/Laurenco, a Maple Leaf Foods Group subsidiary located in Ville Sainte-Catherine and specializing in the recycling of agro-industry wastes, produced pure biodiesel to supply the STM for the duration of the project. As pointed out by Claude Bourgault, Regional Director for Quebec, "The results of the BIOBUS project make the company consider producing biodiesel on an industrial basis at its Ville Sainte-Catherine site."

For its part, the STM provided the 155 Frontenac terminal buses used to test biodiesel under actual operating conditions. In the words of Claude Dauphin, who chairs the STM board of directors, "Besides performing well in our harsh climate, biodiesel produced considerably lower GHG emissions, thus helping meet commitments made when ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. We are aware that such results will encourage governments to provide the support needed so that fuelling buses with biodiesel becomes a reality."

Bear in mind that the demonstration project required 550,000 litres of pure biodiesel (24% based on vegetable oil, 28% on animal fat and 48% on used cooking oil) in 5% (B5) and 20% (B20) blends with petrodiesel. Buses were supplied starting in March 2002 and ending in March 2003.