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City to Reduce Emissions by MoreThan Five Tonnes on Clean Air Day

Ottawa ON June 7, 2005 - Recycled vegetable and animal oils and fats will be helping to power Ottawa’s ambulances and garbage trucks on Clean Air Day, June 8, as part of the City’s Environment Week activities.

“We’ll be using ‘B20’, a blend of biodiesel and petroleum diesel, for our 20 garbage trucks and 51 ambulances on Clean Air Day” said Clive Doucet, Councillor for Capital Ward. "This will result in lower emissions and keep our City's air cleaner, something we are committed to."

The resulting drop in emissions exceeds five tonnes, which is the equivalent of removing more than 250 cars from the road for the day.

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel made from recycled vegetable and animal oils and fats.  Pure biodiesel (B100) can reduce green house gas emissions by up to 78% compared to diesel and can be used in any diesel engine.

Topia Energy Production Ltd. will provide biodiesel-blended fuel to the City for the same cost it normally pays for its petroleum diesel.

The City has been studying the use of biodiesel for two years as part of its ongoing research of new fuels and technologies to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. It is also expanding the use of ultra low-sulphur diesel, extending its use of ethanol-blended gasoline, implementing exhaust after-treatment systems and studying hybrid diesel-electric vehicles.

B20 biodiesel costs one to two cents per litre more than petroleum diesel, which is why the City is carefully studying the issue. “We need to balance environmental impact with fiscal responsibility—we buy over 42 million litres of fuel annually,” says Don Dinelle, the Manager of Operation Support and Policy for the City’s Fleet Services. “We are working with Natural Resources Canada on a business case.”

Biodiesel is used extensively throughout Europe but is relatively new to North America. It reduces emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and particulate matter in exhaust fumes. It has other advantages too. The addition of biodiesel to petroleum diesel improves fuel ignition performance and provides greater lubricating qualities. Even 1% biodiesel blended with petroleum diesel increases lubricity thus extending engine life and reducing maintenance costs.

Topia Energy Production Ltd. of Ottawa will be supplying the 12,650 litres of B20 biodiesel required for the Clean Air Day demonstration, and picking up the extra cost of this fuel. “Ottawa is showing great leadership in demonstrating the potential for cleaner air for all of us,” said Topia President, Govindh Jayaraman. “This effort is made easier due to the fact that biodiesel blends can be used in any diesel engine without modifications while producing significant environmental advantages. Anyone can get biodiesel in Ottawa today at the SAAB station on Cyrville.”

The company already operates four biodiesel pumps in Canada. They launched their first retail pump in Ottawa on Earth Day last month and plan to open Canada’s first biodiesel production facility in Sudbury later this year.

This Clean Air Day demonstration is one of the initiatives the City plans for Environment Week, which runs from June 5 to 11.

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