The Saskatchewan Research Council says a year-long demonstration project indicates no operational concerns with blends of up to 10 per cent biodiesel.
The project’s main objective was to evaluate the suitability of biodiesel blends in the agricultural sector prior to a proposed requirement of an average annual two per cent renewable content in diesel fuel.
The SRC says that during the 16-month demonstration from August 2009 to November 2010, eight producers used canola-based biodiesel blended with diesel to determine whether the blend affected engine performance. In total, over 30,000 litres of neat biodiesel were used to produce the B2 to B10 (two to 10 per cent) biodiesel blends during 18,000 hours of use.
The SRC says it evaluated 72 pieces of agricultural equipment including tractors, combines and storage tanks.
“Regardless of whether equipment was stored indoors or outdoors, full or nearly empty of fuel, throughout the off-season, the study shows that the blended fuels continued to maintain the standards specified by the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).”
The SRC said using biodiesel, up to a B10 level in warmer months and B5 in colder months, has little impact on normal operation of agricultural equipment and does not necessarily require any changes for long-term fuel storage as long as it is blended to meet the CGSB recommended temperature specifications.