There are few things more fundamental to Canadians than the rich natural legacy we have inherited. Canadians understand the importance of the environment, both to the quality of life we enjoy and to our future economic progress.
There is also clear recognition that certain activities are having a harmful effect on the environment and that the choices we make today can determine the health of out environment - not only for tomorrow or next year, but 100 years from now.
One of the most pressing environmental challenges is that of global warming. The international scientific community has concluded that the rapid increase in the concentration of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere can be expected to increase the earth's surface temperature, change our climate, alter our environment and endanger our health.
Biofuels are fuels made from biological products. Two examples are ethanol and biodiesel. Ethanol is a commercial alcohol that is made today from grain. It can also be made from cellulose fibres such as straw, but this is a new approach and is still under development. Taking all factors into account during it's production and use, ethanol from grain has about 40 percent fewer GHG emissions than gasoline, and cellulosic ethanol has about 80 percent fewer emissions than gasoline. Ethanol can be blended up to 10 percent with gasoline and used in cars without modifications. Biodiesel is a diesel fuel substitute that can be made from variety of vegetable oils and animal fats (e.g., recycled cooking greases). It can be blended with diesel, resulting in lower GHG emissions.
The following are additional facts relating to Biodiesel
One bushel of soybeans produces about 1.5 gallons of biodiesel.
Over 100 cities have run demonstrations or test projects utilizing biodiesel, including more than 1,000 buses and several million miles.
A gallon of soy-based biodiesel contains 132,902 BTUs.
Biodiesel improves air quality by sharply reducing the emissions, including particulate matter, that straight petroleum diesel releases when it burns.
Biodiesel-powered engines deliver similar torque, horsepower and kilometres per litre as petroleum-powered diesels.
Biodiesel does not require new refueling stations, new parts inventories or expensive engine modifications.
France is currently the world's largest producer of biodiesel, using it as heating oil and also in 50 percent blends with petrodiesel.