PAMI Puts Biodiesel To Work On Farms

The Prairie Agricultural Machinery Inst i tute (PAMI) has released a compilation of several studies that showed biofuels perform well in Prairie farm equipment.

Western Canadian farmers are major consumers of diesel fuel which is used in most types of farm equipment.

“For both environmental and cost reasons, some producers have been looking for alternatives to conventional diesel fuels. But, until now, many weren’t sure if bio-based fuels would measure up to conventional fuels. We can now say with confidence that they do,” says David Gullacher, president and CEO of PAMI.

PAMI’s biodiesel research was supported by 10 public and private funding agencies from across Western Canada. Among the findings in PAMI’s report:

POWER

In lab tests, PAMI measured the effect on engine horsepower for a range of biodiesel blends, from five per cent to 100 per cent biodiesel. The blends were also tested with various newer and older engine types. Except at the highest levels of biodiesel blend, no significant loss of power was discovered.

STORAGE

PAMI also explored the concern that biodiesel quality deteriorates after long storage in cold weather. In PAMI’s tests, biodiesel remained fully potent after two winters. The tests were carried out using both external storage tanks and the engine’s own fuel tank. The fuels after storage were proven to meet the globally recognized standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials.

FARM FEEDBACK

In addition to lab tests, PAMI collaborated in a one-year trial in Manitoba to gather impressions from producers about the use of biodiesel-fuelled equipment on active farms. Producers reported few differences compared to conventional fuel.

“This is exciting information not only for producers but for the Prairie economy as a whole. Western Canada is a natural place to build a vibrant biofuels industry. For the farming community the good news is that you don’t need to wait for tomorrow you can start using biodiesel today.”

Detailed reports on PAMI’s biodiesel research can be downloaded from its website at www.pami.ca.

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