Energy Division

Biofuels


Ethanol

Ethanol is a high-octane, water-free alcohol that is produced from renewable resources such as corn, wheat, straw and other bio-mass. Ethanol can be used as a fuel, as an additive to fuel or fuel extender, and as an industrial chemical. When ethanol is blended with gasoline, the result is a cleaner, higher-octane fuel than regular gas.

Biodiesel

In Manitoba, transportation fuels produce over one-third of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable fuels are the single-most effective greenhouse gas reduction technology that exists for diesel engines today.

There are two types of eligible renewable fuels that can be blended with diesel fuel under Manitoba’s Biodiesel Mandate.

  • Biodiesel is a safe, non-toxic and biodegradable fuel typically made from vegetable oils or used cooking oils. Biodiesel manufacture is a relatively simple process that uses an alcohol (usually methanol) to convert animal tallow, plant oils and other biomass-based oils (fatty acids) into combustible fuels (esters). Biodiesel can be used in its pure form or blended with conventional diesel at various levels with little or no engine modifications.

  • Renewable Diesel is a biomass-based fuel that is almost chemically identical to premium petroleum diesel and burns cleaner than conventional diesel fuel. It can be produced from any organic feedstock by using hydrogen to crack big molecules into smaller ones, and then adding hydrogen to these smaller molecules to produce a renewable biofuel for use in diesel engines.

Biofuels Mandates

The province introduced biofuels mandates to ensure renewable fuels are blended with petroleum transportation fuels available for sale in Manitoba.

As of January 1, 2008, the Ethanol Mandate requires fuel suppliers in Manitoba to replace at least 8.5% of their gasoline with ethanol.

The Biodiesel Mandate started on November 1, 2009, which requires fuel suppliers to blend 2% renewable content in both on and off-road diesel fuel. The 2% blend percentage is based on an annual average, which provides suppliers with the flexibility in both blending season and renewable fuel types to meet the mandate. For example, fuel suppliers can blend higher seasonal percentages of both biodiesel or renewable diesel to meet the mandate, and typically blend these renewable fuels at 5% during the summer months, with less renewable content blended in winter.

These provincial mandates are legal requirements, and are available at the links below:

Since their introduction, the mandates have ensured that renewable energy is used in transportation fuels sold for use within the province. The annual compliance with these mandates are included in the table below.

Fuel Sales and Reported Renewable Content under Manitoba's Biofuels Mandates

 
fuel sales (litres)
reported renewable content (litres)
Compliance
gasoline
diesel
ethanol
biodiesel/ HDRD
Ethanol Mandate
Biodiesel Mandate
2008
1,524,296,162
1,035,166,031
139,649,923
n/a
9.16%
n/a
2009
1,571,613,384
1,138,922,584
146,133,329
n/a
9.30%
n/a
2010
1,585,779,844
1,144,624,339
153,642,098
76,345,207
9.69%
2.25%
2011
1,581,392,816
1,167,889,311
148,169,782
9.37%
2012
1,589,099,811
1,087,177,615
143,695,143
9.04%
2013
1,609,059,453
1,126,208,495
147,596,602
28,197,886
9.17%
2.50%
2014
1,638,953,233
1,160,444,439
149,961,948
26,873,774
9.15%
2.32%
2015
1,667,625,473
1,168,843,306
145,912,124
27,960,823
8.75%
2.39%
NOTE: Biodiesel blends and compliance reporting were combined for the initial reporting period (2010-2012).

Using renewable energy for transportation fuels provides multiple benefits and helps to:

  1. mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles
  2. reduce the reliance on imported petroleum fuels
  3. increase sales of agricultural commodities like wheat, corn, canola and soy
  4. diversify Manitoba’s energy sector

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