Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Low Level Biodiesel Blends DO Reduce Greenhouse Gas

A new CSIRO report shows a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from biodiesels, even with a low 2pc biodiesel blend. Every little bit does count!

Biodiesel is a diesel substitute made from renewable materials such as tallow and vegetable oils which typically is blended into diesel at ratios of 2, 5 and 20pc here in Australia, depending on the type of customer.

Caltex in australia is a significant supplier of these blended biodiesel fuels, and CEO, Des King, says, "Biodiesel blends also reduce emissions of very fine particles from diesel vehicle exhausts, while reducing greenhouse gas." “Every litre of diesel supplied from Caltex's Newcastle terminal is New Generation Diesel containing 2pc biodiesel." "The supply of our biodiesel blends from Newcastle saves our customers about 20 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

In addition, Caltex supplies 5 and 20pc blends to commercial customers in various locations.

According the recent CSIRO report, a 2% biodiesel blend can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.5% compared with the effect of unblended diesel, assuming the biodiesel is made from tallow. The reduction for a 5% biodiesel blend is 3.7pc and the reduction for a 20% is 15%.

Caltex has not purchased imported palm oil based biodiesel and will not, unless it can be shown to be sustainable, to the satisfaction of key stakeholders in the countries where it is produced.
Biodiesel made from palm oil sourced from existing plantations, offers similar greenhouse gas emission savings to tallow-based biodiesel. However, imported palm oil sourced from cleared rainforest or peat swamps would greatly increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Caltex commissioned CSIRO to conduct the research on the greenhouse gas benefits of biodiesel blends to support development of renewable fuels, and to provide updated, authoritative information for our customers and everyone with an interest in biodiesel.

"Caltex supports development of biofuels in Australia," says the CEO. "We achieved our volume target for 2006 under the former government’s Biofuels Action Plan and have already achieved our target for 2007. "We advocate continuation of this plan under the new Labor government.

“We also see the need for the government to prepare a comprehensive plan for biofuels in Australia through to 2020, including consideration of some pressing short term regulatory and financial issues including the biodiesel blend standard and the longer term transition to non-food biofuels feedstocks."

* The report on greenhouse and air quality emissions of biodiesel blends in Australia, can be downloaded at or

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