Canadian companies test B10 in truck fleet

By Bryan Sims | January 01, 2009
Web exclusive posted Dec. 9, 2008 at 5:06 p.m. CST

Kyoto Fuels Corp. and JK Trucking, in collaboration with Olds College of Innovation and the government of Alberta, are six months into a year-long Biodiesel Integration Study Pilot, an in-depth, over-the-road demonstration test to monitor the operability and functionality of B10 in JK Trucking fleets driven in the Canadian climate.

According to John Koliaska, president and chief executive officer of JK Trucking and vice president of business development for Kyoto Fuels Corp., the purpose of the study is to educate Canadian residents of B10's benefits with 90 percent petroleum-based diesel with the backing of verifiable data.

"We're not trying to pretend it's a new product globally since its being used in various countries all over the world," he said. "But, in Canada, it's a new product and this test is intended to get through, first, the fear for change and, second, some of the myths that come with an unknown product."

Since the launch of the project in June, data has been collected from two sources: the Global Positioning Systems and the electronic control module computers in each trucking unit. The JK Trucking fleets utilize 50 Class eight highway tractors traveling throughout western Canada and the western United States and are comprised of 48 Cummins engines. Cummins Western Canada provided the hardware required to download the ECM data.

Already, JK Trucking vehicles have driven approximately 300,000 miles or about 70,000 miles per week since June on more than 132,000 gallons of B10 blended fuel.

The trucks are filled at an injection-blending facility on site at JK Trucking's headquarters in Lethbridge, Alberta. So far, the use of B10 hasn't caused any mechanical problems or changes in vehicle performance, according to Ryan Deacon-Rogers, BISP project manager.

"We haven't noticed any maintenance requirements, no clogged fuel filters and no change in the way oil analysis is being performed or is performing," he said.

The Olds College of Innovation is acting as third-party invigilators for the project, ensuring its research effectiveness and to ensure that the study is unbiased. The college is providing consulting services related to data collection, verification and analysis of findings.

"We don't want to throw a project out there and throw information out to the general population that is biased any which way for, against or even perceived biased," Deacon-Rogers said.

In addition, partnerships with AGAT Laboratories Ltd., EFG Solutions and PeopleNet Canada have been established throughout the development and implementation of the project.

AGAT Laboratories, Canada's largest used lubricants, fuels, coolants and failure analysis laboratory, is providing analytical services with "best practices" recommendations and environmentally recognized improvements in proactive maintenance. EGF Solutions Inc. is providing information technology and PeopleNet Canada is providing a portion of the onboard intelligence that collects, saves and reports the project data from the JK Trucking fleet in real time on roads in Canada and the United States, under all climate conditions.

Kyoto Fuels is in the final stages of construction of its 66 MMly (17 MMgy) biodiesel plant in the county of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
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