Home > Resources > Reports - Canola

The reports are all saved as PDF files. To open them you will require Adobe Reader or an alternative such as Foxit Reader. To access you must be registered and logged into the forums.

In order to assist with the navigation of the reports, each of the reports on this page has had the keywords tagged. All of the tags used are on the left. Clicking on a tag will then show all of the reports that have that keyword. All of the tags that are used with that keyword are then shown listed above the reports.

 Canola TagsBarley
Corn Oil
Crude Oil
GHGenius 2.0
GHGenius 2.5
GHGenius 2.6
GHGenius 3.13
GHGenius 3.19
GHGenius 4.03
Land Use
Marine Oil
Palm Oil
Sugar Cane
Tall Oil
Used Cooking Oil
Used Oil
Wheat Straw
Yellow Grease
 Palm Oil and Biofuel Update
 Prepared March 2013
 Download | View Abstract | Hide Abstract
The palm oil pathway was added to GHGenius in 2006. It had not been reviewed or updated since that time. There is considerably more information now available on the production system since the EPA spent several years studying the pathway for the RFS2 program and the industry in Malaysia and Indonesia released a lot of information in response to the preliminary EPA findings. Some palm oil based biofuels are being used in Canada, so it is appropriate to review and update the pathway. Particular attention was paid to the modelling of emissions from the soils in general and the peat soils in particular.

Another biofuel feedstock that is starting to be produced in Canada and is being used in the United States is corn oil extracted from the stillage of ethanol plants. This product is already a co-product of the ethanol production process, so it was relatively straightforward to add it as a feedstock for biodiesel and HRD production in the model.

The Canola Council of Canada and Agriculture and AgriFood Canada (AAFC) undertook a survey of 1000 canola producers in 2011. This survey has resulted in a wealth of information concerning fertilizer application rates, fuel usage, and pesticide application rates. This data was used to develop GHG emission data for canola production in Canada at the eco-zone level. GHGenius has been updated with this data.

AAFC also made available information on soil carbon changes by soil zone and province for the work for the Canola Council. The same information is available for all provinces with agricultural area. The US national GHG inventory reports have also been reviewed to extract the soil carbon changes due to land management change in the US. This work updated both the US and Canadian soil carbon data in the model.

The work also updated some of the N2O emission calculations with several pieces of new data. AAFC supplied the leaching emission factor by province, which was used in the model to develop regional values. There is also an AAFC paper on the ratios of grain to biomass and the nitrogen contents of above and below biomass. This data was reviewed and compared to the IPCC recommended values. The data in the model for different feedstocks comes from several sources so it would be advantageous to use one data source for most feedstocks.

The chemicals used in the biodiesel manufacturing process are based on an NBB survey undertaken in 2009, but it is believed that this data was misinterpreted when it was first produced and it reports the usage of diluted solutions for catalyst and hydrochloric acid and not the actual usage of those chemicals. This has been corrected in this version of the model.

Finally, we have reviewed the data available from Statistics Canada and AAFC on manure application rates in Canada. It would appear that there is information available that would allow a more precise estimate of manure use for fertilizer in Canada.

Tags: Canola - Corn Oil - GHGenius 4.03 - Land Use - Palm Oil
 2010 Biofuel Analysis
 Prepared December 2010
 Download | View Abstract | Hide Abstract
In 2006, GHGenius was used to analyze the GHG emissions from the biodiesel and fuel ethanol pathways of interest in Canada. That project also investigated the sensitivity of the emissions to some of the parameters than could vary from project to project. That report has been used by a number of government departments, as they study the development of the industry in Canada. It is also one of the more popular reports on the GHGenius website.

Our knowledge of the performance of the biofuels industry in Canada has improved significantly in the four years since that work was done. In addition, GHGenius has been updated with better data on the biofuel production process and feedstock production systems. An updated report is therefore warranted, given the continued interest in the subject and the updated modelling data. The report will also serve as an updated documentation resource for these pathways in the model.

The biofuel pathways that have been analyzed in this report include five ethanol pathways, corn, wheat, barley and sugar cane based systems and a cellulosic ethanol system based on wheat straw feedstock. Six biodiesel feedstocks have been considered, canola, soybeans, tallow, used cooking oil, palm oil and jatropha. Four feedstocks have been considered for hydrotreated oils, palm, canola, tallow, and soybean oil.

For the sensitivity analysis, the focus has been on the issues that can vary from plant to plant, such as co-product drying, the use of combined heat and power, and the energy source for the thermal energy. In addition, issues that still have some uncertainty, such as changes in soil carbon are evaluated.

Tags: Barley - Biodiesel - Canola - Corn - Ethanol - HRD - Jatropha - Palm Oil - Soybeans - Sugar Cane - Tallow - Used Cooking Oil - Wheat - Wheat Straw
 Feedstock Emissions
 Prepared August 2010
 Download | View Abstract | Hide Abstract
There is increased interest in the emissions associated with feedstock production for use in LCA work for non-transportation fuel pathways. For example, work has been done on establishing the carbon footprint for some livestock species as well as for milk production. All of this work needs either to include the production of feedstocks like corn, barley, and other feed grains, or to have emission factors for these materials.

This work has developed a new output sheet for the emissions from the production of feedstocks. The emissions are presented on the basis of g/tonne feedstock delivered. The emissions are presented for all of the GHG and CAC emissions in the model. The results from this work could be used as emission factors for other LCA work being undertaken by others.

This work will also allow for easier comparison to some of the emission estimates that have been produced by Agriculture Canada for feedstock production. This comparison should eventually allow for some reconciliation between the GHGenius estimates and the work that Agriculture Canada has been doing using somewhat different data sources.

The data in GHGenius is continually being updated as new information becomes available. Three new data sources have been identified for areas of the model that have not been updated for many years. These are the energy required to manufacture vehicles, the energy required to manufacture farm tractors, and some new information on canola production and crushing. All three changes result in some reduction in emissions for the fuel pathways that are impacted.

Tags: Canola - Feedstock - GHGenius 3.19
 2008 GHGenius Update
 Prepared August 2008
 Download | View Abstract | Hide Abstract
There have been a significant number of changes made to the model. The new version is 3.13. These upgrades have included incorporating more recent forecasts of future changes in the Canadian energy infrastructure, the capability of having a choice of GWPs to make comparisons with other studies and models easier, the ability to report emissions per unit of energy on either a higher or lower heating value basis, much expanded capacity to model oil sands operations, many changes to the land use calculations to make the results more regional specific, and a number of smaller changes. The changes have impacted all of the pathways in the model.

The two largest pieces of work included:
1. GHGenius has had default values for the production of synthetic crude oil by an integrated mining process. More and more synthetic crude oil is being produced by in situ mining (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage or Cyclic Steam Stimulation), so pathways and default values for these alternate production systems have been added. There is now full flexibility in the model for combining bitumen extraction methods and integrated or stand alone upgraders.
2. A major upgrade of the methodology for calculating land use emissions (direct and indirect).
a. The IPCC 2006 guidance document has some small changes in the sources of N2O that are to be calculated as part of a national inventory. This includes N2O emissions resulting from a loss of soil carbon. This source has been added to the model along with an update of the IPCC default values.
b. An update on the issue of N2O emissions from crops that fix their own nitrogen has been included. There has been an update of the approach included in the model.
c. Environment Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada have made considerable progress in defining the appropriate regional emission factors for agricultural activities such as fertilizer application, cultivation practices and other land use activities rather than relying on the IPCC Tier 1 values. These emission factors, which are found mostly on sheet W, have now been regionalized.
d. The soil carbon changes calculations in the model have been changed to a more straightforward approach.
e. Within the model we have an above ground carbon offset due to nitrogen fertilization of biomass from fertilizer that is lost offsite. This is not included in the IPCC guidelines. We have modified the model so that this source can be included or excluded from the calculations by the user.
f. A discussion of above and below ground carbon changes has been included. The model has been modified so that the land use assumption for ethanol co-product credits are consistent with the energy and GHG emission credit calculations. A discussion of how to model both the direct and indirect land use changes for the biomass feedstocks in included.

Tags: Biodiesel - Canola - Corn - Crude Oil - Electricity - Ethanol - GHGenius 3.13 - Land Use - Soybeans - Wheat
 Biodiesel LCA Models
 Prepared March 2008
 Download | View Abstract | Hide Abstract
Environmental life cycle analysis (LCA) models are complex tools that can be applied to help assess the relative attractiveness of transportation fuels and other products. LCA can be used to inform government policy makers, industry, community stakeholders and other groups in making the best decisions possible for the Canadian and regional environment. However, there are a variety of models available and results from these vary, mostly for valid reasons. This can reduce confidence in LCA results for biodiesel. In addition, the quality of conclusions drawn from LCA models are influenced by the assumptions and data used in generating model results. As a result, Environment Canada needed to develop a better understanding of LCA models available as well as the underlying data, assumptions and associated calculations these tools use to generate results.

The main overall purpose of this report is to provide an assessment of existing LCA models that can be applied in determining the environmental footprint of biodiesel and competing fuels (e.g., diesel) in Canada. The assessment includes analysis to identify the key factors that contribute to differences in the results from different models. This report also provides: an analysis regarding the role of LCA in policy formulation; an overview of other modelling activities oriented to environmental policy development; an overview of what LCA is and how it works; a brief description, assessment and availability (for the purposes and scope of this study) of 37 LCA models, more detailed analysis of 9 models and selection of 2 models for detailed analysis and comparison; sensitivity analysis using one model to identify the factors in the life cycle that most strongly influence LCA results; and recommendations regarding the development and enhancement of LCA modelling for Canada.

Tags: Biodiesel - Canola - Soybeans
 Land Use Report
 Prepared September 2007
 Download | View Abstract | Hide Abstract
The purpose of this work was to identify key factors that influence the life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relating to land use choices of biofuel feedstocks. Emissions from land use changes are becoming a larger issue as the quantities of biofuels produced around the world grows. Concern is being raised about the soil carbon changes that might arise from bringing new land into production. Many GHG emissions models (such as GREET) ignore this aspect of the biofuels issue but some, including Dr. Mark Delucchi’s LEM and GHGenius, have the capability of including these emissions in the biofuel production pathways. The problem is that the scenarios that need to be developed are futuristic and therefore up to the modeller to select the appropriate data for modelling. This subjective approach is problematic.

This work investigates some of the issues that impact these emissions and to arrive at some potential recommendations of how the issue could be best modelled in the future.

The work only considered four feedstocks; corn, wheat, canola, and soybeans. These are the primary feedstocks for the first generation biofuels and the ones that are currently facing the greatest growth pressures. The question is where will the feedstocks to produce these biofuels come from? In GHGenius, the default values for most feedstocks assume some combination of increase in yield and substitution for some generic agricultural feedstock and while a case can be made that this has been the historical route it may not apply in the future. This work sought to address a number of questions that impact on this issue.

Avoided transportation emissions resulting from the use of biofuel feedstocks locally rather than exporting these feedstocks have generally been ignored in most discussions regarding land use and bringing more land into production in remote regions. These emissions will vary from country to country depending on transportation modes employed and the destination of customers. The preliminary analysis undertaken here indicates that in the case of Canada these transportation emissions are very large and avoiding these emissions can offset soil carbon losses resulting from brining new land into production elsewhere in the world.

The most significant issue that arose from this work was the impact of the conversion of forests and forestland to biofuel feedstock production. It is this factor that has the potential to eliminate the GHG emissions benefits of most biofuels as they are currently produced. A thorough investigation of this issue is beyond the scope of this work but an overview of the basic facts is presented.

Tags: Biodiesel - Canola - Corn - Ethanol - Land Use - Soybeans - Wheat
 BC Biodiesel Feedstock Study
 Prepared March 2006
 Download | View Abstract | Hide Abstract
The Federal Government has included a production goal of 500 million litres of biodiesel by 2010 in its Climate Change Action plan. They have also established an $11.9 million fund that will support research and provide incentives for industrial-scale biodiesel pilot plants, and support demonstrations of its effectiveness to encourage broader use of biodiesel.

One key aspect of meeting the 500 million litre target is the identification of sufficient feedstock to convert into biodiesel. Feedstock availability is quite diverse across Canada with different regions not only producing different feedstocks but also having varying supply and demand balances. The objective of this work is to investigate these feedstock issues for the Province of British Columbia.

The specific goals of this work are therefore:
- First, to identify total volumes and types of potential British Columbia feedstock available annually to produce biodiesel (methyl ester), including identifying potential of feedstock imports and exports.
- Secondly, to identify whether British Columbia has sufficient (volume, type, availability, price) domestic biodiesel feedstock to supply a viable domestic biodiesel industry in the short and long-term, and to identify how feedstock imports and exports impact the industry.
- Finally, to evaluate other issues that might arise with some of the specific feedstocks.

Six classes of biodiesel feedstocks have been considered in this report. In five of the six cases the product is currently being sold for some application. Only in the case of trucked liquid wastes (brown grease) is the feedstock being disposed of. These non-marketed volumes are very limited. In many cases there are also imports and exports of the feedstocks.

Tags: Biodiesel - Canola - Marine Oil - Tall Oil - Tallow - Yellow Grease
 Biofuel Sensitivity Analysis
 Prepared August 2006
 Download | View Abstract | Hide Abstract
The purpose of this work was to identify key factors that influence the life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of current ethanol and biodiesel production pathways. This information can then be used by policy makers, fuel producers, distributors, retailers and consumers to assist them in making decisions that positively impact the lifecycle GHG performance of the renewable fuels sector.

For the transportation sector there are generally three ways that GHG emissions can be reduced; improve energy efficiency at all stages of the life cycle, use lower carbon intensity fuel sources, or change transportation modes. Combinations of the three approaches are of course also possible.

Renewable fuel producers have some control over the first two categories but they will be looking to maximize the return on investment when they design and build biofuel facilities and not necessarily minimizing GHG emissions. This may lead to the facilities being energy efficient but the types of energy that are used in the facilities may not be optimized.

For this work we are interested in, among other possibilities, the emissions impact that could arise from different farming practices. These practices could result in soil carbon changes and perhaps in changes in above ground biomass. The default values for modelling have therefore been set so that in the base case there is no change in soil carbon, no change in above ground biomass arising from increased crop yields, and no biomass growth resulting from nitrogen run-off lost offsite.

Tags: Biodiesel - Canola - Corn - Ethanol - Lignocellulosic - Palm - Soybeans - Sugar Cane - SuperCetane - Tallow - Wheat - Yellow Grease
 Biodiesel GHG Emissions Update
 Prepared January 2005
 Download | View Abstract | Hide Abstract
The production of biodiesel from vegetable oils, tallow and yellow grease was added to GHGenius in 2002. In 2004 the production and conversion of marine oils to biodiesel was added to the model. Since 2002, there has been growing interest in the production of biodiesel in Canada. The National Research Council has recently completed a lifecycle analysis of biodiesel and that effort produced additional data that is applicable to biodiesel production. A number of new European LCA reports are now available and these have additional data that can be incorporated into the analysis. There have been a number of comments and suggestions made with respect to the original 2002 report so it is appropriate to revisit the input data for these pathways in GHGenius. Additional information has also recently become available on fertilizer production in Canada so that work has also been reviewed and incorporated into the model.

The original work in 2002 included an assessment of ethanol-diesel blends. Those fuels are not included in this work although a review of the emissions from ethanol production and ethanol blends is planned for the near future.
The goal of this work is to:
· Expand the biodiesel pathways in the model so that tallow and yellow grease pathways can be analyzed at the same time rather than have them share a pathway where the user must select which to model,
· Add the intermediate production of the lipid feedstock to the upstream results on Sheet K,
· Regionalize the production of fertilizer in the model,
· Review and update the data that is used in the biodiesel production pathways,
· Review and discuss the role of the biodiesel co-products in the LCA, and to
· Use the model to perform some sensitivity analysis on the inputs in the biodiesel pathways so that a better understanding of biodiesel’s benefits can be achieved.

GHGenius has been expanded to include five biodiesel pathways and all five are available for each model run. In addition, the upstream emissions are available for the five oils used as biodiesel feedstocks.

Tags: Biodiesel - Canola - Fertilizer - GHGenius 2.6 - Marine Oil - Soybeans - Tallow - Yellow Grease
 Economic, Financial, Policy Analysis Biodiesel
 Prepared November 2004
 Download | View Abstract | Hide Abstract
The Federal Government has included a production goal of 500 million litres of biodiesel by 2010 in its Climate Change Action plan. They have also established an $11.9 million fund that will support research and provide incentives for industrial-scale biodiesel pilot plants, and support demonstrations of its effectiveness to encourage broader use of biodiesel.

There has been little economic and financial analysis of biodiesel within a Canadian context. The few published and unpublished studies carried-out so far for the public sectors have dealt mostly with potential socio-economic impacts and have attracted little interest from the investment community due to their lack of focus on profitability, both short and long term. Policy and decision makers, financial institutions, and other economic players need the more detailed, formal analysis framework in order to make investment decisions regarding the development of these fuels.

The primary objective of this study is to assess the current and future economics of bio-diesel plants in Canada and to develop estimates of demand, supply, and prices (costs and selling) of this fuel. The results are then used to develop a template-like analytical tool for various models of ownership structure, to help assess the financial performance of various types of biodiesel (regional and feedstock specific) plants across Canada.

The work was carried out in Phases and stages. This report covers Phase 1, for biodiesel. A similar report has been prepared for ethanol.

The specific objectives of Phase 1, Stage 1 were to:
· Review literature on economic and financial performance of biodiesel plants.
· Identify successful plants and reasons for success.
· Quantify feedstock resources and production costs.
· Develop a comprehensive financial model.
· Develop a supply curve.

The objectives of Phase 1, Stage 2 were to:
· Identification of market barriers.
· Evaluate policy tools including.
o Government capital investment
o Favourable tax treatment
o Infrastructure investment
o R&D funding
o Renewable content mandates
o Emission taxes
· Examine the potential for regionalization of tools.
· Quantification of levels of support required.
· Investigate other approaches to market development.

Phase 1, Stage 3 of the work focuses on the international aspects of a developing biodiesel industry and considers the threats and opportunities that international trade in biofuels presents. The specific tasks of this stage include:
· Identification of the level of international trade.
· Production cost comparison with the potential exporters of biodiesel.
· Analysis of the import alternatives that biodiesel users in Canada would face.
· Evaluate the impacts that biodiesel imports might face and identify measures that might mitigate the impacts.
· Evaluate the impact of trade agreements on enabling or disabling Canadian industry competitiveness.

The second phase of the work will have some analysis related to GHG emissions.

Tags: Biodiesel - Canola - Economic - Marine Oil - Soybeans - Tallow - Yellow Grease
 NRCan SuperCetane and Used Oil Cycles
 Prepared for Natural Resources Canada in March 2004
 Download | View Abstract | Hide Abstract
The goal of this work was to add two new pathways to GHGenius:
  • Canola Oil or tallow to “SuperCetane”, and
  • Used motor oil to diesel fuel, the ROBYS™ process.

Both of these processes have been developed by Natural Resources Canada and are in the process of being commercialized.
The new pathways have been fully integrated into GHGenius and all of the existing functionality of the model has been retained.
The CANMET Energy Technology Centre (CETC), Natural Resources Canada, has developed a novel, patented technology that can convert vegetable oils, waste greases, animal tallow and other feedstocks containing triglycerides and fatty acids into a high cetane, low sulphur diesel fuel blending stock called SuperCetane. This process can transform fats by hydrotreating them to produce paraffins.
The "ROBYS™ Process" purifies and stabilizes reclaimed and refined gas oils. ROBYS™ is designed as an add-on unit to used oil recycling and petroleum refining operations. The process was developed by the CANMET Energy Technology Centre (CETC) and is licensed to Par Excellence Developments (PED) of Sudbury, Ontario for worldwide application. In the course of being recycled, used oils undergo a thermal cracking process to produce gas oil. ROBYS™ then effectively stabilizes and purifies the gas oil.
Used oil has been added to GHGenius as a feedstock. The collection parameters for used oil can be set by the user on the Input Sheet in terms of the modes of transportation employed and the distances involved.

Tags: Canola - GHGenius 2.5 - SuperCetane - Tallow - Used Oil
 Biodiesel and Ethanol Diesel Blends
 Prepared for Natural Resources Canada in September 2002
 Download | View Abstract | Hide Abstract
This report accomplished the following objectives:
  • Determined the lifecycle energy balance and greenhouse gas emissions for biodiesel manufactured from waste animal fats, soyoil and Canola oil.
  • Determined the impact on greenhouse gas emissions of using biodiesel blends of 2%, 20% and 100% compared to conventional diesel fuel
  • Determined the impact on greenhouse gas emissions of using ethanol diesel blends of 7% and 15% compared to conventional diesel fuel.
  • Confirmed the appropriate treatment of N2O emissions from agricultural residues in the latest version of GHGenius.
  • Estimated the production costs of biodiesel from the various feedstocks studied.
  • Provided an overview of the policy issues raised by the blending of biodiesel or ethanol diesel blends. These include taxation issues, impact on exhaust emissions, regulatory issues with respect to safety and standards, engine warranty issues and distribution and marketing issues.

Tags: Biodiesel - Canola - Ethanol - Fertilizer - GHGenius 2.0 - Soybeans - Tallow - Yellow Grease
(S&T)2 Consultants Inc. 2004 Important Notices