- A Windsor company that provides fuel to the marine industry has been providing a new biofuel.
- The new fuel mixture was initially tried out in 2020 on two CSL ships out of the Sterling Fuels location in Hamilton.
- Mitterhuber believes if the new vegetable oil biofuel continues to be a successful option.
A Windsor company that provides fuel to the marine industry has been providing a new biofuel…, says an article published on their website.
A Windsor company that provides fuel to the marine industry has been providing a new biofuel — a product primarily created with recycled vegetable oil from fast food restaurants — to one of the largest shipping merchants on the Great Lakes.
Sterling Fuels, located along the city’s west-end shoreline, was providing the new biofuel to eight ships that belong to Canada Steamship Lines (CSL) under a trial agreement that ran through 2021.
Trial of new fuel
The new fuel mixture was initially tried out in 2020 on two CSL ships out of the Sterling Fuels location in Hamilton before the company committed to expanding the trial to half its 16 ships that travel the Great Lakes.
The Sterling Fuels Windsor location was selected as the sole provider based on its more central location on the Great Lakes. A large freighter can travel on one tank of biofuel to the farthest areas of the Great Lakes and back.
“The idea started as a blended bio with diesel to see how that worked,” said Sterling Fuels vice-president Adrian Mitterhuber. “We then quickly increased it to straight 100 per cent bio by the end of (2020).”
Sterling Fuels provided 17 million litres of the biofuel to the eight CSL ships last year, he said.
The impact on equipment and engines that relied on the new fuelling option is currently being assessed, but all signs point to the agreement with CSL being further expanded this year with possibly other companies also getting involved.
Become a net zero emitter of carbon by 2050
“No question, we are happy to be the only supplier on the Great Lakes for this type of product,” said Mitterhuber of the recycled vegetable oil, which is gathered from various restaurant operations. “The whole idea is to eventually be carbon neutral and use something that is better for the environment.”
The biofuel product is being described as an interim solution while the shipping industry moves away from bunker oil fuel and strives to become a net zero emitter of carbon by 2050.
Biofuel be a successful option
Mitterhuber believes if the new vegetable oil biofuel continues to be a successful option, there is potential it could be expanded beyond the shipping industry and made available for municipal uses — such as for garbage trucks or municipal buses.
“Where the big win is, it’s a recycled product,” he said. “There is no question it could be expanded further and be made available to others outside of marine use. We are excited about it.
“We don’t see this as the end replacement (to reach net zero). But it’s for the next five to 10 years until the next version is something even better. This has a lot of potential as an immediate alternative for regular fossil fuels.”
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